Summary: Examines the cost of sin in a believer’s life. Expanded outline.
Jesus has said that you and are to be and to make disciples. If you remember, we have seen that there are several distinctives, several marks that show a disciple.
1. Has a changed life
2. Loves Jesus more than anyone else in the world
3. Loves Jesus more than anything else in the world
4. Loves Jesus more than comfort and security
5. Continues in His walk
6. Loves God’s people.
Now, we have been studying the disciplines that are involved in being disciples, the disciplines you and I are to have in our lives in order to grow as disciples. Last week we took a short interlude in that study to remember that these disciplines help us grow, they do not make God love us more. If you remember, we saw that the Bible clearly teaches there is nothing you or I can do to make God love us more or to make Him love us less. God loves you, and there is nothing you can do to change that.
While it is true that you cannot make God love you more, and while it is true that there is nothing you can do to make Him love you less, it is also true that sin has a price. When you choose to disobey God, when you choose to do your own thing, when you choose to allow anything to be more important in your life than Jesus Christ, there is a cost involved.
Tell somebody, “Disobedience doesn’t make God love me less, but there is a cost.”
- Joshua 7:1-26, 8:25-26
Army surrounding the city of Jericho. Massive invasion, tens or hundreds of thousands of people involved. You would think that in the midst of the armies, the wailing & crying of the enemy dying, the fires as the city was torched, that you could get away with something. You would be tempted to think it doesn’t really matter to God.
8 ½ years ago, a friend & deacon from our church in Mississippi, came down to Florida with Gladys & I. I remember when he got here; that he walked around what is now the pavilion. Then it was the barn on my folks’ place. He walked around, looking at the barn, the yard & such, then he said, “You people have sand everywhere! He’s right. Florida does have a lot of sand. Think of the billions of grains in 1 backyard. With so much, we tend not to notice, but, if you let 1 grain get in your eye, I assure you, you will notice.
The same is true of sin. I’m sure Achan thought no one would notice the little stuff he took. Surely it didn’t make any difference. My friends, there are no little sins, and sin has a cost.
I. DISOBEDIENCE HURTS GOD
Do you remember when the lawyer came to Jesus and asked Him what the greatest commandment was? What did Jesus say? He said, in
>Matthew 22:37 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.
Sin grieves the Holy Spirit. Doesn’t sound much like loving the Lord with all my heart.
What kind of a husband would I be, if I intentionally did things I knew was going to hurt my wife? Makes you wonder what kind of disciples we are when we do things we know are going to hurt God.
Tell somebody, “Disobedience doesn’t make God love me less, but it hurts God.”
II. DISOBEDIENCE HURTS THE CHURCH
The army was repulsed, the attack failed because of 1 man’s sin. There is no telling how much ridicule, how much abuse Christians endure today because of the failings & sin of others. How much ridicule do we endure, how much ridicule does the church suffer, because of the greed of some TV preachers? How much scorn do we endure because some people in the church are hypocrites?
Every time a preacher, or some Christian falls into immorality, other Christians take a shot to the eye.
Disobedience doesn’t make God love me less, but it hurts the church.
III. DISOBEDIENCE HURTS THE INNOCENT
- Joshua 7:5, 24-25
Because of Achan’s sin, 36 innocent soldiers died, as did Achan’s family.
My friends, sin always hurts the innocent.
Do you remember the motorcycle accident, just up the road here just a few weeks ago? A motorcycle was trying to pass a car on Doyle Road, where he shouldn’t have been. He ran head on into another motorcycle heading the opposite direction and the man was killed. Listen, one of the people on those 2 motorcycles was innocent, but because of the other’s sin, he was killed.
The innocent always suffer when other people sin. Tell me, when 2 adults get selfish and decide that instead of serving one another, and loving one another, and respecting one another, that they want to do their own things and divorce, who is it that usually suffers the most? The innocent, the children.