Gilligan’s Island and the Seven Deadly Sins

January 3, 2016

That’s right, Gilligan’s Island and the
Seven Deadly sins.  Seems like a bit of a
stretch but I thought it would be a fun study for the depths of winter and it
starts next Sunday night at 6:30.

And for many people the one thing that this
fifty-year-old sitcom and a list of sins that was first compiled over 1700
years ago have in common is their lack of relevance to today’s world.   

To make sure we are all on the same page,
because I would suspect that there are folks here who have never watched
Gilligan’s Island and have no idea what the seven deadly sins are, we’ll start
with a brief history of each. 

The first episode of Gilligan’s Island
aired in 1964, but the filming began in 1963, for the record I was three.  The opening scene was actually filmed on Nov
26th 1963 and as the SS Minnow sailed out of the harbour you can
just notice the flag flying at half mast. 
It was just 4 days after JFK had been assassinated and all flags in the
US were at half mast. 

If you don’t know the plot, the SS Minnow
is skippered by Skipper and his first Mate Gilligan and they leave Honolulu on
a three-hour tour with five passengers. 
Millionaire Thurston Howell III, his wife Lovey, the Professor and Movie
Star Ginger Grant and Farm Girl Mary Ann Summers.   When the Minnow hits an unexpected storm they
end up on a deserted island and the show basically chronicles their attempts to
escape. 

The show aired for three years until it was
unexpectedly cancelled in 1967 leaving the castaway’s stranded on the island.  I never watched it when it was originally
aired, we were living in Germany most of that time, but watched the reruns
faithfully after school when I was older.

Is there any one here older than 45 who has
never seen Gilligan’s Island?

Well, now that we have that done, let’s
jump to the seven deadly sins.   In case
you need to have your memory jogged the original list of seven deadly sins
include: Pride, Envy, Anger, Sloth,
Greed, Gluttony and Lust.
 

A few years ago the Vatican newspaper added
seven modern social sins.  These “social”
sins were given as follows: Environmental pollution, Genetic manipulation,
Accumulating excessive wealth, Inflicting poverty, Drug trafficking and
consumption, Morally debatable experiments and the Violation of fundamental
rights of human nature.  

Now without getting picky
the last list makes me feel kind of morally superior, which would of course be
a violation of the number one sin on the original list, the sin of pride.  I just don’t struggle with the new ones.  I mean every once in awhile I might get a
craving to do a little genetic manipulation but on the broad scope of things I
can usually keep that under control.

Not sure that I necessarily
agree with their selection of new “Sins” or even in their decision to modify
the list, but it’s kind of refreshing in an era where some churches are
modifying the list down and redefining some behaviour as not sinful. 

But in relation to original
7 sins, I don’t think there is any one of us who has not at one point or
another struggled with those very things. 
I mean before I became a Christ Follower I didn’t see that list as a
list of sins nearly as much as a set of goals.   

A little background on the Seven Deadly
Sins.  This list is not a biblical list,
that is not to say that the various sins are mentioned or listed in the bible,
but they are never all combined together as one list in the bible.  The closest you might come is Proverbs 6:16-19 There are six things the Lord hates— no, seven things he detests:
haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots
evil, feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who pours out lies, a person
who sows discord in a family. The

The Seven Deadly sins were originally eight
and were defined by a monk by the name of Evagrius Ponticus in the fourth
century.  In that list sloth wasn’t found
but both Sorrow and Discouragement were listed. 
It was Pope Gregory the Great who formalized the list in the 6th
century and it came into popular and common usage after it’s inclusion in
Dante’s Divine Comedy in the thirteen hundreds. 

It seems that through common usage the list
has become accepted as a part of the Catholic Church.  Sometimes they are referred to as Cardinal
Sins and are not to be confused with mortal sins.  To be a mortal sin in the Catholic church
there are three conditions that must be met: 
1. It must be of a grave matter; 2. It must be
committed with full knowledge that it is a mortal sin; 3. It must be committed
with full consent.

And the Catholic Church can also provide a
list of what a Mortal sin is:  Abortion,

Anger, Adultery, Amending the words of the
Holy Bible, Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, (Eternal sin) Carousing, Cowardice,
fraud, Dissensions, Disrespect towards parents, Drunkenness, Enmities, Envy, Factions,
Faithless, lying,

Fornication, Greed, Receiving Holy
Communion while in a state of mortal sin, Idolatry, Impurity, Jealousy, Licentiousness,
Love and practice falsehoods, Male prostitution, Murder, Quarrelling, Sodomy, Sorcery,
Strife, Theft

Wow, I think the only think
they left out was parking in a handicap spot. 
There that fixed it.

It is easy to point a finger at what we
perceive to be “Sin” but the act really is simply a manifestation of sinful
thoughts and attitudes, that doesn’t excuse the action. 

But where does that leave us?  After all the big seven have inspired movies,
books, art and apparently this message. 
But if we focus on the “Seven Deadly Sins” the temptation is “Well I
don’t do any of those things so I must be alright” So this morning we are going
to look at “Sin”.

The very first question has to be:  What
Is Sin?
  In the Maritimes Sin is a
euphemism for bad luck, you know some one says “Bob’s car wouldn’t start the
other day and he was late for work and got in trouble with the boss.” And the
other person says “Isn’t that a sin.”  No
actually it isn’t a sin,  bad luck maybe,
perhaps bad planning but it’s not a sin. 
Sometimes it does work, “Did you hear, Bob’s wife left him for another
man.”  “isn’t that a sin.”  Yes actually it is.  Sometimes you hear someone say “That’s ugly
as sin.” 

I wanted to find out what ugly as sin was
as so I goggled it and got this! (a picture of crocs)

Collins dictionary defines sin as “the breaking of
religious or moral law, especially through a wilful act.” 

While the Old Testament never formally
defines sin the concept is “anything contrary to the known will of God”.   The word used throughout the New Testament
literally means “to miss the mark.”  that
is certainly testified to in Romans 3:23 For everyone
has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 

And James tells us in James 4:17 Remember,
it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.  And I don’t think we’d do injustice to
James’ thought if we said James 4:17 Remember, it is sin to know what you ought not do and then do
it.

Now I am sure that we could enter into all
kinds of legal definitions of sin at this point, is this sin?  How about this?  In it’s simplest definition sin is
disappointing God through our disobedience. 
That’s sin.

The second question then has to be: “Why Do We Sin?”   and that is a good question why do
people sin?  Well the most elementary
answer is “because”.  You see we sin
because that is the nature of the beast. 
Adam was created in the perfect image of God, but when he chose to disobey
God then sin entered the world and God’s image became distorted, not destroyed
simply distorted.  When I was in college
a friend of mine accidentally knocked a photograph of my sister onto the
floor.  In the fall the glass broke, and
while the image of Dianne was still there it was distorted because of the
cracks in the glass.  The same thing
happened at the dawn of time when the first man and first woman chose to
wilfully disobey God’s commandment the perfect image was distorted not
destroyed just distorted.  The legacy
that Adam and Eve have left us with is the legacy of sin.

I’ve mentioned it several times but it
bears repeating, nowhere is original sin more clearly defined then in
children.  Have you noticed that you
don’t have to teach children how to say no, won’t, don’t and other negative
words, but you have to teach them how to say please, thank you and you’re welcome.  Never had to teach a kid how to throw a
tantrum, how to cry how to rebel.  But
kids have to be taught how to be polite, and pleasant, how to obey.

It was through Adam and eve that sin
entered the world and it became their gift to us, along with the punishment for
disobeying God’s will Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin
is death . . .

When Paul gives us a list of specific moral
sins in Galatians 5 he begins by saying these are the acts of the sinful
nature.  The human nature.  But he tells us that they should not be the
actions of someone who is a child of God because he says quite plainly in Galatians 5:19-21 When you follow the desires of your sinful
nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful
pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of
anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties,
and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone
living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

Well then the third question is: if we sin
because we have to sin How Do We Not
Sin?
very frankly it’s impossible. 
You do not have the power to not sin. 
If you are a people and most of you look like you are a people, then for
the very reasons that we mentioned above you cannot not sin.  Even when we try our hardest to please God,
and do all the good things that we could possibly do the prophet Isaiah tells
us in Isaiah 64:6 We are all infected and impure with
sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags.
Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the
wind.

You see a dog isn’t’ a dog because he barks
he’s barks because he’s a dog, and you’re not a sinner because you sin, you sin
because you are sinner.

Well preacher that is really depressing,
first you tell us that we are all sinners then you tell us that because we are
all sinners we are all gonna die, and then you tell us that there isn’t a thing
that we can do about it, thanks bunches you made my day.  Even though it’s true that there is
absolutely no way that you can not sin, don’t forget that if you have been born
again there is a difference, or at least there ought to be, Paul tells us in Romans 7:5-6 When we were controlled by our old nature,
sinful desires were at work within us, and the law aroused these evil desires
that produced a harvest of sinful deeds, resulting in death. But now we have
been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its
power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the
law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit.

Paul talks about our sinful nature in the
past tense, something that used to be but isn’t now. He backs this up in Romans 8:4 when he says He did
this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us,
who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.

You see what we once were
and what we are now should be two different creatures completely, 2 Corinthians 5:17 This means that anyone who belongs to
Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has
begun!  Does that describe you,
has the old gone has the new come? 
Christ tells us in Matthew 6:24 “No one can
serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be
devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

You cannot serve both God and your sinful
nature, either you will hate the one and love the other or you will be devoted
to one and despise the other.  Romans 8:8 That’s why those who are still under the control
of their sinful nature can never please God.

But
How Do We Conquer The Sinful Nature?
  How do We get on top of it?  Galatians 5:24 Those
who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful
nature to his cross and crucified them there.

That statement concerning crucifying the
sinful nature indicates an act of the will. 
The main reason why Christians don’t crucify the sinful nature is that
they don’t want to.  They enjoy the sin
they are dabbling in.  We hate to admit
it but it’s the truth we sin because we want to sin.

Peter Marshall summed it up when he wrote,  “We are too Christian really to enjoy sinning, and too fond
of sinning really to enjoy Christianity. 
Most of us know perfectly well what we ought to do; our trouble is that
we do not want to do it.”

And while we can’t do it by
ourselves the answer is found in Philippians 4:13 For I
can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

You see what we can’t do on our own, we can
do through Christ.  What you can’t do on
you own Christ can give you the power to do. 
And that is in all areas of your life. 
But the decision to obedience to God is a conscious decision.  It’s something that you decide to do.

Falling into sin isn’t fatal, staying in
sin is.  A lady asked an old fisherman
who was standing on a wharf, “if you fell in the water here would you
drown”  “naw” he said “falling in the
water doesn’t drown anybody, it’s the staying under that does the
drowning.”  Falling isn’t fatal but
staying down is. 

Remember the list of sins that Paul gives
us in Galatians 5:19-21?  Do you remember how it ends?  Galatians 5:21 Let me
tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not
inherit the Kingdom of God.

Paul is being very straight forward, if we
live in a sinful manner, that is continuing to sin we will not inherit the
kingdom of God.  No ifs, no ands, and no
buts.    And what it comes right down to
your choice, not mine, not your parents not your spouses, nobodies choice but
yours and yours alone.  You will choose
to serve God, or you will choose to serve your sinful nature.  But make no mistake about it, it will be your
choice. 

You will only commit sins that you are
willing to commit.  Do I see a few raised
eyebrows and detect some doubt among the faithful?  One of the greatest promises of the bible is 1 Corinthians 10:13 The temptations in your life are no
different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow
the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will
show you a way out so that you can endure.

God did not say that we wouldn’t be
tempted, even Christ was tempted.  But
God did say that you would never be tempted by something that you couldn’t
resist.  Our problem is that many of us
are like Augustine who prayed save me God but not yet.  We want to have our cake and to eat it
too.  We want to be Christians, we want
to go to heaven but we want to sin as well. 
We want everything that this life can give and everything the next life
can give.

But God doesn’t want anything less than
everything.  You can’t say this 95
percent of my life is God’s and this five percent is mine.  Doesn’t work that way, not at all.  You don’t plant a garden and then reserve a
corner of it for weeds.  Cause if you do
the little green monsters soon want it all. 
No man can serve two masters.  You
can’t serve God and self.  You can’t
serve God and sin.  You can’t serve God
and the devil.  Because you will either
love one and hate the other or devote yourself to one and despise the other.

If you play with fire you will get
burned.  And if you play with sin you
will get burned.  Remember sin will
always take you further then you want to go. 
Sin will always keep you longer then you want to stay and sin will
always cost you more then what you want to pay.

You will never be sin’s master it will
always be your master.

The Secret   Galatians 5:16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you
won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.

And how do you live by the spirit?  Well probably the first step is to admit that
you can’t do it alone.  As long as you
are trying to live a sinless life by yourself you will blow it can’t be
done.  If you were to go to an a. a.
meeting you would hear people get up and say 
“my name if Bob and I’m an alcoholic, or my name is Alice and I’m an
alcoholic.”  now they may not be
drinking, may not have taken a drink for twenty years but even as a sober
alcoholic they acknowledge that they have a problem with alcohol.  Maybe in church we need to stand up and say
“I’m Denn and I’m a sinner, or my name’s Stefan and I’m a sinner”, that doesn’t
mean that we have to continue to sin, but it does mean that we know who we are
and what we are.  And we can’t do
anything to change the fact that we are sinners.

But the apostle John tells
us in 1 John 2:1 My dear children, I am writing this to
you so that you will not sin.

Catchy isn’t it, I write this to you so you
will not sin.  John goes on to say if we
fall it’s not fatal when he says I am writing this to you so that you will not
sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who
pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly
righteous.

The bottom line is not following a book of
rules, or a list of do nots instead it is being obedient to God.  And he promises that he will give us all the
help we need in being obedient if we want it. 
But it is our choice. 

Because the bottom line is what Jesus said
in John 14:23-24 Jesus replied, “All who love me will
do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home
with each of them. Anyone who doesn’t love me will not obey me. And remember,
my words are not my own. What I am telling you is from the Father who sent me.

That’s right, Gilligan’s Island and the
Seven Deadly sins.  Seems like a bit of a
stretch but I thought it would be a fun study for the depths of winter and it
starts next Sunday night at 6:30.

And for many people the one thing that this
fifty-year-old sitcom and a list of sins that was first compiled over 1700
years ago have in common is their lack of relevance to today’s world.   

To make sure we are all on the same page,
because I would suspect that there are folks here who have never watched
Gilligan’s Island and have no idea what the seven deadly sins are, we’ll start
with a brief history of each. 

The first episode of Gilligan’s Island
aired in 1964, but the filming began in 1963, for the record I was three.  The opening scene was actually filmed on Nov
26th 1963 and as the SS Minnow sailed out of the harbour you can
just notice the flag flying at half mast. 
It was just 4 days after JFK had been assassinated and all flags in the
US were at half mast. 

If you don’t know the plot, the SS Minnow
is skippered by Skipper and his first Mate Gilligan and they leave Honolulu on
a three-hour tour with five passengers. 
Millionaire Thurston Howell III, his wife Lovey, the Professor and Movie
Star Ginger Grant and Farm Girl Mary Ann Summers.   When the Minnow hits an unexpected storm they
end up on a deserted island and the show basically chronicles their attempts to
escape. 

The show aired for three years until it was
unexpectedly cancelled in 1967 leaving the castaway’s stranded on the island.  I never watched it when it was originally
aired, we were living in Germany most of that time, but watched the reruns
faithfully after school when I was older.

Is there any one here older than 45 who has
never seen Gilligan’s Island?

Well, now that we have that done, let’s
jump to the seven deadly sins.   In case
you need to have your memory jogged the original list of seven deadly sins
include: Pride, Envy, Anger, Sloth,
Greed, Gluttony and Lust.
 

A few years ago the Vatican newspaper added
seven modern social sins.  These “social”
sins were given as follows: Environmental pollution, Genetic manipulation,
Accumulating excessive wealth, Inflicting poverty, Drug trafficking and
consumption, Morally debatable experiments and the Violation of fundamental
rights of human nature.  

Now without getting picky
the last list makes me feel kind of morally superior, which would of course be
a violation of the number one sin on the original list, the sin of pride.  I just don’t struggle with the new ones.  I mean every once in awhile I might get a
craving to do a little genetic manipulation but on the broad scope of things I
can usually keep that under control.

Not sure that I necessarily
agree with their selection of new “Sins” or even in their decision to modify
the list, but it’s kind of refreshing in an era where some churches are
modifying the list down and redefining some behaviour as not sinful. 

But in relation to original
7 sins, I don’t think there is any one of us who has not at one point or
another struggled with those very things. 
I mean before I became a Christ Follower I didn’t see that list as a
list of sins nearly as much as a set of goals.   

A little background on the Seven Deadly
Sins.  This list is not a biblical list,
that is not to say that the various sins are mentioned or listed in the bible,
but they are never all combined together as one list in the bible.  The closest you might come is Proverbs 6:16-19 There are six things the Lord hates— no, seven things he detests:
haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots
evil, feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who pours out lies, a person
who sows discord in a family. The

The Seven Deadly sins were originally eight
and were defined by a monk by the name of Evagrius Ponticus in the fourth
century.  In that list sloth wasn’t found
but both Sorrow and Discouragement were listed. 
It was Pope Gregory the Great who formalized the list in the 6th
century and it came into popular and common usage after it’s inclusion in
Dante’s Divine Comedy in the thirteen hundreds. 

It seems that through common usage the list
has become accepted as a part of the Catholic Church.  Sometimes they are referred to as Cardinal
Sins and are not to be confused with mortal sins.  To be a mortal sin in the Catholic church
there are three conditions that must be met: 
1. It must be of a grave matter; 2. It must be
committed with full knowledge that it is a mortal sin; 3. It must be committed
with full consent.

And the Catholic Church can also provide a
list of what a Mortal sin is:  Abortion,

Anger, Adultery, Amending the words of the
Holy Bible, Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, (Eternal sin) Carousing, Cowardice,
fraud, Dissensions, Disrespect towards parents, Drunkenness, Enmities, Envy, Factions,
Faithless, lying,

Fornication, Greed, Receiving Holy
Communion while in a state of mortal sin, Idolatry, Impurity, Jealousy, Licentiousness,
Love and practice falsehoods, Male prostitution, Murder, Quarrelling, Sodomy, Sorcery,
Strife, Theft

Wow, I think the only think
they left out was parking in a handicap spot. 
There that fixed it.

It is easy to point a finger at what we
perceive to be “Sin” but the act really is simply a manifestation of sinful
thoughts and attitudes, that doesn’t excuse the action. 

But where does that leave us?  After all the big seven have inspired movies,
books, art and apparently this message. 
But if we focus on the “Seven Deadly Sins” the temptation is “Well I
don’t do any of those things so I must be alright” So this morning we are going
to look at “Sin”.

The very first question has to be:  What
Is Sin?
  In the Maritimes Sin is a
euphemism for bad luck, you know some one says “Bob’s car wouldn’t start the
other day and he was late for work and got in trouble with the boss.” And the
other person says “Isn’t that a sin.”  No
actually it isn’t a sin,  bad luck maybe,
perhaps bad planning but it’s not a sin. 
Sometimes it does work, “Did you hear, Bob’s wife left him for another
man.”  “isn’t that a sin.”  Yes actually it is.  Sometimes you hear someone say “That’s ugly
as sin.” 

I wanted to find out what ugly as sin was
as so I goggled it and got this! (a picture of crocs)

Collins dictionary defines sin as “the breaking of
religious or moral law, especially through a wilful act.” 

While the Old Testament never formally
defines sin the concept is “anything contrary to the known will of God”.   The word used throughout the New Testament
literally means “to miss the mark.”  that
is certainly testified to in Romans 3:23 For everyone
has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 

And James tells us in James 4:17 Remember,
it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.  And I don’t think we’d do injustice to
James’ thought if we said James 4:17 Remember, it is sin to know what you ought not do and then do
it.

Now I am sure that we could enter into all
kinds of legal definitions of sin at this point, is this sin?  How about this?  In it’s simplest definition sin is
disappointing God through our disobedience. 
That’s sin.

The second question then has to be: “Why Do We Sin?”   and that is a good question why do
people sin?  Well the most elementary
answer is “because”.  You see we sin
because that is the nature of the beast. 
Adam was created in the perfect image of God, but when he chose to disobey
God then sin entered the world and God’s image became distorted, not destroyed
simply distorted.  When I was in college
a friend of mine accidentally knocked a photograph of my sister onto the
floor.  In the fall the glass broke, and
while the image of Dianne was still there it was distorted because of the
cracks in the glass.  The same thing
happened at the dawn of time when the first man and first woman chose to
wilfully disobey God’s commandment the perfect image was distorted not
destroyed just distorted.  The legacy
that Adam and Eve have left us with is the legacy of sin.

I’ve mentioned it several times but it
bears repeating, nowhere is original sin more clearly defined then in
children.  Have you noticed that you
don’t have to teach children how to say no, won’t, don’t and other negative
words, but you have to teach them how to say please, thank you and you’re welcome.  Never had to teach a kid how to throw a
tantrum, how to cry how to rebel.  But
kids have to be taught how to be polite, and pleasant, how to obey.

It was through Adam and eve that sin
entered the world and it became their gift to us, along with the punishment for
disobeying God’s will Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin
is death . . .

When Paul gives us a list of specific moral
sins in Galatians 5 he begins by saying these are the acts of the sinful
nature.  The human nature.  But he tells us that they should not be the
actions of someone who is a child of God because he says quite plainly in Galatians 5:19-21 When you follow the desires of your sinful
nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful
pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of
anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties,
and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone
living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

Well then the third question is: if we sin
because we have to sin How Do We Not
Sin?
very frankly it’s impossible. 
You do not have the power to not sin. 
If you are a people and most of you look like you are a people, then for
the very reasons that we mentioned above you cannot not sin.  Even when we try our hardest to please God,
and do all the good things that we could possibly do the prophet Isaiah tells
us in Isaiah 64:6 We are all infected and impure with
sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags.
Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the
wind.

You see a dog isn’t’ a dog because he barks
he’s barks because he’s a dog, and you’re not a sinner because you sin, you sin
because you are sinner.

Well preacher that is really depressing,
first you tell us that we are all sinners then you tell us that because we are
all sinners we are all gonna die, and then you tell us that there isn’t a thing
that we can do about it, thanks bunches you made my day.  Even though it’s true that there is
absolutely no way that you can not sin, don’t forget that if you have been born
again there is a difference, or at least there ought to be, Paul tells us in Romans 7:5-6 When we were controlled by our old nature,
sinful desires were at work within us, and the law aroused these evil desires
that produced a harvest of sinful deeds, resulting in death. But now we have
been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its
power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the
law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit.

Paul talks about our sinful nature in the
past tense, something that used to be but isn’t now. He backs this up in Romans 8:4 when he says He did
this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us,
who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.

You see what we once were
and what we are now should be two different creatures completely, 2 Corinthians 5:17 This means that anyone who belongs to
Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has
begun!  Does that describe you,
has the old gone has the new come? 
Christ tells us in Matthew 6:24 “No one can
serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be
devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

You cannot serve both God and your sinful
nature, either you will hate the one and love the other or you will be devoted
to one and despise the other.  Romans 8:8 That’s why those who are still under the control
of their sinful nature can never please God.

But
How Do We Conquer The Sinful Nature?
  How do We get on top of it?  Galatians 5:24 Those
who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful
nature to his cross and crucified them there.

That statement concerning crucifying the
sinful nature indicates an act of the will. 
The main reason why Christians don’t crucify the sinful nature is that
they don’t want to.  They enjoy the sin
they are dabbling in.  We hate to admit
it but it’s the truth we sin because we want to sin.

Peter Marshall summed it up when he wrote,  “We are too Christian really to enjoy sinning, and too fond
of sinning really to enjoy Christianity. 
Most of us know perfectly well what we ought to do; our trouble is that
we do not want to do it.”

And while we can’t do it by
ourselves the answer is found in Philippians 4:13 For I
can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

You see what we can’t do on our own, we can
do through Christ.  What you can’t do on
you own Christ can give you the power to do. 
And that is in all areas of your life. 
But the decision to obedience to God is a conscious decision.  It’s something that you decide to do.

Falling into sin isn’t fatal, staying in
sin is.  A lady asked an old fisherman
who was standing on a wharf, “if you fell in the water here would you
drown”  “naw” he said “falling in the
water doesn’t drown anybody, it’s the staying under that does the
drowning.”  Falling isn’t fatal but
staying down is. 

Remember the list of sins that Paul gives
us in Galatians 5:19-21?  Do you remember how it ends?  Galatians 5:21 Let me
tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not
inherit the Kingdom of God.

Paul is being very straight forward, if we
live in a sinful manner, that is continuing to sin we will not inherit the
kingdom of God.  No ifs, no ands, and no
buts.    And what it comes right down to
your choice, not mine, not your parents not your spouses, nobodies choice but
yours and yours alone.  You will choose
to serve God, or you will choose to serve your sinful nature.  But make no mistake about it, it will be your
choice. 

You will only commit sins that you are
willing to commit.  Do I see a few raised
eyebrows and detect some doubt among the faithful?  One of the greatest promises of the bible is 1 Corinthians 10:13 The temptations in your life are no
different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow
the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will
show you a way out so that you can endure.

God did not say that we wouldn’t be
tempted, even Christ was tempted.  But
God did say that you would never be tempted by something that you couldn’t
resist.  Our problem is that many of us
are like Augustine who prayed save me God but not yet.  We want to have our cake and to eat it
too.  We want to be Christians, we want
to go to heaven but we want to sin as well. 
We want everything that this life can give and everything the next life
can give.

But God doesn’t want anything less than
everything.  You can’t say this 95
percent of my life is God’s and this five percent is mine.  Doesn’t work that way, not at all.  You don’t plant a garden and then reserve a
corner of it for weeds.  Cause if you do
the little green monsters soon want it all. 
No man can serve two masters.  You
can’t serve God and self.  You can’t
serve God and sin.  You can’t serve God
and the devil.  Because you will either
love one and hate the other or devote yourself to one and despise the other.

If you play with fire you will get
burned.  And if you play with sin you
will get burned.  Remember sin will
always take you further then you want to go. 
Sin will always keep you longer then you want to stay and sin will
always cost you more then what you want to pay.

You will never be sin’s master it will
always be your master.

The Secret   Galatians 5:16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you
won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.

And how do you live by the spirit?  Well probably the first step is to admit that
you can’t do it alone.  As long as you
are trying to live a sinless life by yourself you will blow it can’t be
done.  If you were to go to an a. a.
meeting you would hear people get up and say 
“my name if Bob and I’m an alcoholic, or my name is Alice and I’m an
alcoholic.”  now they may not be
drinking, may not have taken a drink for twenty years but even as a sober
alcoholic they acknowledge that they have a problem with alcohol.  Maybe in church we need to stand up and say
“I’m Denn and I’m a sinner, or my name’s Stefan and I’m a sinner”, that doesn’t
mean that we have to continue to sin, but it does mean that we know who we are
and what we are.  And we can’t do
anything to change the fact that we are sinners.

But the apostle John tells
us in 1 John 2:1 My dear children, I am writing this to
you so that you will not sin.

Catchy isn’t it, I write this to you so you
will not sin.  John goes on to say if we
fall it’s not fatal when he says I am writing this to you so that you will not
sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who
pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly
righteous.

The bottom line is not following a book of
rules, or a list of do nots instead it is being obedient to God.  And he promises that he will give us all the
help we need in being obedient if we want it. 
But it is our choice. 

Because the bottom line is what Jesus said
in John 14:23-24 Jesus replied, “All who love me will
do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home
with each of them. Anyone who doesn’t love me will not obey me. And remember,
my words are not my own. What I am telling you is from the Father who sent me.