Psalm 139:23-24, Who is the biggest sinner you know?

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; 24 And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way."

Introduction

The Bible says that you have died with Christ, and it is no longer you who lives but Christ in you (Gal. 2:20).  If this is so, then why does it seem as though something else is living in us besides Jesus?  Why do we have such a struggle with sin?

Have you discovered that there are still some pretty bad things in your heart?  Maybe you've been praying, and wicked thoughts suddenly pop into your mind.  Or maybe you have a sin or two that you've been battling against for years and have yet to see complete victory over it.

Maybe, like Paul, you say, "So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me" (Rom. 7:21).

You may not like the idea that struggling against sin is and will be a reality for the rest of your life; but the sooner you accept it, the better off you'll be in combating sin.

Nevertheless, there are some things you need to know about yourself, your sin, and what you can do against it.

  1. First of all, you are not alone in your fight against sin.
    1. God is with you and in you.
      1. God is with you--Jesus said, I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matt. 28:20).
        1. Jesus has not left you as orphans.  You are not alone in your struggle against sin.
        2. Remember, "it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13).
      2. God is in you--"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?" (1 Cor. 6:19).
    2. You aren't the only one going through what you are going through.
      1. "No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it" (1 Cor. 10:13).
  2. In order to defeat an enemy, you must know who you are fighting.
    1. We know that the devil goes around the earth looking for people to devour in sin.  But he is not the focus of this sermon.  We are going to look elsewhere--into our own hearts.
    2. Jesus said in Mark 7:21-23, "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, 22 deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness.  23 "All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man."
      1. We need to look no further than ourselves to find the source of evil and sin.
      2. So, I ask you: who is the biggest sinner you know?
  3. As Christians, you need to remain aware of the sinfulness and deceitfulness of your own heart.
    1. Too many Christians think that their sin is excusable because it isn't that serious or because others do it or because it isn't their fault or other such lies.
    2. No sin is excusable, and we must accept the fact that we are sinners and accept the fact that we must resist sin.
    3. But as I said earlier, we are not alone in our fight.  The Lord is in us working out our salvation (sanctification) on a daily basis.
    4. God still takes the issue of sin seriously
      1. This is why he convicts you of your sin and prompts you to turn from it.
    5. James 1:14, "But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust."
    6. Jer. 17:9-10 says,"The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it?  10 "I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds."
  4. And again, "Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; 24 And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way" (Psalm 139:23-24).
      1. Notice that God searches your heart.  Why?
      2. . . . because you cannot even know the depths of sin in your own heart.  Only God can know that.
      3. . . . because sin is deceitful and it hides itself inside of you.  You are not able to fully discern its depths or presence.
      4. . . . because the Bible says that the seat of indwelling sin is the heart.
        1. Mark 7:21-23, "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, 22 deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. 23 "All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man."
    1. Because of our sinfulness, we must ask God to search our hearts and unearth sins that we do not know are there.
    2. We must look into God's word and judge our holiness by its words--not our own.
      1. Therefore, the only way to really know your sin is to study God's word and let the light of His truth expose it.
    3. Also, by asking God to search your heart, you are asking Him to identify sin in you, so you can confess it and resist it.
  5. It is usually our desires that overcome our reason.
    1. You can know that something is wrong in your mind.
    2. But it is your desire to sin that overcomes your knowledge of right and wrong.
  6. The Cross of Christ!
    1. The Lord has taken all our sin upon Himself on the cross and guaranteed us the right to be called His children.
    2. We are guaranteed heaven and eternity with Him.
    3. Your reason, enlightened by the Holy Spirit though the Word of God, can help you gain control over your sins.
    4. Faith in God, confession, accountability all help you resist sin.
    5. Pray that God would search your heart and reveal to you your sin so you can turn from it.

Conclusion

How heavy is sin?  A flippant youth asked a preacher, "You say that unsaved people carry a weight of sin. I feel nothing. How heavy is sin? Is it ten pounds? Eighty pounds?" The preacher replied by asking the youth, "If you laid a four-hundred-pound weight on a corpse, would it feel the load?" The youth replied, "It would feel nothing because it is dead." The preacher concluded, "That spirit, too, is indeed dead which feels no load of sin or is indifferent to its burden and flippant about its presence." The youth was silenced!

2 Cor. 13:4, "For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God.  For we also are weak in Him, yet we shall live with Him because of the power of God directed toward you."

 

 

 

 
 
CARM ison