Saved From Our Sin
This week we are focusing on one particular verse from the book of Matthew. I want to look at it in light of our call to make disciples. We are called to share our faith. So we are going to look at this and then talk about how we can better communicate this news with other people.
She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." (Mat 1:21 ESV)
We have spent the past few weeks in the book of Matthew looking at the beginning of Jesus. This helps us understand what Jesus accomplished in his life. This verse helps us see the reason jesus came. It is good news. But what does it mean?
There are a lot of different ways to get into conversations about Jesus. Today I want to take some time to share one with you. If you bump into somebody and are looking for a way to get into a simple conversation I think this is a helpful approach.
A lot of times we are looking for an opportunity to explain how Jesus died for our sins and he takes away the judgement that we deserve for sin. Most people today do not feel guilty for things they have done. Guilt is not a big factor and few have a sense of judgment. Older generations probably had a greater sense of this.
But everybody has problems don’t they. Have you recently had someone sharing about their struggle to have all their sins forgiven? Have you ever heard somebody complain about how hard life is, how hurt they have been, how things don’t seem right? Well, those moments are opportunities to tell others about Jesus. People are hurting and they need hope and guidance.
For today’s message I have borrowed it from NAMB and their evangelism department. It is an evangelism resource they have made available, and I want us to use some of the best resources out there and this is one of them.
The approach is easy to remember and simple to use. It involves using three circles and hopefully this will help you and you can walk others through this in simple conversation or even sitting down with a napkin to explain the good news of Jesus Christ.
A tool to help us share the gospel with people we talk to everyday. Turn convestations of life into conversations of Jesus.
You may start off asking them how they are handling the situation. How are you handling the divorce? I know that can take every ounce of your hope. HOw are you staying encouraged? Finances can be so stressful. What is guiding you to get to a place of greater peace?
CAn I share with you how my hope in Christ guides me? It is what gives me the greatest hope and encouragement so to me its the best way to encourage you.
The first place to begin is
- God’s Design
The world didn’t happen on its own. It was designed by God. If it is designed then it has purpose. God’s design means that you have purpose. That there is a way things should work.
God has a good design for every single area of our life. Money, family, work, relationships.
Since God designed these and us then we should look to him in all that we do. He is the King, the creator, the Ruler of all things.
We are created in his image. We are to image him, to reflect him. Part of imaging him and reflecting him is that we follow what he says. We obey his commands.
And yet there is something about us that wants to go our own way, makes us what to go against God’s design. We have a rebellious nature. The word for this is sin. We have a sinful nature.
Sin is anything that goes against God’s command. We sin in thoughts, attitudes, actions. We do this. And so does everyone else.
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Rom 3:23 ESV)
We all sin. We all disobey. No one is perfect. And when we go against God’s design then we experience consequences for our actions. A word to describe this is...
We live in a broken world. This world is under judgement for turning against the creator. When you use something other than the purpose it was created then problems occur.
A few weeks ago I had an early morning meeting and it was the first night it got below freezing. I didnt even think about it until 7:15am and I was heading out for my 7:30am meeting. I got to the car and there was a layer of ice on it. I looked for my ice scraper which I don’t think I have seen since we left DC. I looked and looked and finally found an old CD of a sermon from someone I don’t list to much. I looked at the CD and thought this will work. I proceeded to scrap the thin layer of ice off. I had to bend the CD a bit to fit in my hand and had to push kind of hard to get the ice off. Just as I was finishing the job I heard a crack. The CD split in two. That is not the purpose of CD is it? I did get to my meeting on time, but when you use something other than what it was created to do brokenness inevitable come in.
We feel this in life. We experience brokenness in so many ways. We feel it in relationships, we feel it in confusion, we feel it in sadness.
Addicted, depressed, We want to find a way out of the brokenness. We seek to numb the pain remove the pain, and yet we do that in wrong ways. We feel brokenness in relationships and we turn to alcohol. We get hurt and get mad, we hurt others. We feel out of control and seek to control. We hurt and feel worthless, shamed, afraid, and we then begin to live a life of fear and avoidance. We hide ourselves.
We go on a search to remove the pain. We know something needs to change.
*Brokenness always feels like a bad thing but sometimes that can be a good thing. It’s a way for God to get our attention. We start to realize that we cannot change ourselves.
We are beyond duct tape. Duct tape approaches are I’ll just do better. We try to make excuses for wrongs we have done, “it just makes me happy.” Those are things we say to make it seem ok that we hurt others. We take refuge in things, people. We get hurt in a relationship and try to fix ourselves with another boy friend. That is a duct tape fix.
There is goodnews. You know when something is designed well they anticipate problems. I had a problem with our website the other day. … They anticipated people like me messing it up.
Our rebellion didn’t take God by surprise. He promised a redeemer and in time he sent his Son to restore the brokenness that sin created.
God sent his son to live a perfect life. He never sinned, not even once. He stood up for people who could speak for himself. He loved others and was perfectly obedient.
When he was hanging on the cross God did something amazing. He laid the punishment of all our sin on Jesus. We can experience forgiveness. Guilt is what makes us feel so bad for the things we have done wrong. Guilt can be removed.
The goodnews is that Jesus rose from the grave. He proved he was exactly who he said he was. He was broken for sin. He made it possible for us to escape brokenness. He is making all things new. He is restoring them. We can experience a reset. Like a hard reset for a computer...
We can experience that restoration by changing. Bible has a word for change. It is repent.
When we want to change but we cannot do it we then rely on something else. We can repent because of the gospel
In Christ God gives us the ability to begin to recover. No matter how deep our brokenness Jesus gives us the ability to pursue God’s design. When we turn to Jesus we experience forgiveness. We also experience power to grow and change and to not give in to sin. We experience healing.
We start to experience the grace of God, we experience healing in Jesus. And God sends us out into the brokenness to heal the brokenness of others.
Believe: We also quit believing the lies that is OK to live contrary to what God says. Believe is what unites us to Christ. Repentance is turning away. Believing is the magnet that draws us to God. Believing his way is right, better, what we were created for, the way to experience salvation from all sin. We are saved from the penalty and power of sin.
- Recover and Pursue
When we experience repentance and forgiveness and healing it means God then sends us out on our purpose in life. Which is to restore the brokenness in the world. That is our purpose. We are to share the mercy and grace and life that we have found in Christ with other people.
It was always God’s design that his people minister to others, and in Christ we see that purpose fulfilled. In Christ we see how God changes our brokenness from unimaginable pain to something God uses for good. We can share our pain with others.
We can identify with people who are confused and we can share about how we have been delivered from sin and brokenness through the one that was born to bring salvation.
You can talk about your brokenness because you have a Savior. A lot of sharing the gospel is sharing how Jesus has made sense of your life.
Struggling with finances. You can almost assume they are struggling with the same thing you did. May be a little different. Infertility. Money. Sexuality.
Anxiety. Im struggling with anxiety in my workplace because my boss has unrealistic expectations.
Sexuality. I think there is a lot of confusion on sexuality today. In fact, in every age of history people have had confusion on this and treated others wrong. Read the Bible and you have eunuch, prostitutes, multiple wives, etc. God created sex as a blessing between a man and women, used for procreation, and as the deepest level of commitment to the other. But people went their own way and went down a slippery slope. They turned from God’s design and experienced brokenness, which was part of the punishment for their sin. But in Christ God makes a way for our sins to be removed and our lives restored. Jesus died so we could be forgiven and he instructs us how we can live rightly in the world….