Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Horizontal & Vertical Consequences

Think back...maybe a year, maybe 5, maybe yesterday:

What was the worst punishment you ever received?

I've heard stories of parents forcing kids to eat things they didn't like, washing mouths out with soap, whippings with switches, doors removed from rooms, semester-long groundings and more. But, here's a question for you:

Why do parents punish?

We punish our kids because we know that actions have consequences. The older our kids get, the more those consequences will impact their lives. We want to teach them the reality of their sinfulness and their need for a savior and the truth that sin has consequences.

But what kind of consequences come from sin?

Horizontal Consequences

1. Sin effects the sinner

Sin enslaves! (Romans 6:17; John 8:34)
“Sin has a disintegrating, damaging impact upon the person committing the sin” (Norman, A Theology for the Church, p472)

The good news is that Jesus pulls us free from slavery to sin (John 8:35-36)

Here are a couple of signs that you're enslaved to sin:
Self-Centeredness (James 3:16)
Denial of Sinfulness (Matthew 7:3; 2 Samuel 12:1-15)

Sin effects our relationship to others

In Galatians 5:19-21 we see a list of actions associated with sinfulness. All of these acts destroy relationships and bring disharmony. They tear at the fabric of society. Just think about reasons couples break up and friends go separate ways. You can see so many of those reasons in Galatians 5:19-21.

Sin destroys relationships

While horizontal (relational) consequences of sin are serious, the first and most serious consequence of sin is neither in ourselves or in our relationship to others, but in our relationship to God.

Vertical Consequences

Sin effects our relationship to God

Sin brings the wrath of God (Ephesians 2:3; Exudus 32:10-11; Judges 2:14; Psalm 30:5; Jeremiah 10:24; Romans 1:18)

Wrath is "God's appropriate displeasure and resistance to human sin"

“God’s anger should not be equated with being excessively emotional or uncontrollable. He exercises patience and longsuffering toward human sinfulness. The nature of God, however, demands that he respond with holy disapproval to that which is contrary to his very being.” (Norman, ATFTC, p467)

The good news is found in 1 Thessalonians 1:10: Jesus delivers us from God's wrath!

Sin makes man hostile toward and alienated from God (James 4:4; Romans 5:10; Romans 8:7; Ephesians 4:18)

Kind of like what we see happening here:

Our sin is hostile toward God and that results in him expelling us from his presence. This is what we see happening to Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:7, 22-24.

“We no longer seek or yearn for his presence; rather, we flee and hide from him. We live in fear of God and rebel against him. We express our hostility toward God in that we defy him. In the sense that he actively works to thwart our disobedience and rebellion, God can be said to be “hostile” to our intentions. Although we were created to live in harmonious dependence upon God, we contemptuously pursue paths that lead us away from the only one who can fulfill our deepest needs.” (Norman, ATFTC, p467)

Sin brings guilt

As we grow in our understanding of who God is and what he expects of us our responsibility to obey grows.

Sin results in punishment

Sometimes this punishment is the natural cause of the sin (STD's, cirrhosis of the liver, etc.) In every instance punishment is meant to draw us to God and the understanding that we are sinful and need a savior. (Hebrews 12:10-11) Especially for believers.

“Although a panful consequence of sin, God’s discipline of believers is a sign of their adoption and an encouragement toward sanctification.” (Norman, ATFTC, p469)

Sin causes death

Physical death (Genesis 3:19; 1 Corinthians 15:55-56)
Spiritual death (Genesis 2:17; Eph 2:1-3)
Final death (Revelation 20:14-15)

Recognize, with gratitude, what God, in Christ has saved you from. Recognize the reason for his discipline in your life. Recognize the impact your sin has on your relationships. Repent and be restored.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


A few quick thoughts from Romans 5:12-19

1. Sin produces death (v12)
2. All die because all sinned (v12)
3. Adam's sin brought condemnation for all (v16)
4. Death originated in man because of the sin of Adam (v17)
5. Life is in Christ (v17-19)

The idea of original sin is seen in the last word of v12: "sinned". The word that Paul chose (hemarton), and is translated "sinned" represents a single past action, not an ongoing or present action (which he could have said by using the word hamartanousin). We face the consequences of sin because of Adam's single past action.

Here's another way to think about it:

We are not sinful because we sin, we sin because we are sinful.

6. Sin is universal
Just look at the spread of sin: Genesis 3:4-6; Genesis 6:13; Genesis 8:21; Psalm 143:2; 1 Kings 8:46. The sinfection is immediate and total. Romans 3:10-18 reminds us that no one is without sin.

Not only does sin infect everyone, but it infects every part of who we are.

Sin infects the physical body (Romans 6:6, 12; 7:24; 8:10, 13)
Sin infects the Mind or Reason (Romans 1:21; 2 Corinthians 3:14-15; 4:4)
Sin infects the emotions (Romans 1:26-27; Galatians 5:24; 2 Timothy 3:2-4)
Sin infects the Will (Romans 6:17; 2 Timothy 2:25-26)

Sin is pervasive. It is a part of everyone's life. We all sin, and because we all sin, we all need a savior. As Paul says in Romans 5:16-17 the source of the cure of sin and death is Jesus. The life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ is our cure.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Contemplate & Consider Vol. 20

A little preview of what we will be talking about at Flood Zone Sunday night: The Cross & the Prosperity Gospel

Consider this:

Monday, June 7, 2010

Christians & Technology

The rise of technology just in the span of my life has been meteoric. It's amazing how much things have changed even in the past 6 years...since Facebook first came on the scene. Check out this video for a taste of the significance of social networking and internet influence:

With these technological advancements come good and bad

Social networking sites offer unprecedented opportunities for communication and contact-and that is both the promise and the peril of the technology (Al Mohler)
What are the benefits of technology? What are the benefits of technology for the Church?

Jesus' great commission is well known and in the days of the early church God had prepared the way for the first missionaries to travel all over the known world in safety and speed due to the Pax Romana. The conquering peace throughout the region and the height of Roman technology (their roads) allowed for the swift spread of the Gospel. Today that opportunity for a "swift spread" is even greater.

For $1300 we can travel to the other side of the world in under 48 hours. In seconds we can find ourselves playing checkers with someone in the middle east. Technology affords avenues for the swift spread of the Truth of Jesus Christ like never before. Fulfilling the great commission is easier today than at any other time in history. But are we making the most of it?

All too often the technology that is around us does not lead to a greater fervor for the completion of our mission as the Church. Instead technology leads us to laziness. We want things fast and easy. But that is not the way sanctification works

The patter is this: the greater joys are obtained through struggle and pain, while brief, unsatisfying and often destructive joys are right at our fingertips. Why is this? (John Piper)
You have to make yourself pick up that nourishing theological book while watching a movie can feel so inviting (John Piper)
You frequently have to force yourself to get to devotions and pray while sleeping, reading the sports, and checking Facebook seem effortless. (John Piper)

How are you using technology? Are you using it to the Glory of God and for the spread of his fame around the globe...or is it a time-suck leading to laziness and sin?

One last thought from John Piper:

One of the great uses of Twitter and Facebook will be to prove at the last Day that prayerlessness was not from lack of time.

For more thoughts from Al Mohler on social networking and Christians, check out his article Facebook Turns Five: Thoughts on Social Networking

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Good Things Vol. 2-Free Audio Books offers a free audiobook every month!

This month I downloaded Fracis Chan's Book Forgotten God

In previous months I've been able to download Pilgrim's Progress (John Bunyan), The Pleasures of God (John Piper), and Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life (Don Whitney)

So, if you don't like to read, here's a chance to get some great Christian teaching in your ears, heart and mind without having to read a word...

But, I would encourage you to pick up a book this summer and read one. There's nothing like holding a book in your hands, smelling the pages and feeling the bulk of its pages move from your right hand to your left hand as you conquer it!

Funny or Not? Vol. 35-Watch the Drummer!