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Summary: This message describes the devaluation of the Christian life in modern culture and how we can be restored from a place of backsliding.

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"The High Price of Low Practice"

1 John 1:5-10, Psalms 32:

Scripture Reading

1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

The question for us in the light of the context of our key verse is, can a Christian commit sin? Can a person who has a personal relationship with Christ disobey and willfully, intentionally commit sin. According to our text the answer is yes. If this is a real possibility and I believe that it is, then what can be done to restore a right relationship with God? The answer again is to turn to God's word where we find verse nine:

I. The Fact of Our Sinfulness v. 8

a. The character of sin -- "There are three words in the opening verses of Psalm 32 that provide some idea of the character of sin. The first is the word transgression which means willful disobedience or rebellion. The second word sin and it includes any and all violations of God's righteous standard. This word mean to "miss the mark," just like an arrow that falls short of its intended target. "We have all come short of the glory of God." Roman 3:23 The third is the word iniquity which implies twistedness or perversity. Warren Wiersbe notes that this word refers to the "crookedness of sin."There is something twisted and crooked about sin.

b. The conduct of the sinner

For all of us there are two kinds of sin. There are sins of commission and sins of omission. There are sins that come as the result of our actions or the lack of action.

1 John 3:4 "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law."

James 4:17 "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin."

There are also sins of the flesh and sins of the spirit. In Galatians 5 we have a catalog of sins of both:

Galatians 5:19 "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."

c. The consequences of sin

We know that Paul says that the "wages" of sin is death but what are the consequences for the Christian who sins? They are many and all are serious.

II. The Forthrightness that Sanctifies v. 9a

a. The concealment of sin

Psalms 32:3a "When I kept silence..."

Warren Wiersbe states that the phrase "When I kept silence..." means "when I refused to admit or confess my sin. In fact, King David went a whole year with this unconfessed sin in heart and on his mind.

Proverbs 28:13a "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper..."

b. The conviction of sin

Psalms 32:3 "...my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long."

Here David speaks of the unrelenting guilt and conviction of sin! This word "roaring" speaks of a rumbling or moan caused by being under a great load. The writer of Hebrews describes this guilt this load in chapter 12 verse 1 Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us..."

What happens when a child of God sins?

A. There are words of rebuke. Psalm 38:1

Psalms 38:1 A Psalm of David, to bring to remembrance. O LORD, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.

God will speak to you through His Holy Spirit, someone, or something to rebuke you. If you're a child of God, God WILL rebuke you.

1. There are arrows of conviction.

Psalms 38:2 For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore.

2. There is the hand of pressure.

Psalms 38:2 For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore.

Psalms 51:8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.

3. Thank God when you have that kind of pressure.

Hebrews 12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

The most miserable man in the world is a child of God out of fellowship with God. When you are saved God doesn't fix you up where you can't sin anymore; He fixes you up to where you can't sin and enjoy it anymore.

Dr. Adrian Rodgers in a sermon entitled "The High Cost of Low Living" uses Psalm 38 to illustrate the effects of guilt and sin on David's life.

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