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JESUS HEALS THE BROKEN HEARTED – SUNDAY 24TH NOVEMBER 2013,  10AM

Bible reading – Mark 5:1-20 – Amplified Bible.tag - born for more - portrait - pos_renamed_26541

1 They came to the other side of the sea to the region of the Gerasenes.

And as soon as He got out of the boat, there met Him out of the tombs a man [under the power] of an unclean spirit.

This man [a]continually lived among the tombs, and no one could subdue him any more, even with a chain;

For he had been bound often with shackles for the feet and [b]handcuffs, but the handcuffs of [light] chains he wrenched apart, and the shackles he rubbed and ground together and broke in pieces; and no one had strength enough to restrain or tame him.

Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always [c]shrieking and screaming and [d]beating and bruising and [e]cutting himself with stones.

And when from a distance he saw Jesus, he ran and fell on his knees before Him in homage,

And crying out with a loud voice, he said, What have You to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? [What is there in common between us?] I [f]solemnly implore you by God, do not begin to torment me!

For Jesus was commanding, Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!

And He asked him, What is your name? He replied, My name is Legion, for we are many.

10 And he kept begging Him urgently not to send them [himself and the other demons] away out of that region.

11 Now a great herd of hogs was grazing there on the hillside.

12 And the demons begged Him, saying, Send us to the hogs, that we may go into them!

13 So He gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out [of the man] and entered into the hogs; and the herd, numbering about 2,000, rushed headlong down the steep slope into the sea and were drowned in the sea.

14 The hog feeders ran away, and told [it] in the town and in the country. And [the people] came to see what it was that had taken place.

15 And they came to Jesus and looked intently and searchingly at the man who had been a demoniac, sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, [the same man] who had had the legion [of demons]; and they were [g]seized with alarm and struck with fear.

16 And those who had seen it related in full what had happened to the man possessed by demons and to the hogs.

17 And they began to beg [Jesus] to leave their neighbourhood.

18 And when He had stepped into the boat, the man who had been controlled by the unclean spirits kept begging Him that he might be with Him.

19 But Jesus refused to permit him, but said to him, Go home to your own [family and relatives and friends] and bring back word to them of how much the Lord has done for you, and [how He has] had sympathy for you and mercy on you.

20 And he departed and began to publicly proclaim in Decapolis [the region of the ten cities] how much Jesus had done for him, and all the people were astonished and marvelled.

 

Here is a man whose life has been taken from him. He’s existing but not really living. So often people all around us experience the traumatic effects of tragedy, pain and loss every day. They exist, but they don’t really live.

This man lived in the tombs. He was forced out of his normal home by his abhorrent behaviour. We can only imagine the events that led up to his rejection by the community. His behaviour became a liability for the community – why? Perhaps he suffered the agony of loss, his wife or children may have died from illness or accident. Perhaps his business went belly up and he has been tormented by the sense of failure and his shame at not being a provider for his family. Could his failures have been compounded by a condemning and critical father who goaded him all his life saying, “You’re a failure boy, you’ll never amount to anything.”

For some the worst nightmares can be fought through and they piece life back together again; but for so many others their mind is continuously filled with torment because of rejection, shame, anger, hatred, guilt, or depression. The thoughts just never let up, and like this poor wretched soul you find yourself alone, outcast or simply choosing to avoid people – it’s easier that way.

Today I’ve come to tell you Jesus is the answer! Jesus gives Hope! Today I will show you the way out of pain and brokenness. If life has knocked you around, I can help you today. If you’re a pretty whole person, listen up I want to empower you to help others around you to find what the world can never offer. PEACE.

He cut himself with stones. Today some people cut themselves. It’ a sign that they hate themselves. Self-hatred comes from a wrong picture on the inside of who you really are. Like the beautiful young girl who was in our church many years ago who looked in the mirror at herself and screamed, I hate you, you are so ugly” You see her dad wasn’t there for her and never gave her the indispensable value she was loved and precious for who she was.

Jesus heals the broken hearted. He can and will heal you today. He will touch your life and you can begin the journey to wholeness. Jesus brings hope. In an era when more people than ever in history are seeking out a psychologist or counsellor; where statistics show one in four will suffer depression in their lifetime; you need to know Jesus is the answer. For all our medical advancement, our vastly greater understanding of how the human brain works, more people than ever are suffering debilitating symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety.

Listen to some of the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and tell me if you think this man suffered with this increasingly common complaint?

  1. Suicidal thoughts and feelings.
  2. Feeling alienated and alone.
  3. Anger and irritability.
  4. Depression and hopelessness.
  5. Feeling detached from others and emotionally numb.
  6. Loss of interest in life in general.

(from http://www.helpguide.org/mental/post_traumatic_stress_disorder_symptoms_treatment.htm)

Maybe you thought this man was just filled with demon spirits, a strange and exotic phenomenon that takes place in some faraway places. No, what we have come to understand is the spirit world is real and there are evil spirits that torment and plague people even right here in our own community. We don’t pay a lot of attention to demons in Australia but they are active and afflict people mostly in their minds with uncontrollable thoughts. Mostly in Australia we medicate, Jesus brought release and healing. Jesus heals the broken hearted. For example a young man came to John Mellor meeting last weekend who had been diagnosed with Schizophrenia and his prognosis was to be kept permanently in a lock down ward. Now after prayer he is living at home and living a happy and peaceful life.

You see there is a spirit realm and there is an enemy. He works on the mind, can also afflict the body and opposes you spiritually to try and keep you from connecting with Jesus.

Jesus offers peace and life. This what the bible says about your mind…

Luke 8:35

And [people] went out to see what had occurred, and they came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right (soundmind; and they were seized with alarm and fear.

2 Timothy 1:7
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control. 

Jesus is the answer. He alone can bring hope and freedom. Medication can cover the symptoms but Jesus sets you free.

No matter how tormented you are, like this man you can run to Jesus. These demonic powers were not able to stop him coming to the one who has the answer. Though he was filled with these torturing spirits, he saw Jesus and came running towards Him and fell at His feet and worshipped.

This is the beginning of your answer – run to Jesus. You see Jesus knew about this man. He went seeking him out, He deliberately put ashore at this very place where this madman had his abode among the tombs.

Jesus knows your pain, He knows your heartache and He has come to seek and to save those who are lost. Here is your answer – Run to Jesus, and like this man desire to stay with Jesus. Jesus is not a pill you take to relieve symptoms and you go back to your normal life. Jesus has a new life for you. Your old life was killing you. It was filled with wrong believing, wrong values and wrong behaviour. It was how you lived and what you believed that put you in the mess you are in now. It’s time to come to Jesus and let Him redeem you and show you His abundant life of righteousness peace and joy.

You might be strong and whole this morning, but this message is still for you. WE need to go out and boldly proclaim that Jesus is the only answer. He is the only one that heals the broken hearted. Tamazepam doesn’t heal a broken heart, a bottle of scotch a day doesn’t heal a broken heart, only Jesus can do it! Look at this man’s end state… 15 And they came to Jesus and looked intently and searchingly at the man who had been a demoniac, sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, [the same man] who had had the legion [of demons]; and they were [g]seized with alarm and struck with fear.

Will you run to Jesus today?  Will you surrender your heart and mind to Jesus? Find a strong and Godly church that will lay hands on you and pray for you. Find a group of passionate Christians who will love you and pray for the power of God to touch your life. Find a church that has a reputation in your community for helping the broken and hurting people.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS.

1. Jesus dealt with demon spirits all the time. Why don’t we focus on their activity in our day and age?

2. Discuss how the thought life of an individual can be interrupted by the influence of demonic spirits. (2 Cor 10:5)

3.  Why do you think that stress depression and anxiety are so much more prevalent in our time than they were in past times?

4. This man’s turnaround was fast, dramatic and complete. Can Jesus do that today?

5. Is there also a steady healing process for many as they journey towards wholeness with Jesus?

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SPRING BREAKTHROUGH – SEPTEMBER 1Spring Breakthrough

Welcome to Spring here in Australia. Welcome to the season of new life and growth. The old deadwood of winter is past and the temperature is rising and the son seems stronger. It’s time to put away the cloak of winter and come out from our hibernation due to cold and low level of light.

I’m tired of status quo. I want to break free of the ordinary and mundane. It’s not that I’ve backslidden or anything like that; I just know that there is so much more that I have not enjoyed yet in terms of God’s promises and power. Like the Jews who waited for centuries for their Messiah, there was a time when He came and everything changed. I’m seeking God for a change. The change must come in me. I want to take up God’s challenge when He said: Deu 4:29  But if from there you will seek (inquire for and require as necessity) the Lord your God, you will find Him if you [truly] seek Him with all your heart [and mind] and soul and life. (AMP)

I love God, but it’s been a long time since I was broken in His presence, receiving revelation about how wonderful He is or how I have not obeyed Him in some way. I have led people to Christ recently but I want to see so much more Holy Spirit power in witnessing to people who are far from God. I need financial breakthrough, healing in my body, restoration of relationships and so much more. This is not a selfish cry for more things for me but a cry of surrender to the fullness of what God has planned and promised to me through His word. The world all around me is so lost and ignorant of the wonder of my Jesus, I am not satisfied with the lack of power in my life. It’s not OK that so many people without Jesus in my city are on a trajectory to hell. I am not satisfied. God has put a burr in my undies. Please God not another five or ten years of ten percent Christianity. I want and I need to experience all that you have for me.

Enough dull boring hum drum Christianity. Enough of the same ol’ same ol’! What we have is wonderful and we are grateful, but there is so much more for us!

In the Arab world something has been happening over the last three years.

The Arab Spring (Arabic: الربيع العربي ‎, ar-rabīˁ al-ˁarabī) is a term for the revolutionary wave of demonstrations and protests(both non-violent and violent), riots, and civil wars in the Arab world that began on 18 December 2010.

To date, rulers have been forced from power in Tunisia,[1] Egypt (twice),[2] Libya,[3] and Yemen;[4] civil uprisings have erupted in Bahrain[5] and Syria;[6] major protests have broken out   in Algeria,[7] Iraq,[8] Jordan,[9] Kuwait,[10] Morocco,[11] andSudan;[12] and minor protests have occurred in Mauritania,[13] Oman,[14] Saudi Arabia,[15] Djibouti,[16] Western Sahara[17]and the Palestinian Authority.

The Arab spring is widely believed to have been instigated by dissatisfaction with the rule of local governments.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_Spring

The people have been dissatisfied with status quo and know that what they are living can be improved. People have been willing to lay down their lives for that desire for freedom. They are sick of being ruled over by powers that make themselves rich at the people’s expense.

JUST THE SAME

In just the same way that people have risen up in these Arab counties to seek a better life; I want to my own spring breakthrough! I want to seek God and humble myself and call upon God to experience more of a God Encounter. I need to break off the despotic rule of unbelief and fear and find the power of God in a greater dimension.  DO YOU WANT THAT?

Over the next three months in this church I am going on a journey to find God in a powerful new way. I am challenging you to join me. If you want to stay the same, that’s up to you, but if you believe God has more for you than what you’re experiencing right now then come on, roll up your sleeves, and join me in an awesome journey of embracing a bigger God Encounter.

 

This is how we begin. It’s time to take stock. You can’t go to any location anywhere if you don’t know your starting point. Let’s see where are we at right now spiritually? Answer these next few simple questions and evaluate your starting point. Add up the points in brackets from your answer.

  1. Length of time since salvation? 0-2 years (10); 2-5 years (5); 5 or more years(0)
  2. Length of time since you experienced a personal revelation from God that impacted your life enough to tell someone else about it? 0-6 months (10); 6-12 months (5); 12months or more (0).
  3. My relationship with the Holy Spirit: I am full of the Holy Spirit and sense His work in my life daily (10); I Know about the Holy Spirit but I want to experience His life more (5); I am not sure if I am filled with the Holy Spirit (0).
  4. How long since you shared your faith with another non-Christian? 0-6 months (10); 6-12 months (5); more than one year (0).
  5. How long since you prayed with someone to receive Jesus as their saviour? 0-2 years (10); 2-5 years (5); more than 5 years or never (0)
  6. For you prayer is: a vital part of my day (10); something I do as a regular task (5); Something I do when I have a need (0);
  7. When I read God’s word : I am impacted by the conversation I have with God (10); I find it tedious or dull (5); I don’t read it very much(0)
  8. In terms of my physical health: I am feeling well and God answers my prayers for strength and healing (10); I have experienced healing in the past but I need some help at the moment (5); I have never asked God to heal me of anything, and I need to experience a miracle healing(0)
  9. My finances are: in  great shape and I see value in tithing and giving (10); I need a breakthrough in finances even though I am a giver (5); I need a financial miracle and I am not a tither or giver (0)
  10. My relationships – family and friends : are strong and stable, working through forgiveness and healing (10); I have some tension in relationships and it seems uncomfortable (5); I am estranged form people I should be in relationship with (0).

 

Count up your points

  • 100 – Your Jesus, right?
  • 70-100 – Can you please come and coach and mentor others who need a God Encounter?
  • 50-70 – There’s so much more for you, jump in!
  • 20-50 – Please join in this journey we will walk beside you.
  • 0-20 – You have the greatest potential for growth – be excited and come on this marvellous journey to find God in a powerful way.

 

We will be referring to our teaching series this year as each month we have unpacked the big themes that make for great disciples, for example:

January – Boot Camp – Prayer, authority, word and giving.

February – You fit here – Finding your place in the Body.

March – Crazy Love – Discover how much God truly loves you

April – You’re Full of it – Being filled with and baptised in the Holy Spirit.

May – Led by the Spirit – How to let the Holy Spirit guide and lead you.

June – REALationships – Making sure your relationships with people are healthy

July – Tuned in – Powerful prayer experience.

August – Living Word – making sure you are getting the word of God into your life.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. Take the survey and discuss how ready for change are you?

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We live in a fallen world.

We live in a world where values of integrity and fidelity have moved significantly over the last 100 years.

Adultery has always been a factor in every era, but now in this day in which we live it is sold as exciting and adventurous; being openly displayed on almost every TV program, movie and magazine. It has become far more acceptable now then ever before.

MOVIE CLIP – AN AD FOR THE “GOOD WIFE”

http://youtu.be/M5wbUmhf3ro

The hurt caused by betrayal is seldom given the prominence that a salacious affair is given.

The Effect of the media.

The media glamorises adultery.

Catholic news service  http://www.catholic.org/national/national_story.php?id=28831

LOS ANGELES (LifeSiteNews) – The Parents Television Council released a new study, Happily Never After: How Hollywood Favors Adultery and Promiscuity Over Marital Intimacy on Prime Time Broadcast Television, which revealed that broadcast networks depict sex in the context of marriage as either non-existent or burdensome, while showing positive depictions of extra-marital or adulterous sexual relationships with alarming frequency.
Across the broadcast networks, the new PTC report found that verbal references to non-marital sex outnumbered references to sex in the context of marriage by nearly 3 to 1, and scenes depicting or implying sex between non-married partners outnumbered similar scenes between married couples by a ratio of nearly 4 to 1.

Durex’s Global Sex Survey has found that worldwide 22% of people surveyed have had extramarital sex. Some countries the prevalence was as high as 58%

United States

Alfred Kinsey found in his studies that 50% of males and 26% of females had extramarital sex at least once during their lifetime.[20] Depending on studies, it was estimated that 26–50% of men and 21–38% women,[21]

In Australia http://www.smh.com.au/news/National/Cheating-hearts/2004/12/22/1103391840011.html?oneclick=true

Depending on which study you believe, between 30 per cent and 50 per cent of people in long-term relationships have been unfaithful, and, according to the Australian Institute of Family Studies, infidelity is cited as the main provocation in 20 per cent of divorce cases.

In the 2005 Global sex survey taken by the condom company Durex; Australia rated second highest nation on earth for the number of sexual partners respondents had. An average of 13.3.

http://wayback.archive.org/web/jsp/Interstitial.jsp?seconds=5&date=1203149228000&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.durex.com%2Fcm%2Fgss2005result.pdf&target=http%3A%2F%2Fweb.archive.org%2Fweb%2F20080216080708%2Fhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.durex.com%2Fcm%2Fgss2005result.pdf

There is now a website that facilitates adultery; It is a website for people who want a fling. AshleyMadison.com their slogan is Life is short – Have an affair.

Christians commit adultery too. In spite of the bible saying

1Co_6:9  Do you not know that the unrighteous and the wrongdoers will not inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived (misled): neither the impure and immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor those who participate in homosexuality,

1Co 6:10  Nor cheats (swindlers and thieves), nor greedy graspers, nor drunkards, nor foulmouthed revilers and slanderers, nor extortioners and robbers will inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God. (AMP)

Yet many Christians fall into this trap.

Most likely your marriage is fine. This message may seem irrelevant to you, but consider who else you can help who may be struggling in this area. More to the point; be on your guard, for we are all subject to temptation and we need Godly advice to protect us from errors.

Why do some Christians fall into this trap?

 

1. The culture of the age

The culture of the age is drowning in moral relativism. That is: if it feels good – Do it! The trend is to question all kinds of restraint. Who says pre-marital sex is wrong? The result: the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases sky rockets. Who says adultery is wrong? Result: the divorce rate is the highest ever, throwing massive costs on to the economy through a multitude of ramifications.

As people move away form God, righteousness and fidelity, they look more and more like the nation of Israel who suffered the consequences of disobedience to God. If you don’t believe in God or don’t care about righteousness then none of this makes sense to you and Christians are just prudes and kill joys, hypocrites who try to tell others how to live.

But the bible calls us Christians to be salt and light. Not only are we called to live in righteousness but our example is to show the way for others. It’s our joy to walk with Jesus and to be ever so grateful for our release from the prison of sin and the horror of eternity in hell, that we draw on all His power to live a new life of freedom, righteousness and purity.

As born again Christians we have a new nature. We are born from above we don’t want to sin any longer; this salvation we have, is power over sin, and we have a new heart that wants to please God.

2. Everyone is tempted

Jas_1:14  But every person is tempted when he is drawn away, enticed and baited by his own evil desire (lust, passions). (AMP)

We learned last week about the power of walking in the spirit, we have a carnal nature – that old man that still has influence in our lives if we let it. But we choose to walk in the spirit and thereby we do not fulfil the lusts of the flesh.

You may be tempted, but here’s why you don’t yield to it.

  1. God is so generous and gracious to call you out of darkness. We say no to sin because of so great a salvation. We know what we are saved from.
  2. We count the cost. Is one night of passion worth losing our marriage, losing the respect of my kids, breaking up the family home, paying lawyers thousands of dollars in divorce settlements etc etc? (It cost Greg Norman $9mill to divorce his first wife… might have been less pain to stay together)
  3. There’s a massive amount of evidence that such relationships rarely work out. 41% of marriages end in divorce and 83% of second marriages.

MY STORY IN KIEV.

3. The absence of the fear of God

The church must stay true to the word of God. If the church strays away from truth it loses its power and effectiveness. The church cannot wink at pre-marital sex, adultery, and homosexuality because the society is changing. We must preach bible values. To preach the gospel is to present the true picture of salvation. The reality of what Jesus has done on the cross is so awesome and amazing that we are deeply moved by our understanding of the consequences of sin and the great gift of salvation we have received. It is a gift that we do not deserve in any way. Our ability to see it and repent is totally a gift from God and for us to take it for granted is the height of foolishness.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Depth of His love equals the height of His anger against sin. If we truly know Him we are people who walk in a Godly fear and walk in a manner worthy of so great a salvation.

Heb 10:26  If we give up and turn our backs on all we’ve learned, all we’ve been given, all the truth we now know, we repudiate Christ’s sacrifice

Heb 10:27  and are left on our own to face the Judgment–and a mighty fierce judgment it will be!

Heb 10:28  If the penalty for breaking the law of Moses is physical death,

Heb 10:29  what do you think will happen if you turn on God’s Son, spit on the sacrifice that made you whole, and insult this most gracious Spirit?

Heb 10:30  This is no light matter. God has warned us that he’ll hold us to account and make us pay. He was quite explicit: “Vengeance is mine, and I won’t overlook a thing,” and, “God will judge his people.”

Heb 10:31  Nobody’s getting by with anything, believe me. (MESS)

God is so gracious and forgiving, and yes, of course, adultery is not the unforgivable sin, but can we trade on that grace and enter a forbidden relationship in the belief that God will forgive and pardon us in the end?

I have counselled many people who have made that decision. Some ended up far from God, others serve in the ministry today. My only plea to all people I serve with the word of God, is walk carefully, this is very dangerous ground.

4. Spiritual and emotional adultery

Physical adultery breaks a covenant made in the sight of God between two people. Often this step comes at the end of what began as emotional and spiritual adultery.

Some people may even enter emotional and spiritual adultery and not actually come together physically.

Jesus speaks so clearly about this practice when he says…

Mat 5:27  You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery. [Exod. 20:14; Deut. 5:18.]

Mat 5:28  But I say to you that everyone who so much as looks at a woman with evil desire for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (AMP)

When a man and a woman marry they covenant to live together and give each other their hearts and their souls and their bodies. Scientists have discovered that when a couple makes love, the hormone oxytocin is released in both the man and the woman. This hormone creates a bonding experience in the mind and emotions of each one. The act of sex is so much more than physical.

When a married person shares their heart with a person other than their spouse they begin to forge a link that supplies the rest and refreshment of the soul that should be provided only by your spouse. Often counsellors get into trouble because they show empathy and express care and listening skills which create a bond emotionally that leads to emotions of infidelity. That is why in this church we do not counsel the opposite sex.

These emotions can seem so real that the person believes they have fallen in love with someone else and now they feel their own partner does not love them.

Often the man feels his wife does not understand him and he finds solace in the caring of another woman. His own wife will sense he has distanced himself from her and alarm bells go off. Soon her fear of another being present in the relationship, pushes her to criticism and anger, pushing him away.

At this point the offending pair will say, “It all seems so right. Perhaps we married the wrong person.”

They have been duped by deception. This deception stops them from seeing the truth – that their new relationship is of their own making and it is fuelled by pride. “This is what I want – it’s for me”

Pro 6:32  But whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks heart and understanding (moral principle and prudence); he who does it is destroying his own life.

Pro 6:33  Wounds and disgrace will he get, and his reproach will not be wiped away. (AMP)

 The way out

  1. Cut it off now. Don’t wait another hour. Don’t expect your feelings to approve. Run from the snare that has caught you.   Pro 7:21  With much justifying and enticing argument she persuades him, with the allurements of her lips she leads him [to overcome his conscience and his fears] and forces him along.

Pro 7:22  Suddenly he [yields and] follows her reluctantly like an ox moving to the slaughter, like one in fetters going to the correction [to be given] to a fool or like a dog enticed by food to the muzzle

  1. Seek God and cry out for His mercy that perhaps He will lift the deception off your soul.
  2. See a counsellor. Be open to someone who is Godly and confess your sins and receive instruction. Chris and I are willing to see anyone. You may wish to see a professional counsellor outside the church. Here is a resource for Christian counsellors. http://www.ccaa.net.au/find-a-christian-counsellor/all-christian-counsellors.php?intstate=2  and another  http://www.totalwellbeing.com.au/counselling-service

We live in a crazy world where the moral standards are plummeting – lets be a church that shines the light so bright. Let’s be a church that empowers great marriages and heals broken ones. Let’s be a church that helps adulterers find a way back home and let’s be a church that helps to heal the broken hearted ones who have been betrayed.

Love one another, go easy on one another, pray for each other.

 

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SIN

ImageRom 7:14  I can anticipate the response that is coming: “I know that all God’s commands are spiritual, but I’m not. Isn’t this also your experience?” Yes. I’m full of myself–after all, I’ve spent a long time in sin’s prison. (MESS)

The prison of Sin

Why do we commit sins? Why do we do things that we later regret?

In a moment of weakness have you ever done something that you later hated yourself for?

What about infidelity?

Some researchers say there’s a 50–50 chance today that one partner will have an affair during a marriage including non-physical relationships.[1] It is estimated that roughly 30 to 60% of all married individuals (in the United States) will engage in infidelity at some point during their marriage.[3] Some authorities (for example, Frank Pittman in ‘Grow Up’ (Golden Guides)) observe infidelity is involved in 90% of first time divorces.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infidelity

Temptation touches every life; but sexual sin is only one way that we fall into temptation. As human beings we are constantly choosing right and wrong thoughts actions and behaviours. A jealous thought can lead to a rude comment or it can lead to murder as in the case of a man in the news this week who killed his wife’s lover.

A person might tell a lie to avoid being responsible for a problem, but that lie could turn into big troubles as in the case of a supreme court judge who lied about who was driving his car when caught by a speed camera and saw his reputation shredded in full public view.

But so often sin is not just a mistake that we regret, but it is a prison that we are held inside with no hope of escape.

Like the teenager who ties drugs once as dare and after 5 years of bad decisions has a heroine addiction that has taken their health, their friends their money and their self worth away. They are a prisoner.

What about the person who was curious about internet pornography at first but now has a raging appetite for more and more degrading porn and can’t stop viewing it. They may be one step away from downloading illegal material that could land them in jail. They may well believe that they are trapped and can’t get out of that addiction.

People are trapped by many different strongholds of sin.

Pride – manifested in constantly behaving in an arrogant manner

Lying – manifested in creating a false world around their lives to impress the people who no longer care.

Revenge – that manifests itself in unending imaginations of how to get even.

Greed – that manifests itself in hurting others to get more no matter what the cost.

Lust – that manifests it self in a constant search for gratification that once satisfied returns again so soon.

So many people are trapped in a prison of sin. They would describe their lives as a struggle. It’s not freedom. It’s bondage. They are not free to live a full, happy and prosperous life. They can’t say, “Look at my life; there are no secrets, my life is an open book and every day I am proud of who I am and what I do”

The Apostle Paul in the bible described this struggle with sin. He says it in a way that I’m sure you will identify with…

Paul’s dilemma – Rom 7:14-24

Paul goes on to describe how we can be delivered from sin in Romans Chapter eight

In this series I will be preaching and teaching about how to be set free from sin.

If you are a serious Christian you will want to hear this message. You will want more than anything to walk pleasing to God and truly represent Him as a Godly person.

You will want to be free from every kind of bondage, and more than that, you will want to conquer sin through the work of Jesus on the cross so that you can fully take the freedom and deliverance offered to all Christians.

In this series I will show you from the scriptures that Jesus work on the cross not only gives you forgiveness of sin BUT also gives you power over sin. He gives you deliverance from the power of sin to hold you in bondage.

Sin is a spiritual problem

What is sin?

1Jn 3:4  Everyone who commits (practices) sin is guilty of lawlessness; for [that is what] sin is, lawlessness (the breaking, violating of God’s law by transgression or neglect–being unrestrained and unregulated by His commands and His will).

If we say we have no sin.

1Jn 1:8  If we say we have no sin [refusing to admit that we are sinners], we delude and lead ourselves astray, and the Truth [which the Gospel presents] is not in us [does not dwell in our hearts].

 

Where did sin originate?

The bible is very clear that sin originated in Adam.

 

Rom 5:12 So then, just as sin entered the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all people because all sinned –

(Adam and Eve were one couple.

Scientific evidence – In modern Science we have thousands of scientists who agree with the biblical account of creation; a list of just some of them can be found at

http://creation.com/creation-scientists

The so called Mitochondrial DNA – studies by Geneticists in 1986; Cann & Stoneking revealed that all humans alive descended from one single human mother, who lived about 150,000 years ago. see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y-chromosomal_Adam)

Adam’s sin was of course to disobey God. His wife Eve disobeyed first then Adam joined her in doing exactly what God told them not to do. Partake of the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Lets see what Romans says about that…

Rom 5:12  Therefore, as sin came into the world through one man, and death as the result of sin, so death spread to all men, [no one being able to stop it or to escape its power] because all men sinned.

This verse shows us that the one man, Adam, sinned by disobeying God and the result is death. Sin brings death. Death means physical death and spiritual death which is separation from God. This death had total effect on all men. That is, all of Adams descendents. Death had power over all men, because all men have sinned. All Men sin because they are born of Adam. That is they are of his kind, born of Adam means born of fallen man.

Adam was born in untested innocence. He was perfect but morally untested. He was tested by temptation and he disobeyed God and fell from perfection. This gave his tempter authority over him.

Rom 6:16  Do you not know that if you continually surrender yourselves to anyone to do his will, you are the slaves of him whom you obey, whether that be to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience which leads to righteousness (right doing and right standing with God)?

 

The fact is that the human race is sinful in nature. This by no means refers to human nature as God made it-or makes it-but to the fact that before man commits any sin he is already a sinner because he is born of a sinner (Adam). This situation may be described in terms both of sin being passed on to all people from the first man and our identification with primal man in his sin. However depicted, the important feature is that man does not come into the world as an innocent or neutral creature but is affected by sin in all aspects of his being (As David says in Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was brought forth in [a state of] iniquity; my mother was sinful who conceived me [and I too am sinful].  Indeed, by virtue of this fact, man is corrupted in every area of his nature-body, soul, spirit-so that he is utterly incapable himself of restoration and salvation. His only hope is in Jesus Christ.

 

Rom 5:18  Well then, as one man’s trespass [one man’s false step and falling away led] to condemnation for all men, so one Man’s act of righteousness [leads] to acquittal and right standing with God and life for all men.

This verse reminds us that Adam’s trespass may have caused death to hold sway over all men, but Jesus act of righteousness results in life being made available for all men.

Whilst Adam first sinned, thereby giving us a nature that is subject to disobedience, we can not blame Adam for our own failures. We are responsible for our own sins as they are for their own actions.

It is true that we all are sinners by choice, even though we understand that through Adam was the entrance of sin into the human race and understand that it affected Adam’s descendents. Even so man perpetrates and perpetuates sin, therefore he cannot be relieved of the responsibility for it.

The seat of sin is in man himself. Our Lord said, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies” (Matthew 15:19). The heart of man is the birthplace of all sinful thoughts, words and actions. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). In each of us there is sin for which each is accountable. The hidden capacities for evil are present in even the best of men.

There are no good men (or women) there are only open hearted men and hard hearted men. An open hearted man hears the gospel and responds in humility. He sees the truth of his own sin and receives correction and repentance. A hard hearted man rejects his own guilt and blames God for the state of his failures and the world’s problems.

The answer of course is death….. Dead people don’t sin. But more about that next week.

Lets not think that sin only refers to the seven deadly sins of lust, greed, anger, jealousy, pride, stealing and sloth. What about unbelief? God says that is a sin that kept the whole of Israel out of the promised land for 40 years. And what about fear, what about doubt, what about lack of love. In the new Testament Paul goes so far as to say what ever is not of faith is sin.

I hope you’re not in bondage. But if you’re like me there are still some aspects of the flesh that hold me bound and I want to be free. Totally free to live in liberty and walk in the Spirit. This message is the problem outlined. The answer is next week – please don’t miss the cure now you know you have the disease.

This is the journey we will take in the series called prison break.

Week 1 – Sin – What is it and why are we so trapped by it?

Week 2 – Overcoming sin through the Blood and the Cross

Week 3 – The modern day temptation of adultery

Week 4 – The modern day temptation of Pornography

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