Comparing Sinners and ChristiansBro. David Chancellor
9/14/2003 11:00 AM
2 Timothy 3:2-4
For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
Paul describes a condition that is found in much of humanity. He describes the condition of the heart of man in sin. Most emphasize the last days part of this verse. We want to see the picture of the condition of the heart of man. Sin is characterized by loving oneself. People in sin are wrapped in self, which leads to covetousness, boasting, and pride. Pride and blasphemy go together. When youre lifting up self, youre putting down everything else. Disobedient to parents This often goes from disobedient to parents to lawless. A sinful person is often unthankful. When self is crossed, unthankfulness comes to the top. When self isnt in the way anymore, youll find thankfulness to be easy. Sinfulness is unholy; theres no purity about it. Without natural affection You cant love the people you would normally love, because self gets in the way. Trucebreakers When you see this at a national level, you know that on an individual level they wont keep their word. False accusers A false accuser looks for dirt on other people, even if its not there. This is done to damage the other person in some way. Incontinent People who cant be content. People today glory in being fierce and hard to get along with. People who love themselves have a problem with those that are good. It exposes them for what they are. They despise (or look down on) those that are good. Traitors Someone who is disloyal or who is a hypocrite. We want to be someone who can be counted on. Heady and highminded An intellectual sinner, someone who thinks the Bible is foolishness. This describes how men are in sin. Lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God People who want to do what feels good. You dont necessarily have to have the whole list. Its living with self in mind. We want a picture of what a sinner is, so we can compare it to a picture of a Christian and see if they look alike.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Lover of self vs. Seeketh not her own; Boasters vs. Charity vaunteth not itself (or doesnt promote self); Pride vs. Is not puffed up; Disobedient to parents vs. Doth not behave itself unseemly. Theres a significant difference. Theyre opposite ends of the spectrum. Fierce vs. Not easily provoked; False accusers vs. Thinketh no evil; Despisers of good vs. Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in truth. The sinner and the Christian are as far apart as they can be. How will you get from the first picture to the second one? Turning over a new leaf wont work because its such a radical difference. The psychiatrist wont get you there. It leaves you like you are. So, how do you change?
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
The message here says that by the blood of Christ and his work, you can become a new creature. This is the only way you can change. You cant make yourself into a Christian. Something has to change for you to go from being a sinner to being a Christian. You can be changed by the blood of Christ, and quit serving self and start serving God. Jesus was showing Nicodemus the need of being a new creature. You cant just add religion to the old creature and expect things to change.
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
Were justified by faith, our sins are forgiven, our guilt is washed away, and the love of God comes in by the Spirit of God. A new life comes in. There cant help but be a change when theres a new creature. This is offered to every man. Its provided for every soul. Sinners have been like the picture in Timothy for a long time. The trouble is that people think they can be like this and be a Christian, too. They think its ok to be that way. The blood of Christ makes a change in the life. The peril is that if you settle for less than what God has, youll miss out. You can be a new creature. The life of sin is a reproach. Its sad and miserable. Its not just that youll be eternally lost if you go this way, but that youre also cheated out of many good things in this life. People bound by sin are some of the most miserable people there are. Theyre cheated by the devil. The Christian suffers things, but can still find happiness, because of what God has done in the heart. Jesus offers you the opportunity to be changed.