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Why Your Sin Must Go #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
March 28, 2023 12:00 am

Why Your Sin Must Go #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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March 28, 2023 12:00 am

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Immorality, impurity, greed, filthiness, silly talk, what's in your heart, what's coming out of your mouth, the things that you're doing, where your feet go, what your hands do, what your ears hear, what your eyes see. Your sin has to go. How much sin should be tolerable in a Christian's life?

Actually, that's a question we shouldn't ever be asking. And as Don Green continues to teach God's people God's Word, he'll explain today the question we should ask, and that is, why your sin must go. Which, not so coincidentally, is the title of Don's message today on The Truth Pulpit. Hi there, I'm Bill Wright, and we're continuing our series As You Walk With Christ. When you first repented and came to Christ, the Holy Spirit began changing you from within.

Because your heart changed, your desires began to as well, even though some remnants of the flesh remain for now. And as Don Green continues to teach God's people God's Word, he'll show you why you must allow Scripture to guide the choices you make in life. So open your Bible as we join our teacher now in The Truth Pulpit. Ephesians chapter 4, verse 1. Look at that verse with me as we kind of reset the context. Ephesians chapter 4, verse 1. Paul, having exhausted all that he had to say about the glories of salvation through the first three chapters, now begins to apply it. And he says in chapter 4, verse 1, therefore, showing that there are implications that flow from Ephesians 1 through 3. And therefore is a pivot to 4 through 6, and says everything that you believe about the greatness of God and salvation, and the wonders of salvation by faith, and having been born again, having been lifted up into the heavenlies that has applications for today. It's not merely something ethereal that's out there. It's not merely something for the future. It's not merely something cognitive.

This goes to the very grassroots of how you live. And a true Christian loves that. A true Christian embraces that and says, yes, I embrace that struggle because here's why. Here's why it's certain in true salvation. You see, in true salvation, someone who's truly come to Christ in the way that the Bible has prescribed is coming to Christ not in order to have a happy life, not in order to have Jesus fix their marriage, not in order to have Jesus give them a better job or prosperity or their best life now.

That has nothing to do with biblical salvation. The real reason that anyone comes to Christ truly is because they are weary of sin. They are sick of sin.

They hate sin. They want to be delivered from the power and the presence and the penalty of sin, and so they come to Jesus as a savior from sin, not merely from the trials of life. And because that is true, then it makes sense that a true Christian would continue forward in their Christian life after having been born again with an increasing practice of being separated from the remnants of sin that are still in them. That's what Paul is emphasizing here in these last three chapters of Ephesians. Now, there's something important to realize, and part of the reason that Paul has to spend so much time emphasizing this is that there are still the remnants of sin that are in you. There are still inclinations that have not yet been perfected, and the temptations of the world still whistle to you, and you're sometimes inclined to get up and go after the whistle, to respond in sinful ways and to pursue sinful desires. Scripture is very realistic with us about that, and if you're a true Christian, you know something about the tension of that. Paul describes it in Romans 7, desires for holiness, and yet finding that he falls short of what the aspirations of his heart are. Well, what Paul is doing in these final three chapters of Ephesians is he's strengthening our hand. He's helping us understand.

He's giving us the strength, the mindset, the desires, the understanding that would help us advance in our sanctification. That's what you want, isn't it? Don't you want to grow in Christ? Don't you want, having named the name of Christ, some of you having come to Christ in just very recent months, don't you want to grow in Christ and not simply be someone who goes through the motions?

You want the reality in your heart, don't you? That's why you're here. I know that that's why you're here, and so that's what we're going to try to water and to help grow and flourish in your heart and life here today. That's why Paul wrote it. So he says in chapter 4, verse 1, Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called. You have this great salvation that I've just been explaining for three chapters, Paul says.

Now I implore you, I beg you, I urge you, I encourage you, I exhort you to live a life that corresponds to the grandeur of the calling which you have received. And he says, With all humility and gentleness, showing tolerance for one another in love, be diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace. Then in verse 17, he says, So this I say, verse 17, I'll give you a second to turn the page.

So this I say and affirm together with the Lord that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart. Paul says in verse 24, Put on the new self which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. And so we spent a lot of time going through those verses. This is just a little bit of a reminder, a little refresher, a little appetizer off the plate to remind you and to reorient your thinking to what Paul's been talking about. This whole long section, Ephesians 4, Ephesians 5, he is repeatedly reinforcing the call to a holy life, but not just the call, not just setting a high standard and then leaving you to yourself to figure out how to get there. He gives you what you need.

He supplies you the tools that are necessary to go out and and complete the construction in so far as it depends upon you. And what Paul has done in part that we saw the last time we were in Ephesians, one of the ways that he does this is that he puts sin in the context of its eternal consequences. And he does this so that it would train your mind, train your tongue, as it were, to find sin something very distasteful, something something that is repugnant to your nostrils, something that is foreign to your taste buds in life.

And you'd say, no, that's not who I am, that's not what I want. And then so it reorients and reconditions your heart, it renews your heart to think rightly about sin, to come above the earthly fleshly attraction that it makes to you in the moment, to live beyond that, to look through that and say, no, there's a supernatural godly perspective that shapes my view of sin, and that mindset is what's going to control my response to temptation. And how does he do that? Well, in part he teaches us, he reminds us of the consequences of sin in verse 5, Ephesians 5, verse 5. He says, you know this with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man who is an idolater has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

Verse 6, let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. You see, you need to be a thinking person as a Christian. You can't live the Christian life simply according to whatever your desires of the moment are, because your desires are fickle, your desires are often mixed, and sometimes the appeal and the pull of the world is going to be really strong. And if you've only been conditioned to respond to whatever you want in the moment, your Christian life is going to be a disaster.

There's going to be a lot of inconsistency and failure in your life. And so what you need to do is to be someone who thinks, and who thinks through Scripture, and what Scripture says about sin in general, because that will help you apply it in particular. What's Paul saying in those two verses? Well, what we saw last time was, remember and think rightly about sin this way. Sin is that which excludes people from the kingdom of God. He says, sin is that which brings upon the wrath of God upon the heads of unrepentant sinners. He says it keeps people out of heaven, it subjects them to the wrath of God, speaking about immoral people who are not Christians, who have not been saved.

And now, here's the connection that you're supposed to make. You're supposed to think about what sin is like, and what its consequences are, and say, oh, as a Christian, that's unthinkable to me. I am one who has been delivered from the power of sin.

I am one who has been delivered from the penalty of sin. And so it is unthinkable in the deepest recesses of my heart to go after, to pursue, to love, to want that which has those kinds of consequences. You say to yourself, yes, there's still that corruption that remains in me, but I disown it. I reject it.

I'm not going to heed it. I'm not going to feed it, because I belong to Christ in God. He has saved me from sin. I have aspirations for holiness. I want to be like Christ. And so understanding and remembering afresh the consequences of sin reinforces your desires and your strength to do that. You remember, as it were, that those who practice immorality or have a greedy disposition do not belong to Christ.

And so you say, I don't want to take a step back in that direction. God transferred me from the kingdom of darkness. Why would I start to walk back toward it with my life and with what I cultivate in my desires? And there's one other thing that I need to say and emphasize to you here, beloved, as I try to bring God's Word to bear upon your heart and help you here. As God works through his Spirit and the teaching of his Word, you need to understand something really, really vital. And that is that the primary battleground for this, the primary battleground for your sanctification, for your growth and holiness, is not in what is not in what you do. It's in your mind. It's in your desires.

And you need to engage this fight in the desires of your heart. The sins of your mind are deadly. The sins of thought and desires and imaginations, even if you don't act upon them, are deadly because we love God from our heart. And it is the heart that is the wellspring of what you say and what you do. And if you are cultivating a sinful inner man while trying to maintain an outward external morality, you're doomed to failure.

You're going to fall. And so you need to address this in the realm of your desires and understand that even the desires are things to be repented of. Even the desires are to be rejected. Even the desires are that which you ask God to strengthen you in holiness and to turn you away from temptation.

You have to fight it there. And don't be content with the fact that everyone will congratulate you on your external morality. That doesn't matter in one sense if it's not joined to a heart that is also in line with the desires of God. God does not look on the outward appearance.

He looks on the heart. And so you must engage these things at the level of your heart desires. Now with all of that said by way of introduction, Paul has said those things in verses five and six. Now he's going to go on as we move into verse seven. He's going to go on and he's going to draw three implications from those realities. The realities that sin excludes people from God's kingdom. Sin includes people in the wrath of God.

And now there are implications that he's going to draw out. Designed to promote your sanctification. Designed for your good.

Designed for your spiritual growth. And so even as we receive these things we realize that that God intends our good even when he is addressing and rebuking our sin. And that's what the perspective that we come. We come under the authority of God. We come submissively to the word of God. We come dependently to Christ and say, Lord lead us instruct us and help us so that we would respond rightly to you.

And I'll say one last thing before I get into the text. Why would we have that attitude? Because he's so supreme. Because Christ is so great. Because he is so worthy. Because he has loved us with such a great love. Then it's only appropriate for us to respond as he calls us to do isn't it?

That's the right thing for us to do. And what we see here in verses 7 through 10 is the way that Christ calls us through his word to respond to the reality of your salvation. Now what's the first implication that helps us understand why sin must go from your life? What is the first motivation that we get here that would teach us and instruct us and strengthen us to to live a godly life? First of all, consider your partnership.

Consider your partnership. Sin separates men from God. You as a Christian should understand the consequences that that has for the desires of your heart and what it means for the direction of your life.

Verse 7, chapter 5 verse 7 says, therefore, there's that word therefore again, drawing out implications of what he had just said. Because sin separates men from God. Because sin brings the wrath of God upon the unrepentant. Because you have been born again and delivered from the realm of Satan, therefore, the implications flow.

Consequences come. Verse 7 says, therefore, do not be partakers with them. Do not be partakers with those who pursue those sinful things that Paul has been identifying. Now the construction as we have it here says do not be partakers with them.

The Greek construction is often translated this way. Stop becoming partakers with them. The Ephesians and those who received this letter had apparently drifted into ungodliness. They had forgotten their first love.

They had drifted away from from that which had saved them. And what Paul does here is he comes to them lovingly and corrects them. He says cut it out. Stop.

Don't do this any longer is the sense and the force of this. And you know that they were struggling with this. This wasn't an abstract discussion. Otherwise Paul wouldn't be addressing it.

He wouldn't be talking about that which was not necessary in the setting. And so we see that Christians need this instruction. They need this rebuke. And let me just say, beloved, that when Scripture rebukes you, you should give thanks. If it convicts you, if it steps on your toes, if it gets in your kitchen, you should be glad because it is helping you do and become more of what God would have you to be in like manner. When a Christian friend, fellow church member, comes and says to you, you know what's going on, what you're doing in your life, it's wrong. Your immediate tendency, especially in that sinful state, is going to be to react against it. And who are you to talk to me that way? And you've got problems of your own and resist it all.

Beloved, beloved, beloved, beloved, beloved. Don't be so stiff-necked. Don't be so hostile to that which would promote your holiness. We are meant to have a sanctifying influence on one another. Scripture has a sanctifying influence. Our interactions with one another have a sanctifying influence.

And so we need to have tender hearts, responsive hearts, humble hearts that recognize, you know, there are things in my life that need to improve. Paul comes in that spirit and corrects them. And what's he saying here? He's saying that because God's wrath falls on the unrighteous, Christian, you as one who has been declared righteous by the shed blood of Jesus Christ, you who have been born again, you cannot partake, you cannot share in that realm of darkness with non-Christians. And the word partakers here, refers to more than social association. It refers to more than interacting and talking with them, for example.

That's not what he's addressing. Elsewhere in 1 Corinthians, Paul says, I didn't tell you not to associate with the people of the world with sinners because then you'd have to go out of the world. It's not that you never talk with people or engage them in discussions. What this word partakers has the idea is, is that don't participate in their deeds. Don't share in their mindset. Don't adopt their worldview and let it influence your way of thinking. Don't do that because those who participate in their deeds share also as a possessor of their doom. And why would you as a Christian have any interest in that?

Why would you step, make one small step in that direction? You see, scripture calls us to be separate. It calls us to step away from the world, to step away from its mindset, its philosophies, its conduct, because it is hostile to the world. You and I as Christians, we're partakers in a different realm. Look over at Ephesians chapter 3. I know you've forgotten this verse, but Paul says in 5.7, don't be partakers with them, those immoral and impure persons. In verse 6 of chapter 3, he had earlier used this word for partakers and shown the realm that we belong to.

It's a completely different realm. Ephesians 3 verse 6, he's speaking of Christian Gentiles and he says, the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers, there's our word, of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. You know, and I realize sometimes you feel like a stranger and an alien as you go through, and this life kind of leaves, sometimes it leaves you standing alone, and sometimes it's your family, it's in your closest blood relatives that are the most hostile to you in this, and you feel isolated and separated and a little bit under attack.

I get that. It's hard, painful, sad even, but beloved, what you remember is, is that no, you know, while they may not partake with me, they may, you know, there may be attacks that way that come because of my identification with Christ, I remember that I have, that I'm a joint participator with something far greater, something far more precious. I partake with other Christians the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, the promise of final glorification, the promise of the presence of the Holy Spirit through this time, the promise of the gospel that those who believe in Christ, those who call upon the name of the Son of God will most certainly be saved, and that's what I belong to, that's my partnership, that's what identifies me. And so even as you're feeling the weight of separation from the world, the tug of your temptations and the hostility of others, you realize and you're born up and you're encouraged by the fact that there's a reality of a different partnership that defines your life now, and that gives you joy, courage, confidence, gratitude that shapes your life in a way that helps you endure the hostilities of the world now and gives you also the internal motivation to reject and turn away from sin.

Remember who you're partners with. We're partners with Christ, not with this wicked world that is passing away, and when that broad general principle is in your mind, then it starts to flow in and filter through and inform the way that you respond to specific matters of temptation and other things in your life. It's a whole mindset, and so Paul, go back to Ephesians 5 verse 3 and 4, just to remember what he's been talking about to call us away from. Ephesians 5 verse 3, what is this separation? Immorality, impurity, greed, filthiness, silly talk, coarse jesting, what's in your heart, what's coming out of your mouth, the things that you're doing, where your feet go, what your hands do, what your ears hear, what your eyes see, and yes, I'm not too proud to admit that that song, oh be careful little eyes what you see, just informed what I said to you. For the father up above is looking down in love, so be careful little eyes what you see. While that's been distilled down for children, understand that the message of that is expressing the greater, more significant, more profound things that Paul is saying here in Ephesians 5, 3 through 10. And so Christian, just do a little heart check, put the thermometer into your heart and see where your temperature is at, what are your desires, what is it that you want out of life, how do you truly feel about the temptations, do you hate them, do you resist them, because a redeemed heart, a regenerated heart is going to have a sense of hostility and opposition toward the sin that would seek to encroach upon your life.

Paul is simply calling on that desire in your heart, reminding you of it, and feeding it so that it would take greater root. Today on The Truth Pulpit, Pastor Don Green has presented part one of a message titled, Why Your Sin Must Go. Part two comes your way on our next broadcast, so don't miss a moment.

Right now, though, Don's back in studio with news of a great resource. Well, my friend, as we bring today's broadcast to a close, I want to offer you a very special gift, a special resource as a gift from our ministry. It's my series called, Trusting God in Trying Times, and this series over the years has proven to be the most popular set of messages that I've ever done. It helps you know how to trust God as you're going through the deep sorrows that sometimes come to us in life. It comes from the book of Habakkuk in the Old Testament, and it comes from some very deep sorrows of my own that were present early in my Christian life. It's very personal, it's very helpful, it's very biblical, and I would love to see you have it in your hands.

It's available in CD album or by download. Transcripts are available if you prefer that. My friend, Bill, is going to give you information on how to find it. Just visit our website at to get the resource Don just mentioned. I'm Bill Wright, inviting you back next time as Pastor Don Green teaches God's people God's Word from the Truth Pulpit.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-02 11:43:11 / 2023-04-02 11:52:39 / 9

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