Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Spiritual coldness, like an engine with no oil, is deadly if it isn't treated early because it will do so much damage before it becomes obvious.

The Dangers of Grace

Part I

Deuteronomy 32:15-18

Purpose: To teach the early warning signs of getting away from the Lord.

Aim: I want the listener to feel a deep sense of danger that their relationship with the Lord can grow cold very easily.

INTRODUCTION: The most dangerous problem is the one you aren't aware of. If all the oil leaks out of your car that's not a disaster if you see the pool of oil before you get in and drive away. If you don't notice that the oil is gone and get in your car and drive away you are in danger of ruining the engine completely. Sin is like that.

Spiritual coldness, like an engine with no oil, is deadly if it isn't treated early because it will do so much damage before it becomes obvious. 1 Corinthians 10:12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. (NAS)

The point is that there is great danger when God=s people are greatly blessed because it is so easy to become complacent and not even know it.

In the first 14 verses of chapter 32 Moses recounts how the Lord had blessed the Jews with so many wonderful physical blessings (notice vss. 10-14). Then in the rest of chapter 32 Moses points out how dangerous the blessing of God can be.

There are symptoms of spiritual coldness if we know what to look for. These symptoms are important because they reveal dangerous problems. So, what are some symptoms we can look for in order to avoid spiritual coldness?

Vs.15-18 I. What does Spiritual Coldness look like?

Moses explains that we should be on the lookout for five indications of spiritual coldness.

Vs.15a A. You stop working for God "Jeshurun grew fat"

JESHURUN OT: 3484 shuruwn-Jeshurun = "upright one" a symbolic name for Israel, describing her ideal character [1]

In other words, Moses is saying, "You are called the upright one, but you aren't living up to your name." How grieved the Lord must be when those who call themselves Christians also live for the things of this world.

The problem is that forsaking God is so subtle. A backslider doesn't necessarily stop working for God, he just stops working for the Lord's glory. 1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (NAU)

Anytime we neglect depending on God for everything and rarely give Him thanks for His many blessings we too have "grown fat." Solomon warns us that, the waywardness of the naive will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them. (Proverbs 1:32 NAU)

Moses points out two indications that a person (or in his case a nation) has stopped working for God.

1. By focusing on yourself "grew fat and kicked"

Moses is picturing a stubborn ox that would kick the owner who feeds and takes care of him. A fat ox becomes lazy and doesn't want to work.

If we are going to follow the Lord we must be willing to endure hardship.

2 Timothy 2:3-4 3 Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier. (NAU)

We must resist the temptation to avoid serving the Lord just because it is difficult. 2 Timothy 3:1-5 1 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. (NAU)

2. By ignoring your need for God's help "grown fat, thick, sleek"

We must see a need before we will take the time and effort to learn something hard. Jesus warned the church in Laodicea, Revelation 3:17 Because you say, "I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, (NAS)

The remedy for a careless Christian life is a humble heart. 1 Peter 5:5--6 ... all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, (NAS)

Vs.15b B. You forget who owns you "forsook God who made him"

The height of ungratefulness is to accept God's blessings and then not be thankful for them. 1 Corinthians 6:19--20 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. (NAS)

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