Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Isaiah 6:1 – 7
What happens when you meet Jesus

I. God intends a “double cure.”

A. Human existence is marked by a tendency toward sin an sinful action.

1. Isaiah is a prophet (representing God to the people) and a priest (representing the people to God).

2. It is in his role of representing people to God that God meets him.

B. You can train the mind and body (it is called discipline).

1. Discipline is necessary in life, but it does not cure the sin problem.

2. Unless we get to the underlying CAUSE of the behavior, discipline goes only so far.

II. Humans are “bent.”

A. NIV = “guilt,” KJV = “iniquity. The Hebrew word is used 220 times in the Old Testament.

1. The word means “evil bent” (think “being crooked,” like a stick).

2. The word does not mean sinful action, it refers to the “sin nature.”

B. This “bend” is our guilt.

1. It is the reason we are guilty.

2. It is a SPIRITUAL illness that can be cured only by Jesus.

C. There are emotional consequences and problems that come from being “bent.”

1. We can become hypocritical liars. (See 1 Timothy 4:2)

a. This condition makes us unable to feel/hear when God is speaking or working.

b. We teach this to others.

2. We cannot help ourselves. (See Hebrews 9:9)

a. No ritual, not amount of ritual can clear this guilt.

b. This guilt comes from a deeper reality (the “being bent”).

3. The weight of guilt can be overwhelming (See Psalms 38:4).

a. It is estimated that 30% of Americans are clinically depressed.

b. Physical pain.

c. Wounds that do not heal properly.

d. Lack of energy.

D. Admitting to the guilt a big step.

1. Jesus paid the price we could not pay.

2. Admit to the action and the bend that leads to the action.

3. Ask for forgiveness.

III. God wants to clean us.

A. NIV = “taken away,” KJV = “purged”

1. The Hebrew word literally means “to cover” and occurs 100 times in the Old Testament.

2. Sin and that bend toward sin is like “scratch and dent.” (We are forgiven but still damaged.)

B. Through Jesus we are forgiven (or debt covered).

1. However, the experience is still there.

a. We remember and it hurts.

b. We are reminded and it hurts.

2. On the other hand, God does not remember them.

IV. God wants to free us.

A. God wants to free us from the control (addiction) of that bend.

1. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

2. God does not take that nature away from us (John Wesley) but we are free to live “above” sin.

a. Wesley put it this way, “Sin remains but does not reign.”

b. In other words, there is a constant struggle. (Be honest about this!)

B. There is value in “struggle.”

1. Sometimes God allows us to struggle with the consequences of our (and others) sin.

a. We cannot control what happens to us but we can control how we react to it.

b. When we do inflict ourselves and others with the consequences, it reminds us to trust God’s kindness.

2. Sometimes God allows us to struggle and suffer in trial or temptation.

a. It keeps us from pride.

b. It keeps us to busy to fuss over the dust in someone else’s eye.

c. It teaches us absolute dependence on God.

d. It ultimately makes us stronger.

3. Paul noted this struggle in Romans 7, then came to this conclusion: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” [Romans 8:1]

a. We feel the pain and desperation of our struggle.

b. This drives us to depend on the mercy and kindness of God.

c. Which inspires us to bring our life in line with that mercy and kindness, with God’s help.


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