Summary: In Sermon 4 of the series, PAUSE Before You Act, we admonish the believer to see if what he or she is about to do violates God’s commands. I.e., am I about to commit a sin in my response to a situation?

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Please note that, while this sermon may be preached in stand-alone fashion, it is part of a series. You may wish to take a look at the first three sermons. Especially helpful would be sermon one which lays the foundation. Also, there is a companion sermon called THINK Before You Speak.

IV. S – Sin

Has God in His Word revealed that the action I am about to take is wrong?

QUOTE: “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”


This sermon could be a one year series … if I listed everything that is a sin.

In the context of this series, I do not need to remind you of the sexual sins (adultery, fornication, homosexuality), or the religious sins (idolatry, blasphemy), or of the great sins against humanity (murder, stealing) … for we know that these are wrong. (Not to say that a wrong response could not be the first link in the chain that could lead to murder, etc.) We have narrowed the list down to an even dozen.

Open: Peter striking Malchus

John 18:10-11 Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. 11 Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?

Matthew 26:51-52 And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest’s, and smote off his ear. 52 Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.

Luke 22:50-51 And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear. 51 And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him.

NOTE: Melvin Shelton points out that Peter did this because he had been arguing when he should have been listening. Jesus told Peter that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer, but Peter didn’t like the word that the Lord gave. Friend, let us never be guilty of picking and choosing what part of God’s commands that we like. May we never insist on going our way when the Word is telling us to go another way! And Peter did this because he had been sleeping when he should have been praying.

ILLUS: NEWTON’S LAW Lew Slade, and Episcopal minister, reminded his congregation of Sir Isaacs Newton’s third law of motion. It reads “For every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction.” He illustrated it like this. A ball on the pool table, when it strikes another pool ball, will move the other ball, but it will also itself have a change of speed and course. When we feel hurt, we are tempted to strike back and retaliate by taking the hurt that we feel and dumping it back on the head of the one who offended us. That is the natural way. But it is not God’s way.


• Now, we did an entire series on THINK Before You Speak.

• In light of that, we will tread lightly here.

1. The Sin of Hasty Words (Pr. 10:19; 15:28; 17:27; 29:11)

Choose Words Carefully

Proverbs 10:19 In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: But he that refraineth his lips is wise.

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