Transforming Ordinary People into Extraordinary Followers of Christ

Foundations of the Faith – Understanding Sin and Temptation – Part 7 of 8

Sermon Summary

How do believers walk with God in a deteriorating society? Is it even possible? To answer that question, there are some foundational truths that we need to understand. First, we must understand what hinders us from walking in fellowship with God: our sin problem. Rather than seeing God’s loving and wise boundaries as protective, we see them as restrictive. And so we blow through those boundaries, often with devastating consequences. All of the problems in the world today: murder, rape, slander, selfishness, stealing, sexual perversion, adultery, broken homes, pornography, prostitution, poverty, pollution, gender confusion, corporate greed…all are a result of sin. The word “sin” means different things to different people. But it is God’s definition we need to understand. 1. Sin is a failure to do what is right (James 4:17). 2. Sin is a transgression of God’s law (1 John 3:4). 3. Sin is falling short of that which honors and glorifies God (Romans 3:23).

A good Biblical definition of sin might be: “Sin is any failure to conform to the moral law of God, in act, attitude, or nature.” So how do we deal with our sin problem? God has provided a solution: In his love, God sent Jesus to die for our sin. Sin is such a serious problem that it required Jesus’ death to break its power over us (John 3:16-18). Jesus offers forgiveness of sin and eternal life to everyone who will receive Him as Savior. But if you reject his offer, you will face his judgment. To walk with God in this life, you must receive his forgiveness. You can’t walk with God if you don’t have a relationship with him. The moment you place your trust in Christ, a number of things take place. Here are just a few. 1. Your sins are forgiven; they are no longer a barrier to a relationship with God. 2. You are given a righteous standing before God. 3. You are reconciled with God. 4. You are adopted into God’s family. 5. You are given spiritual life. 6. The Holy Spirit comes to live within you.

All of these things make walking in fellowship with God possible. Sin can still disrupt your fellowship with God, just like sin can disrupt your fellowship with your spouse, your children, or your best friend. And to restore that fellowship, you must confess your sins to him and begin walking in truth (1 John 3-9). The book of 1 John in your New Testament was written to tell us how to walk in fellowship with God. It assumes that its readers have received Christ as their Savior. In other words, it assumes that they have a relationship with God as their Father, rather than as their Judge (1 John 3-9). The word “confess” comes from the Greek word which literally means “to say the same thing God says” about something. So when you confess your sin, you are agreeing with God: 1. That it is wrong. 2. That you intend to repent of it. 3. That confession of sin brings God’s forgiveness.

First, you need to ask the Holy Spirit who lives within you to reveal areas of unconfessed sin. You might even want to make a “sin list.” Next, confess those sins to God. Then, you may want to claim the promise of 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Finally, prayerfully go about your day. Ask God for wisdom, strength, and courage to make wise decisions. Ask God to help you love him and others more deeply. And when you become aware of an attitude or action that is sin, confess it immediately. If you have sinned against someone else, ask for his forgiveness. Your plan should not be to store up your sins until the end of the day and confess them at bedtime. If you do that, you have spent all day out of fellowship with God. God wants you to experience moment-by-moment fellowship with him. This is your birthright as a Christian. The Bible tells us that Noah walked with God in the midst of a godless generation. The question is: Will we? God has done his part. We need to respond.

Application / Challenge

  • Make a sin list, then: [1] confess to God (1 John 1:9), and [2] confess and make restitution to people (Matthew 5:23, 24).
  • “Keep short accounts” with God.
  • Memorize 1 John 1:9 and 1 Corinthians 10:12-13.
  • If you would like to know God personally, contact us here. Scroll down to the Ministry Information Request section and mark the first or second  checkbox. We look forward to helping!
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