Summary: This message, the main message in the series Getting Free, explains how the Christian gets free of the control of sin.
Sermon Four: Killing My Old Man
Wildwind Community Church
David K. Flowers
March 9, 2008
Today is the capstone of the series we have been doing for the past three weeks called Getting Free. We’ve been talking about getting to where we are done with sin. I haven’t yet told you how that happens, so let me begin today by simply giving you the answer. This is huge – we’ve been building up to this moment for three weeks and now we’re finally here. I think a drum roll would be appropriate. Rick, can you come up and give us a drum roll? Ready? Here it is: If you want to leave sin behind in your life for good, what you do is (drum roll) – commit your life to God. Yes! That’s it! I know, that’s nothing you expect to hear a pastor say in a church on a Sunday morning (or a Saturday evening for that matter), but that’s what you do. If you are going to leave sin behind in your life, you have to commit your life to God.
Now my guess is that at this point I have a room full of Christians (although I realize not all of you are) who are saying, “What? I did that a long time ago.” I have some news for you. Actually, you probably didn’t! On the day you accepted Christ as the forgiver of your sins, you simply couldn’t have known how deep the rabbit hole of sin went in your life. There’s no way to know that, just like there’s no way of understanding when we’re 22 years old what it means to say to someone, “I take you to be my wedded wife/husband for better/worse, richer/poorer, in sickness/health so long as we both shall live.” You can’t possibly understand what that means. Chances are good you haven’t been through a lot of worse or poorer or sickness yet. You haven’t realized how fragile a marriage can be even when circumstances are perfect and everything’s going great. Let’s face it – on your wedding day you stood up there with the absolute best of intentions and you made a commitment so huge that you couldn’t possibly understand it. Good thing too, because remember how nervous you already were on that day? I wonder how many fewer marriages there would be if the moment you got engaged you suddenly had this vivid vision of the two of you standing next to each other at 50 or so caskets over a lifetime – sitting together in the hospital waiting for that scary word from the doctor – sleeping 26 minutes a night times a baby every other year for a few years – the fighting – the words you both said that you can never take back – the financial stress – the moments with the kids you wish you could do over – the late-night sump pump failures and working all night to dig out – the days of simple boredom when you will be as far as you could possibly be from the enthusiasm of young love. C’mon, admit it. When you said I do, you did, but you did in ignorance! And it’s probably the only way you would have! You didn’t know, and couldn’t have known, how much sacrifice would be required – how much effort and energy it would take – or how meaningful and rewarding it would become precisely because of those things.
Marriage is a relationship that requires commitment, and the intensity and exclusivity of that commitment that leads to the intensity of the meaning in marriage. The day you get married you make a commitment so huge that you simply can’t get your arms around it, but you make that commitment proactively. In other words, you can’t really understand what you’re doing at the time, but if you don’t stand up there and make that commitment in front of hundreds of people, how will you know what to do when the poorer, sicker, worse times come? Because of that commitment you made years ago, those times come and you say to yourself, “Oh, here it is. I get it now, a little bit. I made that commitment so that I would know what to do – now I just have to decide whether or not I will do what I already said I would do.”
Then one day you wake up after you’ve been married for a while, and things are different. Maybe there’s a lot more stress and you don’t live at the level you had hoped you would. Maybe you and/or your spouse have changed physically. Maybe one or both of you are living with a chronic illness or other condition. And maybe you’re feeling a little disillusioned, a little disappointed with your spouse, now that the shimmering romance has worn off. And it’s a struggle. You never thought you’d get to this place (p.s. – No one ever thinks they will, and everyone does!) Is this the person you really want to be with? Did you make a mistake? Was your decision to stay with them forever premature? Maybe you talk to friends or family. Maybe you work through it with your spouse. Maybe you keep it to yourself, but somewhere, and somehow, you make a decision.