GROW Part 2 – Lesson 4 of 4

GROW

Lessons 4A, 4B, & 4C

 

GROW Part 2 / Lesson 4A – SAINTS AND SIN

Audio: 4A

 

Let’s begin this lesson by defining some of what we will talk about in this fourth lesson. These include:

Sin: biblically it means “an offense” (see Strong’s H2403 and G266). The Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary says sin is a “missing of the mark.” It is akin to an archer’s arrow missing its intended target. It begins as lust in the heart, but does not become sin until that lust becomes a sinful action (see James 1:12-15).

Sinner: one who commits a sin. ““The soul who sins shall die” (Ezekiel 18:20). Hence, when a person sins, they miss God’s intended will for their life; but if they walk “in the Word,” their life is properly aligned to God’s will.

Saint: the act whereby the gospel transforms a sinners into what the Bible calls “saints.” This process is often called “sanctification.” This process transforms the unholy into something that is holy. In this sense, this spiritual development is purposed to grow a Child of God into a matured saints that is able to unify with other matured saints into one body who obey the commands of to one head—Jesus Christ.

Biblical Perfection: the word “perfect” biblically means to be finished, complete, of full age, or matured (See Thayer’s G5046). Just as a baby that is born a male must mature to become a man, so also a Born Again believer must grow beyond their “babe in Christ” beginnings to become a spiritually matured man or woman of God.

  • When a baby is born how often do people say, “ah, look at that baby—he’s perfect”? How often do you hear people say about that new bundle of joy: “ewe, look at that imperfect male—he’s not a broad-shouldered, six foot man with a high paying job”?
  • The first response is the norm because it recognizes that human perfection is a process, not a final status—thus the baby is perfect as that baby, but that perfection in no way infers that it is to remain at that stage but is expected top grow into more maturity/perfection.

Repentance: the act in which a man or woman willfully commits to turning away from their sin to walk—by faith—toward a relationship founded on the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Now that this foundation is laid, let’s look at how saints are to deal with their own sin.

BLASPHEMY OF THE HOLY GHOST:
THE UNFORGIVABLE SIN?

The devil is a liar. When he speaks, he speaks lies. His words are not without reason for each is tailor-made to destroy the soul of a man or a woman. One of his favored deceptions is to take God’s Word and twist it to his own benefit. One way the devil does this is making God’s children feel they’ve committed the unforgivable sin of blaspheming the Holy Ghost. This blasphemy is spoken of in the Bible. But the kingdom of darkness has taken those words and twisted them into a perverted doctrine that has negatively affected many saints over the years. If this deception succeeds, the affected man or woman will miss the opportunity of experiencing the life that’s found only in Jesus Christ. Those who’ve bought into this deception find themselves feeling spiritually lethargic. This leads to them alienating themselves from the biblical identifiers by which the body of Christ is known, and then lastly to an all out abandonment of any hope of being ‘saved.’

Let’s examine this subject and see what the Bible has to say about this Truth. Any [Bracketed italic] areas in the included passages are my comments, and any underlines or bolds are added there for emphasis:

Matthew 12:31-32 ESV
(31) Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.
(32) And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

Mark 3:28-30 ESV
(28) “Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter,
(29) but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin“-
(30) for they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”

To begin, I ask that you think over the following three questions:

  1. The first day a man or woman begins serving the Lord, how willing is the devil to take them back into his kingdom?
  2. After walking with the Lord a few months, how willing is the devil to take them back?
  3. After being in God’s kingdom for many, many years, how willing is the devil to take their soul back into his kingdom?

I believe everyone would agree that regardless of the time period, the devil would be more than willing to take any soul back that he has lost to Jesus. As a matter of fact, stealing souls from God’s Kingdom and causing saints of God to miss out on the fullness of God’s Kingdom, is the devil’s fulltime job. With that thought now established, let me now ask the next question: if the devil is always willing to take a person back, no matter how good or faithful they may have been to God, how much more willing should God be to forgive a person and take them back, regardless how bad or unfaithful they’ve been? The next scripture helps put this question’s answer into perspective.

Romans 5:20 ESV
(20) Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,

Here Paul indicates that when sin (sin is rebellion against God’s rule) is present, God’s grace (grace is God’s favor) is available in greater measure.  The knowledge of God’s ever-present grace is a vital part of experiencing the fullness of God’s kingdom. To know – without doubt – regardless of the degree we may stray from God’s Will, God is there, desiring to lead us back to His presence, is an empowering element of Jesus’ New Covenant Gospel. The issue of this is not dependent on whether or not God is willing to forgive men, but rather if a sinner is willing to believe God’s forgiveness can forgive his failures. Jesus dealt with the way we view God’s love toward us in the next parable:

Matthew 7:9-11 ESV
(9) Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?
(10) Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?
(11) If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

Here Jesus deals with a man’s attempt to compare God to their selves. He shows that even to the degree God is comparable; He is still far greater than any man or woman. Remember, since this was spoken before Calvary, Jesus was addressing this to people not yet Born Again. Because so, even though these folks were yet evil and undone, Jesus said they still found enough softness in their unregenerate hearts to give good things to those they loved. But that degree of ‘good’ is incomparable to the love God daily offers mankind. Jesus said, “HOW MUCH MORE” the Father would supply His children’s needs. That is a ‘wow’ statement! Such expression of God’s love lead Paul to later indicate that it is God’s ‘goodness,’ and not His power or wrath that chiefly leads a person to repentance (See Romans 2:4). Repentance is designed to align a man’s direction to the straight and narrow path of salvation, and to give him a direction whereby he can walk by faith toward a closer relationship with His creator and mediator, Jesus Christ! Those who truly experience God’s forgiveness will also feel the warm touch of His love. The prodigal son can tell you all about the affectionate embrace that awaits a son returning to a loving and forgiving Father.

GOD’S WILLINGNESS OR
UNWILLINGNESS TO FORGIVE

Now let’s focus on the scriptures typically mentioned when discussing God’s willingness or unwillingness to forgive our sins. These passages have splintered more than one denomination into groups of different opinions. They are as follows: Hebrews 10:26-29; Matthew 12:31-32; Mark 3:28-29; Hebrews 2:3.    

We will deal first with Hebrews 10:26-29 since it’s probably the one that brings the most misunderstanding regarding this issue.

Hebrews 10:26-31 (KJV)
26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Hebrews 10:26-31 (TLB)
26 If anyone sins deliberately by rejecting the Savior after knowing the truth of forgiveness, this sin is not covered by Christ’s death; there is no way to get rid of it.
27 There will be nothing to look forward to but the terrible punishment of God’s awful anger, which will consume all his enemies.
28 A man who refused to obey the laws given by Moses was killed without mercy if there were two or three witnesses to his sin.
29 Think how much more terrible the punishment will be for those who have trampled underfoot the Son of God and treated his cleansing blood as though it were common and unhallowed, and insulted and outraged the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to his people.
30 For we know him who said, “Justice belongs to me; I will repay them”; who also said, “The Lord himself will handle these cases.”
31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

The book of Hebrews is focused mostly on Jewish believers. It centers on how Jesus is more superior to much of what the Jews held sacred. These include how Jesus is better than the High priest, better than the animal sacrifices, better than the Temple, better than angels, better than Melchizedek, and so forth. To properly interpret the meaning of the verses in chapter 10, all one needs to do is read them in context with the preceding passages. Man, not God, added the chapters and verses in our Bibles. If you remove these manmade barriers and read from Hebrews 8 through Hebrews 10 it becomes much clearer as to what is being said in the verses in question. Hebrews 8 explains that God exchanged His sacrificial system of animals and His Old Covenant with Jesus’ sacrifice and New Covenant. Hebrews 9 then states that Jesus is now the High Priest who offered up His own blood for our sins, and that God would no longer accept animal blood for man’s atonement. This line of thought leads right into Hebrews 10 where the author states [Bracketed italics areas are my added comments]:

Hebrews 10:8-18 ESV
(8) When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), [God never desired animal blood]
(9) then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. [God removed the old covenant and sacrificial system to establish the second]
(10) And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. [Jesus’ blood is sufficient enough sacrifice for all men…forever!]
(11) And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.
(12) But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, [Calvary is the greatest and final sacrifice for all of mankind’s salvation needs] he sat down at the right hand of God, [Why did Jesus sit down? Because there was no more need to sacrifice. Jesus explained that when from the cross He said, “It is finished.”]
(13) waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet.
(14) For by a single offering [there will never be another after Jesus’] he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. [His sacrifice cleanses from all sin and changes us into new creatures made after His perfection.]
(15) And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying,
(16) “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,”
(17) then he adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” [Verses 17 & 18 spell out the New Covenant and what Jesus’ blood can now do for mankind when it brings men and women into a right relationship with their Father]
(18) Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin. [Jesus didn’t just push these sins ahead until the perfect sacrifice for sin would come, His WAS the perfect sacrifice that could remit {pay} for all men’s sins. Because of that there is no remaining reason for another sacrifice to ever be needed or recognized by God.]

From this we see why Hebrews 10:26 said: “For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins.” Left within context of the earlier verses this clearly shows this passage in Hebrews 10 is stating that: “If you reject the sacrifice of Jesus for your sins, or if you think animal blood may still be accepted by God for your sins, you’re mistake will have eternal consequence.

As a result, it is clear that this verse is not speaking of a time when Jesus’ sacrifice cannot save a person, but rather that Jesus’ sacrifice is the only one through which all men can be saved from their sin! John also had something to say about this in his first epistle.

1 John 2:1-2 ESV
(1) My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin [notice it says “sin”], we have [Who is “we”? The Church!] an advocate [Jesus is our defense lawyer and our judge! No wonder He can declare us debt-free from sin!] with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. [Notice that it is Jesus’ righteousness and not our own that declares us righteous before God.]
(2) He is the propitiation [The place of meeting where man’s needs are met by God’s mercy. This is the same word from which we get the Ark of the Covenant’s “mercy seat.”] for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. [The whole world’s sins can be forgiven through Jesus’ blood…that includes yours and mine!]

These examples make it easier to see that regardless of the sin a Born Again man or woman may have committed, if they repent, Jesus’ blood is still more than able to cleanse and wash away their sin. The next are to discuss is Hebrews 10:26-29.

Hebrews 10:26-29 ESV
(26) For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, [Jesus is the only sacrifice]
(27) but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.
(28) Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses [The old covenant] dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. [There was no Jesus and no true forgiveness since they only had animals during this time.]
(29) How much worse punishment [To know this forgiveness was available and not claim it could cause a man to lose out with God.], do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified [This is referring to either those who rejected the  truth of Jesus or those who received it only to later walk away from its promises.], and has outraged the Spirit of grace? [They had all they needed to have a right relationship with their creator, but they rejected His offer of grace and thereby rejected their chance to receive forgiveness.]

 

 

GROW Part 2 / Lesson 4B – SAINTS AND SIN 

Audio: 4B

 

WHAT “BLASPHEMY” IS
AND WHAT IT IS NOT

Before discussing when rejecting or rebelling against God’s Spirit leads to the point of blasphemy, let’s establish a basis of what “blasphemy” is and is not.

Webster’s Dictionary 1858 Edition

BLAS’PHEMY, n. An indignity offered to God by words or writing; reproachful, contemptuous or irreverent words uttered impiously against Jehovah.

Blasphemy is an injury offered to God, by denying that which is due and belonging to him, or attributing to him that which is not agreeable to his nature.

In the middle ages, blasphemy was used to denote simply the blaming or condemning of a person or thing. Among the Greeks, to blaspheme was to use words of ill omen, which they were careful to avoid.

That which derogates from the prerogatives of God. Mark 2.

Blasphemy is a direct rejection or attack on God and His Kingdom. It is rebelling – sinning – against God without regard of His truth or judgment. To see when this occurs, first ask yourself: is sin a matter of thought or of action? For instance, if a man looks at a woman, is that sin? Jesus taught about this when He said:

Matthew 5:27-28 ESV
(27) “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’
(28) But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Jesus is not describing a casual look or thought, but instead a look and fantasy that is more beastlike than Christlike. The next scripture shows how this develops.

James 1:14-15 ESV
(14) But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.
(15) Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

An innocent ‘look’ is not sin. But if a man or woman begins romancing their thoughts about another person, and if those thoughts become a longing for an immoral physical affair, then a simple ‘look’ has become sin. Such transgression occurs when men and women allow sinful desires and lusts to rule their life instead of making Jesus Christ their King. Such defiance is the heartbeat of sin.

The devil sees the weak areas where men are vulnerable to temptation. A saint’s weakness is proportional to the amount of prayer and repentance in their life. If they disregard the life-altering power of Jesus, they will be inundated with lust; but if they spend time seeking Jesus and His Kingdom, then their weakness will be overcome through Jesus’ perfect strength (See Matthew 6:33; 2 Corinthians 12:9). Satan can plant thoughts into a person’s mind. Through the carnal mind these thoughts can be birthed into sinful acts. This now brings us to discussing sin that constitutes “blasphemy of the Holy Ghost.”

Matthew 12:31-32 ESV
(31) Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.
(32) And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

Mark 3:28-30 ESV
(28) “Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter,
(29) but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin“-
(30) for they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”

Did you notice that these accounts say all sins and all blasphemies will be forgiven? Then it goes on to single out one type of blasphemy, “blasphemes against the Holy Spirit.” The Bible adequately shows this blasphemy comes from the belief that Jesus’ powers were not from the Holy Ghost but from satan. If such a person never changed their minds about this error, then they would never be able to be set free from their sins. Unfortunately some still believe this lie and reject Jesus as their God and savior. Such an omission would cause a man or woman to miss out on their opportunity to receive salvation.

In his paraphrased Bible, TheMessage, Eugene H. Peterson clearly communicates this meaning.

Mark 3:29 MSG
(29) But if you persist in your slanders against God’s Holy Spirit, you are repudiating the very One who forgives, sawing off the branch on which you’re sitting, severing by your own perversity all connection with the One who forgives.”

So blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is not simply about a person sinning or speaking against the Holy Ghost, but instead involves a person’s ongoing rejection of further workings of Holy Ghost in their life.

WHEN DOES THIS
REJECTION OCCUR?

The question now is when does this type rejection occur? One way we know is by a person’s actions. Can a person be said to have rejected the Holy Ghost if they’re still actively concerned and pursuing Jesus’ salvation? If a person thinks negatively about God, does that mean that they have rejected Him? No, it most certainly does not! Imagine over the years how many parents have cursed God in anger for their children’s death, or the men who’ve blamed God for their business failure, or the women who’ve been angry at God for the abuse they received from their spouse. Such a list could go on and on…. But what if these same people later remembered God’s goodness and love, and wanted to be right with Him; after showing their disgust and saying the sinful things they did, can they still repent and come back to God?

Paul discussed this battle of the mind to a degree in Romans 7 and Romans 8. There he showed that a carnal mind entertains ungodly unspiritual thoughts, and that these thoughts can be overcome through Jesus Christ. Paul explained that he didn’t allow such thoughts to overcome him. He knew men were born with a nature enslaved to sin, but when they are reborn in Jesus’ name, they receive a new nature whereby they are set free from their old ways of sin. This changing power is available to all saints who yield to the Spirit of Jesus Christ. When looking at the following scriptures, pay close attention to the underlined areas while keeping Jesus’ life-changing power in mind.

Romans 7:1-25 ESV
(1) Or do you not know, brothers–for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives?
(2) Thus a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage.
(3) Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.
(4) Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God.
(5) For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death.
(6) But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit.
(7) What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”
(8) But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. Apart from the law, sin lies dead.
(9) I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died.
(10) The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me.
(11) For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me.
(12) So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
(13) Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure.
(14) For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin.
(15) I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.
(16) Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good.
(17) So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
(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.
(21) So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.
(22) For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being,
(23) but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.
(24) Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? [Much of this discourse is Paul talking about the sinful state of man, not his present state. Why I think this is in verse 18 Paul says “no good thing dwelled in me,” yet we know Paul had Jesus dwelling in him by this time. Also he answers this need in verse 25 by saying this is resolved through Jesus’ ability to make everyone into a new man]
(25) Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

Romans 8:1-9 ESV
(1) There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. [Here it is: through Jesus they now have the ability to walk, not after their old desires, but after God’s ways]
(2) For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
(3) For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,
(4) in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
(5) For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.
(6) To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
(7) For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.
(8) Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
(9) You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.

Paul explains there are ‘laws’ that can hold a man and woman in bondage or that can set them free. These laws are either set in motion or held at bay depending on whether a person focuses on the flesh or on the Spirit of Jesus. When a born again believer allows the mind of Christ to govern them, then their thoughts bring blessings to their life. Such thoughts and their fruit are only possible when the work of the Jesus’ Cross brings death to a man’s former self. Jesus continues Calvary’s work by giving men and women His Spirit. His indwelling presence raises them up to receive newness of life. The writer of Hebrews referred to this opportunity in the next verse:

Hebrews 2:3 ESV
(3) how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard,

This escape is not a rapture that whisks the church from the earth into heaven. Instead it speaks of a man dying to his former sinful, spiritually-anemic life, so he can live a life filled with power, love, and sound mindedness. Such existence is only possible when one doesn’t blasphemously neglect Jesus’ great salvation. Can Jesus forgive your sin? Of course He can. But the hard part for many is not Jesus forgiving their sin, but them forgiving themselves.

1 John 3:20-21 ESV
(20) for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.
(21) Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God;

The Bible never gives license for men or women to live in sin. Instead it says that any sincere person can receive forgiveness for their sins through Jesus Christ. Jesus can both wash away a man’s sin and the guilty conscience that accompanies it. Jesus came and died to make a way for all men and women to receive His salvation. He knows better than we do that there’s a lot of longsuffering that goes into transforming a sinner into a matured saint. Never give up on Jesus because of your failures. He never gave up on you while suffering on the cross…and three days later when He arose, He showed all mankind that sin has a season of death, but afterward they can receive true life!

 

 

GROW Part 2 / Lesson 4C – SAINTS AND SIN

Audio: 4C

 

HOW TO HANDLE
“SINNERS” 

Since “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,” what action—if any—should a saint of God take when they encounter sinners? Do they have a responsibility to help sinners? What about when they sin? What about if someone in the Church sins? And then there all those sinners in the world—what is to be done with all of them? This study will address some of these questions.

When you sin…

No “sinner” can enter into God’s kingdom, but instead is to suffer death.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10
9  Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10  Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NLT)
9  Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality,
10  or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.

Vs 9 – “Be not deceived” “Don’t fool yourselves”:

  • This epistle is written to the saints of the Church of Corinth.
    • The deception of being deceived is that you don’t believe you are.
  • This is that “blasphemy of the Holy Ghost” where a person walks away from the reach of God and they don’t even know it.
  • They walk so far away that their conscience becomes seared and they are turned over to a “reprobate mind.”
  • They convince themselves that they are above God’s word and its clear commands about obedience and purity.

God commands His people to stay sinless. The following are passages where this instruction is found: 1 Corinthians 6:9-20; Galatians 5:16-26; Ephesians 4:17-32, Ephesians 5:1-8; Titus 2:11-12; Romans 2:4-5; 1 Peter 1:14-15

Now some might say here, “but what about God’s ‘mercy,’ or His ‘grace?’” Paul addressed such sediment in the next verses:

Romans 2:4-5 (NLT)
4  Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that His kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?
5  But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself. For a day of anger is coming, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.

Remember, that the end result of sin is an established fact in Scripture.

Romans 6:23
23  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

And because God cannot lie, this same end result of sin applies to all mankind – that means it also applies to me and to you. So, what recourse does the Bible say a saint of God has if they do sin?

A great way to answer this is to look at how God wants His people to respond to those who sin in His Church. We see this in next area of Scripture.

When those in the Church sin…

The Bible instructs the Church to reach out to those saints who have been found guilty of engaging in sinful behavior. This action is to bring restoration and reconciliation those who have fallen God’s grace. We find this action in verses such as these:

1 Corinthians 5:1-8
1 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.
2  And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.
3  For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,
4  In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
5  To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
6  Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?
7  Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:
8  Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Galatians 6:1-2
1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Galatians 6:1-2 (NIV)
1 Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

James 5:19-20
19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;
20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death [“wages of sin is death”], and shall hide a multitude of sins.

1 John 1:7-10
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Matthew 5:7
7   Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

An act of mercy requires an act of offense. Jesus spoke of such action in the next chapter of Matthew.

Matthew 6:14-15
14   For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
15   But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Thus, restoring a brother or sister is not just for their sake, but also for your own. We see this exercised in how Jesus dealt with the adulteress woman in John 8:1-11. There Jesus agreed with the Mosaic Law that she should be stoned to death, but He added a question that none of her accusers had considered before—and that is—how innocent are you? You see, those in the assembly of believers that sin are in essence committing spiritual adultery against God. So, if that woman is to be stoned for her adultery, then they also should be stoned for theirs. The Bible states that, from the oldest to the youngest, her accusers left without carrying out that judgment. This left Jesus alone standing before her. He—and He alone—was able to cast stones, but He instead forgave her and told her to “go and sin no more.” Thus, Jesus did not seek judgment that damned a soul, but instead judgment that condemned sin so that reconciliation could come. After all, the Gospel of Jesus Christ must first charge you as a sinner before it can change you into a saint.

Offend these little one: judgment was against the one that caused the fall. Not against the one who fell.

Matthew 18:1-6
1  At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
2  And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
3  And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
4   Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
5   And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.
6   But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Look at the context in which this command is found:

Matthew 18:7-35
Temptations to Sin
7   Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!
8   Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.
9   And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.

The Parable of the Lost Sheep
10   Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.
11   For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.
12   How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?
13   And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.
14   Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

If Your Brother Sins Against You
15   Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee [“moreover” so what’s said in this next teaching refers back to what was just said about the one missing lamb], go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
16   But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
17   And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
18   Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
19   Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven [this promise refers to Jesus standing with the Church regarding internal judicial matters].

The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant
20   For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them [like the verses before, if two or three Church Elders decide a matter within the Church, Jesus promises to stand in agreement with them].
21  Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
22  Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
23   Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.
24   And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.
25   But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
26   The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
27   Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
28   But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.
29   And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
30   And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
31   So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
32   Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:
33   Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?
34   And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
35   So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

Jesus came to “seek and save the lost.” This involves Him having a ministry of “reconciliation.”

2 Corinthians 5:17-19
17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
18  And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19  To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

This means He came to make differences right between men and their God and between men with other men. Jesus also gave His Church the responsibility of this same type ministry of reconciliation. This is why we see it spoken of in Jesus’ teachings in the beatitudes.

Matthew 5:21-24
21   Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
22   But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
23   Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
24   Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

The above care to restore those who have sinned or are away from God is part of Jesus’ command to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

So, in the above biblical examples we see examples of longsuffering and of forgiveness and examples of how God’s mercy can be exhausted and end in judgment.

When those in the world sin…

Paul clearly addressed the issue of sin and sinners in one of his letters to Church at Corinth. In that he explained that the Church is called to walk among sinners in the world, and to do so without judgment. He also said that the Church was to judge those in the Church who continued to sin after coming to Christ. Paul wrote:

1 Corinthians 5:9-13
9  I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
10  Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.
11  But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
12  For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?
13  But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

Never tell someone they’re lost in sin if you’re unwilling—or unable—to tell them how to be found in Jesus Christ.

Paul knew that sinners do sinner things. Why should those in the Church believe differently? Each and every Born Again person lived according to their sinful nature before they received their new nature in Jesus Christ. Those in “the world” should not be expected or demanded to do otherwise.

Paul explained that the Church would not only be around worldly sinners that sin, but was to allow Jesus to be their only judge. This says a lot about the futility of the Church trying to impose biblical morality on their worldly neighbors…but that is for another study.

Paul also appointed the Church with the task of judging (yes, I said that because Paul wrote it) those within the Body of Christ when they continued to willfully sin (also see 1 Corinthians 6:1-5; Galatians 2:11-13). Remember, only those who are truly “in Christ” can qualify to be hypocrites. As such, sinners in the Church that continue to sin are to be judged by the Church, and if these “sinners” do not stop their sinning, the Church Body is to stop keeping company with them.

The mission of the Church is to preach the gospel, convert the sinner, and to teach the new converts what they need to spiritually mature into Christlikeness (see Matthew 28:19). That is what Jesus came to do (seek and save those who are lost). And as His Body, that is the mission that His Church is now charged with continuing in Jesus’ name.

 

Next Step: Time to GROW!

Copyright © 2016 TK Burk. All Rights Reserved.
www.tkburk.com

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2 Responses to GROW Part 2 – Lesson 4 of 4

  1. clara December 2, 2016 at 6:24 pm #

    Praise the Lord Brother Burk,

    Great Bibles studies, thank you so. much I am learning a lot
    .
    God bless you in Jesus name,

    Sister Clara

    • TK Burk
      TK Burk January 8, 2017 at 7:49 am #

      Sis Clara,

      Thank you for your kind words.

      I appreciate your feedback. I am very glad to know that these studies are a help to you.

      I pray Jesus blesses you and yours,
      Bro. Burk

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