Doug Wilson – Hardened by the Deceitfulness of Sin

In James 3, verses 12-13, it says that we should exhort one another daily, lest any of us be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. James thought that this was a more common problem among Christians than we tend to think. We say, „Oh yeah, yeah, we gossip too much and that’s a common problem, let’s move on to study something else.

(We tend to say)”But, I don’t think it is that big a problem. But, I do think ambition, self serving, and quarrels and tension in families, quarrels and tensions between husbands and wives, quarrels and tensions between coworkers, quarrels and tensions between people who profess the name of Christ, are common.” James says they’re common, and the author of Hebrews tells us to exhort one another DAILY. Exhort one another every day, lest they be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Christians get hardened by the deceitfulness of sin, and to guard against that they’ve got to do something every day. It’s not, „Oh, I’ve been converted 27 years ago, I learned a few valuable lessons, I’ve made a mental note of them, and I have been living normally ever since. That’s not how it works.

How does sin deceive you? Sin deceives you by making you think you’re wise in one sense, but you’re not wise in that sense at all. When you’re being deceived, you think you’re easily entreated, you think you’re peace loving, you think you’re pure, you think you’re doing that. But, it’s actually earthly, sensual, and devilish.

The deceitfulness of sin will totally skew your understanding of how God sees you, and it will totally skew your understanding of how your neighbor sees you. The deceitfulness of sin will withhold critical feedback information from you. You need to know. What would happen to you, if you all of a sudden lost all of your nerve endings? You couldn’t feel anything. Or, you might think, „This is great, I’ll never experience pain.” Well, you won’t experience pain, but, you will experience damage. And that’s because you’ll run into things, bump into things, cut yourself and not know. And after awhile you’re just gonna start falling apart. Because you are damaged, even though you are not feeling it.

When you’re hardened by sin’s deceitfulness, that’s what it’s like. Your hardening yourself to the nerve endings. When someone comes and tells you something that’s uncomfortable- whether it’s true or not- our reaction sometimes tells us: I’m gonna react because I don’t care if it’s true, I just care if it’s going to adversely affect me. If you’re doing that, you’re deadening your nerve endings. You’re hardening yourself. And that means you will feel no pain, you will not experience the pain, but you do experience the damage.

Because God wants you to understand yourself the way He understands you. He wants you to think His thoughts after Him, with regards to your story. He wants you to see your story, your relationships, your marriage, your relationships to your kids, your relationship to your neighbors, He wants you to see yourself accurately, the way it is. And, the only way you can see yourself that way is if the wisdom from above, if Jesus comes down and tells you the way it is. This is what you’re doing. This is how you talk to your wife and that’s not fruitful. This is how you snap at your kids, and that’s not fruitful. Wisdom from above can give you a lot of information, if you’re willing to hear it. But, if you’re not exhorted every day, if you’re being hardened by sin’s deceitfulness, it’s not happening.

Hardened by the Deceitfulness of Sin from Canon Wired on Vimeo.

Sermon: Wisdom From Above #3 Text: Jam. 3:1-18 Sermon Date: 2.3.2013 #1709 Source Link: http://www.canonwired.com/featured/1709/ Sermon Clip

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