Your sin is a gift from God…if you know it.
APRIL 27, 2021
Your sin is a gift from God…if you know it. What? I’ll explain on Key Life.
This is Key Life with our host, author and seminary professor Steve Brown. He’s nobody’s guru. He’s just one beggar telling other beggars where he found bread. If you’re hungry for God, the real God behind all the lies, you’ve come to the right place.
Thank you Matthew, if you have your Bible open it, if you will, to the fifth chapter, and we’re talking about freedom. And we’re looking specifically in that text of the works, that’s plural, of the flesh. And the fruit, singular, that’s because Jesus is singular, the fruit of the Spirit. And we spent a good time yesterday, talking about something that’s really important. The fruit of the Spirit, as opposed to the works of the flesh, the fruit of the Spirit will not call attention to itself. The works of the flesh will always do that. Paul says in Galatians 5:19.
Now the works of the flesh are plain.
In other words, you see them everywhere and then they list some of them, and I find myself in that list. Then he said, you do that stuff, you will never inherit the kingdom of heaven. Now, don’t let that fool you, Paul’s not talking about if you fail in those areas. And you know you should have been doing something different, and you did the wrong thing, and you asked for forgiveness. That’s the nature of being a Christian. If you are defined in yourself by the works of the flesh, you won’t even know it. You won’t even, you won’t even be aware of it. It’ll be natural. Remember in South Pacific, when the Lieutenant had fallen in love with a Polynesian girl, and he couldn’t pursue the relationship, and he sings this song that says you’ve got to be taught to hate. That’s such a pretty song. I’d hum it for you, but I like you too much to do that. But that was a pretty song, it was just a lie. You don’t have to be taught hate, it comes naturally. And if there isn’t an intervention, that’s one of the fruit, the works of the flesh. And if something doesn’t happen, you began to think that’s natural, and you’ll call it something that it isn’t. You’ll call it justice. You’ll call it balancing books. You’ll call it the platforming people that you don’t agree with. But you wouldn’t even know there’s anything bad in it. And, so we saw that the fruit of the Spirit, as opposed to the fruit of the flesh, won’t call attention to goodness, that’s Galatians 5:19. Now by way of a side thought in this before I leave it, let me say something else that sounds controversial, but it really isn’t. Your sin is the best gift that God ever gave you. In other words, the works of the flesh are the best gift that God ever gave you, if you know it. Now, let me say something else. You’re obedience is your most dangerous place, if you know that. Now, why am I saying this? Because if it weren’t for our sin, we would never know him. And grace abounds, as sin abounds. I didn’t say that, the apostle Paul said it in Romans. In other words, grace is attracted to sin. Let me give you some Scripture, Romans 5:6.
While we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
Matthew 7:12, Jesus said.
Those who are well, have no need of a physician, but those are sick.
I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.
So he told them this parable: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost, one of them, does not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it?
And I could go on and on, you know that. I’m not going to do that, because I don’t have that much time, but I could go on and on. So there is a sense, which you should repent and be sorrowful over your sin. But there’s also a sense in which you should thank God for it, because it was exactly that, the works of the flesh, that attracted grace to your life. If you could be as perfect as sometimes you think you are, which you can’t, God would not have sent his Son, he would have sent a book. You can tell how bad a problem is, by discerning what it takes to fix it. And in our case, it was the blood of God’s own son. And our sin is the very thing, the works of the flesh, when you know it. And as I said, if you’re defined by the works of the flesh, as a mentioned by the apostle Paul, you won’t know it. I mean, it’s the most natural thing in the world. It becomes defined with different words. That’s what’s happening in our culture. Evil is called good and good is called evil. And you know it, you see it all the time. Things that we knew were right and good. The family, for instance, now is being put down as an evil. And I’m not going to get specific, because you know what I’m talking about, evil becomes natural. And the fact that it’s the works of the evil, aren’t even known by the people who do those works. But if you do know it, if you find yourself in that list, that the apostle Paul gives here, be thankful. Because that is the very thing that drives you to the throne of grace. It’s the reason, you know him in the first place. Alright, I said I was going to say three things about the fruit of this Spirit before we got into some specifics. I want you to note that when one has the fruit of the Spirit, one will find himself or herself within the bounds of the law, Galatians 5:23b.
Against such there is no law.
Now the point Paul is making here, is that Christians are not by and large revolutionaries, in the political sense of that word. Let me give you some other Scripture on that subject, I Thessalonians 4:11.
But we exhort you, to aspire to live quietly, to mind your own affairs, to work with your hands, as we charged you, so that you may command the respect of outsiders.
In the Second letter to Corinthians the third chapter, verse 11, this is what Paul says.
For we command if anyone will not work, let him not eat. For we hear that some of you are living in idleness, mirror busybodies.
Paul, you got to learn to say what you think.
Not doing any work, now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ, to do their work in quietness. And to earn their living.
What’s Paul saying, he’s just saying that Christians are good people to have around. I mean, any nation that has a contingent of Christians is a very fortunate nation, because we, we do things against which there is no law. Paul is making a really good point here. Christians know they’re not saved by the law, but I have a friend who wrote a book about it, who said to her pastor, who was a legalist, what you don’t understand, if you would quit yelling, I do what you were yelling about in the first place. Cause that’s who I am. And that’s what Paul is saying here too. And he’s making a point of it. So, we’ll find that we’re acting within the context of what natural law says is right, and what natural law says is wrong. One of the men at a conference, an athletic conference in Washington that I attended was a young black man, and he was from Africa. He had a reputation of boxing. There was a need for a revolutionary. He was called, to burning and rioting as his specialty, but he told us how, when he found Christ, he lost his reputation as a revolutionary, that happens. A Christian is a revolutionary, but not in the sense that most people think. We’re revolutionaries of love and truth and justice. We’re revolutionaries who know what’s right and what’s wrong. And we’re revolutionaries that presidents and Kings and emperors would give their right arm to have as a part of their nation. And so, the point to be repeated one more time, that when one has the fruit of the Spirit, one will find himself or herself within the bounds of the law. Nobody has to tell you to be good. You just are. You think about that. Amen.
Our sin is a gift from God, if we know it. Wow. Thank you, Steve. More to explore here in Galatians 5, do hope you will join us again tomorrow.
We’ve been taught that God answers our prayers with yes, no or wait. We don’t like the wait. We don’t like the in-between. I don’t wait well, I’m not that patient. I’d almost prefer a no.
That’s an excerpt from a fantastic article written by Robin DeMurga called Living in the In-Between. If you’ve been looking for some hope amidst these hard times, you really need to read this article. And you can find it in the new 2021 edition of Key Life Magazine, along with other great pieces by Chad West, Chris Wachter and of course, Steve. Grab your free copy right now by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail Steve@keylife.org and ask for the magazine. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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