ASKING THE HARD QUESTIONS--PART V
SERMON TITLE: WHY CAN I NOT STOP DOING "X"
SERMON THEME: RELIGION OVER GRACE
HAVE YOU EVER HAD A BAD HABIT YOU COULD NOT SEEM TO BREAK?
17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[a] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
· WHAT IS GOING WRONG? YOU WANT TO CHANGE BEHAVIOR, BUT YOU CANNOT SEEM TO DO IT.
5 FACTORS: IN HAVING THE RIGHT INTENTIONS, BUT WRONG STRATEGY
1) PRACTICAL REASONS 2) EMOTIONAL REASONS 3) RELATIONAL REASONS
4) PHYSICAL REASONS 5) SPIRITUAL REASON
FOCUSING ON THE POLLUTION OF RELIGION AND IGNORING THE POWER OF GRACE.
· IT IS AN ATTEMPT TO PLEASE GOD, WITHOUT GOD.
· TRYING TO CHANGE BY RELIGION AND NOT BY GRACE
II CORINTHIANS 5:17
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here!
GRACE IS WHAT EMPOWERS YOU TO CHANGE
· YOU ARE MADE RIGHT WITH GOD BY THE GRACE OF GOD THROUGH FAITH.
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God
WHAT IS THE WORD OF GRACE IN YOUR LIFE
I) THE GRACE OF GOD BRINGS SALVATION
11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.
· THE GRACE THAT SAVES YOU IS ALSO THE GRACE THAT SUSTAINS YOU.
1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11 “No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
· THE GRACE THAT FORGIVES YOU IS GRACE THAT TRANSFORMS YOU.
II) THE GRACE OF GOD TEACHES GOODNESS.
12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,
· IT IS THE GRACE OF GOD THAT TEACHES US TO SAY NO TO THAT WHICH IS WRONG OR HARMFUL.
25 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.
· RELIGION FOCUSES ON THE OUTWARD, BUT THE POWER OF GRACE IS ALWAYS INWARD.
16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
III) THE GRACE OF GOD GIVES HOPE.
13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
· IF YOU CHANGE YOUR BEHAVIOR BUT YOU DO NOT CHANGE YOUR HEART, THE BEHAVIOR COMES BACK.
II CORINTHIANS 12:9-10
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
· REAL AND LASTING CHANGE IS REFLECTED IN GOD'S GRACE ON THE INSIDE.
CONCLUSION: IT IS NOT ABOUT TRYING HARDER IT IS ABOUT TRUSTING MORE.
20 The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
· ASKING FOR HELP IS NEVER A SIGN OF WEAKNESS. IT IS A SIGN OF WISDOM.