Why do we sin?

Yesterday I preached on Philippians 4:1-9. In verses 4-7 we read this:

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

So Paul is talking about the idea that through prayer we can experience joy and peace instead of anxiety. This sounds appealing to most of us. But there is a problem. I know from experience that it is possible to pray for extended periods of time and yet to leave the throne of grace worried and anxious. Frustrating? Absolutely! How in the world is this possible?

The answer lies in what we actually believe to be true about God. If we genuinely believe that God is good then we can walk in peace, free from anxiety.

“Sinful acts always have their origin in some form of unbelief–behind every sin is a lie. The root of all our behavior and emotions is the heart, what it trusts and what it treasures. People are given over to sinful desires because ‘they exchanged the truth of God for a lie.” -Tim Chester

The bottom-line is that all of our behavior is related to what we believe to be true about God. So yesterday I decided to share a tool that has been around for a number of years. The tool is called “The Four Gs” and it comes from pastor and author, Tim Chester.

Tim points out that the key to overcoming sin is believing these four liberating truths about God.

  • God is GREAT-so we don’t have to be in control.
    • Psalm 86:8-10, “There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are
      there any works like yours. All the nations you have made shall come and
      worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name. For you are
      great and do wondrous things; you alone are God.”
    • We don’t have to worry or be anxious because God is great. This is the God who created billions of galaxies which means that we can trust that he is powerful enough to deal with our daily problems.
  • God is GLORIOUS-so we don’t have to fear others.
    • Exodus 15:11, “Who is like you, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like you,
      majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?”
    • When we say that God is glorious we mean that he is majestic and beautiful. When we understand who God is than we no longer are slaves to what others think about us.
  • God is GOOD-so we don’t have to look elsewhere.
    • Psalm 34:8, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!”
    • This may be the one that hits home for me the most, the one that I most need to remember. If we truly believe that God is good it will enable us to say no to all temptations. God is better than the immoral relationship. God is better than the lie I am tempted to tell to a colleague. God is better than binging on Netflix for 9 hours. If we truly believe that God is good we can overcome temptations that come our way.
  • God is GRACIOUS-so we don’t have to prove ourselves.
    • Psalm 86:15, “But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to
      anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.”
    • Many Christian are wearing themselves out because they are trying to earn God’s love. We live with a sense that God is, at best, mildly disappointed with us because of our sin and weakness. What we need to remember is that because of the work of Jesus Christ on the cross we have received grace that covers ALL of our sin. Right now, as you are, God loves you like crazy.

I would recommend printing “The Four Gs” out and putting them someplace where you will see them on a daily basis. Each day remind yourself of these amazing truths.

“A failure to embrace one of these four truths lies behind most of our sinful behavior and negative emotions. So ‘the four Gs’ are like a diagnostic kit to help us identify the gospel truth we need to focus on.” -Tim Chester

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