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.

Proverbs 15:28 The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: But the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.

Proverbs 17:27 He that hath knowledge spareth his words: And a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.

Proverbs 17:27 (AMP) He who has knowledge spares his words, and a man of understanding has a cool spirit.

Proverbs 29:11 A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.

2. The Sin of Gossip (Ps. 34:13; Pr. 10:12; 11:13; 1 Tim. 5:13)

QUOTE: Love delights in covering sin, hate delights in gossip which uncovers it.

Sin of Talking About Someone Instead of With Them

Psalm 34:13 Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.

Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.

Proverbs 11:13 A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.

1 Timothy 5:13 And withal they [THE YOUNGER WIDOWS] learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.

ILLUS: How Do You Speak of Those Who Are Absent?

Have you ever noticed that there is usually a dearth of good kind words for the absent one when his name is mentioned in conversation? There may be words of criticism and faultfinding, but how few are the words of commendation! The golden rule suggests that we speak of the absent one as we would have others speak of us. Practical Bible Illustrations From Yesterday and Today.

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