Weekend Preview | What Motivates Sin? Part 3- Wicked

By Don Gentry

Christians have a sin problem. We spend most of our life trying to see how close we can get to sin and remain a Christian. It is a horrible way to honor God for the sacrifice that he made. Christ came that he might deliver us from sin! We make a mockery of his sacrifice when we continue to live in the sin that he died to save us from. No wonder the world calls Christians a bunch of hypocrites. We don’t live by what we say we believe. We hold our “get out of Hell card” as if that is what Christ died for, instead of “This is the way to life card” that he gave us access to.

There is a book (other than the Bible) that really changed my life and has helped to guide my passion for Christ. It is The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges. It is a phenomenal book. As we take a look at what motivates sin, I want to reveal that the answer to our sin problem is Holiness. This is a quote from Pursuit of Holiness page 96:

Can you imagine a soldier going into battle with the aim of ‘not getting hit very much?’ The very suggestion is ridiculous. His aim is not to get hit at all! Yet if we have not made a commitment to holiness without exception, we are like a soldier going into battle with the aim of not getting hit very much. We can be sure if that is our aim, we will be hit—not with bullets, but with temptation over and over again.

Jonathan Edwards, one of the great preachers of early American history, used to make resolutions. One of his was, ‘Resolved, never to do anything which I would be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life.’ Dare we 20th century Christians make such a resolution? Are we willing to commit ourselves to the practice of holiness without exceptions? There is no point in praying for victory over temptation if we are not willing to make a commitment to say no to it.”

I don’t know about you, but when I read that I am convicted. Over the years I have spent in ministry, my biggest frustration with those who call themselves followers of Christ isn’t their hypocrisy, but their lack of acknowledgement that we can even do what Christ has called us to do.

15But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do, 16for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 17Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives in reverent fear during your temporary stay on earth. I Peter 1:15-17.

The answer to our sin problem does not lie in trying to fix our sin, instead it is our reliance upon His holiness. Join me Sunday as we continue our conversation on sin!

Weekend Preview | 5 Things I Wish Jesus Never Said: Part 3 – Lust Counts as Adultery

By Chris Denning

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been taking a look at a few things that Jesus said in scripture that can be hard to digest. Often times, we read these difficult passages and either gloss over them, explain to ourselves why He COULDN’T have meant that for US, or find other loopholes to ease our consciences.

I mean, this isn’t a concept that is foreign to us in our every day life. Husbands hear their wives ask them something, yet don’t follow through or even listen. Kids hear their parents ask them to do something, yet nothing happens.

What is the disconnect?
Why do we have the tendency to do this?

In my opinion, it comes down to comfort. We are truly creatures of habit and comfort. If we’re challenged with new information or a new way of thinking, we’re likely to not want to adjust to that. Why? Because we’re comfortable just how we are.

When it comes to the words of Jesus, I think this issue digs down to a deeper level. I believe that we have a hard time taking Jesus at his word because He calls us to something more, something great.

To put it simply, Jesus raises the bar for those who follow Him.

Think about where we’ve been so far in this series. Jesus didn’t just ask us to put him first, he told us to DENY ourselves. Jesus didn’t just say that He has to come before money, he told us that we CAN’T serve both Him and money.

And this week we’ll see that Jesus didn’t just say that lustful thoughts were harmful, but rather that just having a lustful thoughts is the same as committing adultery and prescribes some pretty hefty measures for protecting ourselves from it.

Jesus doesn’t simply inform us, he raises the bar. He calls us to something more. There is a word for this “something” that he calls us to: Holiness.

The word “holy” literally means “to set apart,” and is used a lot in the Old Testament to refer to specific items, places, times and even people for sacramental use. Essentially, to be “holy” is to be set apart for God.

I think a lot of us confuse “holy” for “perfect.” And while the two ideas do go hand in hand, I believe that the life of a Christ follower looks like pursuing Jesus through holiness, by the power of the Holy Spirit, and Jesus extending grace when we fail.

This is why when Jesus raises the bar for those who follow Him, we can trust that He has made a way for us to reach that bar. He calls us to holiness, because the Holy Spirit will empower us and Jesus will extend grace when we fall short.

This weekend, I invite you to join us as we look at the heart of the issue of Lust and talk about some VERY practical things we can do to take Jesus at His word and overcome our battle with Lust.