Friday, October 2, 2009

As the Scriptures Say

Exodus 12:1-14; Mark 14:12-26 / Exodus 20:1-17

I. Sin Stresses and Saddens

A. God gave people an opportunity to demonstrate their discernment; Biblical law shows people how to avoid stress, sadness, and self-destruction. “For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.” (Romans 10:5)

B. The rules and their implications were revealed—God did not hold back secret traps. “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. (Galatians 3:10)

C. The law shows how life works, but it does not show how to repair sin’s damage. “And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.” (Galatians 3:12)

D. God, the Creator, understands the human condition uniquely; He does not succumb to wishful thinking and self-deception. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” (Jeremiah 17:9-10)

E. Ignoring problems may delay facing reality until help comes too late; self-deception works the same way for sin that it does for cancer. “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10)

II. Hope Comes from Heaven

A. When people have learned enough about the nature of life’s problems, it becomes possible to stop self-medicating and seek the one reliable source for relief—Grace. “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” (Romans 10:8-11)

B. People with ears to hear will hear something very comforting to suffering sinners. “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people. Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the LORD thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee.” (Isaiah 55:1-5)

C. In Christ there will be an end to corruption and death; stress, sorrow, and sin will come to an absolute and perpetual end. “And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David.” (Acts 13:34)

D. There are only two options; believe God’s happy promises or, by rejecting them, make God out to be a liar.He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. (1 John 5:10-11)

III. The Scriptures Say:

A. No human failure is too great for God to resolve. “And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.” (Acts 13:39)

B. The blood of Jesus cleans away all sin. “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (1 John 1:7)

C. God neither ignores nor discounts sin, but through the atonement Jesus actually pays for the sins of His people. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1-4)

D. Come to Jesus; reaffirm your faith and claim the promises at His table. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

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