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Summary: If one word, innocently misspoken, can cost millions, think of how much damage malicious words can cause. They can ruin a person’s reputation and destroy the closest relationships

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The Deceitful Enemy Within

(Mark 7:20-27)

Illustration:Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips. --Psalm 141:3

When Bernard Baruch was an ambitious young businessman, he asked the wealthy J. P. Morgan to partner with him in a Texas sulfur mining venture. Geologists had given the project a favorable report, but there was still some risk. Morgan was interested until Baruch said, "You’ve taken bigger gambles than this."

Morgan glared at him and then replied in an icy tone, "I never gamble." The word gambles had killed the deal. Morgan thought that investing was respectable but that gambling was a sin.

If one word, innocently misspoken, can cost millions, think of how much damage malicious words can cause. They can ruin a person’s reputation and destroy the closest relationships. (Our Daily Bread)

1. Know that Jesus said, "What comes out of a man is what makes him unclean. For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance, and folly." (Mark 7:20,21) Every outward act of sin is proceeded by an inward act of choice. Therefore, Jesus addresses the root cause of man’s worst problem - sin.

Sin is missing the mark of God’s holiness in our character, thinking and actions.

Sin is anything that we say, think or do that displeases God.

Sin is often found in omission of what we ought to do (James 4:17)

Sin is not having the mind of Christ while remaining controlled by the carnal nature (Rom 8:6-8)

Sin is anything that does not please the Lord in all respects. (Col. 1:9-11)

Sin results from failing to submit to God, resist the devil or cleansing our hearts (James 4:7)

1. Sin is like a thief - it seeks to kill, slaughter, steal and destroy. (Jn. 10:10) Sin is unclean like pigs - 2 Pet 2:22 says, "Of them the proverbs are true; ’A dog returns to it vomit" and ’A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud." Sin is like a cancer as it destroys from within. James 4:1,2 says, "What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it so you fight and quarrel. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want."

2. The consequences of sin that comes out of the old nature include:

a). A loss of peace - I Jn. 3:4-10 says, "He who does what is sinful is of the devil because the devil has been sinning from the beginning.

b). A loss of love and identity with God - I Jn. 2:15,16 says, "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life is not of the Father, but is from the world.

c). A loss of fellowship with Christians and internal purity - I Jn. 1:7

d). A loss of confidence and answers to our prayers - I Jn. 3:19-22

e). A loss of light and fellowship with God - I Jn. 1:6

f). A loss of power and eternal perspective Jesus said, "You error because you do not know the scriptures or the power of God


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