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Summary: Focuses more on the sin of failing to respond to the Holy Spirit.

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Larry C. Brincefield

larkayb@earthlink.net

Title: What We Believe...About Sin

Text: Proverbs 29:1

Introduction

President Calvin Coolidge was returning home from going to church.

He was asked what the preacher had preached about.

His one word reply, "Sin".

The questioner wasn’t satisfied with this answer, so he pressed him for more details about what the preacher had said.

Calvin Coolidge responded again with brevity, "He’s against it"

I’m sure that we all would find ourselves in that position...

we are against sin.

many times, preachers will preach at great length about the sin "of the world".

And we are quick to vocalize our strong opinions against certain sins...

homosexuality,

pornography,

abortion,

murder,

and rightfully so...

But all the while, we sit in the church...

with our self righteous arms crossed,

clicking our tongues

and pointing our fingers

without ever taking the time to really look at our own sin.

In our studies of our Articles of Faith, we come to Article 5, which deals with what we believe about sin.

It hasn’t been that long ago since I’ve spoken on this subject.

You may remember hearing about how we believe in 2 kinds of sin.

original sin

and personal sin

How we inherited sin from our first parents, Adam and Eve

and so on.

Instead of covering that ground again, I felt led to go a little different direction

Jesus said, "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ’Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye." Matt 7:3-5 (NIV)

Tonight, instead of looking at the sin in everyone else’s life, I’d like us to take a close look at ourselves.

Read Text: Proverbs 29:1

Body

1. The first phrase, "A man who remains stiff-necked."

has the picture of an ox or mule,

the farmer is trying to get the animal to wear the yoke and work the ground....

but for whatever reason, the animal refuses to wear the yoke...

or if the farmer is able to get the yoke on...

the animal refuses to submit...

always fighting...

stiffening his neck...

hardening his back.

It’s not because the farmer hasn’t put in the effort to train the animal...

the use of the word "remains", implies that,

even after much effort,

much training,

much hard work,

the ox remains stiffnecked.

The NASV and KJV use the word "hardens" his neck.

The farmer takes great care to fit the yoke so as not to rub and cause injury....

but when the ox fights and pulls against the yoke,

it is sure to cause friction and rubbing...

and if the ox continues to fight and harden his neck,

that rubbing eventually becames callous...

and the ox may not even feel the pressure of the yoke...

but in its obstinance, continues to fight.

But our text isn’t talking about a mule, horse or oxen,

it’s talking about "a man"

and the Hebrew word used here (ish) has the meaning "everyone" or "all" or "anyone".


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