2 Corinthians 3:18. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
The Biblical definition of sin is very different to the ideas that many have that confines sin to merely bad things that a person does, like lying stealing, sexual sin or murder.
Sin is doing good instead of God’s will.
Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?
Then I will tell them plainly, I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!
Luke 14:16-24. Jesus replied: A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, Come, for everything is now ready. But they all alike began to make excuses.
The first said, I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.
Another said, I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.
Still another said, I just got married, so I can’t come. The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame. Sir, the servant said, what you ordered has been done, but there is still room. Then the master told his servant, Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.
I want to ask you some questions about this parable that Jesus told.
Which Banquet do you think that Jesus was talking about?
Who did not end up going to the banquet?
Who ended up going to the banquet?
To answer these, let us look again at this passage in Luke 14
Sin is very often not deliberately doing evil, but been deceived into trusting our own reasoning rather than God’s Word and His clear instructions.
It is the strategy that Satan used on Eve and it is the Strategy he used on Jesus when tempting him during his 40 day fast.
2 Corinthians 11:2-4.
I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.
The spirit of this age is one of lawlessness, of trusting your own reasoning rather than submitting to God’s Word.
Satan deceives us into substituting obedience to God with our own human reasoning.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, Did God really say, You must not eat from any tree in the garden?
The woman said to the serpent, We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die. You will not certainly die, the serpent said to the woman. For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.
Sin is ignoring God’s authority.
Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation.
The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.
There are two types of examination we are told to do in Scripture.
We are instructed to examine ourselves to see if we really are Christians.
2 Corinthians 13:5
Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you, unless indeed you fail the test?
2. Christians are told to examine themselves as they come to the Lord’s table or they will face God’s discipline.
1 Corinthians 11:28
But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
1 Corinthians 11:31.
But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged.
There are 3 things that are necessary for self-examination.
You need to be able to see.
You need light, you will see nothing in the darkness.
You need a mirror.
To examine yourself you need to be able to see.
Bring out the people who are blind, yet have eyes,
who are deaf, yet have ears!
Hear, you deaf, and look, you blind, that you may see!
Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, who have eyes to see, but see not, who have ears to hear, but hear not, for they are a rebellious house.
Hear this, O foolish and senseless people,
who have eyes, but see not,
who have ears, but hear not.
The secret of the Kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that, “they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding”
Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead don’t you put it on it stand? For what is hidden is meant to be disclosed and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought into the open.
If anyone has ears to hear , let him hear. Consider carefully what you hear, he continued. With the measure you use, it will be measured to you and even more. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.
Jesus said the Pharisees were blind leaders of the blind.
Self righteousness blinds us from seeing ourselves as we really are and subsequently God cannot reveal himself to us.
The only explanation for us judging others, is that we have never seen our own heart, and if that is the case, we have never seen the Lord.
Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted…………………
If anyone thinks they are something
when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else.
Self righteousness blinds us.
Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, Let me take the speck out of your eye, when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?
You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Before God reveals himself to us, he reveals ourselves to us as we are often very deceived about our condition and think of ourselves too highly.
Woe to me! I cried. I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus knees and said, Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!
You said, Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me. My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.
We are changed as we spend time in the presence of God.
We must not make the mistake of trying to get to the place where we feel worthy of approaching God, we are not try change ourselves so that we can come into His presence, but we are to come into his presence to change. Enter God’s presence with a willingness to expose your heart, allowing Him to forgive, heal and change you. Every time we get a glimpse of God part of self will die.
Jeremiah 29:11-14. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper
you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD, and will bring you back from captivity.
Self examination of the believer.
The sin of worldliness. James 1:1. James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings.
James 4:4-10. You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: God opposes the proud but shows favour to the humble. Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.Come near to God and he will come near to you.
Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
Have you seen the Lord?
1 John 3:6.
No one who continues to sin has either seen Him or known Him.
If you have had an encounter with Jesus, you will know why John says this in his epistle. Because the Lord only reveals Himself to the sincere seeker and opens their eyes to their sinfulness so that He can deal with it.
You shall seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
He is the rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Revelation 3:17-18. You say, I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing. But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
God’s Word is for self-examination.
1 Corinthians 11:28.
A man ought to examine himself before he
eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.
Do you get up in the morning and go
to work or to Church without
looking in the mirror to wash your
face, shave, brush your teeth, comb
your hair or do your make-up? Then
why do we do it spiritually?
For the word of God is alive and active.
Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
The mirror of God’s Word.
Self examination is a waste of time unless you do something about what you see, take action.
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
Let us examine and probe our ways, And let us return to the LORD.
A mirror will reveal your own image and not someone else.
Romans 14:2-5. One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them.
Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.
One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind.
2 Corinthians 10:12. We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.
Children of the Light.
1 John 1:5-10.
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.
1 John 2:1
My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
A Christian may sin but does not walk in darkness, consequently their sin is very quickly exposed so that it can be repented of.
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.
You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence.
Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
God’s Word brings light.
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.
I considered my ways And turned my feet to Your testimonies.
2 Peter 1:16-19.
For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. He received honour and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.
We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.
We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.
Jesus came to bring us light.
I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person.
For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.
There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day.
Exposed by God.
God uses others to expose our sins when we are too blind to see them.
Psalm 51:1-19. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. ...
Nothing is hidden from God.
God is not fooled about who or what we are, we can pretend and put on a mask for others but God knows everything there is to know about us.
Paul knew that even though he felt no conviction of conscience that did not mean he was without fault.
1 Corinthians 4:3-5.
I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.
O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. …..
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?
You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honour. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet:
Children of the Light have no fellowship with darkness.
For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.
Therefore do not be partners with them.
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said:
“Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
A Christian must not be unequally yoked with an unbeliever. This applies to marriage and business.
2 Corinthians 6:14-18.
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common?
Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?
For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.
Therefore, Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. And, I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.
2 Corinthians 4:3-4.
And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ….
V6 For God who said “Let the light shine out of darkness,” has made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Some reject Jesus Christ and choose their sin
This is the condemnation, that light has come into the world, but men preferred the darkness to the light because their deeds were evil.
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