WHY DO PEOPLE NOT TAKE SIN SERIOUSLY; DO THEY NOT FEAR THE CONSEQUENCES?
“THE GREAT ESCAPE FROM SIN”
(The what, how and why)
1. Matt. 5-7: Jesus challenges His audience (us) to evaluate the nature of the kingdom of heaven by continuing to emphasize the righteousness of its citizens (Matt. 5:20).
2. He stresses the heart as the point where sin begins and from which sin defiles the entire person (Matt. 5:21-26).
3. Matt. 5:27-30: Jesus identifies the source and snare of sin, the severity of repentance and the surrender necessary to enter eternal life and escape the suffering of hell.
I. THE SOURCE OF SIN, Matt. 5:27.
A. The Heart, Prov. 23:7; Matt. 15:10-19.
B. The Temptation to Sin: “looks at a woman to lust for her” (5:28).
1. The temptation to sin, Jas. 1:12-16.
2. The sin itself: in both the mind and the body, Matt. 5:28.
a. Lust: a longing desire for, cf. 1 Jno. 2:16; Prov. 6:25.
b. Illustration of King David, 2 Sam. 11:2. “Behold” (“to look upon”, kjv)
II. THE SNARE OF SIN, Matt. 5:29-30.
A. Sin Ensnares, Traps and Enslaves All Who Yield to Temptation, 2 Pet. 2:19.
1. “Causes you to sin” (“offend thee”, kjv): Ensnares you.
2. “…the stick in the trap that springs and closes the trap when the animal touches it” (Word Pictures, A. T. Robertson, on skandalon, Matt. 5:29).
B. The Nature of Sin, Heb. 3:13 (deceitful); 11:25 (passing pleasure); Rom. 6:23 (bondage and death).
1. Sin will always take you farther than you intended to go, keep you longer than you intended to stay and cost you more than you intended to pay! (cf. Samson)
2. Must see the sinfulness of sin! (Rom. 7:13, 7-8)
III. THE SEVERITY OF REPENTANCE, Matt. 5:29-30. (Hyperbole: an exaggeration to emphasize drastic measure needed to overcome sin.)
“It is not mutilating of the body that Christ enjoins, but control of the body against sin. The man who plays with fire will get burnt. Modern surgery finely illustrates the teaching of Jesus. The tonsils, the teeth, the appendix, to go no further, if left diseased, will destroy the whole body. Cut them out in time and the life will be saved.” (Robertson)
A. Do Away with Sin, Rom. 6:6; Col. 2:11; Col. 3:9.
1. Repentance: Change of heart, 2 Cor. 7:10.
2. The fruit of repentance: Changes how we use our bodies, Rom. 6:13, 16-18; Col. 3:5-10.
B. Only When the Sin is Removed Can We Serve the Lord with Our Body.
1. The body is for the Lord, 1 Cor. 6:13, 19-20.
2. Our body will only be a living sacrifice when we first transform our heart (mind), Rom. 12:1-2.
IV. THE SURRENDER OF SALVATION, Matt. 5:29-30.
A. The Crucifixion of Self to Live by Faith, Gal. 2:20; Phil. 3:7-8.
B. The Denial of Self, Lk. 9:23; cf. Matt. 19:10-12.
1. This is where we take the practical, specific steps needed to prevent/guard/protect from sin.
a. Pornography: End access and establish accountability.
b. Drinking: Do not go to places where it is; abstinence.
c. Adultery: Faithfulness, if necessary, celibacy.
2. Suffer in the flesh – cease from sin, 1 Pet. 4:1-2
V. THE SUFFERING OF HELL, Matt. 5:29-30.
A. Sin’s Punishment is Eternal Ruin in Hell.
1. “Cast into hell” (gehenna), Matt. 10:28.
2. The punishment of hell (is not annihilation), Mk. 9:43-44.
a. Unending pain that cannot be relieved.
b. Continual corruption (worm does not die).
c. Fire is never quenched.
B. Purity’s Reward is Eternal Life, Mk. 9:43 (Rom. 2:7).
1. Sin is so serious our salvation required the death of the Son of God!
2. We cannot be citizens of the kingdom of heaven while serving sin in our hearts and with our flesh.
3. Let us cleanse ourselves and perfect holiness in the fear of God, 2 Cor. 7:1.