LIO 12/30-Fools Try to Win Against Sin

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TUESDAY – Fools Try to Win Against Sin
Big Point: Sin is deeper than we think, and only a fool tries to outwit it

Men are willing to admit that they are sinners, but not that they are sinning.

—Ivan Panin

 

If we are being honest, we will agree that sin is a BIG problem. Sin separates us from God, so how much bigger could a problem get? Well, what about the idea that you can somehow make yourself right with God through being a good person and doing good works? Doing good deeds has to count for something, right?     Although doing good works is not in itself a bad thing, thinking that it can be used as a way to put us back in God’s good graces is prideful and foolish. Sin goes much deeper than mankind could ever imagine, and even gets passed on from one generation to the next. Bottom line — no amount of good deeds could ever pay the price of sin.      “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) That is the price for sinning and the good news is God provided His son as the one and only one who could pay that price. So the question becomes, if we can’t pay the price for sinning, why not just avoid it altogether? Then, there would be no price to pay. The truth is you cannot “avoid” sin. God’s law is written for all to follow, but human nature is defiant and we want to have the control to make the good outweigh the bad.

You cannot pay the price for your sins. In fact, the more you try to make up for your sins with good works, the more you’re telling God, “I don’t accept this gift you have given me. I’d rather try to do it myself.” This pride keeps you separated from God. But when you say, “God, thank you for this gift of Jesus, for your grace and his obedience to come and pay the price for my sin so I could be with You for eternity. I know I can’t do anything without you.” That humility opens the door to a relationship with the one who made the ultimate sacrifice for you. Don’t be foolish in thinking that there is a scoreboard for sin versus good deeds. The board has been cleared. Accept the gift that has been freely given only by God’s grace.

 

READ and THINK… What does the Bible say?
1. When Christ died on the cross, God saw our sin as dying with Him. It is by grace, and grace alone, that we have also been raised with him. We are reconciled with God and free to grow in Jesus.

Question: Why is grace meaningless when you try to keep a tally of your good works? What does it say about Jesus’ sacrifice?

Galatians 2:21 (New Living Translation)
I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.

Answer:

 

  1. Sin looks good to you precisely because God says it is wrong. When tempted to rebel, you need to look at the law in the light of God’s perfect grace and mercy.

Question: Why is God’s written law important to have and read?

Romans 7:7-10 (New Living Translation)
Well then, am I suggesting that the law of God is sinful? Of course not! In fact, it was the law that showed me my sin. I would never have known that coveting is wrong if the law had not said, “You must not covet.” But sin used this command to arouse all kinds of covetous desires within me! If there were no law, sin would not have that power. At one time I lived without understanding the law. But when I learned the command not to covet, for instance, the power of sin came to life, 10 and I died. So I discovered that the law’s commands, which were supposed to bring life, brought spiritual death instead.

Answer:

 

 

  1. Christians, even after they have been given the gift of salvation, feel obligated to try to work their way to God. Because salvation is a gift, you should respond with gratitude, praise and joy.

Question: What is the only way to receive salvation?

Ephesians 2:8-9 (New Living Translation)
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.

Answer:

 

 

LIVE… What will you do now?
What sin in your life are you struggling with right now? What impact is this sin having on your life and your relationship with Christ?

 

 

When did you last try to “fix” yourself without God’s help? How did it differ from the help you’ve received from God when you asked for His guidance and grace?

 

 

PRAY… God, what do you want me to know and do?
Tell God about the sins you are struggling with right now and ask Him to reveal to you any sin that you may not be aware of. Humble yourself and let Him know that you realize you cannot fix yourself and you need His help. Thank Him for His mercy when Christ died on the cross.

Digging Deeper with this week’s teaching pastor:

Click below to watch a video from Hans and Freda to help get you in shape for the New Year! 

Click here to go deeper using the Life Group DVD or view the message, including bonus discussion questions.

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