Pastor James MacDonald
Sermon on February 4-5, 2012
Harvest showed a brief video that is shown to people that come looking for a church – The video is at the bottom of this post. A call was made to participate in the new believer’s classes.
Pastor James announced that the notes provided are incorrect. He changed the message Saturday morning.
1 Timothy 1:12-18, Genesis 3
12 I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, 13 though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, 14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. 16 But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. 17 To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. 18 This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith, 20 among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Paul says that he was the top dog sinner, the CEO of sin, the chief.
1. Sin is not a trifle, it’s not a little oops; it’s a tragedy, it’s a cancer and it’s growing in the center of my life’s purpose. Apart from Christ it will take you down.
- All natural disasters are because of sin (Rom 8 )
- Political disaster – did you see what was happening in the streets of Damascus today?
- Economic disaster – how many of the problems at wall street or with the housing industry would go away if you took away sin
- Moral disaster – every moral disaster is because of sin.
- Relational disaster -
It’s easy to see sin in others or in your family. It’s hard to see sin in yourself. What makes it so hard to see sin in the mirror? – my sin nature.
A. W. Tozer said “A man can believe in total depravity and never have any sense of it for himself at all”
Genesis chapter 3 has the fall of man.
1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.
2. We are sinners by choice.
Four ways sin comes to us:
- It gets us to doubt God’s word – before you can sin you must doubt God’s word.
- Distort God’s word – God never said they couldn’t touch the apple. We don’t know that it was an apple…it was some kind of fruit.
- Deny God’s word – that’s not going to happen
- Discredit God’s word – God is trying to keep something from you.
Chapter 6:5 – The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
3. We are sinners by nature
Romans 5:12 – Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned
The extent of sin
Ecclesiastes 7:20 – Everyone is a sinner, to claim otherwise is self-deceit
1 John:1 – We say we have no sin
Romans 7:18 – Just because you know someone who looks like they don’t sin – they are sinners
1 Timothy 5:24 – Everyone is a sinner
Pastor James asked us to jot down three sins we are still struggling with (do it in code he said so no one can see it).
It’s important that we know the reality of sin.
5 things that sin will do:
- Sin will pursue you – you need to stop and say I will not do that…do it now
- Sin will disappoint you – misery will be waiting on the other side. Our Harvest saying is “choose to sin choose to suffer.” Sin will always lead you to a place you did not want to go
- Sin will trip you up – you think you have it under control or resolved and before you know it, sin will trip you up
- Sin will enslave you – sin is addictive. You are slaves of the one or thing you obey…either obedience to righteousness or sin to death
- Sin will expose you – Satan hates you and will expose your sin at the worst possible time. Be sure your sin will find you out
Harmatology – the study of the nature of sin
4. Paul says he was the worst sinner
Pastor James said he does not want us to think we are better than others…we need to look at ourselves.
Paul enabled others to sin – ask yourself “do I do that?”
Acts chapter 7:51-53. Steven was doing some preaching.
51 “You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you.52 Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered, 53 you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it.”
Look at their response to Steven’s teaching:
54 Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. 55 But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” 57 But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him. 58 Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
The only time in the New Testament after His ascension you see Jesus standing – A saying is – “you stand up for Jesus and He will stand up for you.”
Paul (at that time Saul) was holding their coats. Paul is helping them sin…he is enabling them.
Do you enable to people to sin? Do you look the other way? Do you cause them to sin by your bad example? Spouses can cause their spouse to sin. If this is happening talk to your small group leader or someone else at Harvest.
If they are sinning call the church. If they are breaking to law call the police.
Kathy MacDonald said ” I will never support what I know will hurt you”. When you find out you were wrong you will need someone to come back to. They will remember those that warned them…they will remember you for telling the truth and come back to you.
Paul pursued personal sin – Do I do that?
Acts chapter 8
1 And Saul approved of his execution. And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. 2 Devout men buried Stephen and made great lamentation over him. 3 But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison.
Paul approved their sin. Sin was decking him and dragging him further into darkness. Galuations 1:13 – For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it.
Paul persisted in sin chap 9:1
1 But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
1 Timothy 1:
12 I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, 13 though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, 14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. 16 But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.
The reason God saves the worst sinners (recorded in the Bible for us to see) is so that people today who have gone far into sin and have done the worst can see that they can be saved.
Next week – Paul gets saved