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Breaking Free from Sin

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
August 24, 2020 4:00 am

Breaking Free from Sin

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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August 24, 2020 4:00 am

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Bible Christ Jesus church scriptures John MacArthur grace salvation truth 452945 Sermon
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Don't underestimate the seriousness of your sin. Entangling sin is serious because all sin is serious, steals joy brings discipline for more deadly serious by decades going to struggle with sin at times obeying Scripture is not always easy question is in the ever present battle with sin how you prepare. How can you overcome temptation how can you break free from sin, while John MacArthur's going to answer those questions as he shows you what a life of holiness looks like his lesson today on grace to you is part of a series of messages from chapel services at the Masters University. He calls this study a course for life. Listen now as John looks at the danger of sinful habits.

One of the things I fear for you as young people. In fact, maybe I fear it more than anything else except for the fact that you might not really be saved is that during the years of your youth. You train yourself to sin. You can do that, you know, because the habits are forming now in your life will be very difficult to break. It is during these years in your life that you are developing what the writer of Hebrews calls besetting sin since that become your friend since it become familiar to sins that in the future you're going to find almost impossible to break sins it will become so habitual that you may not even recognize them for what they are. They are the sins nailed Jesus Christ to the cross. They are the sins for which he died, for which he gave you forgiveness and yet would loosely and ignorantly and maybe willfully sins in which we continue to live in Hebrews chapter 12 familiar words.

The writer says in verse one, let us lay aside every weight or encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, that is a very important statement. Young people, and I want to focus on it.

There's another thing I fear that if you find it easy to develop habitual sin here. What's going to happen when you leave this summer sins that you've already cultivated will find an easier time when you're outside the environment of Christian friendship Christian accountability. The daily teaching of God's word high expectations chapel messages etc. you see, it's your nature because your fallen like me. Like all of us to be easily entangled in sin.

That's what it says. The sin which so easily entangles us, it isn't difficult for sin to entangle us to wrap us up to find its way so deeply into our lives that it becomes habitual. It's not difficult for sin to do that. It's easy and usually there are certain sins that we battle all are lifelong because we cultivated them in our youth. They are the sins that most easily entangle us ones that perhaps we find the most tolerable and generally the ones that aren't are entangling or besetting sins are the ones we most easily condemning other people.

If you live the Christian life and run the race with endurance.

You have to deal with your entangling sin. Let me see if I can help you to understand why some sins entangle you so easily. First of all sin has great power because your flesh is unredeemed. Your spirit has been redeemed you are on the inside, a new creation. Your flesh has not been redeemed by flesh. I don't just mean your physical body. I mean your humanness, both the way you act the things you do physically and the way you think and feel all of that will mind, emotion, body is all still the flesh, and sin has great power in your unredeemed flesh. It made Paul say old wretched man that I am who shall deliver me from the body of this death, he sought like a corpse strapped to himself, which was decaying him afoul corpse at that. Galatians 517 says the flesh wars against the spirit and they are in opposition to one another. Sin has great power in our emotions. It has great power in our will and has great power in our affection to command us to do what is wrong and until our bodies are redeemed, you got to understand that you are highly vulnerable. That's why the Bible talks about staying as far away from sin as you possibly can because it's so easily finds its way into our unredeemed flesh. Secondly, I might add that not only has great power in our flesh, but it is very close as an enemy we would like to believe it is far away and we can see it coming.

But truthfully, sin is very close. It is actually in us. It is in us. Jeremiah 1323 says, can the Ethiopian changes skin or the leopard changes spots. The obvious answer is no conclusion then you also can do good who are accustomed to doing evil sin is deep within you. The heart says Jeremiah is more deceitful than everything else, and desperately wicked.

So sin has great power in your unredeemed flesh and it is very near.

It is even within you. Paul says in Romans seven the sin that is in me that is in me you never will be able to run away from it.

Whether you're at home, whether you're isolated. Whether you're in the midst of a group of people like this in a service focused on the Lord wherever you are. Sin is there.

Having the right associations in the right environment give you strength to deal with it but it's there.

1/3 thought just kind of deepening our understanding of why sin easily entangles us is that sin does not remain separate. That is to say it is there but it is not easily identifiable.

Somebody asked me some years back if I preached sermons with a pure motive in my answer to the question was, I don't know because I don't know. I would like to think that every time I stand up to preach the word of God.

I do it with an absolutely pure motive to glorify God and not with any motive to bring attention to myself to gain a reputation to gain respect to be thought of as virtuous or holy or gifted. I would like to think that every time I preach. I do so purely and singularly out of a motive to glorify God. If you ask me if I do, my answer would be. I don't know because sin is so entangled in what I am that I cannot separate it out. It runs that deep and that pervasively I don't know whether I've ever had an absolutely totally completely pure motive that lasted very long, because sin is not separated from what I am. It infects all my duties. It infects all my ministries. It's tangled up in all my motives it retards and somehow wound all my purposes in all my good intentions and even crowds in on the very act of obedience and worship that I endeavor to express to go. Even my best efforts are somehow tainted.

Also, as I see this law or this principle in Romans seven warring within me waging war with the law or the principle of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my member sin is strong. Then we said first sin is near second and thirdly it is entangling.

It is co-mingled. We can't separate ourselves from it. Yet the Bible tells us here that we must lay aside the sin which so easily entangles. Ephesians 422 puts it this way lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the less of deceit. Peter put it this way abstain from fleshly lusts, which wage war against the soul. Paul in Romans six said do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey.

It's less so we are commanded to disentangle ourselves with something that is powerful that is present that is pervasive how we do that, but it's not an easy battle and I really believe that there are some of you who aren't fighting it very well and you are allowing yourselves to be more deeply entangled with sin here you are in the right environment.

Here you are with the right potential accountability here you are sitting under the right kind of teaching in the right kind of truth, but you're not making the proper application you're cultivating sins and the day will come, I promise you when you will look back and with great sadness of heart, say, why didn't I deal with those when I was young.

This is the time now.

There are two things to recognize if you're going to deal with entangling sin, one that the power and the strength to deal with it is the Holy Spirit's is the Spirit's power Paul makes that very clear Galatians chapter 5 when he talks about walking in the spirit and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

It's not just a negative thing doesn't mean you sit around trying to discover sin and stamp it out. It means you preoccupy yourself with obeying the spirit of God as his will is expressed in the word of God and in the promptings of the word of God and positively being consumed with obedience.

You will find that sin is a way of disappearing is the spirits work. You walk in the spirit you want fulfill the lust of the flesh walking in the spirit means allowing the word of Christ to dominate your thinking walking in harmony with that.

I guess I could simply say what it comes down to is the necessity to put the word of God in your heart. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly let me suggest to you that if you haven't developed in your own life, a commitment to Scripture memory, now's the time to do it. You need to begin to put the word of God away. David said I word of I treasured up hidden in my heart that I might not sin against you. How shall young person cleanses waste by taking heed to thy word, and as a result of that verse nine of Psalm 119. He says in verse 11.

I've hid it in my heart that I might not sin me.

That's what the great Christians have done. They put the word of God in their hearts so that they literally find themselves yielding to the Holy Spirit's application of that word. The word is the stuff that separates us out from sin that hedges us against temptation. Paul memorize Scripture. The apostle Paul. There wasn't any magical trick there was any sort of supernatural secret that he knew nobody else did that made him a great Christian believe me Paul memorize Scripture. That was the strength of his ministry was a biblical ministry. If you go back to acts chapter 2 and listen to Peter preach the great sermon he preached on the day of Pentecost you will know that Peter memorize Scripture to because he quotes great chunks of Scripture and that Pentecost sermon.

It's not just for the sake of memorization, not just for the sake of proclamation, but for the sake of purity.

I believe also that Timothy and Titus. Other apostles. Another man of God like a policy was mighty in the Old Testament Scriptures and Barnabas, the son of encouragement and many others of the heroes of the New Testament were those who had memorize Scripture. Joshua chapter 1 verse eight says that you need to meditate on the word of God day and night, and if you do that you'll make your way prosperous, and you'll have good success. Deuteronomy chapter 6 says that your to talk about the things that are been revealed from God when you sit down, stand up, lie down and walk in the way they should be the most familiar part of your conversation.

James 121 says receive the engrafted word, which is able to save your lives. It's an absolutely vital part of spiritual living. If I'm going to deal with entangled sin to put the word of God to work in my life that becomes the agency by which the spirit of God gives me direction. Listen to Proverbs 22 verse 17 incline your ear, and hear the words of the wines and apply your mind to my knowledge, it will be pleasant if you keep them within you that they may be ready on your lips so that your trust may be in the Lord.

I have taught you today even you have I not written to you excellent things of councils and knowledge to make you know the certainty of the words of truth that you may correctly answer to him who sent you the words that's how you live your life. The truth is made available, take it in-store it up.

It might be a resource for you in the spiritual issues of life. So we have to realize that if are going to deal with sin.

First of all, that it's going to be the work of the spirit and the spirit uses the word and if I am not involved in putting the word of God to work in my life learning it, memorizing it understanding it and applying it.

I am never going to be able to deal with entangling sin. I'm going to cultivate habits of unrighteousness that I will battle all my life long and thus I will forfeit potential power in ministry as well as joy to the second component. The Holy Spirit has a part but so do you mean there is a necessity for us to recognize a few things as well, me just give you some of one. Don't underestimate the seriousness of your sin.

I think this is the initial error that Christians make they don't think sin is really as bad as it is.

Don't underestimate the seriousness of your sin.

Entangling sin is serious because all sin is serious is so serious to be. Keep reading down in Hebrews 12.

You will find that the Lord is going to chasten you for every single sin he is going to scourge every son whom he loves because he wants to drive out every sin. Don't underestimate it, it steals joy. It destroys faithfulness it robs. If you you have peace. It makes you useless in service to Christ.

It limits your answers to prayer. It brings discipline from the Lord.

It is deadly serious stuff know when you're young you think you can get away with sin you can compromise with your girlfriend or your boyfriend you can be involved in the end in drinking alcohol and losing control of your senses. You can compromise by cheating on exams.

You can have a cheat sheet or you can look over somebody's shoulder and you think that's a small thing, it's that kind of thing that put Christ on the cross.

It's that kind of thing which would bring you hell if it were not for the sake of Christ.

On August 17, 1662 in England, there was pastoral was called the conformity act.

One of the one of the black marks on European and English history. The conformity act was an act basically that forbid any preacher in any pulpit to be a nonconformist. That is not to conform to the state religion and there were many nonconformist preachers we today know many of them as Puritans on that last day that day that that they went into effect in the last day the nonconformist preachers could preach. They all preached farewell sermons in all their churches was a terrible day. Preachers all over England stood up to say their goodbyes to their congregation.

Some of them died as martyrs, some of them were shipped off to other nations and never returned to see their congregations or their families again.

Hundreds of families were split up. There's a book entitled farewell sermons, which records couple dozen of those sermons.

One of them preached by a man named Kalani stood up to his congregation on the last day he would ever be allowed to preach to them before his exile for preaching the word of God.

He said this, there is more evil in the least sin, then in the greatest outward calamity. I was a profound statement. He was saying to them, you think it is calamitous that I am being dispossessed of my pulpit you think it is calamitous that I am being sent out of my country and away from my family and exile.

Let me tell you something I am concerned that you know this is severe as this calamity is there is more evil in the least sin than in the greatest calamity.

A calamity is not a sin. We look at something that is calamitous and we think that is the great issue is not you look at hurricane Andrew you look at an airplane crash, and we say that is a gross thing that is a severe thing now that is not a sin that hurricane come in itself is not a sin that a plane crash in itself is not a sin, and Kalani was right when he said the least sin in your life is more evil than the worst calamity. Many went on to say the least sin in your life is more evil than the worst misery because sin dishonors God abuses mercy.

It despises grace it presumes on forgiveness. It defiles worship service and fellowship. Secondly, as you look at your part in dealing with sin not only recognize the seriousness of sin, and don't be loaded into thinking that it's acceptable.

But secondly, strongly purpose not to sin and make God that promise. If you ever said that God I want to tell you I don't want to sin. I purpose in my heart not to sin. If you are not willing to say those words to the Lord than it is clear that you're clinging to be setting entangling sin and you don't want to let go of it and you don't want to tell God you do because it's bad enough being a sinner without being a hypocrite. Are you really willing to say I purpose in my heart not to sin this day right here right now and every day I purpose in my heart not to sin. Psalmist said it someone 19, 106. I have sworn and I will confirm it but I will keep thy righteous ordinance not going to be able to do it perfectly but at least a willing heart is expressed and if you don't have that kind of willing heart, then you are enjoying your sin. Someone 1932 by Sharon the way of thy commandment.

I want to go your way. God I want to obey you. Thirdly, watch for sins subtle movement and what I mean by that is, be suspicious of your own spirituality. Be suspicious of your own spirituality you think you're strong. Be careful because when you think you're stronger week.

Let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. That's why it says sin. The Old Testament about Job that he made a covenant with his eyes.

He didn't trust his eyes. He said I made a covenant with my eyes.

How then could I gaze at a virgin.

How can I look with a leering lustful look. If I made a covenant with my eyes not to look watch the subtlety of sin be suspicious of your supposedly spirituality give another principle number four repaired immediately after you sin repaired immediately. What happened after the cockroach the third time.

What is it say Peter went out and what wept bitterly immediately when he realized his sin. He wept in repentance going to deal with entangling sin. It's going to take some very, very concerted effort on your part. Understand the seriousness of it understand the subtlety of it, deal with it immediately when it hits the immediately repentant and one other thought continually pray for divine help devote yourselves to prayer. Paul said, keeping alert and it glosses for. If I understand the seriousness of sin if I will honestly make promises to God daily not to sin and plead with him for the strength to keep the promise if I will watch for sins subtleties if I will be repentant. Immediately upon sending I'll begin to cultivate a hatred for sin shall be called a "of a pattern of obedience. I'm not saying these things to you this morning because I want to browbeat you I'm saying it because I want to keep you from the grief that all of us to reach my age in life have when we look back and say why did I ever allow certain witnesses to get cultivated when I was young. If you don't hate sins.

Now you learn to hate them because once they become besetting or entangling sins.

They just continually hang on in your life in a debilitating way.

Now is the time young people to be honest before the Lord with what those entangling sins are deal with them, not for the sake of the your own church so much.

Not for the sake of making sure your prosperous and successful.

Although that's a component, but for the sake of being everything God wants you.

Why would you want to be any less you think you're going to ultimately find pleasure in violating God's law, highlighting God's principles. You think somehow, in spite of what God says you got a better way.

The Lord says obey me and I'll bless you. But you figured it out yourself and if you sin you're going to get more out of life.

You really wouldn't want to believe that life Satan. Would you now is the time for us to lay aside sins would so easily entangling.

That's John MacArthur showing you how to overcome temptation and break free from sin. John's current study is titled a course for life. Along with being the featured speaker here on grace to you. John is pastor, author and Chancellor of the Masters University where he originally preached today's lesson John.

You took a sobering look today at the power of the flesh. In the course.

That's always been part of the human struggle. There's never been a generation that's exempt from it. But with modern media.

The fact that we carry our phones in our pockets and can reach the world or see anything on that temptation is ubiquitous. You think people today, especially young people have a harder struggle with the flesh than our ancestors.

Yeah I was talking to a young leader who is at a major camp in California to do summer camps Christian summer camps with junior high and high school and I said what are the main issues that you face with young people and the answer is pretty simple. Almost all of them have seen pornography and 75% of the young people to come to junior high and high school camp are on medication while on medication. That's the new parenting can't be bothered to discipline your children to been told not to spank your children. You can't give the time you need mom and dad are working and you just you control the kid with medication.

So you got. They literally said they don't want the parents don't want the kids to self medicate. So they have to have a time. Every night when the counselors can give everybody the medications but yeah that this generation trying to disconnect this generation from the filth that's in their own hands and trying to make up for the abysmal parenting of these kids makes ministry with young people so profoundly challenging and that's why were doing this series to talk to young people and to give them some tools and I want to mention again. The book the keys to spiritual growth.

I really wrote it with young people in mind how to grow spiritually. I remember that's the first book I actually really felt sort of unpacked my heart. I'd written a few little books. Part of that but it was almost as if I've I was na�ve. Then I said okay if I don't ever write another book that's enough. That's the one I should write the keys to spiritual growth. If you are a student.

If you have students in your household if you got kids in school. If your college soon high school students get a copy of the keys to spiritual growth. And here's the good news if you're a student will send you one free. That's it. If your student will send your free copy. Just contact us to let us know you want one.

In this book is a thorough look at how you can become more like your heavenly father and experience his blessings to get the keys to spiritual growth and again it's free if you're a student, while supplies last.

Contact us today or you can go to our website@GT Y.org they keys to spiritual growth has chapters on how to study the Bible serving the local church evangelism and other fundamental disciplines of Christian living. It's a great book to go through with your kids or with a small group, and as John said if you're a student will send you the keys to spiritual growth for free to request your copy, call 855 grace or visit our website.

GT Y.org and while you're online. Take advantage of the thousands of free resources that can help you know God's word both in breadth and depth. You'll find previous radio broadcasts video clips of John's various conference and television appearances. There is the grace to you blog and most of all, John's sermon archives 51 years of first fibers. Teaching in audio or transcript format start downloading sermons today and make use of anything that's available@gty.org now for John MacArthur. I'm Phil Johnson be here tomorrow when John continues his series titled a course for life with another 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on grace team


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