Monday, March 21

Sermon notes: Sin as Slavery by Tim Keller

Sermon Series: The Faces of Sin
Sin as Slavery (The mp3 can be streamed or downloaded for free here)
Num 11:4-6, 10-20

Notes preceded by '--' are my thoughts.

--God Sends Quails, The 77s
'you failed, you spit out manna and God sends quails'

why when we know what is right to do, don't we?
all religions basically agree on right behavior
the main reason for our problems is that we don't live that way
what is it about the human condition that we can know exactly what we're supposed to do and the consequences when we don't and we still do the wrong thing?
--and, a little more disturbingly, we go to great lengths to convince ourselves that those behaviors are not the right ones, after all
we are slaves to sin. sin is not just an action, it's a power.
every sinful action has destructive power on the faculty that engaged in it: reason, emotions, will

the Israelites want to go back to Egypt
that's insane
--in the same way, we trick ourselves into going back to slavery
'what rational person says 'there was an upside.'?'
they're spiritual slaves, powerless to do what's best for them.
so are we
Rom 7 -- i am sold as a slave under sin
if you're not aware of your spiritual slavery, your moral ambition is too low
'i challenge you to live be the Golden Rule for 12 hours'
--we all agree it's a nice idea, but few of us really try concertedly to live it out
if you think you can do any good you would want to, you're not trying very hard

structure of the slavery
sin undermines ability to do right
craving overwhelms reason
--God turned them over to their desires
addiction pattern
every sinful action becomes an addiction
3 parts of addiction cycle
1. distress
choose to deal with agent
agent promises transcendence and freedom, sense of liberation and escape
tolerance develops. the more you do, the more you need. your emotions are shriveling up.
2. denial
rationalization. can't think objectively
3. dissolves and destroys willpower
trying to deal with distress with very thing that caused distress
thinking disobeying God will bring you freedom is taking your freedom

sin is craving something more than God, living for something more than God.
there's a tolerance effect in life: desired career pales. marriage cannot satisfy us in place of God
emotions shrivel. mind shrivels.
Aldous Huxley is honest: i wanted there to be no God b/c i wanted to sleep around. philosophers aren't objective. i chose my atheism as an act of sexual liberation
holding a grudge rots your mind. you have to feel morally superior to that person.
will shrivels
Jonathan Edwards: sin turns the heart into a fire and there's never been a fire that said 'enough fuel, i'm satisfied'. in the same way, there's never been a heart that said 'i've had enough success, love, approval, comfort'.
what do i tell myself would make me happy if only i had it? shows your idol, your slavery.
the larger the fire grows, the more fuel, including oxygen, it wants

how are we healed?
few good examples in this passage, but some insights
God says 'You've rejected me'
God performs an intervention
we need waking up
our real problem is God is not burning at the center of our lives
there's no bigger slave than the people who don't know they're slaves
'you will loathe the meat b/c you have loathed Me'
we can't stop ourselves by willpower or trying harder
we need an appetite for God, tasting God.
beyond believing and obeying
taste and see that the Lord is good
we need great worship, as much as possible
you can't have quality time with God without quantity time
we need a new fire that says 'if only, i saw the Lord. if only i could feel Him to be as great as i know Him to be'
--and we can remember back to the times when He has shown Himself great to us
the reason nothing else tastes is you haven't tasted that the Lord is good
and there is no tolerance effect
His mercies are new every morning!

we need a real, better-than Moses
Moses wanted to die rather than bear the burden of the people
Hebrews 3: there's a better-than-Moses
Jesus was willing to take the burden and die thereby
if we know the Truth and continue in it, It will set us free
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