Summary: One of the greatest tools of the enemy to hinder the Saints of God is condemnation. This lie causes countless millions of God's people to sit on the sidelines. Truth is, God works in the midst of sin, imputes righteousness, & doesn't count temptation.
1. An elephant was drinking out of a pond one day, when he spotted a turtle asleep on a log. Without warning, he strolled over, picked it up & threw it as far as he could with his trunk.
2. "What did you do that for?" asked a passing aardvark. "Because I recognized it... It's the same turtle that took a nip out of my trunk 53 years ago." "Wow, what a memory!" exclaimed the aardvark.
3. "Yes," said the elephant. "I have Turtle recall."
"There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death." Rom. 8:1-2.
1. One of the greatest tools of the enemy to hinder the Saints of God is condemnation. He says to us, "Because you're not free from sin, you can't be pleasing to God and therefore you can't be effective in praying or be used in the work of God."
2. This lie causes countless millions of God's people to sit on the sidelines of the gospel work and be idle because they've been told they're not good enough to participate in the work of God.
3. This simply is not true; it's a lie from hell to falsely disqualify believers from doing their appointed tasks. This is not true, because...
I. GOD WORKS IN THE MIDST OF SIN
A. UNIVERSAL SINFULNESS
1. If God waited until people were without sin to use them, then He’d never get to use anyone, because we all are actively sinning in some proportion.
2. Don’t we do the same? We use electricity even though we don’t understand how it works. We don’t know all the inner workings of the car’s motor before we drive it. We do many things without perfect knowledge of them.
3. Everybody in the world – even the most saintly -- live in a state of sin. The Bible says “There’s none righteous, no, not one” Rom. 3:10. The apostle John said, "If we say we have no sin, we lie and the truth is not in us" (1:8, KJV). James says, "We all stumble in many ways" (3:2, NIV).
4. The wonder of wonders is that though we live in a constant state of corruption and fallen nature, God can and does work in the midst of it.
5. All through the Scripture, God used people in their weakness. It wasn't that they had the strength; all they had was faith in God. God supplied what they did not have.
B. PAUL’S REVELATION ABOUT THIS
1. The apostle Paul said that he was the least of the apostles; that he "inwardly burned" with troublesome thoughts and sinful tendencies; that he was weak and beset with difficulties and trials.
2. “Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?” 2 Cor. 11:29.
3. Paul was the greatest of the early church apostles yet he also wrestled with sin. what he learned was that God is pleased to work in us in spite of our sinfulness.
4. “21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!" Romans 7:21-25.
5. Sinful nature is like the gravity that pulls us down, but the Holy Spirit is like the force of lift/flight, that can cause us to rise above the battle of sin. “Where sin abounds, God's grace does much more abound!" Rom. 5:20.
6. God is pleased to show that his grace overwhelms sin. All we need -- for God to work in us -- is a willing heart. It’s God's job to purge the sinfulness from our lives.
7. Our story is the same as the 10 lepers; “And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed” Lk. 17:14. Jesus cleanses us as we journey toward his kingdom and if we’re not perfected by the day of the rapture, He will complete that work then.
8. So God works in the midst of sin. This idea seems to be a terrible contradiction: “How can a Holy God associate with sinful men & women?”