“The Sins of the Flesh”
One of the fascinating things about the Bible is its simple truthfulness. Now, it’s likely that you can recall the story of the victory over the city of Jericho, when God miraculously caused the walls of Jericho to fall which enabled Joshua and the Israeli army to enter the land of Canaan with tremendous fanfare and power.
Joshua 6:20 “So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.”
Yet, just a few days after the victory at Jericho, the Jews experienced a resounding defeat at a much smaller city; the city of Ai. And the reason was the sin of just one man. Achan, one of the Israeli soldiers stole some of the things that were taken from the city of Jericho.
You all know the story. But what I’d like to remind you of is this. God must judge sin.
Joshua 7:10 “And the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? (11) Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them:…”
The first sin of the Promised Land would set the tone for their further spiritual and military success or their failure.
(21) “When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.”
Today’s topic is Sin. It’s a very small word, isn’t it? It’s just a three letter word in English. But, just how important is it? This is how important it is.
Achan is the reminder of our own sinful hearts. Don’t you believe that stealing and lying are sins? Did Achan steal? Did he cover up his sin by burying the items inside his tent?
1. Achan and Ai remind us of the presence, the power, and the path of sin. Sin will always take you further than you want to go and keep you longer than you want to stay.
2. If you want power in your life, deal with yourself and your sin today. God wants you to enjoy both His presence and His power. Sin hinders both.
3. Every time God reveals sin to us, it’s so that we’ll immediately confess it and be restored to His fellowship.
4. Sin reminds us that God is a holy God.
5. Sin reminds us that God must judge our sins.
6. Sin reminds us that God was so offended by our sins that He took the greatest extreme in dealing with it. He sent Christ to “become sin for us.”
I’ve titled today’s sermon “The Sins of the Flesh.” Let’s pray.
Without an understanding of sin, you will have no interest whatsoever in the work of Christ and the Cross of Christ. You might like to learn about Jesus and see what He taught. You might like to learn the Bible Stories and even discover what the Bible teaches. But to have any measure of the work of Christ impact you personally and eternally, you must understand what sin is, what the consequences of sin are, and what God has done about it on your behalf.
I think most people would agree that Hitler was a very bad person. Wouldn’t you agree that he was evil? Under his Third Reich rule over Germany, he oversaw the extermination of no less than three million Jews. But, was he a sinner? Can you describe what he did to the Jews as sin?