SIN, CLEANSING, DISCIPLINE

By Rev. Dr. Jerry Schmoyer  jerry@schmoyer.net 

  http://india.christiantrainingonline.org/

 

INTRODUCTION:

Baby comes out clean, pure, no contamination when born

        As exposed to world gets dirty, needs washing

        If not washed become sickly and unhealthy

Sp born again all sins gone

        We contaminated by sin

        Wash self constantly, too – I JOHN 1:9

                If not sickly & unhealthy

                Don’t grow when sin in life

 

TENSES OF SALVATION

 

PAST (guilt/penalty of sin) II Tim 1:9, Acts 16:31

2 Tim 1:9  who has saved us and called us to a holy life– not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,

Acts 16:31      They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved– you and your household.”

 

PRESENT (from power of sin)  Phil 2:12-13, Rom 8:13

Phil 2:12-13    Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed– not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence– continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

Rom 8:13  For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live,

 

 

 

 

FUTURE (from presence of sin)  Rom 13:11, Titus 2:12-13

Rom 13:11  And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.

Titus 2:12-13  It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope– the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,

 

TRANSITION

Can’t lose salvation but can sin after salvation

Penalty of sin gone, future presence of sin gone, now power gone but can still sin

Learn about how we get dirty, then clean – and what if we don’t cleanse ourselves?

 

I. GETTING DIRTY – SIN

 

DEFINITION:  Sin is anything contrary to the character of God

SIN, CALL IT WHAT IT IS     The popular evangelist, Wilbur Chapman, told of a preacher friend who delivered a powerful sermon on the subject of sin. After the service, one of the church officers confronted the minister in his study and offered what he thought was some needed counsel.  “Pastor,” he said, “we don’t want you to talk as openly as you do about man’s guilt and corruption, because if our boys and girls hear you discussing that subject they will more easily become sinners.  Call it a mistake, if you will, but do not speak so plainly about sin.”  The pastor removed a small bottle from a shelf behind his desk.  Showing it to the man, he said, “You see this label?  It says ‘Strychnine,’ and underneath in bold, red letters is the word ‘poison.’  What you are asking me to do would be like changing this label.  Suppose I write over it ‘Essence of Peppermint.’  Someone who doesn’t know the danger might use it and become very ill.  The milder the label, the more dangerous the poison!”

 

sin = compare self/sin to Jesus  A minister said that once he had a small white Highland terrier which he kept spotlessly clean by frequent washing, brushing, and powdering.  One night a winter storm dropped a fresh blanket of snow on the countryside, and the next morning the whole world seemed to glisten under the splendor of the morning sun.  As the clergyman stood gazing out his window, he saw a drab-looking dog walk across the snow. He wondered whose it was — then suddenly realized it was his own well-groomed terrier!  It was as clean as always, but against that dazzling background it appeared dirty.     In much the same way, our corrupt nature is clearly revealed when our lives are measured by the absolute standard of Divine holiness. The Bible says that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”  We make a favorable impression when compared with other men, but none of us can stand up against the pure whiteness of the character of Christ.

 

ORIGIN: God allowed it, isn’t responsible for it

        Began with Satan’s rebellion, fall  Ezek 28:15

        Entered world in Eden

 

SOURCE OF SIN

        IMPUTED SIN: us guilty with Adam Rom 5:12

Rom 5:12       Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned–

SIN PART OFUS, CAN’T GET AWAY FROM IT  It was the custom of ancient conquerors to prevent the escape of their prisoners by tying a dead body to their backs.  With such gruesome burdens, these poor wretches could not run away. Paul may have had this in mind; so some think?”

 

INHERITED SIN: we are guilty because we have a sin nature

passed from parent to child –   Sin nature – total depravity

Ps 51:5  Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

SIN NATURE: CAN’T STOP SINNING  A scorpion, being a very poor swimmer, asked a turtle to carry him on its back across the river.  “Are you mad?” exclaimed the turtle. “You’ll sting me while I’m swimming and I’ll drown.”  “My dear turtle,” laughed the scorpion, “If I were to sting you, you would drown and I’d go down with you.  Now where is the logic in that?” “You’re right,” cried the turtle.  “Hop on.”  The scorpion climbed aboard and halfway across the river gave the turtle a mighty sting. As they both sank to the bottom, the turtle, resigned, said, “Do you mind if I ask you something?  You said there is no logic in your stinging me.  Why did you do it?”  “It has nothing to do with logic,” the drowning scorpion replied.  “It’s just my nature.”

        INDIVIDUAL SIN: we are guilty because we commit acts of sin we commit

Rom 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

 

COMISSION

        Action

        Thought

        Motive

OMISSION – what not done

 

SIN SEEMS ATTRACTIVE, IS DEADLY  In the Australian bush country grows a little plant called the “sundew.”  It has a slender stem and tiny round leaves fringed with hairs that glisten with bright drops of liquid as delicate as fine dew.  Woe to the insect, however, that dares to dance around it in the sunny air.  For while its attractive clusters of red, white, and pink blossoms are harmless, the leaves are deadly.  The shiny moisture on each leaf is sticky, and will hold any bug prisoner that touches it. The struggle to get free is often futile, for the movement of the insect causes the leaves to close even more tightly.  This innocent- looking plant actually feeds upon its victims if they do not quickly wriggle out of the entanglement.

 

SIN DECEITFUL, SEEMS FINE  BUT TRAPS

   Monkey trappers in North Africa have a clever method of catching their prey. A number of gourds are filled with nuts and firmly fastened to a branch of a tree.  Each has a hole just large enough for the unwary monkey to stick his forepaw into it. When the hungry animal discovers this, he quickly grasps a handful of nuts, but the hole is too small for him to withdraw his clenched fist.  And he doesn’t have enough sense to open up his hand and let go in order to escape, so he is easily taken captive.    This is a picture of many Christians.  The devil with his crafty devices tried to ensnare them.  He appeals to the appetites of the flesh which can lead to their spiritual downfall.  As long as they hold on to worldly bait, they cannot escape from Satan’s trap.  But he keeps on urging, “Don’t let go! Enjoy the pleasure of your sin just a little bit longer!”  So, listening to the tempter’s alluring voice, they continue in their evil way.

SIN STARTS SMALL, GROWS TO DESTROY

   A Burmese Christian tells the following parable: A little banyan seed said to a palm tree one day, “I am weary of being tossed about by the wind; let me lodge in your branches.” “Remain as long as you like,” was the reply.  Soon the tree forgot all about its tiny guest, but the seed did not remain idle.  Immediately it began to work its roots under the bark and into the heart of the trunk itself.  Finally the tree cried out, “What are you doing?”  “I’m only the little seed you allowed to rest among your boughs,” came the reply.  “Get out!” exclaimed the palm.  “You’ve become too large and strong!”  “I cannot leave you now,” said the banyan.  “We have grown together, and I would kill you if I tore myself away.”  The tree tried desperately to shake itself loose, but to no avail.  Eventually its graceful leaves turned brown, and its trunk wasted away; but the banyan continued to thrive until its host could not longer be found.

   Yes, a little seed can develop into a parasitic plant and do great damage.  In like manner, a tiny sin that is not confessed and forsaken can grow into an overpowering habit that chokes a Christian’s spiritual vitality and ruins his life.

 

Nothing can be more devastating than a prairie fire.  One of the worst on record was started inadvertently by an army officer stationed at Fort Hayes, Ohio.  He and some friends had been hunting wild turkeys and had paused for a few moments to rest. While they were relaxing, the officer touched a match to some dry grass just to produce a spectacle.  He never dreamed what dreadful consequences would follow his thoughtless act!  Within minutes the entire area was ablaze, and the men were powerless to stop it.  The flames, fanned and driven by a strong wind, raged furiously and swept rapidly across the prairie.  The fire burned up everything that stood in its path — thousands of acres of land, homes, buildings, and countless head of livestock.  As you can well imagine, the tragic ruin and loss caused by that single act of carelessness brought untold grief and heartache to the one responsible as well as others. Careless sin quickly gets out of control and does more damage than you can imagine.

 

IGNORNAT SIN DEADLY, TOO

   During the Franco-German War two shells fell close to a house near the scene of the conflict.  The owner decided to keep them as a curiosity.  After polishing them, he put them near his fireplace.  One day he showed these interesting objects to a visiting acquaintance. His friend was suddenly struck by a horrible thought.  “What if they’re still loaded?” he inquired in alarm.  Being an expert in such matters, he quickly examined the shells.  “Get them away from the heat of the fire immediately! They’re as deadly as the day they were made!” he exclaimed. Without realizing it, his host had been in grave peril. So, too, many go on enjoying “the pleasures of sin for a season,” ignorant of impending doom.  By failing to obey the Gospel, they face the dreadful prospect of being “punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord.”

 

 

II. WASHING – REMOVING SIN

 

        UNBELIEVER: salvation

        SIN BRINGS JUDGMENT OF HELL

   Some years ago my family visited a cave in the state of Kentucky. The guide led us through many beautiful and winding subterranean passageways.  Suddenly he turned off all the lights and said, “I’m the only one who knows how to get back to the entrance.  If I left you here, you’d probably never find your way out.  Anyone lost in this cave would no doubt become insane within a week from the oppressive loneliness.  Be quiet for a moment and feel the darkness!” I remember my youngster clutching my arm.  After about 30 seconds, someone in the party could endure it no longer and cried out, “Turn on the lights! I’m going crazy now!”  The guide laughed, but we’ll not soon forget that frightening experience.  I thought of the “outer darkness” of Hell and shuddered!

   The Father of Heaven still invites men to the wedding feast of salvation.  Through the Savior’s atonement He has provided the perfect garment of righteousness that every sinner needs.  You can avoid the horror of blackness that each doomed soul will experience in Hell. Without delay, receive Him who is the Eternal Light!

 

        BELIEVER:

 

                Correction: confession  I John 1:9

I Jn 1:9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

BELIEVER: MUST HATE SIN!

   When the great Chrysostom was arrested by the Roman emperor he sought to make the Greek Christian deny his faith.  But he was unsuccessful.  So the emperor discussed with his advisors what they could do to this prisoner.

   “Shall I put him in a dungeon?” the emperor asked.  “No,” one of his counsellors replied, “For he’ll be glad to go.  He longs for the quietness where he can delight in the mercies of his God.”

   “Then he shall be executed!” said the emperor.  “No,” came the answer, “For he’ll be glad to die.  He declares that in the event of death, he will be in the presence of the Lord.”

   “Well, what shall we do then?” the ruler asked.  The counselor replied, “There’s only one thing that will cause him pain.  Make him sin.  He’s afraid of nothing but sin.”

 

                   Prevention: stay close to God

SALVATION DOESN’T REMOVE SIN, BUT REMOVES DESIRE TO SIN

   In a book of illustrations on Old Testament texts, the story is told of a young girl who accepted Christ as her Savior and applied for membership in a local church.  “Were you a sinner before you received the Lord Jesus into your life?” inquired an old deacon.  “Yes, sir,” she replied.  “Well, are you still a sinner?” “To tell you the truth, I feel I’m a greater sinner than ever.”  “Then what real change have you experienced?”  “I don’t quite know how to explain it,” she said, “except I used to be a sinner running AFTER sin, but now that I am saved I’m a sinner running FROM sin!”  She was taken into the fellowship of the church, and proved by her bright and shining testimony that she was truly converted.

HEARTS CLOSE TO GOD ONLY WAY TO KEEP FROM SIN

   One day a young minister was being escorted through a coal mine. At the entrance of one of the dim passageways, he spied a beautiful white flower growing out of the black earth.  “How can it blossom in such purity and radiance in this dirty mine?” the preacher asked. “Throw some coal dust on it and see for yourself,” his guide replied. When he did, he was surprised that the fine, sooty particles slid right off the snowy petals, leaving the plant just as lovely and unstained as before.  Its surface was so smooth that the grit and grime could not adhere to it.

   Our hearts should have the same characteristic.  Just as that flower could not control its habitat, so we cannot help it that we have to live in a world filled with evil.  But God’s grace can keep us so clean and unspotted that though we touch every side, it will not cling to us.

   If we want the Lord’s full blessing and approval, we must heed the admonition, “…keep thyself pure” (1 Tim 5:22).  By the cleansing power of His Word and the sanctifying influence of His Holy Spirit, it is possible for the Christian to remain “clean in a dirty place.”

DEFEAT SIN BY GETTING CLOSE TO GOD

A pilot was flying his small plane one day, when he heard a noise which he recognized as the gnawing of a rat.  Wondering what its sharp teeth were cutting through, he suddenly realized with horror that it might be an electric wire.  Then he remembered that rodents can’t survive at high altitudes. Immediately he began climbing until finally he had to put on his oxygen mask.  Soon the gnawing sound ceased, and when he landed he found the rat — dead.

 

TRANSITION

But what if we don’t confess our sin but stay in it?

Like any good parent, God then disciplines His child so He does repent

 

 

 

 

 

 

III. SPANKING – DISCIPLINE

 

Hebrews 12:3-11 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. 4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons:

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, 6 because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”  

 

DISCIPLINE VRS JUDGMENT

        Talk about difference – discipline for future improvement

                                     Punishment to suffer for past wrong

        Illust: Shepherd who breaks sheep’s leg to teach it to follow, trust

Purpose: mature us to be like Christ

        Illust: workman dropping larger and larger stones from building to get attention

        1. to STOP sin already in life

        2. to PREVENT sin from starting in life      

 

7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8 If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10 Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

 

C t O Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
jerry@ChristianTrainingOrganization.org
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