Sermons

Summary: The solution to our sinful actions is to know ourselves in relationship with God.

Romans 7:14-25

“Our Secret Sins”

By: Reverend Kenneth E. Sauer

Pastor of Parkview United Methodist Church, Newport News, VA

A colleague of mine recently told me about a conversation he had with a parishioner.

She told him: “I have these secret little sins in my life, and I like my secret sins.”

My friend told me that he did not ask this woman what her secret sins were....he was afraid to ask....he

didn’t want to know.

But he did say that this woman was a regular church goer...a very respected person in the community....

...but somehow she had accepted her secret sins....

....and had come to like them....

...and cherish them.

And I’m afraid that their are a lot of us out there who have done the same thing....

....somehow we think it’s okay to enjoy our secret sins....

...after-all we aren’t hurting anybody....

...we’re still Christians.

We go into our homes, pull the shades down....

...indulge in whatever our secret sins are....

....then we pull up the shades and go back into the community as if nothing is wrong.

But there is something wrong!

There is something seriously wrong!

One of my favorite anti-drug commercials...

...and I’m sure many of you have seen it....

....flashes a bunch of young faces on the screen....

....one person says something like: “I support terrorism...”

....another says, “I murder people...”

....then another says, “It’s no big deal, I’m just doing it for fun.”...

.... “I’m not hurting anybody.”

But the truth is that our sins do hurt people, our sins do make a difference....even on a global scale--no

matter how big or small the sins may be!

This woman that my friend was talking about enjoyed her sins...

....she had no desire to change....

....She didn’t want to be freed from them...

....they were her friends!

And when we make friends with our sins we are making friends with our enemy!

In our Scripture lesson for this morning...Paul is frustrated.

He laments that he does not understand his own actions.

His desires and actions are out of sync.

Sigmund Freud came up with a similar analysis.

He claimed that humans are driven by unconscious forces, and to become well, a person has to get in touch

with this caldron of desire, the id.

Paul’s analysis is, of course, far different...

...We experience this sense of being out of touch with ourselves because we are out of touch with God and

are thus dominated by our sinful natures.

So what is the solution?

The solution is to know ourselves in relationship with the Lord!

Even when Paul is rebellious and disobedient, the Holy Spirit reveals to him the essential goodness of God’s

law.

And the law is spiritual....

....the law was given to humankind by the Spirit of God...

....the law is the expression of the will and nature of God...

....it describes the will of God and tells us just what God is like, and the rules of the law reveal both the

mind and nature of God....

...and the law has spiritual purposes.

The law is holy: it is set apart and full of purity, majesty, and glory.

The law exposes sin, and sin is everything which is contrary to God and God’s will.

In short, the law demonstrates to us our desperate need for a Savior!

Paul writes that he finds the law “at work” within him.

Do we find the law at work within us?

When we sin....are we remorseful?

When we sin...do we even care?

Sin is an illness.

It is a choice.

It is an addiction.

And like all addictions....if we feed that addiction....it will ultimately destroy us!

You know what the biggest problem is in this world?

Many of us have made a contract or a covenant with sin.

It’s like we’ve made an agreement with ourselves and the devil: “I can have my secret little sins.”

But the bottom line is that if Jesus Christ lives within us....that contract must be broken!

My friend said to me, “When the sin in my life tries to come out, I know God is watching--not as a

judge--but as a friend.”

Therefore as Christians, we are not to enjoy our secret sins...

....we are not to try and feed them....

....we are to try to distinguish them!

We don’t want to revel in our secret sins.

And we all have them.

This is something that all of us can relate to.

We are not to enjoy our secret sins...for our secret sins are our enemies!

They get between us and the abundant life that Christ has to offer us...

....they get between us and what we are called to do as Christians.

Because sin, my friends is “missing the mark.”

Many years ago I had an awful, but very telling dream....

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