Summary: The strongest evidence of salvation is a life where there is lack of any evidence of the old ways, habits, lifestyle & thinking!
“Getting rid of the evidence”
Intro: *** One day a ranger catches a man in the very act of poaching crabs out of a river where there were fishing restrictions. The ranger springs from behind the bushes & says to the man “You’re under arrest for illegal crabbing in the river. The man who was momentarily startled by the ranger thinks quickly & while still holding the crab in his hands protests & says to the ranger “I’m not crabbing this crab is my pet & I’ve bought him down here to have a swim in the river.” The ranger who is not a man to be easily fooled says to the poacher “How stupid do you think I am?” But the man, still holding the crab insists, “No really, I bring him here all the time to swim in the river, you watch.” And he gently lowers the crab into the water & the two men watch the crab swim off into deeper water & then out of sight. A couple of minutes later the ranger who is b/co impatient w/ the trickster says “OK, where’s your pet crab?” The poacher who’d been caught in the act just a few minutes b/4 w/ an illegal crab looks at the ranger w/ a puzzled look on his face & says “What crab?”
Here’s a man who u/s the impt of getting rid of the evidence of his sin!
We can learn an impt lesson from this man even though his motives were evil.
After being born again there should be less evidence of the old life show & more evidence of the new.
If we’re new creations in Jesus our lives should no longer show any evidence of the old ways?
T/n I want to preach a message I’ve called “Getting rid of the evidence”.
Text: Ephesians 5:1 - 17 (NKJV) 1Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. 3But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7Therefore do not be partakers with them. 8For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9(for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.” 15See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
# 1. The evidence.
A. No matter how hard we try to avoid it our lives show evidence of what we really are.
a. Evidence is a powerful thing!
i. W/ it a court can convict a man & send him to prison or even his death & where there is a lack of it even an evil man can be set free.
ii. Paul is writing here to people who have been saved fresh out of paganism …… their lives still reveal the evidence of the old life.
iii. We see people w/ surgical scars & immediately know that person has been sick – why? B/c the evidence reveals it.
iv. In the same way Paul is dealing here w/ the evidence of the old sinner life & says …
Vs 3. …… let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints;
*** DNA – Deoxyribonucleic Acid has b/co a powerful thing when investigators of a crime come on the scene & are looking for evidence. Criminals no matter how hard they try not to, leave behind some DNA. That DNA gives the vital evidence that links them to the crime ….. it’s like leaving your biological fingerprints all over the crime scene.
v. The same is true spiritually …. as you live your life you leave a spiritual DNA behind you that speaks about what you really are!
B. Evidence is a powerful thing b/c it testifies of our habits & actions.