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Summary: In order to grow in Christ to reach our full potential, we must admit our sinfulness.

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That S Word

Romans (Various)

February 4, 2018

Today we’re going to talk about a 3 letter word that nobody really likes to talk about in church. It makes us uncomfortable, it makes us squirm in our seats and we really want to hold our ears so we don’t have to listen to what’s being said. You know that word . . . it starts with “S”. It’s almost as bad as talking about money, nobody wants to listen to those sermons either.

Well, sometimes we need to dig deeper in our lives and broach those subjects nobody wants to talk about. So . . . hear we go. I’ll try to keep this as PG as possible. Of course, you all know what I’m talking about.

I’ll just spell it for you . . .

S - I - N!

You see, with that build up you thought I was going to talk about something else, so now, talking about this 3 letter word, doesn’t seem so bad!

As we look at growing in who we are in Christ, I was thinking - - ‘so where do we really start?’ We’ve been looking at the fact that we’re called to be humble, to practice humility. We are to admit we are not God, and God is God! That’s really part of our sin nature, we want to have control, we want to dictate the events in our lives, we want to make sure life happens the way we want it to happen, not the way God wants it to happen.

All of that is sin. Yes, we can go on and talk a lot about the various sins we commit. And the Bible is clear on those sins. We can go back to the 10 commandments and all of the laws in the Old Testament. Then, there’s Paul.

Paul is very clear about our sinfulness. We can list lots of scriptures, but let me start by giving you a couple of lists from Paul ~

Paul wrote to the church in Corinth ~

9 Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,

10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. – 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

Then to the Galatians, he added this ~

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,

20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions,

21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these.

I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. – Galatians 5:19-21

So, what does it mean to commit a sin? The word sin is a Greek word which was used in ancient times when an archer missed the target. It’s used in a similar way when it comes to sin. It means someone has missed the mark of God’s righteousness. It means someone has an eternal loss because they missed hitting God’s mark.

Paul reminds us in Romans 3:23 ~

23 “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” – Romans 3:23

You see, that’s part of the bad news. And we’re focusing for a bit on this bad news. Paul later added in Romans 7

15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.

18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.

For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.

19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.

20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. – Romans 7:15, 18-20

Understand what Paul’s saying. He’s telling us that he’s a sinner. Even though he has Jesus, he remains a sinner. Have you ever felt like Paul? You know the good you want to do, but it just doesn’t seem to happen the way you thought. Instead, the bad stuff happens, the sin comes out. You had great intentions, but that’s not how it played out. And you beat yourself up over it.

When Paul says, it is no longer I who do it, he’s not absolving himself of the blame or the sin. He is pointing out that it is the sin within him which is committing the sin, and as a result, Paul is the culprit.

So, we can go on and on and on. And we can beat ourselves up for all of the bad things we’ve done. We can look at ourselves as the worst of the worst. We can tell the world we’re no good, that we’re worthless used rags. That’s what Isaiah calls us. And all of that is true.

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