Summary: The greatest sin that Christians face today and have been facing since the days of Moses, is Unbelief. We have limited ourselves to the power and grace of God.
The Sin that Entangles Us So Easily
Most of us have what we call “an entangling sin.” By an entangling sin we refer to some personal weakness or shortcoming. Usually we justify or explain our reason for tolerating this sin to the extent that our conscience does not hurt us to much and we start to believe that it isn’t a sin at all.
What is your entangling sin? Is it a vile temper? Is it a critical spirit? Is it a sharp tongue? Is it profanity? Could it be spiritual idleness?
Instead of a different sin for each person, the writer of the book of Hebrews is referring to a sin that is communal to us all though – the sin of unbelief. The sin of unbelief is the sin that God’s people have been guilty of through the ages. Failure to exercise faith was the undoing sin of the Israelites. Weak faith plagued the early church. Our failure to trust God robs the modern church and individual Christians of great spiritual power and achievement.
The sin of unbelief causes unbelievers to remain lost and under the wrath of God; it caused the children of God to remain in spiritual infancy.
Tonight, I want to show you the affect this has on our relationship with God, the results of this sin, the causes of this sin, and then the cure for this sin.
I. Our unbelief and the Savior.
a. It is a source of grief to Him.
• If you want to grieve God and bring pain to His heart, then just stop believing.
b. Lack of confidence disappoints His love.
c. Little faith is an insult to His truthfulness.
• When you don’t believe that God can do what He says He can, then you have literally smacked him in the face and said, God you can’t handle this.
d. Failing to trust him hinders his purposes for us.
• When we don’t fully trust God, we don’t hurt anyone but ourselves.
• God has so much that He wants to do for you and through you, but He can and will not, if you don’t believe.
II. The results of this entangling sin.
a. Imaginary dangers darken the pathway ahead when we do not face the future with faith in the living Lord.
• James 4:2 says, “You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask.”
b. Without faith the resources of God that come in response to believing prayer are undiscovered.
• Like I mentioned before, the Lord has so much that He wants to give you to, if you will just ask in Faith for it.
c. Without faith the fear of failure captures the heart of the one who would be the servant of Christ, and he or she will attempt only that which is humanly possible.
• Do you remember the words of Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me.”
• Did you catch that?
• He said we can do ALL things through Christ.
• There is nothing in this world that can stop you from being a God serving Mighty Man or Woman, but yourself.
d. Without faith we place limitations on both the power and activity of God.
• Listen to the word of Psalm 78:41, “Again and again they tempted God, and pained the Holy One of Israel.”
• At the end of the day, is that what you strive for?
• To be the one that brings pain to God?
e. Refusal to trust God dishonors and displeases Him.
• Look at what Hebrews 11:6 says to us, “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that he is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him”.
III. The Cause of little Faith
a. We have a natural inclination to see obstacles and difficulties and to form opinions on the basis of mere appearances.
• We depend today too much on human agency alone.
• Like that spare tire, we leave God back there in the trunk unless it is a absolute emergency.
b. We forget and ignore the presence of God.
• Unless you are on rock bottom and nowhere else to look but up.
• Then we cry out to God, “Oh Lord where have you been”
• I can just imagine God in response standing there, with a not so pleased look saying, “I have been here the whole, just waiting for you to look my way and call one me.”
c. We fail to recognize that faith is both the gift of God and something that we develop as we discover that God is faithful in keeping his promises.