Hello Project Ezra. This week’s suggested reading is Proverbs 6, and the subjects we will address are difficult. As with the rest of Proverbs, the chapters are collections of wise sayings, generally addressing multiple subjects, and it’s harder to find a unified theme within most chapters. I chose two directions from this chapter, one the idea of temptation to sin in the warning against adultery in verses 23 through 35, and the other the hatred of God in verses 16 through 19. Both address issues that I think are very important and need to be handled more carefully then they usually are, not only by the world around us, but within the church as well.
The topic of sin has become a taboo in our day, even in many churches. It’s uncomfortable to think about our own sin, and it’s often more uncomfortable to think about confronting others on their sin. That is largely because sin is not something we can look at from a distance. Our society is in the midst of it, soaked in it. We are so accustomed to exposure to sinful ideas that it’s hard for many people to even identify sin. They don’t think of the icons of our culture as offensive to God. They just are, and the inherent idea of tolerance for other points of view makes it very politically incorrect to disagree with anybody about any personal choice or belief.
We as a society don’t view sin as God does, and as His word commands us to. Even those, like many of you, who love Christ and want to please and worship Him, and who know what sin is, likely have trouble knowing where to draw lines. I certainly do, though I often think that if I could put myself aside more easily and frequently, and try to look around from a more Biblical perspective, I would be horribly appalled and convicted. We should weep over our sin, and over the fate we know awaits those are still lost in it. Hopefully, by the power of the Spirit, we can show a bit of that to those who hear the word this weekend as well.
Secondly, we will be addressing the things that God hates. This is an equally difficult subject to handle well. It is vital that we are careful in presenting it, but that we never compromise on who God is and what He has revealed about Himself. God is a God of love. How can He hate too? Of course, the ultimate reconciliation of these two ideas is at the very heart of Christianity. The ultimate demonstration of the truth of God’s love for His children, and His hatred of sin, is in the cross of Christ. Just as a serious diabetic sees their need for insulin injections to survive, we must show people the symptoms of the disease of sin, and God’s hatred of that sin, so they will see their need of the savior, Jesus Christ.
May God bless you and give you strength and boldness, tempered with humility, as you go out to preach His word today.
All for His glory,
INTRODUCE YOURSELF AND PROJECT EZRA
READ PROVERBS 6
GIVE BRIEF BACKGROUND ON CHAPTER - Wisdom of Solomon, about Solomon, collection of wise sayings, etc. Set the stage.
This chapter tells us about God, our creator, and His attitude toward sin, among other things.
The idea of God, and His definition of sin, can be difficult to talk about, but I want to take a moment to challenge you to think about them.
Consider this: Is your idea of sin the same as God's?
Do you love the things God loves, and hate the things God hates?
God hates sin. In fact, His word says that His eyes are too pure to even look on evil. (Habakkuk 1:13)
But we often love our sin
Proverbs 6 tells us to beware the adulteress, and we should. Sexual sin is horribly damaging.
But adultery is only one of many temptations, of many sinful desires and lusts we must deal with.
Why do we sin? There are many reasons
The most basic is that often, sin is fun.
We live in a sin-cursed world, and have a natural inclination toward sin
Because of that inclination, if there are no immediate consequences, or if we believe we can escape those consequences, we will choose sin almost every time.
Is it fun? Can we get away with it? Then go for it.
In fact, sinful behavior is so frequently promoted in our modern society, that we can hardly recognize it.
But sin does have consequence, often in this life, and always in the next.
Proverbs 6:27 asks "Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned?"
There will be a day when the fire of God's judgment will consume those who choose to remain in their sins and in rebellion against Him.
One of the reasons we are here today/tonight, is because we don’t want that for you. We want to see you turn and live.
REMEMBER TO SHARE YOUR MOTIVES FOR BEING OUT, READING THE WORD. THEY SHOULD BE THE DESIRE TO GLORY GOD, AND THE DESIRE TO SEE PEOPLE SAVED. HUMILITY AND COMPASSION, AND PEOPLE HEARING AND SEEING THEM, IS VITAL!
The Bible tells us that God is not only loving, but He IS love. (1 John 4:8)
But Proverbs 6, and other places in scripture, also talks about God’s anger, hatred and wrath.
Proverbs 6:16-19 says:
There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him:
haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil,
a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.
Psalm 5:5 says:
The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers.
Nahum 1:2, 6 tells us
2 The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord is avenging and wrathful;
the Lord takes vengeance on his adversaries and keeps wrath for his enemies.
6 Who can stand before his indignation? Who can endure the heat of his anger?
His wrath is poured out like fire, and the rocks are broken into pieces by him.
God is a God of love, but not only love. There is more than one aspect to His character.
God’s anger and wrath are real, because God hates sin
A desire for justice is also part of His character.
Psalm 7:11 says God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day.
Do you deserve God’s justice? If you take a moment to look at God’s law, as I have, you will see that you do.
GO THROUGH THE LAW. SHOW OUR GUILT BEFORE GOD
If God is a just judge, then we are guilty criminals, in light of His law.
So we all deserve God’s justice. Does that frighten you? It should.
Fear is not always a bad thing. Like pain, it can be a tool God uses to show us that something is wrong, and that we are in danger.
But is there an escape from that danger? Is there a way for God’s justice to be satisfied?
There are two ways justice will be satisfied. The first is through Judgment.
If we stand before God in our sin, we will be sent to Hell, to serve an eternal sentence.
Hell is a place of eternal fire and darkness, and pain. It is a place where we are separated from all of God’s goodness, and remain under the weight of His wrath.
But there is another way, and way we may have true peace with God.
That is the way He Himself provided, through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.
Jesus, the God-man, came to earth and lived a perfect life, a life we could never live.
Then He suffered and died on a Roman cross, so that sin could be paid for, and justice satisfied.
Though He asked the Father if the cup could pass Him by, He submitted to the Father’s will, and drained the cup of God’s wrath dry.
Then He rose again from the dead, defeating sin and death, and proving who He was
Now He stands as our advocate before the Father.
If you will turn from you sin and turn to Christ, then by that sacrifice your sins will be paid for, and you will be free.
FINISH BY EXALTING THE GLORIES OF GOD IN THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF CHRIST. PLEAD WITH PEOPLE TO TURN FROM THEIR SINS, AND INVITE THEM TO TALK. REMEMBER, YOUR MINISTRY TIME IS NOT OVER JUST BECAUSE YOU’VE FINISHED YOUR MESSAGE. THIS IS WHEN THE REAL WORK OFTEN BEGINS!