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Summary: Thesis: Sin blocks fellowship with our Lord. Sin hinders our prayers and praises. Sin destroys lives.

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Word Count: 1424

THE HAZARDS OF HOLDING ON TO SIN

Thesis: Sin blocks fellowship with our Lord. Sin hinders our prayers and praises. Sin destroys lives.

Text: Romans 1:18-32

Opening:

Every person in this room has a story to tell about how sin has affected their life or the life of someone they love. Many of you could tell of your heartbreak, and the tears you have shed over the wreckage of broken lives.

Every one of us possesses a sin nature, inherited from Adam. As believers under the blood of Jesus Christ, we have received a new nature. Yet, these two natures wrestle for dominance in our heart. At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was sent to reside in the hearts of believers to be our Comforter. The work of the Holy Spirit is to bring conviction of sin which leads to repentance. As believers, it should be our desire to relinquish sin as it is brought to our attention by the Holy Spirit. Our attitude should be one of horror that we have so grieved our Lord, and of humility as we come to Him in confession and repentance, seeking His forgiveness.

Unfortunately, that is not always the case. We often deceive ourselves into believing that our sin isn’t that bad, by comparing ourselves with others, thinking that as long as the scale is heavier in their favor, we can’t be all that bad. So we continue in our sin, not realizing how hazardous this is too our relationship with our Lord.

Today, we are going to look at some of the hazards of holding on to sin, and how to overcome those stubborn sin areas in our lives. There are three points that we will look at:

· Sin blocks fellowship with our Lord.

· Sin hinders our prayers and praises.

· Sin destroys lives.

(Read Romans 1:18-32)

1. Sin blocks fellowship with our Lord.

Have you ever had your child put his hands over his ears when he doesn’t want to hear you? It’s a sign of rebellion. That little child is trying to block out your words. As a parent, you immediately go to your child, and pull down his hands, explaining how ugly it is to block out the sound of your voice. This rebellion has to be corrected so that your child can learn to be obedient.

When we believers won’t forsake our sin, we are in rebellion against our Lord. He has put it into our hearts to know truth; to know the difference between right and wrong. We are without excuse. When we hold on to that sin, we are doing so by choice, exercising a rebellious nature that is in disagreement with our Lord. Rebellion takes away our desire to praise Him, because it breeds anger and indignation, causing a breech in our fellowship.

Our Lord wants to bless our obedience. Like a Father, He wants to praise us and reward us for righteousness. As a parent, do you reward bad behavior from your kids? Of course not! The idea behind correction is to turn that child toward righteousness. God wants to turn us to righteousness too! He hates to see the consequences of sin affect our lives.

If iniquity continues to reside in our heart, it is our sinful choice.

2. Sin causes our Lord to close His ears to our prayers and praises.

Collectively as a corporate body, we are to praise our Lord for His wonderful works—those we read about in His Word, those we have experienced as a Church body, and those we have experienced individually. We are exhorted to remember what God has done! He is faithful, and His works are worthy of our praise! Chapter 66 in the book of Psalms is written to the chief musician. It is a song of praise to our Lord for delivering His people, and also an exhortation to remember all that He had done for them. Praising our Lord keeps our focus on Him.

However, in the midst of his praising, the psalmist turns his thoughts inward, recognizing that the Lord had heard him in the midst of his troubles. Why? Because he was forgiven. The psalmist tells us in verse 18, that if iniquity or sin, left unconfessed, had taken root in his heart, then our Lord would not have heard his prayers or his praises. He would not have been delivered. He would not have had praises to sing.

Psalm 66:18 “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me”

Apparently the psalmist, aware of his own sinful heart, knew the hazards of holding on to sin. He knew that our Lord wouldn’t hear him when he prayed or offered praises.

3. Sin destroys lives.

Are you experiencing the consequences of a foolish decision? Maybe you forgot to consult with our Lord to find out His will, and now you recognize the folly of your choice. Maybe you were deceived, and thought you were doing the right thing, only to discover that there were hidden consequences you hadn’t even considered.

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