FORSAKING SIN AT ALL COSTS
By Ernest O'Neill
Forsaking Sin at All Costs
By Rev. Ernest O'Neill
"You have heard that it was said to the men of old, 'You shall not kill; and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment.' But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Make friends quickly with your accuser, while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison; truly, I say to you, you will never get out till you have paid the last penny.
"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell."
Loved ones, that's serious stuff. It's our own Savior telling us that his death cannot cover persistent, known sin in our lives. That we have to forsake, and if you say, "Well, what's the difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant?" The Old Covenant gave no power to overcome sin. The New Covenant has brought about our death in Jesus and our recreation in him with a new personality and with the gift of the Holy Spirit so that we are able to obey from our hearts. That's the New Covenant.
The Old Covenant gave a command but no power to fulfill it. The New Covenant gives the command but gives a new heart and a new personality to us and a new Holy Spirit today. The Holy Spirit is new and will come into your heart this morning and will enable you to obey from the inside of your heart out to the outermost part of your body. That's God's promise. That's what the New Covenant is about.
God extends His mercy to all of us this morning who believe that Jesus has died for us. He extends His mercy to all who are determined to forsake all known sin and to live obedient to His commandments from this day forward. And to those of us determined to forsake sin and obey God, He gives a new heart. He gives us a new personality. He gives the Holy Spirit so we'll have the strength and ability to live above sin during these coming weeks and months. Loved ones, that's the Gospel.