Summary: we lie, we justify, we are no longer aware that we sin also Jame 1:12-18
Scripture: Heb 3:1-13
We are not looking for the truth we are looking for a reason to justify ourselves. We are not looking for the truth we are looking for a reason to justify ourselves. I take an action and I an able to explain why I took that action. How many of us, pulled over by a police office, have a good reason for why we were going a little too fast?
Last week. We try to build a good world around us….Listen to Christian Radio, Read the Word, Be with good people. It doesn’t matter what kind of a world we build around us. Scripture teaches: Our corruption still comes from within. We also saw, that to some degree we maintain a false self knowingly - unknowingly. We seek to be good people. God is not looking for good people. He is looking for devoted people.
Ended with the question last week:
Are we resistant to exposure to God’s Word?
Today: We’ll see – we use the path of least resistance. We usually embark on the path of least resistance, in small steps. I did not deliberately try to become involved in deceit. But somehow I got there.
Let’s look at our James passage to help see how good people inch toward doing bad things.
First we see that Joy is in our future and our sin is our responsibility.
Verse 12. Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
Blessedness – is a sense of joy, in this verse. Crown – common term for reward, here in reference to life. Reward of a joyful life…..speaking in terms of the new age God will bring in. Not a literal crown – a concept.
Note: it is their love for God that motivates them. He starts off speaking of the joy we can look forward to then he moves right to temptation. The word for temptation here – To lead to succumb to temptation.
Verse 13. For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;
He is pointing out that we are responsible, not God. I am this way. I do these things. I say those things - because God has caused me to? No.
We are responsible for our sin. So who is responsible for my sin? Me.
Rationalizations we have known.
Rationalization is – telling, in spite of,….. I’m a good person.
The Don’t Worry, everyone is doing it, it is no big dea thing.
In college my friends and I visited Seattle. We wanted to see the space needle, but everywhere we looked, is costs money to pay for parking.
We found one of those lots where you fold up the dollar and stick it in the slot with your space number on it. I convinced the others that they never check those things. We came back and found our car chained to 55 gallon steel drum. Aparently they do check those things. I hate to say it but…we had bolt cutters in the trunk...parking problem solved.
I’ve got a handle on it. Really, I’m a good person. I can control the consequences. If things go bad – I have a cover.
Stuffing the fire exits with merchandise. The store manager told us, "We’ll just pretend we didn’t know the codes" Th fire marshal didn’t buy it. $500 dollar an exit fines. Cha Ching.
But honestly, we can move past rationalization, because we don’t even know, we are in sin. James describes sin – as a life process. Verse 14.
14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
Desire, enticement, Conception, Birth, Growth, Leading to death.
Desire – a person in the middle of hard circumstances…and under it all lies the our self, bent on self interest/ self pleasing. We as Christians know better. We know not to go down that path, but we do, not knowingly following the path of least resistance. If I am at peace about it – then it must be ok - we think to ourselves.
Story - A burning in my bosom.
One day at Princeton Theological Seminary, we had an outside speaker
who had a philosophy that directly, plainly contradicted several Scriptures. Yes the speaker realized this (Claimed to be Christian by the way). Then the question was asked – how do you justify this? How do you know what you say is true, even though it contradicts Scripture?
"Because", she said, "I had a burning in my bosom"