A Look At The 7 Deadly Sin #2
A Christian has not lost the power to sin, but the desire* to sin.
*“I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies, for the hardest victory is over self”
Romans 6:1-2 (NIV) – 1What shall we say then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?
By Pastor George Lehman
When you allow willful SIN – pet sins, habitual sins to operate in your life and you don’t actively start doing something about getting rid of it or laying it down, you will not effectively live “The Higher Life”.
Jesus described 2 lives:
Matthew 10:39 (Ampl) - Whoever finds his (lower) life will lose it (the higher life), and whoever loses his (lower) life on my account will find it (the higher life).
- Seven deadly sins; Seven steps to God’s support. (God wants us to live in Victory)
- These “7 deadly sins” were described by Pope Gregory the Great in about AD1500 years ago - Pride, Envy, Anger, Gluttony, Lust, Greed, Sloth. (I believe they are more active today than they were 15000 years ago – Last Days!!!)
Revelation 22:10-11 (NIV) – 10Then he told me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, because the time is near. 11Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue to be vile; let him who does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy.”
- When we read the Bible, it’s clear that “SIN” describes a pattern of life that can be destructive.
- It can destroy: You! Your family, friends, joy, peace of mind, love, growth in Christ and most importantly your relationship with God.
Jesus died so that we can live a life that has victory over “Sin”.
Hebrews 9:27-28 (Ampl) - And just as it is appointed for [all] men once to die, and after that the [certain] judgment, Even so it is that Christ, having been offered to take upon Himself and bear as a burden the sins of many once and once for all, will appear a second time, not to carry any burden of sin nor to deal with sin, but to bring to full salvation those who are [eagerly, constantly, and patiently] waiting for and expecting Him.
*Sin is a Burden.
- Last week we looked at how the SIN of Pride and Envy destroys our lives. We continue to look at…
#3 Anger - *Vyandigheid
Anger = Rage, fury, a strong feeling of grievance and displeasure; uncontrolled temper, annoyance, *hostility. If coupled with hatred, this becomes murder.
Various forms of anger shown in the Bible:
- Indignation [verontwaardigheid]: Is anger when seeing something appearing unjust
- Wrath: Burning anger wanting to take revenge. Normally expressed outwardly.
- Fury: Fiery anger. So fierce that it can destroy common sense and any logical reasoning.
- Rage: Blazing anger. Loss of self-control, violence temporary insanity.
1 John 3:15 (Ampl) - Anyone who hates (abominates, detests) his brother (in Christ) is (at heart) a murderer and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding (persevering) within Him.
Story of Charles Roberts (02/10/2006):
At 32 years of age, a truck driver at 03:00 in the morning had a brief rest. That night he wrote a letter to his wife. Looking back on the death of his premature daughter some years before, he wrote the following: “I am filled with so much hate – hate towards myself, hate toward God and unimaginable emptiness. It seems like every time we do something fun, I think about how Elise wasn’t here to enjoy it with us and I go right back to anger.
That next morning, he dropped his children off at the school bus, took his automatic pistol out and walked into an Amish school in Pennsylvania and shot five small girls dead, injured 5 others and then turned the gun on himself.
Anger can be deadly. Not all anger can lead to a sad story like this, but it all starts with anger!
Do you want some really good Christian advice on anger?
Be ruthless with it before it takes deep root. Stop nursing it, rehearsing and cursing
Ephesians 4:26-27 (Ampl) - When angry, do not sin; do not ever let your wrath (your *exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down. Leave no [such] room or foothold for the devil [give no opportunity to him].
- In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus says something shocking to those of us who feel rather pleased with ourselves - that we may never have committed any bad sin like murder.
Matthew 5:21-26 (Ampl) - You have heard that it was said to the men of old, You shall not kill, and whoever kills shall be liable to and unable to escape the punishment imposed by the court. But I say to you that everyone who continues to be angry with his brother or harbors malice (enmity of heart) against him shall be liable to and unable to escape the punishment imposed by the court; and whoever speaks contemptuously and insultingly to his brother shall be liable to and unable to escape the punishment imposed by the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, You cursed fool! [You empty-headed idiot!] shall be liable to and unable to escape the hell (Gehenna) of fire. So if when you are offering your gift at the altar you there remember that your brother has any [grievance] against you, Leave your gift at the altar and go. First make peace with your brother, and then come back and present your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way traveling with him, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. Truly I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last fraction of a penny.
Psalm 37:8 (NLT) – Stop being Angry! Turn from your rage. Do not lose your temper – it only leads to harm.
- Anger is a dangerous thing for us humans. It deceives us into thinking that because we are in the right (and we may well be) our anger is justified.
- If our anger is justified, well then, we can express it how we like or however it comes out.
Romans 12:18-20 (Ampl) - If possible, as far as it *depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for [God's] wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay (requite), says the Lord. But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head.
*Your willingness – You limit it or you enable it.
Anger can be expressed in all kinds of different ways:
- Violently or
Then why not express it … gracefully…? We have the ability to do it.
Proverbs 19:11 – “Sensible people control their temper, they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.”
2 things happen:
- We heap burning coals on (our enemy’s) head and confuse them.
- The cycle of violence is broken. Graciousness and generosity are much more likely to draw the sting out of the situation and replace it with peace.
Jesus is our ultimate example. We have been empowered to live the same life.
1 Peter 2:23 (Ampl) - When He was *reviled and insulted, He did not revile or offer insult in return; (when) He was abused and suffered He made no threats (of vengeance) but He trusted (Himself and everything) to Him who judges fairly.
*Criticized in an angry way
This is Higher Life living. God wants us to master anger, not give in to it!
#4 Gluttony [vraat / gulsigheid]
Simply put, gluttony is the act or practice of overeating and drinking to excess.
Proverbs 23:21 (NIV) – For drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.
Proverbs 23:2 (NIV) - … and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.
- I suppose it’s hard for us to think of gluttony in the same light as pride, envy or anger.
In the 14th century, gluttony use to head the list as the worst of all the 7 deadly sins.
Unless we first tame the enemy dwelling within us, namely our gluttonous appetite, we have not even stood up to engage in the spiritual combat. Pope Gregory
The latest statistics show that 65% of all professing Christians are overweight. Think of how it can get out of control. Between the age of 20 and 50 the average person spends about 20 000 hours (over 800 days) eating.
It’s about eating to live. Not living to eat.
Defining gluttony, like all the other 7 deadly sins, it has to do with our heart attitude.
It’s all about self-indulgence[self bevrediging] and self control.
Paul spoke about this:
Philippians 3:17-19 (Ampl) - Brethren, together follow my example and observe those who live after the pattern we have set for you. For there are many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, who walk (live) as enemies of the cross of Christ (the Anointed One). They are doomed and their fate is eternal misery (perdition); their god is their stomach (their appetites, their sensuality) and they glory in their shame, siding with earthly things and being of their party.
- It’s about harming the most precious possession you have… “your body”!
1 Corinthians 6:19 (LB) - Haven’t you yet learned that your body is the home of the Holy Spirit God gave you and that He lives within you?
1 Corinthians 3:17 (LB) - If anyone defiles and spoils God’s home, God will destroy him. For God’s home is holy and clean and you are that home.
- The Higher Life – Christianity, comes with discipline and self-control.
What’s the answer? It’s not dieting but fasting (which is a God idea).
We don’t fast because food is a necessary evil and we should not as humans eat at all.
Fasting serves as a means of keeping food in its proper place.
In 2006, for the first time, the number of overweight people in the world (1,000 million) overtook the number of malnourished people (800 million). First-world gluttony is scandalous when related to third-world poverty and hunger.
But overeating is not the only way of abusing food. Obsessing about quantities is also a sign of bad inner health. Bulimia and anorexia are not as common as obesity, but they still blight the lives of around 10% of college-age girls in the USA, and in the UK 2 in every 100 school-age girls suffer from some kind of eating disorder. Anorexics reject food and hence reject life. Bulimics both accept and reject food, knowing they have real needs, but feeling they have to push those needs away. Compulsive eaters are typically needy for affection, people or stimulation. Some people veer between all 3 in a cycle of food-related distress. Suffering from anorexia, bulimia or a compulsive eating disorder are not sins as such, but they are an indicator that something is deeply wrong. Food is not a neutral thing, and in some complex way, our attitudes to food are all bound up with our spiritual and emotional health. This begins to reveal to us the reasons why Christianity has found gluttony to be a sin.
Our deepest needs are not met by food; but by fellow-shipping with God. Jesus said “You can’t live by bread alone but by every word of God.”
Romans 8:8 (Ampl) - So then those who are living the life of the flesh [catering to the appetites and impulses of their carnal nature] cannot please or satisfy God, or be acceptable to Him.