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Choosing not to Stumble in the Darkness

Sermon Summary

Ephesians 4:17-19

 

“Sin has made fools of us all…Sin makes us stupid!”

 

A sinful mind produces sinful results; “garbage in, garbage out.”  Continuing to sin makes your heart hard.  A hard heart makes you callous to the consequences of sin; you begin not to care who you hurt or even if the sin is hurting you.  This callous indifference eventually leaves you as sin’s unsatisfied slave.

 

In this passage, Paul gives an apostolic warning from the Lord to not return to worldly thinking.  The Holy Spirit makes a difference in our thinking, which makes a difference in our walk.  He tells us that we need to become who we are in Christ.  We have the life of God within us, but there is a battle with sin that continues to rage inside us.  It is easy to fall back into the old, futile mindset of the unbeliever.  

 

The ungodly are darkened in their understanding.  It’s not that unbelievers aren’t intelligent; but wrong assumptions yield painful and disappointing results.  False convictions deliver emptiness.  Because the ungodly mind tries to interpret life apart from God, its perception is skewed.  The world futilely looks to things other than God to provide meaning and joy.  Sometimes Christians fall back into this mindset when wrestling with sin; we try to protect our sin by surrounding it with the world’s false assumptions, values and goals, viewing God as a “cosmic kill-joy” who is withholding good things from us rather than believing the truth that He wants to give us the best—pure, unadulterated, lasting joy.  Our idols will always leave us empty.  

 

Those who live a Godless life live as if God doesn’t exist.  They separate themselves from life’s meaning and purpose.  They suppress the truth of God, preferring to deny God so that they can disregard His directions and make up their own.  They harden their hearts by justifying their sin and persisting in it until they have lost all spiritual sensitivity or conscience on the matter.  They continually develop their callous, deepen the rut in which their life is traveling, and develop patterns of thinking that enslave them.  Believing that nothing is as important as that sin, they give themselves over to it, casting away all restraint; but the more they indulge it, the more they crave it and are continually left unsatisfied.  In this way they descend into bondage to their sin.  Eventually they come to hate what they have become and receive no lasting satisfaction from it, but they can’t stop.  

 

Paul reminds Christians that we are not to think like this.  We have a new life in Christ; Paul calls us to live it.  We know God.  We should be spiritually sensitive, rejecting sin because God’s Spirit lives in us and He calls us to greater joy and lasting pleasure.  

 

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