"Get Thee Hence" -- Repudiating Sin
by Bob Waldron
Introduction: In becoming a Christian we are accepting God's provisions for dealing with sin. While none of us here would dispute this fact, we must realize that there are two aspects of sin that must be dealt with. First is the guilt of sin. Forgiveness of our guilt is accomplished by the sacrifice of Christ. The other aspect of sin is the practice of it, and that practice must cease. That is what this lesson is about.
I. After the third temptation, Jesus told Satan: "Get thee hence" (Matt. 4:10).
A. I do not know for sure whether Jesus had in mind the passage of Isaiah 30:22 or not, but it surely does fit.
B. The chapter begins with an address to "the rebellious children" (30:1).
C. God proceeds to tell of the blessings that will come to Israel if they will repent and turn to the Lord (30:18-21).
1. One thing is that their teacher will not be hidden any more; their eyes would see their teachers (30:20).
2. As they walked, they would hear a voice behind them saying, "This is the way, walk in it" (30:21). The idea is either, as one moves along through life and faces choices, his teachers help him to make the right choices, or, as one is tempted to go to the right or left, his teachers remind him of the way he is to follow, not turning to the right or to the left (Deut. 4:32).
D. Their attitude is to be that, regarding the silver and gold that overlays the idols, they will throw them away as something totally filthy and shall say, "Get thee hence" (30:22; cf. Deut. 7:25-26).
E. If Eve and Adam had told Satan to "Get out," and if all since had told Satan to get out, then he would have been out of business. We have to be serious about resisting Satan if we are to succeed (James 4:7).
II. We live in a day when great effort is made to excuse whatever sin is committed, whether serial killing, fornication, lying, stealing, or whatever it is.
A. We are told that poverty fosters stealing, so what we need to do is to make sure that everyone has plenty of money.
B. We are told that sometimes a stage in one's development is skipped or neglected, and this is why certain behavior is engaged in.
C. We are told that homosexuality is genetic.
D. We are told that violent crime itself is genetic.
E. All these ideas amount to one thing: they remove responsibility for the practice of sin from our shoulders.
F. The fact is, even if we grant that there may be some tendencies that are inherited, and even if we grant that childhood experiences may adversely affect adulthood, the fact still remains that man is a free moral agent, and that he has a brain that is capable of overriding genetic predisposition and childhood experience.
1. The Corinthians had practiced every sort of sin, but they had also given them up, as had the Thessalonians, and many more (1 Cor. 6:9-11; 1 Thess. 4:3-5).
III. One way is to repudiate sin is to learn to admire and to appreciate God's way (Ps. 27:4).
A. A lot of us first learned something of God's ways from our parents. One of the reasons I have loved and admired my parents is that it was unthinkable to me that they would ever lie or steal.
B. By their example I learned a little about the character of God revealed in Jesus.
C. In Jesus the life of God has been manifested to us so that we can learn the way God would have us live (1 John 1:2-3).
D. We learn that it is by far better for us to steal no more, but to work for what we get (Eph. 4:28).
E. We learn about honorable living.
F. We learn to avoid sexual immorality.
1. People may indulge in fornication as a means of satisfying their sexual desires, or they may indulge in pornography of various kinds.
a. There is no love.
b. There is no future.
c. There is no honor, no self respect.
d. There is only guilt and self destruction.
e. With pornography, there is frustration and distortion, until one's very personality and approach to life becomes a perversion.
2. How much better it is to accept God's way to satisfy these desires, to enjoy the security, the feeling that you have honor and God's approval, you have love, you build a home and society with God's way.
G. There is nothing better for a man or a woman to walk in God's ways (Deut. 6:24).
IV. A common mistake is to go on merrily cultivating our like for forbidden things and merely deny ourselves any partaking of it.
A. It is the very desire we have for a thing that may be used by the devil to make us sin (James 1:13-15).
B. It is this like which may become lust (1 John 2:15-17).
C. Imagine the feeling if you were an Israelite and you were very poor, and you had the opportunity to seize some gold (Deut. 7:25).
D. Notice how Moses said they were to feel about the matter: "Thou shalt utterly detest it" (Deut. 7:26).
E. Therefore it is not enough to deny sin, we must learn to abhor it (Rom. 12:9).
F. How can we learn to detest sin?
V. The main way is to learn the consequences of sin.
A. I have seen men and women weep as the result of sin; I have heard their anguished cries. I have seen blood on the floor, I have seen lives ruined, children destroyed. I have seen kingdoms lost, reputations completely destroyed, churches killed. I have seen illness and death; I have seen wars, and cruelty, and selfishness, bitterness, hatred, and conflict.
B. Even more intimately, each of us has seen his own weakness, has known defilement and guilt.
C. The wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23), separation from God (Isa. 59:1-2), eternal punishment in hell (Matt. 25:46).
D. In other words, the consequences of sin are both temporal and eternal.
E. I have said before that if we could have been able to go back in time to that moment just before Eve and then Adam disobeyed God's commandment; if we had been given the opportunity to tell Eve the long history of tragedies and heartaches that would occur because of sin, surely she would have said, "Then I will never eat this fruit."
F. But each time we are tempted to do wrong we are confronted with our own forbidden fruit. Let us take that moment and consider the consequences of sin as well.
Conclusion: God's promise is that if we resist the devil, he will flee from us (James 4:7). When we are faced with the temptation to do wrong, let us tell the devil, and the moment of temptation to "Get thee hence."
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