The Danger to Fellowship: Sin
When talking about sin as a danger to fellowship the mission is not to talk about specific “sins”. They can be too varied and appear that my motives are not right.
What I am going to talk about is “sin”.
The fallen nature from the fall.
The nature left in the fallen flesh that is at war with the transformed heart of a follower of Jesus.
The nature that when given in to can manifest itself in multitudes of indigenous (unique to the person) “sins” that can and will wreak havoc on fellowship.
“Sins” root is “sin”. In other words, my unique manifestations of the flesh is the fallen nature inherited from the fall still present in my body that has not been fully redeemed yet and won’t be until the resurrection.
We could say that the mission today is to reveal “sin” as devastating to fellowship and application of today’s message would be to put a sword to “sin” (Romans 8:13) and preserve fellowship.
1. Sin’s devastation is seen in the fall
The devastation of the fall was so far sweeping that even after salvation our flesh is “tainted” with the effects of the fall and only will be repaired when we are raised from the dead as Jesus was raised from the dead.
Spurgeon says, “As the salt flavors every drop in the Atlantic, so does sin affect every atom of our nature. It is so sadly there, so abundantly there, that if you cannot detect it, you are deceived.”
Christian clichés won’t so easily dismiss the devastation of sin either.
“The cliche, ‘God hates the sin but loves the sinner’, is false on the face of it and should be abandoned. Fourteen times in the first fifty Psalms alone, we are told that God hates the sinner, his wrath is on the liar, ans so forth. In the Bible, the wrath of God rests both on the sin (Romans 1:18ff) and on the sinner (John 3:36).”
Sin is not something to be toyed with or clichéd about. Sin is devastating.
2. What is sin?
“The Bible presents sin by way of major concepts, principally lawlessness and faithlessness, expressed in an array of images: sin is the missing of a target, a wandering from the path, a straying from the fold. Sin is a hard heart and a stiff neck. Sin is blindness and deafness. It is both the overstepping of a line and the failure to reach it – both transgression and shortcoming. Sin is a beast crouching at the door. In sin, people attack or evade or neglect their divine calling. These and other images suggest deviance: even when it is familiar, sin is never normal. Sin is disruption of created harmony and then resistance to divine restoration of that harmony. Above all, sin disrupts and resists the vital human relation to God.”
“The heart of all evil is idolatry itself. It is the de-godding of God. It is the creature swinging his puny fist in the face of his Maker and saying, in effect, ‘If you do not see things my way, I’ll make my own gods! I’ll be my own god!’ Small wonder that the sin most frequently said to arouse God’s wrath is not murder, say, or pillage, or any other ‘horizontal’ barbarism, but idolatry – that which dethrones God. That is also why, in every sin, it is God who is the most offended party, as David himself well understood: ‘Against you, only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge’ (Psalm 51:4).
3. Images the bible uses to explain sin
A. Rebellion, folly, madness, treason, death, hatred, spiritual adultery, missing
the mark, wandering from the path, idolatry, insanity, irrationality, pride,
selfishness, blindness, deafness, a hard heart, a stiff neck, delusion,
unreasonableness, and self-worship
4. Sin breaks fellowship
A. Sin breaks fellowship with God 3:8
1. Sin separates men from God salvifically
2. Sin quenches the Spirit when lived in after salvation
B. Sin breaks fellowship with each other 3:12, 16
1. Sin causes broken fellowship in the home
2. Sin causes broken fellowship between homes
When sin breaks fellowship the unraveling of society is the obvious next phase of sin’s destruction.
5. Sin breaks society
A. Sin destroys fellowship in society
1. Cain kills Abel
2. Increasing rebellion brings God’s judgement in the flood
3. The people continue to rebel at Babel and are scattered
6. Sin breaks the covenant and creates idols
A. Sin ultimately is the exaltation of oneself as sovereign and determiner
of what is best.
1. A fellowship cannot be ruled by Trinity and by little sovereigns
who worship themselves
7. Sin results in uncleanness for sinner and the victim of one’s sin; sin affects subsequent generations
Genesis 34:5 (Shechem’s assault of Dinah); Lev 19:31(not turning to mediums); 21:14; 1 Chron 5:1(Reuben’s defiling of his father’s “couch” led to his firstborn status being given to Joseph: that is Reuben’s sin and the defilement of who he sinned against); Ps 106:39-40 (all the people suffered due to the sin of some in their idolatry and sacrificing of their children to demonic idols)
Genesis 15:16 (the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete); Deuteronomy 9:4-8 (the land was given to Israel because they were good but because of the wickedness of the nations who had piled it up for centuries and the Lord’s promise to Abraham);
A. Sin is never isolated to the sinner
B. Sin is always a fellowship destroyer
How do we stop sin and the danger sin poses to fellowship and the created order?
1. Be in fellowship
It’s hard to sin against people you serve and defend.
If people are sinning against others then correct them in love and call them to repentance.
2. Don’t possess any rights
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
You are not your own. You have been bought with a price.
“Worldly” passions produce quarreling and sinning against others.
If one does not have rights and thus seeks to put a sword to their sin then they preserve fellowship.
3. Do fellowship Romans 12 style
A. Judge yourself rightly 12:3
B. Use your gifts 12:4-8
C. Love 12:9-13
D. Bless those who deserve justice 12:14
E. Minister as the need requires 12:15
F. Keep peace 12:16-18
G. Do good to all 12:19-21