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Does Sin Have a Hold on You?

Genesis 4

*We all have a sin Nature.
*See Proverbs 14:10:  In the eyes of man, things that are very wrong can seem very right.
*In order to battle the sin in our lives, we must do four things:

1. Identify (Genesis 4:5-7)

The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry?”  He puts His finger directly on the problem, whether we are dealing with a sin of action or mind or attitude.  Sins of action are most obvious.  Sins of mind may be easier to hide from others, but God knows our every thought.  Sins of attitude are more apparent, and come out in our actions and words, even when we don’t want them to. Those might be sins of covetousness, unforgiving spirit, anger, bitterness, arrogance, jealousy, pride, defiance. In our focus verses, Cain’s first sin was rejection of God’s will.

2. Agree

Once we’ve been convicted of something we’re doing wrong, we must then agree with God that it is, in fact, wrong. It’s not enough to know it in our head. We need to know it in our heart. How do we KNOW that it is wrong?  Well, do we get angry when that sin is identified (through a sermon message, through a fellow believer, through The Spirit’s conviction)?  Or do we rationalize an active sin (ex. “I only took home a few paperclips… it’s not like I brought home anything of value;  or   “a little flirtation never hurt anyone”;  or  it’s nobody’s business if I happen to enjoy looking at porn sometimes-…they’re just pictures, and it’s not affecting my marriage”;  or, like Cain, “I tithe in my own way God understands… He makes special allowances for me” ).

3. Remove

We must remove the sins from our lives as they come up.  Better yet, we need to avoid the occurrence of that temptation as soon as we recognize it. There is none more devious than Satan, and he knows exactly what will be the most attractive to us- what will be the hardest to resist. And he is very patient. He always tempts us gradually, making the initial attraction appear so innocent or insignificant, that it isn’t until we’re ‘on the hook’ that we realize that the direction we’re headed will only cause trouble or pain if we keep going further.

4. Consequences

If we refuse to remove a sin from our lives, but instead hold on to it no matter how small or insignificant we want to believe that it is, there is always a consequence. For Cain, his consequence drove him to murder his brother, and then (vs. 16) “Cain went out from the presence of the Lord.”   Don’t hold on to a sin. The consequence isn’t worth it! Don’t let sin drive you from the presence of the Lord.  Instead, remove that sin (lies, hypocrisy, pride, gossip, flirting, greed, etc.)  We can all fill in the blank here, because not one of us is perfect.  Each one of us has something(s) that we need to let go of today.  We need to agree with God that it is wrong, and turn away from it- stop doing it, stop taking it, stop saying it, stop dwelling on it.  If we’re in a situation that fosters that temptation, then we must remove ourselves from that situation- avoid it as if our life depends on it.

The good news:

*God is always there to hear our apology and sincere promise to turn away from ____ and never accept that temptation again.

*Jesus did the hard work for us.  We need only to be obedient, keep following Him, and never look back.

*The Spirit is always with us to guide us, and keep us convicted, to continue teaching us, so that we may grow ever-closer to Him.