Summary: Christ gives us freedom from sin.

I have always been fascinated with bows and arrows. Ever since I watched Luke Duke hang out the window of the General Lee and shoot a flaming arrow that blew something up, I have been hooked. So this morning, I have asked Walter Rice to bring a bow up here on stage so we can learn more about these amazing devices.

Bows are simple. You point it towards a target and then you release the arrow. What is the goal when shooting at a target? The goal is to hit the bulls’ eye. We aim to hit the target.

Now some of you may be wondering what in the world this has to do with the Bible. Well, I’m glad you asked. The word the Bible writers used for sin was the Greek word hamartano. Hamartano literally means “to miss the mark.” So to sin is to miss the target that God has given to us.

The target that God has given us is the target of the Law. And unfortunately the news this morning is that we all have missed the target. Romans 3:23 teaches us that “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” This means each one of us in here have at some point missed the mark.

One time the famous American evangelist, Billy Sunday, was preparing for a revival meeting in a large city. He wrote a letter to the mayor of that city asking him for names of people who had spiritual problems and needed help. Billy Sunday was somewhat surprised when he received from that Mayor a city telephone directory!

All of us have a serious spiritual problem and it’s called sin.

Now there is a popular trend in many churches today that says we should not talk about sin. Rather, we should just build everyone’s self-esteem. Or we should just speak about topics that do not get controversial. We enjoy hearing sermons on love and joy. We shy away from sermons that call us to more commitment or remind us of our faults.

But my goal today is to help us be honest with ourselves and admit that we are sinners who need to be free from sin.

Sometimes I read the news and I just wonder why some people do what they do. One lady was arrested in Lake City, Florida for robbery of a Howard Johnson’s motel. She was armed with only an electric chain saw, which was not plugged in. Why in the world would someone do that?

I read the Bible and I wonder why people do what they do. I read of Adam and Eve in the Garden, and when I get to the part of Eve eating the forbidden fruit and sharing it with Adam, I just want to shout, “Why would you do that!?”

As I read about God leading Israel out of slavery in Egypt, I see how He provided a way for them by parting the Red Sea. It is amazing! Then I read of Moses going to the top of Mount Sinai and receiving the law. But because Moses was gone for forty days the Israelites figured Moses was dead so they began to worship a Golden Calf and called this idol which they had made the god that lead them out of Egypt.

Moses comes down from the mountain and he is angry. He questions his brother Aaron, who was supposed to be in charge while Moses was away. And all Aaron can come up with is this: “We just threw the gold in the fire and this calf popped out.” Why would you do that?!

Why would Judas betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver? Why would Ananias and Saphira plot to deceive the church into thinking they were better than they really were? Why would they do that?

But then I look at my life. And I wonder, “Why did I do that?”

Do you ever find yourself wondering, “Why did I do that?” Have you ever desperately tried to avoid doing certain things, yet you always wind up right back where you wanted to avoid being? Do you ever wonder if the Christian life can really work?

This morning I am going to be up front with all of you and confess that I struggle living the Christian life. There are times I read the Bible and then look at my life and I realize that it just does not match up. Has anyone else ever felt that way?

If you feel that way, please know that you are not alone. In fact, there was a man named Saul, who later had his name changed to Paul, who felt exactly the same. Listen to what he wrote in Romans 7:14 - 15, 24: “14We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?”

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