Sunday, September 17, 2006

Sin Effects . . .

Intro.: Do you remember the old fashion telephone booths?

  1. You don't find them too often any more. With the availability of cheap cell phones and the willingness that merchants have for letting someone use a phone in an emergency – they just don't make enough money for the phone company.

  2. But Lillian Pearsall worked as a telephone operator for the phone company back when they were more popular. One time a customer talked overtime on a long-distance call from a pay telephone booth. Even with my friendly reminders, he refused to deposit his overtime coins. Instead, he slammed down the phone, irate and verbally abusive. A few seconds later, he was back on my line-somewhat calmer. "Operator, please let me out of the phone booth-I'll pay, I'll pay, just let me out!" The customer mistakenly thought I had control of the phone booth's doors and had locked him in! He gladly paid the overtime charge and with my advice gave the booth door a hefty kick to free himself.1

  3. It may be a humorous story, but there is a lesson for us. Sin has its consequences.

  4. I want to take a few moments this morning explore some of the consequences of sin

Read: Joshua 7:1-15


Trans: Almost due west of Jericho lies the town of Ai.

  1. Joshua sent spies out and they reported that it would not take as many men to conquer Ai as it did Jericho

  2. But the first battle was lost

  3. And it was because of the sin of one man.

T.S. I want to look at four groups that were effected by one man's sin as we study Joshua 7:1-15.

  1. Sin effects our culture and nation

    1. We too often fall into the trap of thinking that sin is personal – it doesn't effect anyone else but me.

    2. But Joshua immediately makes it clear that it has an impact on not just the sinner by on the community as well.

    3. The New International Version puts it this way: But the Israelites acted unfaithfully in regard to the devoted things. But the Hebrew has a very unique way of putting this together. If you could read Hebrew, you would see that this says that the Israelites “ma-al ma-al”. Though the expression is usually translated as they “acted unfaithfully”, in reality the Hebrew says they were “unfaithfully unfaithful.” It had to clear that the community was responsible for Achan's sin.

    4. Joshua and his leaders understood this principle – Joshua tore off his clothes and fell face down in God's presence The rest of the leaders went one step further – they also sprinkled dust on their heads. You see, when one member of the community sinned, the whole community shared the responsibility.

(Ill.) We can see that further – the Israelites faced defeat as they sought to take the city of Ai. They lost that battle – Joshua says the hearts of the people melted and became like water. It is an interesting expression – for it is almost the exact same words that Rahab used to describe Jericho's reaction when they knew the Israelites were coming.

(Appl.) There is a lesson for us here. Too often we think of sin as a way of showing how strong we are. I'm mean, I'm tough. I can do what I want want to do. But in the end it leaves our hearts weak – melted like water. We end up being less strong. We may be able to show that I can do what I want; on the other hand, we may find ourselves less able to do what I need to do.

  1. Sin effects our family

    1. In some ways, I don't even have to say a great deal about the implact sin has on our families.

    2. And you don't need to hear me say it one more time. Our parents, our children, and maybe even when we look real closely at ourselves – we know that one person's sin can greatly influence a family.

(Ill.) In high school I remember doing some experiments in a Physics class where we would take a liquid (water, alcohol, or oil) and let stand still it was perfectly still. Then we would take an eye dropper and drop a single drop into the middle of the container. We would then watch and measure how the waves would ripple out to the edge of the container. At first the waves were larger, but then they would then get smaller as they moved away from the drop point.

Sin is like that – it starts out small, but it gets bigger and bigger. It will touch an awful lot of people that you may never know. Amazingly, it is not only sin that works that – so do the blessings that we share with others around us.

  1. Sin effects the one who sins

    1. Sin does effect our communities and it does effect our families. It also effects the one who sins.

    2. When someone sins, when we sin, we are changed. Every time we say “yes” to sin, the easier it is to say “yes” to sin in the future

(Ill.) Near Watsonville, California, there is a creek that has a strange name: Salsipuedes Creek. Salsi puedes is Spanish for “Get out of it, if you can.” The creek is lined with quicksand, and the story is that many years ago, in the early days of California, a Mexican laborer fell into the quicksand. A Spaniard, riding by on a horse, saw him and yelled out to him, “Salsi puedes!” which was not very helpful. The creek has been so named ever since. That is what the flesh is like. We struggle to correct these tendencies—to get out of the effects of our sinful nature—but we cannot do it.2

  1. Sin effects God

(Ill.) Perhaps you remember the story of David and his sin with Bathsheba. You will remember that he was confronted by Samuel the prophet about his sin. Do you remember David's response he finally realized the terrible nature of his adultery? It was at that point that David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”

    1. You see, sin may impact our communities, it may effect our families, it may even effect us. But that is not the problem.

    2. The real problem is that it is God who is offended when we sin.

(Ill.) John Chrisostom lived at the end of the fourth century after Christ's death. Serving as the bishop of Constantinoble, he was known for his wisdom and eloquence – in fact his name means “golden mouth”. Writing nearly 1600 years ago in a work entitled “On Marriage and Family Love”, Chrysostom reminds us that we have nothing to fear except the possibility of offending God.3

    1. It is only the one that is offended that can offer forgiveness – and through Jesus, we are offered forgiveness.

(Appl.) There are two lessons for us here. First, we are offered forgiveness – we have to accept it, but God does offer us. The one who is offended more than any other, reaches out and says, I will forgive. You only need to respond. There is another lesson for us as well. Even as God offers us forgiveness, we need to offer it to those who offend us. We will be offended – and when we are we need to be willing to forgive.

Conclusion: Sin has its consequences.


1Rowell, E. K. (2005). 1001 Quotes, Illustrations, & Humorous Stories for Preachers, Teachers, & Writers. Grand Rapids: Baker Books.

2Green, M. P. (1989). Illustrations for Bilical Preaching : Over 1500 sermon illustrations arranged by topic and indexed exhaustively (Revised edition of: The expositor's illustration file.). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

3Discipleship Journal : Issue 89. 1999 (electronic ed.). Colorado Springs: The Navigators/NavPress.

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