OceanSide church of Christ

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RATIONALIZATIONS FOR DISOBEDIENCE

Victor M. Eskew

INTRODUCTION

A.             Genesis 6:22

Thus did Noah, according to all that God commanded him, so did he.

B.              Obedience is a beautiful thing.

1.                Man conforms to the will of God.

2.                God is well-pleased.

3.                Man is greatly blessed.

C.              Although obedience is lovely, we often struggle with disobedience.

1.                Disobedience is foolish behavior (Matt. 7:26).

And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand.

2.                Sometimes we continue in our disobedience because we have developed rationalizations for it.

3.                Some of these rationalizations involve the God of heaven.  In this lesson, we want to consider some these ďRationalizations for Disobedience.Ē

I.        GOD JUST DOESNíT UNDERSTAND

A.             Because God is God, there are some who believe that He cannot understand their struggles with temptation and sin.

B.              This might have been true had God not carried out his scheme of redemption.

1.                The Bible says that God has no sin (I John 1:5).

2.                It also reveals that He cannot be tempted to sin (James 1:13).

C.              God, however, did act on behalf of man.  In so doing, His Son was made flesh and dwelt among them.

1.                John 1:14

And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among usÖ

2.                Wherefore in all things it behooved him to made like unto his brethrenÖ (Heb. 2:17).

3.                During His fleshly existence, Jesus was tempted just as we are (Heb. 4:15).

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

4.                Jesus does understand our struggles.  He knows the power of Satanís enticements.  He knows how the evil one stalks the weak.

a.         He endured the same temptations without sin.

b.         Fortunately, when we yield to temptation, the Lord acts as our Advocate before the Father in heaven (I John 2:1-2).

My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not.  And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:  and he is the propitiation for our sins:  and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the world.

II.      GOD DOES UNDERSTAND

A.             This rationalization is the exact opposite from the first.  Here, the positive side of Godís nature is emphasized.

1.                God looks down upon His children and sees them in sin.

2.                God has pity and compassion upon him.

3.                Godís love and mercy and grace will forgive because He understands.

B.              The problem with the view is that it has God bestowing forgiveness without any conditions placed upon the sinner.  Most of the time, the sinner remains in his sinful condition believing that because God understands, He will just forgive.

C.              The Bible does not present an unconditional forgiveness from God.  There are conditions man must meet in order to be cleansed of his sins.

1.                Proverbs 28:13

He that covereth his sins shall not prosper:  but who confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

2.                Acts 3:19

Repent ye, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.

3.                Acts 22:16

And now why tarriest thou?  Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling upon the name of the Lord.

4.                I John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

D.             God may pity the sinner.  He will love the sinner.  But, He will not forgive until the sinner meets Godís terms of pardon (Exo. 34:7).

Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guiltyÖ

III.     GOD DOESNíT CARE ABOUT WHAT IíM DOING

A.             This thinking has two underlying assumptions within it.

1.                Sin can be classified:  big & little, important & non-important, public & private.

2.                Godís thinking on these matters is reduced to manís thinking about them.

B.              There are several considerations that must be made.

1.                God does not think like we think (Isa. 55:8-9).

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways, saith the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

2.                Sin, whether big or little, is the transgression of Godís law (I John 3:4).

Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law:  for sin is the transgression of the law.

3.                Transgression of Godís law is always important to God.

a.         The unacceptable sacrifice of Cain (Gen. 4:5).

b.         The man who picked up sticks on the Sabbath (Num. 15:32-35).

c.         Moses who struck the rock instead of speaking to it (Num. 20:11-12).

d.         Saul who spared only Agag and the best of the flocks and herds (I Sam. 15:9).

e.         Uzzah who touched the ark to keep it from falling (II Sam. 6:6-7).

f.         All of the examples have come from the Old Testament.  We did this because it was examples like this the inspired writer had in mind in Hebrews 2:1-3.

Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.  For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him.

IV.     GOD DOES NOT KNOW

A.             Most individuals who understand something about God would never say this, but when they engage in disobedience they act like God does not know.

B.              God does see us in our sins.  He does know.

1.                Proverbs 5:21.

The ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and he pondereth all his goings.

2.                Proverbs 15:3.

The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.

3.                Hebrews 4:13.

Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight:  but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

CONCLUSION

A.             We began this lesson by noting that obedience is a beautiful thing.

B.              Disobedience, on the other hand, is ugly and shameful.

C.              No amount of rationalization will make it right.

D.             God is definitely willing to forgive our sin.

1.                Psalm 86:5.

For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.

2.                However, He will only forgive on His terms, not ours.