Sin

The Fleeting Pleasures of Sin

Was that mingling into sin worth it?

  • That outburst of anger that seemed to relieve some pressure;
  • That venture into pornography that seemed to fill a need;
  • That indulgence of pride that increased your confidence even at the expense of other people’s feelings;
  • That bout of drunkenness that made you forget some of your troubles until you came to your senses with your troubles intensified;

There is pleasure to sin. But the Bible is clear that sin’s pleasure is fleeting. The writer of Hebrews uses Moses’ life to illustrate this point.

“By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.” (Hebrews 11:24–26, ESV)

Moses could have continued to experience the lavish and at times unrighteous lifestyle of growing up in Pharoah’s court, but instead, he chose to fully associate himself with the people of God even though it would lead to mistreatment (since the Israelites were slaves at that time to Egypt). He considered mistreatment for the cause of Christ to be more valuable than all the treasures of secular Egypt.

The pleasure of sin is fleeting. It goes away. Then you’re back to where you started–the pressures, the needs, the confidence, the troubles–the things you desired or tried to eliminate are still there, and sometimes even more complicated because of the sin in which you engaged.

The problem is that you’re left with the same result after sinning than what you had before:  the guilt of sin that has been passed down to every person since Adam (Romans 5:12), and the result of sin: spiritual death (Romans 3:23 & 6:23).

So how do you fight past the temptation of sin’s pleasure? You keep your eye on the reward. That’s what Moses did. He knew there was something greater coming in the Lord than what the world would offer. Moses wasn’t perfect, and neither are we. There will be times we give into sin, but remember that whatever you believe is being offered by that worldly temptation, there is something so much greater in Christ.

Look to the reward of Christ, not the fleeting pleasure of sin.

Five To Focus 30. Getting Out of Low Places (Part 1): Confess Sin

In Judges 6, Gideon gives us examples of why we might find ourselves in low places in life. Sometimes it is a result of sin. Next week’s episode will focus on another reason.

Feedback

If you have a suggested topic for an episode of Five To Focus, simply fill out this form. If you would like to discuss this episode, you may comment on this post or interact with @rstro on Twitter.

Five To Focus 20. Let Scripture Rebuke

The second of four roles of Scripture in your life: it will rebuke you.

Scripture reference: 2 Timothy 3:16

Feedback

If you have a suggested topic for an episode of Five To Focus, simply fill out this form. If you would like to discuss this episode, you may comment on this post or interact with @rstro on Twitter.

You Might Be A Legalist If… (Part 1)

The Zondervan dictionary of Bible themes defines legalism as “the belief that salvation demands or depends upon total obedience to the letter of the law. Examples of legalism include an excessive concern for minute details of the will coupled with a neglect of its fundamental concerns, and a preoccupation with human legal traditions.

 

The danger of this sinful attitude: one who is committed to it could spend an eternity in hell and can be responsible for sending others there too.  We see this in Matthew 23:13 & 15:  ““But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in.”   “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.”

 

Legalism is more worried about rules than the heart.

You might be a legalist if you condemn someone’s sin while ignoring and denying your own.

 

In John 7:19, Jesus asked the Jewish people why they were seeking to kill him. They thought Jesus was guilty enough of something that he should be put to death, but there was no justification since he was sinless.  

 

So they were condemning a sinless man to death at the same time they were guilty of not keeping the law of Moses.

 

They ignored their own sin while falsely condemning Jesus. While we know that Jesus did not sin, his purity here is actually irrelevant to the Jewish peoples’ argument because they should have looked at themselves first before accusing him.

 

Not only did they ignore their sin but they also denied it. In verse 20, they blast, “You have a demon! Who is seeking to kill you?”  They wouldn’t even admit their own guilt of wanting to kill him! But Jesus, in his infinite knowledge as God, knew their hearts, their intentions, and their guilt.

 

It is so easy to do the exact same thing – quickly condemn other people for their sin, while ignoring and denying our own. This is legalism– holding other people up to the laws of God while somehow exempting yourself from them.

Think You Can Conquer Sin On Your Own?

Have you ever gotten too close to something and intrigued by it that you just couldn’t leave it alone? Go back to the school bus in middle school with me. There was a hole in the upholstery of the seat in front of mine. It was awfully tempting to touch, pull, put stuff in, etc. Eventually, that hole became larger because of my curiosity! I probably wouldn’t have remembered this episode if I wasn’t called in to the Vice Principal’s office one day with the threat of having to pay to have the seat reupholstered!

My point–if you keep putting yourself around temptation, it’s easy to give yourself over to it.

Last week, I introduced the concept of religious pluralism and today I want to give the first of two dangers of religious pluralism:  it can put you dangerously close to sin.

 

Look at the historical context of Judges in the Bible. The Israelites were led out of slavery in Egypt by Moses, then Joshua took over leadership after Moses’ death. After Joshua’s death, there was no leader in Israel to help the people stay true to the Lord. Everyone did what was right in their own eyes.

Israel faced 3 major hindrances during the period of the judges: 1) not ridding the promised land of pagans; 2) idolatry; 3) intermarriage with pagans.

Pagan practices of the nations they failed to drive out heavily influenced Israel to idolatry. The phrase they failed to drive out/take possession appears 8 times in 13 verses from Judges 1:21-33. Repetition is important to note in the Bible because it alerts us and tells us something important. God’s response: He would not drive them out (Judges 2:3). Instead, those nations would be a thorn in their side and their gods would be traps to the Israelites.

Here is religious pluralism.

One Danger of Religious Pluralism: We Can Get Dangerously Close to Sin

Judges 1:28-35 mentions 4 times that the Israelites committed some of these groups to forced labor. It’s almost like the conversation went like this:

God:  Manasseh, Zebulun, Nephtali, Dan— remove the Canaanites.

Israelites:  It’s okay , we can handle them. In fact, we’ll commit them to forced labor like the Egyptians did to our forefathers.

The command is to cut them out of the land. But the Israelites say, no, we’ll

  • subdue them
  • limit them
  • tame them
  • master them

And look what happened.

 

Now think about your own life: 12So then, brothers and sisters, we are not obligated to the flesh to live according to the flesh, 13because if you live according to the flesh, you are going to die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.   (Romans 8:12–13, CSB)

The command is to cut sin out of your life. Put it to death.

But we say, no it’s ok, I’ll

 

  • subdue it
  • limit it
  • tame it
  • master it

 

Well, how’s that going for you?

Can a man embrace fire and his clothes not be burned?” (Proverbs 6:27, CSB)

 

The Israelites thought they could just get along with these other nations. They would master them and not be affected. They thought: surely this is a better plan than God had. And those pagan cultures became a snare for the Israelites.

What are you getting too close to right now?  What do you need to guard yourself from right now?

  • Alcohol. There might be some who struggle with the temptation and lack of self-control leading to drunkenness and they need to keep it far from them. But one of these people might say I can have it in the fridge and it will be fine.
  • Gambling. There are some who might struggle with greed and just don’t even need the temptation to step foot in a casino when invited by friends to go.
  • Pornography/sexual immorality. Some might struggle with self-control and lusting, but they think they don’t need internet filtering or don’t need to limit their interaction with a certain person. They think they can subdue it.  And sooner or later, they’ll get burned.

One of the dangers of pluralism is that we can find ourselves entertained by every ideology and begin to soften on our convictions. We begin to believe that maybe everything is true, which leads to pursuing whatever we want.

What are you trying to master by your own power?

Scroll to top
WP Twitter Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com