Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sermon Reflection - 2/15/09


Sermon Series: The Jesus Life

Sermon Title: Get Real, Give It Up

Text:
John 8:2-11


2Early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people were coming to Him; and He sat down and began to teach them. 3The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, 4they said to Him, "Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. 5"Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?" 6They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. 7But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." 8Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court. 10Straightening up, Jesus said to her, "Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?" 11She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "I do not condemn you, either Go From now on sin no more."


Psalm 32:1-5


A Psalm of David. A Maskil.

1How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
Whose sin is covered!
2How blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity,
And in whose spirit there is no deceit!
3When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away
Through my groaning all day long.
4For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;
My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. Selah.
5I acknowledged my sin to You,
And my iniquity I did not hide;
I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD";
And You forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah.



Colossians 3:5-9

5Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. 6For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, 7and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. 8But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. 9Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices,


Application:
This week's sermon introduced Spiritual Disciplines. He also used the term Instruments of Virtue.

There are two basic categories.
1) Disciplines of Abstinence. These include solitude, silence, fasting, chastity, frugality, sacrifice and more.
2) Disciplines of engagement. These include worship, celebration, prayer, fellowship, submission, confession and more. These disciplines actively move us toward Christ.

Why are the disciplines important?
Our culture celebrates the freedom to do what we want, when we want. The last thing "we" want is to be under the authority of another. However, the question must be asked, If we have the ability to be good completely, why aren't we?

We are not free as long as we are under the darkness of sin. We find freedom by aligning ourselves with the spiritual disciplines.

The discipline discussed this week is Confession. We need to Get real about our sin. Acknowledge a place of brokennes in our life. We do this in connection with God.

In Psalm 32:5 David confesses his sin to God. God forgave David. David expressed feeling heavy; his body was wasting away. When he confessed, the guilt was removed. He became a new man. When we get real, he forgives and forgets.

Once we acknowledge and confess the sin, we need to do something about it ... Give it up.

In Col 3, Paul mentions that we need to put our sin to death; anything and everything that gets in the way of God.

God wants us to refresh and cleanse ourselves. We need to put on the NEW self.

Another dimension to the confession is mentioned in James 5.

16Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.


My Reflection:
I've seen the power and effectiveness of confession and acknowledgement to God. It's a tough thing, especially when it's a sin that is enjoyed so much by the flesh. But the longer one holds on to the sin, the harder it is to turn from it. And the heavier the hand of God feels on oneself. But the bigger the relief is when it's finally been removed.

Key Verse:
There were so many good verses this week. I honestly didn't know which to choose. Because of the emotion and complete heart put into it, I like the Psalm passage the best. So this week I'm going to memorize Psalm 32:1-5 (I better get started; I'm already 2 days behind).


2 comments:

Debbie Haughland Chan said...

Hi Christine! I like the following two things you wrote:

"Why are the disciplines important?
Our culture celebrates the freedom to do what we want, when we want. The last thing "we" want is to be under the authority of another."

"I've seen the power and effectiveness of confession and acknowledgement to God. It's a tough thing, especially when it's a sin that is enjoyed so much by the flesh. But the longer one holds on to the sin, the harder it is to turn from it. And the heavier the hand of God feels on oneself. But the bigger the relief is when it's finally been removed."

I never looked at the spiritual disciplines that way. That's good! They are an active way of putting ourselves under the authority of something other than ourselves on a regular basis.

As for confession, yeah, I agree that it can be a really, really tough thing. It's even harder to give up the sins we're really enjoying--and we enjoy them all or we wouldn't do them. The truth of this: "...the longer one holds on to the sin, the harder it is to turn from it" is why we need to keep short accounts with God.

You've given me some things to ponder. Thank you, Christine.

Christine said...

Thanks.

I can't take credit for the first thing you quoted, that was something Pastor Mike said in the sermon. But it rings so true.