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The Science of Overcoming Sin - Part 6

David Shin
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David Shin

Pastor, Hillside O'Malley Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Anchorage, AK

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  • March 8, 2020
    4:15 PM
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Our topic today is about self awareness and it's not about social self-awareness or physical self-awareness or emotional self-awareness but about spiritual self awareness how is a Christian to view themselves and what is the healthy sense of self awareness and many times we can get into one of 2 runts when it comes to our Christian experience or even maybe more rights than that but today I'd like to highlight 3 states of self awareness spiritual self awareness that the Bible brings out the 1st 2 are areas that we can fall into very easily in the last one of course is where God desires us to be by his grace and so very quickly in our study to I want to go to the 3 states of spiritual self awareness and the 1st one is I'm not a sinner like everyone else I'm a saint. I'm not a sinner like everyone else I'm a saint in this is quite humorous because most of us are like all i can anyone be like that but here it is this is described in scripture in Luke Chapter 18 Brits 11 the fairest see stood by himself and prayed this prayer I think you God that I'm not a sinner like everyone else for I don't cheat I don't sin and I don't commit adultery and I'm certainly not like that tax collector so here is an individual that is like I've arrived I'm ready for translation a very high sense of his own spirituality and if we're honest with ourselves in our own self reflection it's easy to feel good as long as we're comparing ourselves among ourselves just like when we talked about my teeth look white when it's up against something that's not white. But it's easy to compare ourselves among ourselves I remember in school there were times when our grades would be posted on the wall with our idea number top down and I remember you know. I was a fairly good student studious and so forth I remember going to that to that wall and there were times believe it or not my name was at the top. And I would walk away from that wall and my friend I'd be like what you get on that test. And they'd be like 70 percent I'd be like Oh I wouldn't say it but in my heart in my mind I said Oh what and Neil fight I just mean we are just being honest Oh if there were only like me I'm just being honest and we have certain situations and dynamics where we may be good in something and we look around and we say Oh look I wish that all men be as I am relatively righteousness relative righteousness and as long as we're looking around ourselves comparing ourselves among ourselves it's easy the righteous and so here this fear or c. is standing there and he says God I'm glad you have me I don't do this I don't do this and I do this and I'm like You look next to him and he said I'm certainly not like him spiritual pride this is an area that we can fall into very easily when when we make the focus on others and this relativism that comes into play and this plays out in different aspects you know it's easy to feel good in basketball if I'm playing with a bunch of people that are 5 foot one right I feel good. I'm 5 foot 6. Ok And so here it is actually Apostles page 561562 here is something about self-awareness let the recording angels write the history of the holy struggles and complex of the people of God let them record their prayers but let a kid read today but lead not God be dishonored by the declaration from human lips I am sinless I am Holy Sanctified lives will never give utterance to such perception is words in other words we should never come to the place in our Christian experience to the place where we say you know what. Holy while I haven't sinned in 5 years should be like me. Here it is actually Apostles $561.00 none of the apostles and prophets ever claimed to be without sin think about the implications of that they wrote the Bible never claimed to be without sin men who have lived the nearest to God men who would sacrifice life itself rather than knowingly commit a wrong act men whom God has honored with Divine Light and Power have confessed the sinfulness of their nature they have put no confidence in the flesh they have claimed no righteousness of their own but have trusted wholly in the righteousness of Christ so here's this strange dichotomy about Christian self-awareness is that look we can never come to the place like that fiercely where we say look I've arrived I'm glad I'm not like that person I'm holy I'm saying to fight I've never sinned that's self-awareness. It's actually an absence of self-awareness this person has 0 self awareness and we we have those experiences where we I used to wonder this in high school I thought what if I'm insane and everyone else around me knows it but me has never crossed her mind. Maybe this is to me but this is this is a strange state to be in in other words like everyone else sees it but you and you think that you're incredible and awesome but in actuality that couldn't be further from the truth and so here it is in signs of the times maybe $161905.00 when the conflict of life was ended when the armor is laid off at the feet of Jesus when the saints of God are glorified then and only then will it be safe to claim that we are saved and sinless until Jesus comes and we're given a glorified body we can't say it. The thought shouldn't even cross our minds into this relative righteousness down one to invite you to open your Bible student last book of the Bible Revelation chapter 3 in verse 17 this is the message to delayed to see in church and here is a description of a group of people which is us by the way of 0 self awareness Revelation chapter 3 in verse 17 describing the latest see in church and by the way some people think that later to see a means lukewarm that's a characteristic of latest c.l.a. to see it actually means a people judge to Daniel means God is my judge is a description of God's people the ideal of what they are to live and be in the end of time and so here it is in verse 16 and 17 and on one so then because you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold I will vomit you out of my mouth and look in verse 17 because you say I am rich have become wealthy and have need of nothing and here's the rub and do not know that you are wrench it miserable poor blind and naked Here is an individual that thinks that they are dressed to the nines and we call this insanity nowadays that is dressed with for Saatchi I don't know I'm not into fashion you know all of the latest in the greatest from Paris this person is thinks that they are dressed they have this mental image of who they are and what they're dressed in but they don't know that they're actually naked we call that insanity nowadays I mean if a person was walking around town naked and said please puts in you said please put some clothes on they said what are you talking about I've got the finest clothes in the land if you like look we need to get you institutionalized there's something wrong with you and this is a description of spiritual insanity. An individual a characteristic in the end of time of someone that thinks that they are spiritual that they've arrived but in reality it couldn't be farther from the truth. And notice what the message the latest c. is by from me and I sound that you may see. This is I believe of the 3 conditions the worst one to be in because you don't know your condition it's a level of self deception we think that we've arrived but in reality we are wretched miserable blind and naked so 3 states of spiritual self-awareness the 1st 10 self-awareness I'm not a sinner like everyone else I'm a saint the tendency to compare ourselves amongst ourselves and the focus of the 1st category the state of spiritual awareness is relativism it is to focus on someone else to make themselves feel better you focus on someone that is struggling more than you to say that you're a saint and so it's a relative righteousness the focus is on someone else and the 2nd one is I'm such a bad person there is no hope for me this is On the other side of the spectrum the 1st characteristic or the 1st category is an individual that makes others the ground for their righteousness and the 2nd one is an individual that makes self the focus and quite frankly I think this is one that it is a pitfall for for many of us especially those that are more analytical and perhaps I have a little bit more of a melancholy personality and and look have you ever had real introspection of yourself it's quite depressing honestly. And think about why you really do something. A you can go crazy thinking about it your real motivations and many times we have a coping mechanism that takes place because if we really dive down deep and do true inspiration for a speck ssion as to what our real motives are. Many people can't handle that and so you live a little bit in an alternate reality because you can't see yourself but for those that have the courage to really dive down in our to ask myself David what is the real reason I get up to preach on Sabbath morning that's pretty complex now my standard answer it is for the glory of God preaching the gospel but if I go down really really deep it's kind of like I like to hear spin real pastor that was a great sermon Prescott you know talk about but when you dive down deep it's a mixture it's complicated it's complex even our motivations to do good are have this selfish tinge to them and so if we go inward and if we're honest with ourselves and we really look in the mirror as to who we really are. It's depressing it's scary and so I want to invite you to go to Romans Chapter 7 now there's a huge debate as to whether Roman 7 is debate is converted or unconverted I really don't want to get into that this morning but here it is this is a condition of humanity that we all struggle with in Romans Chapter 7 it describes the internal battle and notice the way that Romans Chapter 7 ends in verse 21324 I find then a law that is evil that is present within me. The one who will to do good for I delight in the law according to God in the inward man but I see another law in my members warring against the law of my mind and bringing me into captivity into the long sin which is in my members so here Paul is having an honest look at himself he's saying look I have all of this split personality I have a part of me that wants to do good wants to do right but I have another part of me that's going the other way and it's a struggle I have motivations that are pulling me a different way and notice the way that he begins to conclude this chapter but I see another law in my members warring against the law my mind and bringing me into captivity into the law of sin that is in my members and look in verse 24 wretched men that I am there's only 2 places where that word Wretched is used in the New Testament it's here and in Revelation Chapter 3 talking about the latest see in church and here is some verse 240 read should man that I am who will deliver me from this body of death and this 2nd category of self-awareness gets stuck in Romans 7 verse 24 that's where we get stuck wretched man that I am there's no hope and I've had conversations even thoughts that cross my mind I'm hopeless ever had that thought cross your mind I'm never going to be saved. You have the starts cross your mind I mean I am I'm so. There's no hope and we get stuck in Rome in 7240 wretched man that I am Have you ever felt that way before just honestly looking at yourself and saying look I'm a wretch. I'm rich and I praise God This is why we need to read the rest of the Bible Ok Because look Romans 724 you camp out there it's a terrible place to be and Category number 2 is a pitfall that we can all fall into you know you to fall into category number one where you're not honest with yourself when you're looking around as a coping mechanism to feel better about yourself comparing yourself amongst yourself to feel better about your lack of righteousness it's a relative righteousness but the 2nd category is you focus inward and you get stuck in verse 24 but praise gone for 25 Look at 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord that's where God wants to move us out of verse $24.00 into verse $25.00 and so we come to the last category or before we do that steps to Christ page 70 so you are not to look to yourself not to let the mind dwell upon self but to look to Christ let the mind well upon his upon the beauty the perfection of his character so we come to the final one and here here it is this is this is where that healthy sense of unworthiness lies here it is in verse 3 are in the number 3 here I'm keeping my eyes on Jesus. And have a healthy sense of my unworthiness now you're like Pastor Where did you come up with that group Isaiah Chapter 6 Isaiah Chapter 6 and here we have a scene in the book of Isaiah where Isaiah see the throne room of God and this is this is sanctuary language let's pick it up in verse one in the 3rd year in the year that King as I had died I saw the Lord sitting on a throne high and lifted up the train of his robe filled the temple above it stood Serafin each one had 6 wings with 2 he covered his face with 2 he covered his feet and with 2 he flew in he cried to one another and said he only holy holy instant a lot of hosts the whole earth is full of His Glory 1st war and the post of the door were shaken by the voice of him and cried out and the house was filled with smoke and so here it is in asea Chapter 6 I say it has the privilege of being ushered in by a vision to the very throne room of God and they are saying surely imagery all over the summer the Ark of the covenant with the with the Serafin about it but he seeing the real thing is so here I see the glory of God is there God is sitting on His throne and a part of the throne room of God are these are these surfin these angels that are hovering above the throne of God shielding Chicana glory and they're crying Holy holy holy there's implications of the Trinity there according to theologians but but here Isaiah is and he seeing the majesty of the God of heaven that's his paradigm of focus right then. The next verse is the universal reaction of everyone. That is seeing God And so here is that tension So Isaiah Chapter 6 verse one through 4 he's seeing God The beauty of who God is and look in verse 5 in that perspective in that encounter seeing the glory of God. And so I said. Oh this one. Is me notice noticed the unique tension of what's taking place in Isaiah Chapter 6 The focus is on God His Kore Jesus the beauty of who God is but in that tension in that focus of that encounter with Deity and divinity there is this sense of unworthiness Amen and so. It's not category number one but it's not Category number 2 either here is that unique tension where we are I say is ushered into the very throne room of God and he's having this experience with divinities and are in raptured by the glory of God and that's where his focus is but the by product of that the the result of his own self-awareness in that in cage mate with divinity is like I'm a sinner I'm a sinner why is me if I'm undone if I do well in the midst of the people of unclean lips wide for my eyes have seen the king the Lord of Hosts. And here you're going to see I think there is about to experience the Gospel then one of the Serafin flew to me having in his hand a live call which was taken with the tongs from the altar and he touched my mouth with it and said Behold this has touched your lips your iniquity is taken away and your sin is pert So he's experiencing the gospel he sees God he senses and on worthiness and he is forgiven and it goes on in verse 8 and I heard the voice of the Lord saying whom shall I send and who will go for us and he says I'll go here am I Send me every person that's experienced the gospel becomes a missionary for the Gospel you're either missionary or you're a mission field. I'm keeping my eyes on Jesus and I have a healthy sense of my unworthiness this is what I believe is Biblical self-awareness this beautiful tension of where the focus of the Christian is on Jesus but the byproduct of that focus is a healthy sense of my unworthiness but praise the Lord he doesn't leave us there to wallow in our wretchedness he brings us to the cross he brings us to the Savior Now I want to read this from Ellen White Bible echo the closer you come to Jesus the bore fatty you will appear in your own 9 days. For your vision will be clear and your in perfections will be seen in distinct contrast with his perfect character being not discouraged this isn't evidence that Satan's delusions are losing their power and so here is is the paradox of the way our self awareness works the more we progress in our Christian experience the closer we come to Jesus the more we appreciate his beauty We're will actually become more like him and more quote unquote holy but our own self-awareness is quite different than what God sees in us our own self-awareness is Lord I'm unworthy I'm imperfect I need Jesus and so the irony of this is that an individual that says look I don't ride in I'm sinless and I'm better than everyone else is farther away from Jesus then an individual that is walking in accordance with him that has a healthy sense of his own unworthiness the closer you come to Jesus the more you have a sense of your own imperfections and this is the thing when we talk about perfection Christian perfection there is never a place in scripture where a person stands up and says I'm perfect but you can see plenty of instances where gone looks down from heaven and says that man's perfect there's a difference God sees new eyes and says look I see perfection there because of the righteousness of Christ. And his merits have been applied to my account but there is no self-awareness of that perfection think of Peter and I remember the story he's out there by the lake and Jesus says Throw your net on the other side in the net fills with fish I mean this is this speaks to a fisherman or a middle of the day the water is crystal clear and blue so he throws it on that side and and he's thinking in his mind Jesus is a carpenter I'm a fisherman but oh well let's just do it so he throws it over there and immediately that that net just fills up with fish and it's about to break and in that moment something happens in the mind of Peter where he recognizes that he is in the presence of God and I want you to notice what he says in fiber say of Luke when p. when Simon Peter realized what had happened he found on his knees before Jesus and notice what he says Oh Lord please leave me I'm too much of a sinner to be around you he has that reaction he's in the presence of God and he says look I'm too much of sin enough the book design of ages paints an interesting picture on page 248246 humanity with its weakness and sin was brought in contrast with the perfection of divinity same thing that happened in Isaiah Peter realizes who he is in the presence of God He felt all together deficient and unholy thus it has been with all who have been granted a view of God's greatness and majesty Peter exclaimed Depart from me if I'm a sinful man and I love this part this last sentence he clung to the feet of Jesus feeling that he could not be parted from him what a beautiful picture that is and so there is the tension. I'll be honest there's moments in my Christian experience I say Lord. I need help and I I'm pretty hopeless messed up and I take comfort in this reality that as long as I keep my focus on Jesus he's going to he's going to take care of the rest of the journey in it and that's what we need to have faith and hope Look we are never going to feel this side of heaven like we've arrived we're never going to feel this side of heaven sinless and perfect then as I said feel you're never going to wake up one day and say who. Translate me now I'm ready you're never going to feel that but by face you can believe in the merits and the righteousness of Christ dip regardless of the way that you feel and that's why it's righteousness by faith because the way that you feel is totally in the opposite direction so you get up in the morning you say listen I feel I know what is it but by faith I claim your righteousness and I walk by faith regardless of the way that I feel and so we're always in this unique tension of getting closer to Jesus but never feeling that we've arrived never feeling that we've gotten there never feeling that we processed the finish line and that's the unique place of the Christian self awareness journey that God always calls us to be in this journey and so I want to I want to encourage you this morning. To walk with him amen regardless of the way that you may or may not feel that day look there's some days I wake up and I don't feel spiritual. There may be a variety of reasons for a lack a Sri toddler or 2 year old a if you don't I mean all of these come into into play I'm not blaming my son this can be odd if you listen to this later but anyway so you and and so I'm just saying there's a variety of physical factors that go into this but look regardless of the way that you feel or don't feel that way doesn't mean that God's posture to you has changed that day faith in feeling or as far as the east is from the west and that's why it is righteousness by faith. By faith. Now let's make it practical we hear this all the time keep your eyes on Jesus turn your eyes upon Jesus what does that mean and the big desire of ages in I got someone asked me to get a copy of this and Ariel if you're here I have a copy just for you that I brought Jan and I can give it to you but we need a word more copies of this because this book changed my life and I want to encourage you to to read the book desire to be just read the Gospels if you want to find out what Jesus is like really don't go to society don't watch the movies to figure it out go to the Bible go to the spirit of prophecy and this is a very easy wonderful read designed ages page 83 and this is how we turn our eyes upon Jesus practically speaking it would be well for us to spend a thoughtful hour each day in contemplation of the life of Christ are you thinking a look of I mean that's a pretty high bar for our We'll start with 10 minutes but start get up that day and I encourage you in your devotional rive don't don't spend your devotional time studying like Daniel 11. Ok in the King of the north now there's a separate time for that or the days. All right in your morning devotional time that should be the time that you're looking at Jesus Ok because we need that focus that centering moment every single day because look if we don't have the I think the chapter 6 experience every single day we're going to fall into one of those pitfalls we're going to approach that day and say look Lord I've arrived I'm certainly glad I'm not like that person I'm going to walk out and say Lord I'm a wretch and I'm depressed when rock out like that but if we have to I say a 6 experience where we see God every single day yes we have a healthy sense of our own worthiness but there is hope so start with 10 minutes we should take it point by point let the imagination grasp each scene especially the closing ones this is not talking about analysis this is talking about right brain thinking Praise God you know I feel like the scientist with all due respect and the engineers have taken over theology it's time for the artists to engage to biblically speaking and here is a biblical right brain reflection on scripture to imagine the scene in our minds because what it does right brain in gauging it takes it from a theory to a person to a person imagine. Imagine the drops of sweat that are blood imagine Jesus turning to the to the to the soldiers and saying Father forgive them for they don't know what they're doing and as we imagine using our right brain that God has given us the right part of our brain the creative imaginative part he says as we dwell upon his great sacrifice for us our confidence in him will be more constant How many of you want that. You want to be confident in what Jesus is doing our love will be quickened and we shall be more deeply imbued with his spear how many of you want that today to say Lord help me to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus let us pray Father in heaven. We thank you that we can have an experience like Isaiah did every single day by reflecting on you and your goodness and your character we can be changed into the same image from glory to glory from faith to faith and from day to day Lord help us not to fall into the rot of thinking that we're better than everybody else how Post not to fall into the rot of thinking that there is no hope for us but help us to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus having a healthy sense. Of our own worthiness but never losing hope bless and keep us to that end for me as these things in the precious name of Jesus Amen amen this media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen more sermon. Visit w.w.w.. Or.

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