OceanSide church of Christ
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FAILING TO RECOGNIZE OUR FAILURES
Victor M. Eskew
A. If I were to ask faithful Christians: “Do you sin?” Most would say: “Yes. From time to time I commit sin.”
B. This answer corresponds with the teachings of John in his first epistle.
1. I John 1:8
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
2. I John 1:10
If we say we have not sinned, we are a liar, and his word is not in us.
3. I John 2:1
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.
C. Sometimes, however, we do things that are not right and fail to recognize it. This is what we want to discuss this evening. The title of our lesson is: “Failing to Recognize Our Failures.”
I. WE FAIL TO RECOGNIZE OUR MISTREATMENT OF OTHERS
A. The Bible has a lot to say about how we are to treat other people.
1. Greetings (Rom. 16:16a)
Salute one another with a holy kiss…
2. Kindness (Eph. 4:32)
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
3. Putting others first (Phil. 2:3-4)
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
B. We often do not treat others with the respect and honor authorized by God’s Word.
1. We do not greet them at all.
2. We speak harshly and sharply to them.
3. We talk about them instead of talking to them.
C. Sometimes our mistreatment of others is continuous and with no repentance. In essence, we seem not to recognize that this is wrong (James 3:8-10).
But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing, these things ought not so to be.
II. WE FAIL TO RECOGNIZE OUR HYPOCRISY
A. Hypocrisy defined:
1. A hypocrite is defined as a “stage-player.”
a. This is a person who has one identify on stage and another off stage.
b. A hypocrite shows one side of himself to one group of people and another side to another group of people.
2. Jesus used the scribes and Pharisees of His day as examples of hypocrisy in Matthew 23.
a. Seven times Jesus uses the word “hypocrites” in His rebuke of the Jewish leaders (Matt. 23:13, 14, 15, 23, 25, 27, 29).
b. On the outside the scribes and Pharisees looked holy and righteous. Within they were corrupt and vile (Matt. 23:25).
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye make clean the outside of the cup and platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
B. Hypocrisy is not easy to see.
1. Our good outweighs our bad.
2. The good is public; the bad is hidden.
3. The bad is thought of as not being that big of a deal.
4. We are convinced that God’s grace just cleanses us from the evils we commit.
C. Hypocrisy needs to be repented of (Matt. 3:7-8).
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance.
III. WE FAIL TO RECOGNIZE OUR UNFAITHFULNESS
A. All Christians would assert that the Savior demands faithful, steadfast living.
1. I Corinthians 4:2
Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
2. Revelation 2:10b
…be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
3. In judgment, the Lord will commend only the faithful servants (Matt. 25:21, 23).
His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
B. Faithfulness, however, seems to be a relative term for many. It is so relative that many believe that unfaithfulness is faithfulness.
1. Individuals do not attend the worship services, but they think they are faithful.
2. Individuals do not use their talents, but they consider themselves faithful.
3. Individuals do not serve others, but they count themselves as faithful.
4. Individuals do not dress, talk, or behave like Christ, but they believe themselves to be faithful.
5. Individuals do not grow to maturity, but they profess they are faithful.
C. We need to understand faithfulness as understood and defined by God in His Word.
1. Faithfulness is more than just a belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God.
2. It is more than just being immersed into Christ for the remission of one’s sins.
3. It is belief combined with obedience to His will (Matt. 24:45-47).
Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give meat in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
IV. WE FAIL TO RECOGNIZE BLATANT SIN
A. Some of the things we have discussed may be easy for others to see in us, but are not easy for us to detect.
B. Blatant sin, however, should not be that difficult to spot.
1. It is outright rebellion against the will of God.
2. It is the failure to hit the mark that God has set forth in His Word.
C. How does one fail to recognize it? The answer to that question is difficult, but it can happen. It happened to King Saul.
1. The command (I Sam. 15:3)
Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both men and women, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.
2. The disobedience (I Sam. 15:9)
But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and of the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.
3. The failure to recognize sin (I Sam. 15:13)
And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the Lord: I have performed the command of the Lord.
D. Don’t Christians often make the same mistake Saul made? We lie. We curse. We drink alcohol. We cheat. We don’t study. We don’t pray. Yet, we believe we are keeping the commands of God.
A. All of the above failures are dangerous and could cost a person his soul.
1. We need to develop good spiritual insight.
2. We need to garner good and honest hearts.
3. We need to possess the ability to admit our transgressions.
B. One other failure that some have is the failure to recognize error they are embracing.
1. Only truth saves (Eph. 1:13).
2. Satan, however, has convinced some that error is truth (II Cor. 4:3-4).
a. Faith only
b. Sprinkling and pouring for baptism
c. The church is not important
3. The only way for them to cease being blinded is to have the light of truth brought unto them so their eyes can be opened (Acts 26:18; II Cor. 4:4-6).