Following In The Footsteps Of Faith Series Sermon # 13
SIN AND THE SAINT OF GOD
Intro: Ill. The context. These verses portray a horrible failure in the life of
one of God's choice servants. If you remember Abraham's journey down in
to Egypt in Genesis 12:10-20, you will notice some similarities between this
event and that one.
It is never pleasant to see failure in the life of one of God's children. But,
I am thankful that God did not sweep Abraham's sin under the rub. I am
grateful that He saw fit to record the event in the pages of Scripture. I am
grateful because, like Abraham, I struggle with sin. Sometimes, I struggle
with the same sins over and over, as I am sure you do too. What we need
in the midst of our struggle is some encouragement! What we need is the
blessed assurance that we have hope in the midst of our failures!
This passage offers that hope to our hearts this evening! It may seem
like a passage of darkness, gloom and failure, but in reality, it is a passage
filled with hope and help for you and me. I want to point out a few principles
that are contained here that speak to your need and mine. I want to preach
for a while on Sin And The Saint Of God.
I. SIN DOESN'T HAVE AN EXPIRATION DATE
A. Remember that Abraham is 100 years old when this event occurs.
When he did this same thing in Genesis 12, he was just beginning
his walk with the Lord. Here, he should be at the height of his
maturity as a believer. Notice also that this is a sin he has carried
with him for many decades, v. 13.
B. For us the point is clear: there will never be a time when we will
be beyond falling! Therefore, we need to avoid some of the
mistakes that Abraham made.
1. Never stop trusting God to take care of you - Why was
Abraham there in the first place? Well in Gen. 12, he went
because of a famine, not believing that God would take care of
him. This time, we are not told why he went, but my opinion is
that he was getting away from Sodom and Gomorrah. He
probably thought that all the area would be burned up. (Note:
When we come to the place where we no longer trust the Lord
to meet our needs and to get us through the trials of life, we are
headed for disaster!)
2. Never put yourself in the place of temptation - Abraham had
a fear that some man would kill him so that he could have Sarah.
When he felt this fear, he was inclined to lie to save his hide, not
believing that God would be able to take care of him. (Note: Only
a fool subjects himself to temptation's lure and believes that he
will walk away unharmed! If you know that you have a problem
in a given area, you are foolish to place yourself in a position to
be tempted! When temptation comes, you and I need to be like
Joseph: Run! - Gen. 39)
C. Friends, we must never let down our guard! May we never come to
think that we have arrived at a place where we cannot sin, or where
we are free from the temptation to commit a particular sin. As sure
as you let down your guard, you are headed for trouble, 1 Cor.
10:12! As long as you live in this flesh, you will never be safe!
II. SIN CANNOT OVERCOME GRACE
A. Even though Abraham is clearly out of God's will at this time in his
life, he is still enjoying the Lord's blessings! That may mess up our
theology, but it is still true! You see, even when Abraham is in a
place of his own choosing and is not doing what God asked him to
do, he is still being blessed by the Lord. Notice the blessings that
came his way:
1. He Forgave Him Of His Sins - Implied in verse 17
2. He Protected Him From Harm - v. 2-9, 18
3. He Blessed Him Financially - v. 14-16
4. He Used Him For His Glory - v. 17
(Note: This same principle is witnessed in the life of Elijah - 1 Kings
B. What does this teach us? Simply the truth that who we are in
Jesus cannot be invalidated by our sin! We all know that God
chastens His children - Rev. 3:19; Heb. 12:6-12. However, how
many of us could testify to the truth that there have been times when
we were miles away from the Lord and He still blessed our lives!
What is this? Nothing less than our grace! This just serves to remind
us that God deals with us on the basis of who we are rather than on
the basis of what we do! (Note: This does not give us a license to
sin! After all, the redeemed sinner is going to want to serve the Lord
and will not rest until things are right between them and the Lord. It
is also true that after a while God will deal directly and completely
with the sin that resides within His children's hearts.)
C. Thank God, even our sin is unable to separate us from the love we
have in Jesus Christ - Rom. 8:38-39!
III. SIN CANNOT DERAIL GOD'S PLAN
A. When Abraham left the promised land to enter Gerar, he placed the
plan of God in jeopardy. You see, God had promised to send the
promised seed within a year, Gen. 18:10-14. Abraham showed very
poor judgment! If Abimelech had been allowed to sleep with Sarah,
it could have short-circuited God's plan. Of course, the Scriptures
tell us that God prevented anything like that from taking place!
Another problem is the fact that Abraham is the sole
representative of God Almighty, v. 7. He has been commissioned
to be a blessing to all the families of the earth. Instead of being a
blessing and a witness for God, Abraham's life could have been a
hindrance to prevent Abimelech from coming to God. However, in
spite of Abraham's sin, God spoke to Abimelech and dealt with him
anyway, v. 6-7.
B. Regardless of what we do, God's plan will be accomplished! For too
long, preachers have tried to keep the people of God in line by using
fear tactics against them. the saints have been told to live right or
God can't bless, He can't work and He can't save souls. Many have
been told that they have sent others to Hell by the lifestyles they live.
Well, I just want to set the record straight this evening! You cannot
hinder God from doing His work! You might miss out on the blessing
of being a part of what He is doing, but God will accomplish His will
in the church and in the world whether we cooperate or not!
And, another thing, you cannot "send anyone to Hell". Men go
to hell when they refuse to receive Christ as their Savior and nothing
you or I do can cause them to do that or prevent them from doing
that! That may not be what you have heard all your life, but it is still
the truth! Our job is to warn them and to live right before them, but
the decision they make in the end in their's and their's alone, Eze.
C. Did you know that Abraham's sin should have shamed Abraham?
But there is no indication that he ever acknowledged it or repented
of it! Much like many in our world today! But, think about this:
Abraham's sin was used as testimony to the greatness of God.
Abimelech would have never known that God was a God of mercy,
grace, forgiveness and restoration if that old saint had never fallen
into sin! But, because he did, God was able to demonstrate His
power through forgiving and restoring Abraham by grace. (Note:
This is not an excuse for sinning! It is just a reminder that our sin will
not stop God from saving folks. People need to know that our God
is a God Who saves and keeps through grace not works!)
IV. SIN WEARS THE EMPERORS CLOTHES
(Ill. The story of "The Emperor's New Suit". Sin is just like that. It
attempts to camouflage itself, but it never realizes that its camouflage is
flimsy and transparent. In fact, everyone can see through it, except the
A. When Abraham is confronted by his sin, he does not repent, but
instead he offers up excuses. Here they are. They aren't much, but
they are the same ones people still use today.
1. He Claimed That He Had Acted Out Of Fear - v. 11 - It wasn't
fear that caused this terrible event, it was a lack of faith!
2. He Twisted The Facts - v. 12 - Sarah was his sister, but she
was more than that, she was his wife!
3. He Hid Behind His Past Failures - v. 13 - He tells the king that
this is the way we have always done it.
Abraham's response to being confronted is to attempt to hide behind
some very flimsy excuses. Like the Emperor, Abraham did not even
realize that he was fully exposed.
B. When we sin and are found out, we always try to make excuses for
our behavior. We will either blame someone else, or we will blame
the devil. We may try to pretend that we didn't do anything wrong.
We may plead ignorance. We may act like we see no wrong in our
actions. There are a thousand ways we can handle sin, but on ly
one way will bring cleansing, restoration and the blessing of God.
Sin must be confessed! It must be dragged kicking and screaming
into the open and it must be exposed for what it is: black, dirty and
wicked! This is God's way - Pro. 28:13; 1 John 1:9.
C. What excuses are you hiding your behavior behind this evening?
Whether you know it or not, everyone already sees it for what it is!
You will never get past it until you can see it for yourself and deal
with it God's way!
Conc: We all battle sin! Some more than others, but we all fight it
nonetheless. The question is, who is winning the battle, you or your sins?
If you want to be free you can be! If you want to be a light to the world you
can be. If you want your life to be blessed and to be a blessing, you can
have it! All it takes is you doing what Abraham refused to do: get before the
Lord and face your sins for what they are! If you do, the Lord will forgive
you and bless you, He will restore you and use you for His glory. Does that
sound good to you? If you need that kind of help, it is available in Jesus.
You come to Him and watch Him work on your sin problem!