by Jeffrey W. Hamilton
Text: Genesis 4:1-12
I. Ask a person why they gave into a particular sin and the most common rely is: “I don’t know. I couldn’t help myself.”
A. Losing control in the face of temptation has been around since the beginning.
1. God even warned Cain that he had to master his desire to sin - Genesis 4:7
2. But he killed his brother anyway - Genesis 4:8
B. The fact that God told Cain to master his desire means it was possible for Cain to not sin. He had the ability to control himself.
II. Three promises - I Corinthians 10:13
A. Nothing we face is unique to us
1. I cannot claim that no one understands what I faced
2. The implication is that if you were in my shoes, you would have given in too.
B. Nothing we face is too strong for us
1. God limits the temptations Satan gives us
2. I cannot claim that I was overwhelmed and had no control
3. The implication is that I’m not responsible for my actions. A contradiction of Ezekiel 18:20
C. Nothing we face gives us no choice
1. Satan can’t box us in so that every choice involves a sin
2. I can’t claim I had to sin
3. The implication is that I picked the least of the possible sins before me.
D. John Calvin taught that God is so Sovereign that He had decided every decision before the founding of the world.
1. In Calvin’s view no man can come to God unless God had chosen him to come
2. But the inverse is also a part of Calvinism. It would mean that everyone who sins does so by God’s decree
a. A contradiction of James 1:13
3. Did Cain have no choice but to kill his brother? If so, then why did God tell him he must rule over sin?
4. Clearly Calvin’s teachings contradict the Bible
III. Is God expecting too much?
A. God’s commands are within our abilities to follow - Deuteronomy 30:11-14
B. God’s commands are for our good - Deuteronomy 10:12-13
C. But the idea that man must sin creeps into our teachings.
1. “In what sense was the law weak and faulty? Primarily because of its demands and man's inability to live up to them. … But the justification which the law sought was never realized due to man's inability to accomplish what it demanded of him. … No man could do the 'all things' which the law demanded, therefore no flesh could be justified by the law. … The fault was in man and his weakness and inability, not in the law per se."
2. Yes, everyone sins - Romans 5:12
3. To say we are without sin is a lie - I John 1:8, 10
4. But we can’t lose sight of the fact that at every step of the way, we had the ability to keep the laws of Christ, but we all fail at times.
5. There is a different between “We all do sin” and “We all must sin”
IV. The need for self-control
A. Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit - Galatians 5:22-23
B. It seems straight forward, but in the face of temptation, the urge to sin is so strong!
1. But making decisions based on feeling is a recipe for disaster - Proverbs 28:26
2. We have to face the fact that when we sin, it was due to nothing more than our choice to break God’s word.
V. The preaching of the Gospel is a three-fold task - John 16:7-13
A. Convict the world of sin - John 16:9
1. People must face the fact that they sin
2. Yet we have people who think that all we have to do is teach about Jesus. But to teach about Jesus must include the fact that he died upon the cross and until a person realizes that it is his sins that Jesus died for, there is not meaning to the cross
B. Convict the world of righteousness - John 16:10
1. There is a way to live without sin. There is a way to please God. There is a way to be forgiven of sin and become righteous - Ephesians 2:1-10
2. Jesus came to destroy the works of the Devil - I John 3:8
C. Convict the world of judgment - John 16:11
1. Satan has been judged and we will be judged.
2. Judged according to our deeds - Romans 2:5-8
D. A person not convicted of sin, righteousness and judgment cannot truly become a Christian
E. What about you? Will you rule over sin or will it rule over you? - I Peter 4:1-3
F. Jesus has given you a way, if you will but submit to him