Summary: Methods that are used to restrain sin in our lives.
Restraining Sinful Behavior
* Living a holy life is an ambition of everyone who is genuinely born again.
* The desire to live a godly life is stronger in some Christians than in others.
* Most of us have had and still have the experience of Romans 7. …Doing what we shouldn’t and not doing what we should.
* We have all made futile attempts to “behave ourselves” (control behavior)
* It has been my observation that a Christians behavior can be controlled by a number of different means.
* Not all Christians achieve a holy life by the same means.
Illus – There is more than one method to get to Niagara Falls.
- By car… from here it will take about 14 hours
- Motorcycle…it will probably take a little longer due to the weather
- Boat… it will take even longer to go by way of a boar
- Air… this would be the quickest way to get there
- Walk… this would be the slowest way
- My point is that there is more than one way to reach destination. …different routes and different modes of transportation.
Controlling Children’s behavior.
Quote – “You spend the first two years of their life teaching them to walk and talk. Then you spend the next sixteen telling them to sit down and shut up.”
Joke - If You’ll be Quiet
It was a hectic day of running errands with my wife and son. As if the stress weren’t enough, four-year-old Christopher insisted on asking questions about everything, told me how to drive better, and sang every song he knew.
Finally, fed up with the incessant chatter, I made him an offer: "Christopher, if you’ll be quiet for just a few minutes, I’ll give you a quarter." It worked.
But when we stopped for lunch, I unknowingly began to harp on him. "Christopher, sit up straight ... don’t spill your drink ... don’t talk with your mouth full."
Finally he said seriously, "Dad, if you’ll be quiet for just a few minutes, I’ll give you a quarter."
* With children we use both negative and positive reinforcement.
- We us consequences or rewards to control their behavior.
- We threaten with consequences or we promise a reward.
NOTE = Rewarding good is not a bribe… A bribe is when you pay someone to do wrong… a reward is when you give someone something for doing what is right.
* In OT, if a child would not respond to consequences of wrong behavior imposed by his parents, the only recourse was stoning him/her to death. Deut. 21:18-21
* Heb. 12 – God’s way of restraining sinful behavior… God’s discipline of His children, …He speaks first, then He spanks if no response.
* Notice in Hebrews 12 how God speaks to his children first, then if they don’t respond He takes action.
Heb 12:5-6 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: (6) For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
* Throughout the NT we find scripture reminding us of the rewards we will receive for doing good and the consequences we will receive for doing evil.
* First I would like for you to consider with me…
I. Christian Extremes Concerning Sin
A) Sinless perfection!
1. The exhortation of Scripture denies sinless perfection I John 1:8-10
* Some Christians believe they have achieved sinless perfection.
- They feel so high and holy. …Usually look down the nose at those who don’t live like they do.
* Scripture is clear that we can deceive ourselves into thinking we are sinless.
1Jn 1:8-10 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (9) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (10) If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
- Here in v. 8 the word "sin" is singular in number and is used without the definite article which points to the fact that the sinful nature is referred to, not acts of sin.
- The Christian who believes his sinful nature has been completely eradicated is deceiving himself.
- v. 10 – Wuest Expanded Translation – "If we say that we have not sinned and are not now in such a state that we could sin, a liar we are making Him, and His Word is not in us."
* The truth is that we as Christians do sin.
2. The example of Paul denies sinless perfection Philippians 3:12-13