I am changing my format a bit today. I have been studying the importance of a church community walking in fellowship with God and have a simple outline of a sermon I have often preached.
Sin in the Camp
1 Peter 4:17: For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God
Theme: The Bible says that judgment begins with the house of the Lord. We as His followers are to judge ourselves, we are to examine ourselves: our faith, to determine whether we are in the faith or not; our thoughts, to see if they are God-honoring or not; our actions, to see if they are righteous and useful to God or not.
1. Our Faith, 2 Corinthians 13:5-10, Galatians 1:6-10
a. The gospel was not created by human thoughts, but it came as a revelation from God
b. Do we know the gospel of Jesus Christ?
i. Romans 3:21-26
ii. Not a gospel of self-attainment but of righteousness bestowed
iii. Not of self-righteousness, for all have sinned, but of the justification by grace
iv. Not of self-focus and self-actualization but centered in the Person and work of Christ
v. Faith is required, as the other side of repentance
c. Do we believe the gospel?
2. Our Thoughts, Psalm 19:14
a. Our thoughts are too often polluted by the world and by our own lusts
b. A man’s life consists of his thoughts, Proverbs 4:23 says, guard your heart for out of it proceed the issues of life. And our heart, our thoughts, are the problem with the whole world. So followers of Jesus Christ, above all people, should examine their hearts and their thoughts.
c. Psalm 51:10, David cried, create in me a clean heart and renew a steadfast spirit within me. And today you need a new heart, a new life. Your old heart is full of problems and worries, immoral thoughts and selfishness.
d. Hebrews 4:12 says that the Bible judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
e. Ephesians 3:17 says that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith, and you can have a new heart today, by searching your thoughts, confessing your sins, and returning to Christ in repentance and faith.
3. Our Actions, 1 Corinthians 10:1-13 – The Old Testament experiences (the exodus) are examples for us in how we can please the Lord. Four sins in particular are mentioned by Paul: (1) Idolatry; (2) Sexual Immorality; (3) Testing the Lord; and (4) Grumbling.
a. Idolatry: Exodus 32:1,6,19 – this is a broad category of sin. Unger’s definition: “the paying of divine honors to any created thing; the ascription of divine power to natural agencies.” Paul mentioned no punishment by God with this sin, so it serves as a basic description of the other three. It means worshiping something other than God or more often than God or ahead of God.
b. Sexual Immorality: Numbers 25:1-9
c. Testing the Lord: Exodus 17:2; Numbers 21:4-9 – Doubting God’s direction and His provision. The punishment caused them to come to God – they realized they had a problem that only God could resolve.
They complained against the cost of obedience
Do people ever complain against the cost of obedience today?
They doubted the provision of God
Do people doubt the provision of God today?
The judgment turned them back to God
Later the provision – the bronze serpent – became a source of idolatry (2 Kings 18:4)
d. Grumbling: Numbers 16:41; 17:5,10; 16:49; Exodus 12:23 – Rebellion against Moses and Aaron because of their leadership in the community, the people complained because of the judgment of God. The budding of Aaron’s staff was a sign to the rebellious.