My Sin Is Always Before Me
Text: Ezra 9
I. God is Holy, but we fall short
A. Sin is not a part of the nature of God - I John 1:5
B. To be in fellowship with God, we also must without sin - I John 1:6-7
1. But notice that God is not expecting perfection from us
2. Provision is made for when we sin to be cleansed from those sins
3. What God wants from us is to walk in righteousness
C. Sin is going to happen - I John 1:8-10
1. We have to be honest that we do fail and are not perfect
2. We have to admit before God that we sin
3. Only by acknowledging that we are not holy can we be welcomed back
D. This is not an excuse - I John 2:1-6
1. John is encouraging us to avoid sin, but to also know that when we do sin, it is not the end
2. Jesus paid for our sins and is our advocate before God
3. But if we are going to claim we know God, we must keep His commandments
II. Ezra was upset by the sins of his countrymen
A. Israel was sent into captivity because of their sins - Ezra 9:7
1. A great many revolved around their worship of idols - II Kings 17:7-23
2. But what did the Israelites do when they returned from captivity? They married into families of idolaters! - Ezra 9:10-14
B. It was too much to face - Ezra 9:6
C. But the Israelites with Ezra agreed that they were wrong - Ezra 10:1-3
D. And the answer? Be courageous and act! - Ezra 10:4
III. David, a king who sincerely loved God committed adultery and tried to cover it up with murder
A. David pleaded with God to cleanse him, but he was haunted by what he had done - Psalms 51:1-3
B. Satan plays on our guilt, chaining us down until we want to just give up.
1. We can't face our friends, our family, our loved ones at church -- we can't face ourselves.
2. We judge ourselves harsher than anyone else, including God, and declare we aren't worthy.
C. David asked for both a clean heart and a renewed steadfast spirit - Psalms 51:10
1. He need both forgiveness and confidence to go forward - Psalms 51:12
2. Then he would be able to act. Then he could teach others - Psalms 51:13
3. Not only would David be restored, but David saw that all sinners could be changed.
IV. Behind it all is this one grain of truth: guilt holds us back because we are afraid.
A. Have you ever thought why among all the deep dark sins, God listed "the cowardly" first in Revelation 21:8?
B. Cowardice sends more people to hell than any other sin.
C. Cowardice keeps us from acting - Joshua 1:6-9
V. Your God, your family, your friends, your fellow Christians, we all love you.
A. Peter said, love will cover a multitude of sins - I Peter 4:8
1. It is not hiding your sins while you remain in them.
2. It is a burying of the past, so you can move forward - Philippians 3:12-14
B. And our shovels are at the ready to bury the past when any sinner comes back to us.