White Collar Sins

Skip Heitzig

We say we want to be holy, yet we tolerate sin on a daily basis, comfortable with its permeating presence in our homes, our relationships—our very lives. And while we view murder, lust, and lying as unbearably wicked, we trivialize gossip, gluttony, and envy. In the series White Collar Sins: Death in Its Sunday Best, Pastor Skip Heitzig challenges us to view all sin as destructive and recognize its painful consequences.


 

Table of Contents

# SCRIPTURE: MESSAGE:
1 Matthew 23 Sin in a Three-Piece Suit
2 Proverbs 6:6-11;Romans 12:11 The Lazy Life of the Couch Potato
3 Genesis 37; Acts 7:9-10 Fighting the Green-Eyed Monster
4 Hebrews 12:14-15 The Destructive Harvest of a Bitter Heart
5 Leviticus 19:11-18 Psst! Have You Heard...?
6 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Gluttony: Society’s Most Acceptable Sin
7 1 Samuel 12:19-25 When You Haven't Got a Prayer

 


 

SERIES: White Collar Sins
MESSAGE: Sin in a Three-Piece Suit
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 23
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4268

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Someone remarked that our sense of sin is in proportion to our nearness to God. We’re usually good at being aware of blatant wickedness, but what about less obvious infractions? Are we willing to point fingers at others for flagrant iniquity while coddling our own vices? The truth is that many are too Christian to enjoy sinning while being too fond of sinning to enjoy Christianity. My purpose in this series isn’t to condemn anyone. I hope to stimulate a heart for holiness for a fulfilled life and happy relationships. To start off this series, consider five characteristics of sin.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: January 14, 2018
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Sin in a Three-Piece Suit"
Text: Matthew 23

Path

Someone remarked that our sense of sin is in proportion to our nearness to God.We're usually good at being aware of blatant wickedness, but what about less obvious infractions? Are we willing to point fingers at others for flagrant iniquity while coddling our own vices? The truth is that many are too Christian to enjoy sinning while being too fond of sinning to enjoy Christianity. In this series called White Collar Sins, Pastor Skip hopes to stimulate a heart for holiness for a fulfilled life and happy relationships. To start off this series, Pastor Skip considered five characteristics of sin:

  1. Sin Is Detectable (vv. 1-3)
  2. Sin Is Dangerous (v. 23a)
  3. Sin Is Diverse (v. 23-26)
  4. Sin Is Deceptive (v. 27)
  5. Sin Is Dismissible (v. 37)
Points

Sin Is Detectable
Sin Is Dangerous
Sin Is Diverse
Sin Is Deceptive
Sin Is Dismissible
Practice

Connect Up: Only a holy being can have complete fellowship with a perfectly holy God.  How does Christ's righteousness make us holy, allowing us to come boldly before God's throne (see Hebrews 4:16)? Discuss this statement: Jesus' righteousness is imputed to us (He saves us—see 2 Corinthians 5:21), and by the Spirit we are sanctified (continually made holy over time).

Connect In: In church, it's easy to wear a mask and be a hypocrite. How can we guard ourselves from being like the religious elite in Matthew 23? Chip Ingram suggested three ways:2 begin within (look at yourself), start with your own heart (your attitude), and weigh the consequences (your actions). How do you deal with hypocrisy in your heart?

Connect Out: How would you answer a nonbeliever who says, "The church is full of hypocrites. I've never found a Christian I can trust"?

1Wayne A. Grudem, Bible Doctrine: Essential Teachings of the Christian Faith, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Zondervan, 1999, p. 210.
2Living on the Edge, "How to Overcome Hypocrisy in Your Heart, Part 1," https://livingontheedge.org/broadcast/how-to-overcome-hypocrisy-in-your-heart-part-1/daily-radio#.WlqpOIUfHFY, accessed 1/14/18.

DETAILED NOTES

  1. Introduction
    1. In ancient Greek culture, actors wore masks as they delivered their lines in plays
      1. Sad mask for sad lines and happy mask for funny lines
      2. Hupokrités= somebody who wears a mask, an actor, a hypocrite
    2. White collar sins
      1. Borrowed from the term white collar crimes
        1. Mainly financial crimes: fraud, money laundering, etc.
        2. A crime committed by someone of respectability and high social status
        3. Can incur as much if not more jail time as some blue collar crimes
      2. A short theology on sin
        1. Hamartiology is the study of sin
          1. Hamartia = a sin, failure
          2. Logia = to study
        2. You can never understand our great salvation until you understand how much you need it
    3. The last recorded public sermon Jesus preached was a confrontation
      1. He unmasked the Pharisees
      2. He exposed their sin
  2. Sin Is Detectable (vv.1-3)
    1. God always knows our sins (see Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:8)
      1. The word harmatia is used over 200 times in Scripture
        1. Means tomiss the mark or to fall short
        2. There is a divine standard that we have missed
      2. Sin = any failure to conform to the moral law of God in act, attitude, or nature
      3. You can essentially look anywhere in the Bible and be confronted with the idea of sin
    2. Sin is not a popular concept because our culture views man mechanistically
      1. It is explained away as psychological or social conditioning
      2. It is explained as a way we deal with guilt
  3. Sin Is Dangerous (v. 23a)
    1. "Woe to you" (vv. 13-16, 23, 25, 27, 29)
      1. Woe is an exclamation of grief
      2. Ouai in Greek
      3. Oy in Hebrew
    2. Proselyte (v. 15)
      1. A proselyte is a convert
      2. Proselyte of the gate
        1. A half-convert
        2. Believed in the God of the Jews but was unable to sacrifice in the temple because they were uncircumcised
      3. Proselyte of righteousness
        1. A full convert
        2. The Pharisees sought to win these converts
    3. Sin in its undetected and unrepentant form bars one from heaven
      1. All of God's activity on the earth was focused on curing this problem
      2. Sin put the Perfect One on the cross
      3. We are really good at spotting other people's sin and really bad at detecting our own
  4. Sin Is Diverse (vv. 23-26)
    1. Sin takes on many forms
      1. The law required the Jews to pay a 10 percent tithe to keep the nation of Israel going (see Leviticus 27:30-33)
      2. There was an additional tithe to fund the worship system (see Deuteronomy 12:6)
      3. Every third year, there was another tithe to support the Levites and widows
      4. The Pharisees went above and beyond that, even so far as to divide up their spices
        1. They were so concerned about the small, insignificant things that they were ignorant of the big things
        2. Mercy, justice, and compassion
    2. Sins of commission and sins of omission
      1. Commission: doing something you shouldn't
      2. Omission: not doing something you should (see James 4:17)
        1. A man doesn't have to do anything to destroy his home
        2. It must be nurtured
    3. Some sins are obvious while others are hidden and "respectable"
      1. Gossip, selfishness, bitterness, anger, gluttony, prayerlessness, envy
      2. You will not ever keep the Ten Commandments
      3. They aren't just about your actions; they are about your attitude (see Exodus 20:17)
  5. Sin Is Deceptive (v. 27)
    1. The Pharisees cleaned themselves up on the outside so people would look at them (see v. 5)
      1. You can cover up a lot in a three-piece suit
      2. You can cover up a lot with a Bible in your hand
      3. You can cover up a lot with a cross around your neck
      4. You can cover up a lot with a song on your lips and a smile on your face
    2. The worst form of blasphemy is when one pretends to know, walk with, and love God, but doesn't
      1. We must be intentional about seeking God
      2. Matthew 6:33
  6. Sin Is Dismissible (v. 37)
    1. Sin is the problem, but Christ is the cure
      1. Jesus lamented that the Jews refused to take the cure to sin
      2. He used tender language
    2. This is the whole reason Jesus came to the earth (see Matthew 1:21; Luke 19:10; John 1:29)
    3. The greatest opportunity and the greatest tragedy
      1. The greatest opportunity
        1. Jesus wanted to gather the children of Israel together
        2. Jesus wanted to give the cure to sin
      2. The greatest tragedy
        1. They were not willing
        2. They were not interested in the cure
  7. Closing
    1. Jesus is willing and able to take care of all our sin, if we are willing (see 1 John 1:9)
    2. God wants to bring you closer to Him (see Psalm 51:17)
Figures referenced: Billy Graham, John Lennon, Martin Luther, Bernie Madoff, Dwight L. Moody, Charles Spurgeon, Edwin Sutherland

Greek/Hebrew words: hamartia, hupokrités, logia, ouai, oy

Cross references: Exodus 20:17; Leviticus 27:30-33; Deuteronomy 12:6; Psalm 51:17; Matthew 1:21; 6:33; Luke 19:10; John 1:29; Romans 3:23; James 4:17; 1 John 1:8, 9

Topic: Sin

Keywords: sin, hypocrisy, hamartiology, confrontation, tithe, repentance

 


 

SERIES: White Collar Sins
MESSAGE: The Lazy Life of the Couch Potato
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Proverbs 6:6-11;Romans 12:11
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4270

MESSAGE SUMMARY
The first in our list of White Collar Sins will be laziness—showing a lack of effort or energy, the unwillingness to act or, in some cases, even care. Though many would smirk at this as being petty or trivial (after all there are much worse things in the world), the Bible itself addresses it as being substantial since many other lives can be affected by it. Laziness grows on people; it begins in cobwebs and ends in chains.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: January 21, 2018
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "The Lazy Life of the Couch Potato"
Text: Proverbs 6:6-11; Proverbs 24:30-34; Romans 12:11

Path

The first in our list of White Collar Sins is laziness—showing a lack of effort or energy, the unwillingness to act or, in some cases, even care. Though many would smirk at this as being petty or trivial (after all, there are much worse things in the world), the Bible itself addresses it as being substantial since many other lives can be affected by it. Laziness grows on people; it begins in cobwebs and ends in chains. Pastor Skip defined laziness, its effects, and its cure:

  1. What Laziness Is (Proverbs 6:11)
  2. What Laziness Isn't (Proverbs 6:10)
  3. What Laziness Does (Proverbs 6:6-10 & Selected)
  4. What Laziness Needs (Romans 12:11)
Points

What Laziness Is
What Laziness Isn't
What Laziness Does
What Laziness Needs
Practice

Connect Up: How does a work-filled life reflect the Lord? Why do you think the Lord created work? Conversely, why did the Lord create—and demonstrate—rest (see Genesis 1)? How do the two go hand in hand?

Connect In: How does the church benefit from working people? How does the church benefit from resting people?

Connect Out: Should evangelism be considered work? Why or why not? If you think it is work, what makes it so? If it is a pleasure, why? If both, describe your thoughts.

DETAILED NOTES

  1. Introduction
    1. God takes laziness very seriously
      1. One of the sins for which God judged Sodom was laziness (see Ezekiel 16:49)
      2. It also goes by the term sloth
      3. Seven deadly sins: pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth
        1. Compiled by Pope Gregory I in AD 600
        2. The Catholic Church taught them as the unforgivable sins
        3. This is incorrect, as all sin can be forgiven save the blasphemy of the Spirit (see Matthew 12:31)
    2. White collar sins
      1. Sins that many people see as not that bad
      2. Gossip, selfishness, bitterness, anger, gluttony, prayerlessness, envy
    3. Social scientists have noted that Americans are becoming addicted to entertainment and leisure
      1. Binge-watching
      2. Needing to have a screen in front of us
    4. The book of Proverbs especially deals with laziness
      1. Nineteen verses on the topic
      2. The Proverbs were written by Solomon
      3. Short sayings based on long experiences
      4. God's advice
  2. What Laziness Is (Proverbs 6:11)
    1. Proverbs 24:30-34
    2. God's creation ought to be a classroom
      1. It will give us lessons about God (see Psalm 19:1)
      2. Solomon challenged the reader to look at the ants
        1. Solomon praised the ants for their work ethic
        2. He wrote Proverbs for his son
      3. Solomon stated that lack of diligence leads to poverty
    3. Sluggard
      1. Atsel = sluggish
      2. Hater of work
    4. Solomon was speaking to the mal-employed
      1. The actively disengaged
      2. Work was something that came before the fall
        1. It is not a curse
        2. God gave Adam a job (see Genesis 2:15)
  3. What Laziness Isn't (Proverbs 6:10)
    1. It is not leisure
      1. There is a time for resting activities (see Ecclesiastes 3:3, 7)
      2. We need time to be free of work
      3. Time to spare spares the soul
    2. This is why God commanded us to take the Sabbath (see Exodus 20:8-11)
      1. Shabbat = Sabbath
      2. Also means intermission
      3. God wants us to rest; it restores our soul (see Psalm 23:2-3)
  4. What Laziness Does (Proverbs 6:6-10 & Selected)
    1. A lazy person will not focus on the task at hand
      1. Cannot give a set time when a task will be complete
      2. Distracted by useless things
    2. A lazy person will not finish what he started
      1. Starts with the right intentions but never finishes
      2. Proverbs 12:27; 19:24
      3. Always has an excuse for why he won't finish
    3. A lazy person lives an unfulfilled life
      1. The result will be poverty, restlessness, dissatisfaction, and discouragement (see Proverbs 13:4; 21:25)
      2. Unfulfilled appetites and desires
  5. What Laziness Needs (Romans 12:11)
    1. Diligence (see Proverbs 12:24)
    2. Serve the Lord enthusiastically (see Ephesians 6:7)
      1. Work as though you are working for the Lord, not for people
      2. Enthusiasm to the boiling point
      3. Everything in life changes when you bring God into the picture
      4. Our work should reflect our heavenly Father
  6. Closing
    1. Although we are not saved by works, we are evaluated by the work we've done since being saved (1 Corinthians 3:13-15)
    2. Purpose to have more to show God when you get to heaven than your Netflix account
Figures referenced: Benjamin Franklin, Pope Gregory I, Antonio Stradivari, Billy Sunday

Hebrew words: atsel, shabbat

Cross references: Genesis 2:15; Exodus 20:8-11; Ezekiel 16:49; Psalm 19:1; 23:2-3; Proverbs 6:6-11; 12:24, 27; 13:4; 19:24; 21:25; Ecclesiastes 3:3, 7; Matthew 12:31; Romans 12:9-11; 1 Corinthians 3:13-15; Ephesians 6:7

Topic: Laziness

Keywords: laziness, sloth, seven deadly sins, proverbs, leisure, rest, work, excuses, diligence

 


 

SERIES: White Collar Sins
MESSAGE: Fighting the Green-Eyed Monster
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 37; Acts 7:9-10
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4272

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Some attitudes can go undetected, at least for a while. You can't see someone committing envy or having resentful thoughts. But envy is detrimental because it blinds us and makes it impossible for us to think clearly. It discolors everything around us and steals our peace. Some know what it’s like to be envied, like Marilyn Monroe who once quipped, "Success makes so many people hate you." But most of us from time to time struggle with envying someone else.

STUDY GUIDE
Recap Notes: January 28, 2018
Teacher: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Fighting the Green-Eyed Monster"
Text: Genesis 37:1-11; Genesis 39:1-2; Acts 7:9-10

Path

Some attitudes can go undetected, at least for a while. You can't see someone committing envy or having resentful thoughts. But envy is detrimental because it blinds us and makes it impossible to think clearly. It discolors everything around us and steals our peace. Some know what it's like to be envied, like Marilyn Monroe, who once quipped, "Success makes so many people hate you." But most of us from time to time struggle with envying someone else. In this study, Pastor Skip shared how to fight the green-eyed monster of envy:

  1. Envy Has a History (Genesis 37:1-2)
  2. Envy Has a Recipe (Genesis 37:2-11)
  3. Envy Has a Remedy (Genesis 39:1-2; Acts 7:9-10)

Points

Envy Has a History
Envy Has a Recipe
Envy Has a Remedy

Practice

Connect Up: The Bible calls Christians to be holy (see 1 Peter 1:15-16). How does envy—or any sin—separate us from the mark of completeness God desires for our lives?  Discuss what Jesus meant when He said, "Be perfect" (Matthew 5:48). The Greek word for perfect is teleios, meaning complete, full, or perfect. How does Christ perfect our lives and lead us to Christlikeness?

Connect In: How would you deal with a fellow believer who's struggling with envy, whether toward you or someone else? (See Matthew 18 for insight.)

Connect Out: How would you practically handle envy in your own life so it doesn't affect others you reach out to? Discuss these suggestions:¹Shift your focus to the goodness in your life. Remind yourself that nobody has it all. Avoid people who habitually value the wrong things. Spend time with grateful people. Understand that marketers routinely fan the flame. Celebrate the success of others.

¹Joshua Becker, "A Helpful Guide to Overcoming Envy," https://www.becomingminimalist.com/ungreen-with-envy accessed 1/28/18.

DETAILED NOTES

  1. Introduction
    1. Envy is an insidious sin
      1. Paul listed it as one of the works of the flesh (see Galatians 5:19-21)
      2. It poisons our soul and clouds our ability to see things clearly
        1. The green-eyed monster
        2. Term originated in Shakespeare's Othello
    2. Envy is the art of counting other people's blessings instead of your own
      1. The story of Joseph is a story of envy
      2. It was envy that began all his troubles
  2. Envy Has a History (Genesis 37:1-2)
    1. The whole history of Jacob and his family is a story of envy
      1. He learned envy from his mother, Rebekah (see Genesis 27)
      2. Esau envied Jacob
      3. Laban envied Jacob
      4. It even goes back to Cain and Abel (see Genesis 4)
    2. Envy is part of the human heart (see Matthew 7:20-22)
      1. Every time someone around us has something good happen to them, we deal with feelings of envy
      2. We are called to rejoice with others (see Romans 12:15)
      3. Other people's successes seem to amplify our own perceived failures
  3. Envy Has a Recipe (Genesis 37:2-11)
    1. Natural dissimilarity
      1. Jacob had sons from four wives: Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah
      2. Envy grows when we compare ourselves to others
      3. Joseph was handsome (see Genesis 39:6)
      4. Envy always compares and asks, "Why them?"
    2. Social integrity
      1. All people need to feel accepted, especially young people
        1. The idea of rejection is devastating
        2. Leads to groupthink
      2. Joseph's moral compass was stronger than his need to be accepted
        1. Like Daniel (see Daniel 1:8)
        2. Over-developed sense of honesty
      3. Perhaps Joseph had learned to be brutally honest by watching the result of his family's dishonesty
        1. Jacob had tricked his own father into giving him his blessing (see Genesis 27)
        2. Joseph's brothers tricked their father and killed an entire village because their sister had been raped (see Genesis 34)
      4. Joseph's brothers saw his honesty as malice
    3. Parental partiality
      1. Partiality adds the dangerous ingredient for the recipe of envy
      2. It can come from different sources
        1. A boss
        2. Friends
        3. Teachers
        4. Coaches
      3. Joseph was the son of Rachel, the only woman Jacob ever really loved
      4. The coat Jacob gave Joseph signified that he was giving him the rights and privileges of the firstborn son (see 1 Chronicles 5:1)
    4. Personal simplicity
      1. Joseph's dreams did not earn him any points with his brothers
      2. He was naïve
    5. Envy puts us at the center of the universe
      1. Greed says, "I want more;" envy says "I want you to have less"
      2. Resenting others' happiness (see Proverbs 27:4)
  4. Envy Has a Remedy (Genesis 39:1-2; Acts 7:9-10)
    1. For Those Targeted
      1. Envy does not have to have the last word
        1. The brothers' jealousy did not hinder the work of God
        2. It furthered the work of God (see Psalm 76:10)
      2. If you are prone to envy, God may give you first-row seats to His work in others' lives
        1. Your envy does not stop God's work in another person's life
        2. You can live honorably regardless of your environment
        3. You cannot blame where you are today on the actions of other people
    2. For Those Inflicting
      1. Envy does not destroy the person you are envious of; it only destroys you (see Proverbs 14:30)
      2. Live your life better than the one you envy
      3. If you have a healthy spiritual life (read your Bible, go to church, serve, etc.) but are holding on to toxins like envy, it will destroy you (see 1 Peter 2:1-2)
      4. If you say you love God and other people but are envious, you really don't love, because "love does not envy" (1 Corinthians 13:4)
      5. Let gratitude be your long-term strategy
        1. Replace envy with thanksgiving
        2. It will transform your heart
Figures referenced: William Shakespeare, Paul Tripp

Works referenced:Othello, Leave It to Beaver

Cross references: Genesis 4; 27; 34; 39:6; 1 Chronicles 5:1; Psalm 76:10; Proverbs 14:30; 27:4; Daniel 1:8; Matthew 7:20-22; Romans 12:15; 1 Corinthians 13:4; Galatians 5:19-21; 1 Peter 2:1-2

Topic: Envy

Keywords: envy, coveting, jealousy, honesty, greed, resentment, thanksgiving

 


 

SERIES: White Collar Sins
MESSAGE: The Destructive Harvest of a Bitter Heart
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Hebrews 12:14-15
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4274

MESSAGE SUMMARY
We all know someone who has become embittered in life. They have planted kernels of unresolved anger and resentment and have become entrapped by the overgrown jungle of the bitter fruit it has created. To choose the bitter path (and it is a choice) is to walk down a self-destructive road that banishes peace and promotes self-centeredness. Let’s consider several Scriptures and the four attributes of a heart poisoned by bitterness.

STUDY GUIDE
Recap Notes: February 4, 2018
Teacher: Skip Heitzig
Teaching:"The Destructive Harvest of a Bitter Heart"
Text: Hebrews 12:14-15

Path

We all know someone who has become embittered in life. They have planted kernels of unresolved anger and resentment and have become entrapped by the overgrown jungle of the bitter fruit it has created. To choose the bitter path (and it is a choice) is to walk down a self-destructive road that banishes peace and promotes self-centeredness. In this teaching, Pastor Skip considered several Scriptures and four attributes of a heart poisoned by bitterness:

  1. Bitterness Begins with Small Seeds (vv. 12-14)
  2. Bitterness Requires Right Soil (v. 15a)
  3. Bitterness Develops Deep Roots (v. 15b)
  4. Bitterness Produces Bad Fruit (v. 15c)
Points

Bitterness Begins with Small Seeds
Bitterness Requires Right Soil
Bitterness Develops Deep Roots
Bitterness Produces Bad Fruit
Practice

Connect Up: One of the hallmarks of God's character is His holiness (see Psalm 99), so we're called to pursue holiness. In Greek, holiness is hagiasmos, meaning purification and sanctification. How do we pursue God's holiness? How are we sanctified when we pursue God's holiness, "without which no one will see the Lord" (Hebrews 12:14)?

Connect In: Sadly, bitterness is found in the church, causing "trouble" (Hebrews 12:15).   What steps should Christians take to overcome bitterness in life and the church? One person recommended the following steps: forgive, make a plan, stop dwelling and retelling, seek grace, and seek help. ¹Discuss these five steps.

Connect Out: Because the Lord is our peace (see Ephesians 2:14), how shall we pursue peace with all people (see Hebrews 12:14)? What does a peaceful life look like in the world today? How can being an effective peacemaker (see Matthew 5:9) be a witness to a watching world?

¹ Dr. Greg, "Overcoming Bitterness: 5 Steps for Healing the Hurt that Won't Go Away," November 20, 2013, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/faithonthecouch/2013/11/overcoming-bitterness-5-steps-for-healing-the-hurt-that-wont-go-away, accessed 2/4/18.

DETAILED NOTES

  1. Introduction
    1. Most people say they know a bitter person; few are willing to admit that they are a bitter person
      1. More people struggle with bitterness than we think
      2. Of all the human emotions, this is the one you should fear the most
    2. Bitterness is emotional cancer
      1. Bitter people are hard to get close to
      2. Anger that has morphed into something
      3. Cold, aloof
  1. Bitterness Begins with Small Seeds (vv. 12-14)
    1. The biggest challenge to your peace is people
      1. People can hurt us
      2. What we fail to see is that perhaps God is using those difficult people to get our attention (see Hebrews 12:3-6)
    2. Bitterness comes from a seed of anger planted by someone who has hurt you
      1. It germinates when something happens to you that you don't think you deserve
      2. Bitterness is internalized anger that festers
      3. All bitterness starts as hurt
      4. Smoldering resentment
  2. Bitterness Requires Right Soil (v. 15a)
    1. You can never outrun the grace of God (see Romans 5:20)
      1. You can lose sight of the grace of God
      2. When you forget how gracious God was to you, you cease being gracious to other people
      3. We need to grow in grace or bad things will grow in us, like bitterness
    2. Some people's hearts are ripe for growing bitterness, like people who hold on to things and never let them go
      1. If we hold on to the past, it affects the present and becomes an essential part of who we are
      2. Naomi was like this (see Ruth 1)
        1. Her name means pleasant
        2. She blamed God for the bad things that happened to her
        3. She identified herself as a bitter person by taking the name Mara
    3. Bitterness turns you into a perpetual victim
      1. If you are always the victim, you can justify your anger
      2. It's always someone else's fault
      3. Bitterness is really a form of pride
    4. When a hurt comes your way, don't let it take root in your heart
      1. If you hold on to it, it will grab hold of you
      2. People who do not deal with past hurts are critical, notice bad things around them instead of good things, are fault-finders and sin-sniffers, and put people down
  3. Bitterness Develops Deep Roots (v. 15b)
    1. The author of Hebrews referred to what God said to His people in the Old Testament
      1. Deuteronomy 29:18
      2. Referred to those who were superficially identified with God but returned to their pagan lifestyle
    2. People who let bitterness grow eventually develop a root system that becomes immoveable
      1. A root is hidden
      2. As it grows, hidden, it becomes stronger
      3. Ephesians 4:31
    3. People can be bitter toward many things and people
      1. Parents
      2. Churches
      3. Leaders
      4. Spouses and ex-spouses
        1. Bitterness destroys homes
        2. Colossians 3:19
    4. Bitterness is a big problem among God's people
      1. It holds back the power of God
      2. When your heart is bitter, God will not be real to you
        1. Hatefulness and holiness cannot dwell in the same heart
        2. Instead of letting bitterness grow, plant your life in better soil (see Ephesians 3:17-18; Colossians 2:7)
  4. Bitterness Produces Bad Fruit (v. 15c)
    1. The root of bitterness always grows in two directions
      1. Toward you as you harbor it
      2. Toward others who are defiled by it
    2. Bitterness is like taking poison and hoping your enemy will die
      1. It is a form of emotional suicide, a slow form of destroying peace of mind
      2. You are the one being corroded
    3. Bitterness can ruin your relationship with God (see 1 John 4:20)
    4. It grows toward others
      1. Acts 8:5-23
      2. The difference between bitter and better is I
  5. Closing
    1. We must surrender our bitterness to God
    2. Though Jesus was tortured and crucified, the cross was the best thing that ever happened to humanity
    3. God can use the bad things in our past to make us better
Figures referenced: Lady Astor, Winston Churchill, Stephen Diamond, Michelangelo, Raphael, Dr. Leon Seltzer

Cross references: Deuteronomy 29:18; Ruth 1; Acts 8:5-23; Romans 5:20; Ephesians 3:17-18; 4:31; Colossians 2:7; 3:19; Hebrews 12:3-6; 1 John 4:20

Topic: Bitterness

Keywords: anger, bitter, resentment, hurt, grace, pride

 


 

SERIES: White Collar Sins
MESSAGE: Psst! Have You Heard...?
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Leviticus 19:11-18
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4276

MESSAGE SUMMARY
The sin of gossip has never made it into the same lists as murder and manslaughter. It's regarded as one of the "little sins" that even Christians are unwilling to avoid. But gossip is in the same family as murder because it assassinates a person's character. It destroys reputations, disrupts families, divides friends, and causes heartbreak. And the problem isn't just in the speaking but in the hearing as well. Let's look at a direct command not to gossip.

STUDY GUIDE
Recap Notes: February 11, 2018
Teacher: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Psst! Have You Heard…?"
Text: Leviticus 19:11-18

Path

The sin of gossip has never made it into the same lists as murder and manslaughter. It's regarded as one of the "little sins" that even Christians are unwilling to avoid. But gossip is in the same family as murder because it assassinates a person's character. It destroys reputations, disrupts families, divides friends, and causes heartbreak. And the problem isn't just in the speaking but in the hearing as well. Pastor Skip looked at a direct command not to gossip, sharing four practical observations about our words:

Points

Words Are Personal
Words Have Potential
Words Are Powerful
Words Should Be Purposeful
Practice

Connect Up: Knowing that God hates words that are divisive, discouraging, and destructive, are you willing to ask Him if you need to work on any of these types of speaking? Read Matthew 5:11-16. If you are the light of the world, how should that affect your speech? What does it mean to bear God's image instead of being a talebearer?

Connect In: What are the effects of talebearing in the body of Christ? Read Matthew 18:15-17. What would happen to gossip if Christians put Jesus' words into practice in everyday life? Will you commit to trying it out the next time you face such a situation?

Connect Out: How you deal with gossip as a Christian can really set you apart from the pack, whether it's at work, at the gym, or in your neighborhood. And how you handle it (especially when it affects you personally) matters to God. Read 1 Peter 2:12. Discuss when to tell the truth, when to be silent (see Exodus 14:14), and when to confront (see Matthew 18)—but remember: do it all with love (see Colossians 3:14).

DETAILED NOTES

  1. Introduction
    1. The human tongue can inflict a lot of damage through gossip
    2. We are given a direct commandment from God not to gossip
    3. The book of Leviticus is about holiness
      1. Holiness is God's least attractive attribute
        1. We want to talk about God's love, power, grace, etc.
        2. Holiness scares us
        3. We don't really know what it means
      2. Of all God's attributes, His holiness is mentioned most
    4. In Leviticus 19, the Ten Commandments are repeated and fleshed out (see vv. 1-10)
    5. In verses 11-18, the author talked about our speech
  2. Words Are Personal (vv. 11-12, 14, 16)
    1. They convey who you are as a person to others
    2. The word you occurs fifty-four times in this chapter alone
    3. God has given us the capacity to communicate with our words
      1. Men and women communicate differently
      2. Zacharias was made mute for not believing his wife would conceive (see Luke 1:5-20)
    4. We not only speak words, but we also write them down
      1. Letters, email, social media, texts
      2. Written words are harder to understand
        1. You cannot hear intonation or inflection
        2. You also cannot see body language
      3. The fullest form of communication is in person
      4. Social media has revolutionized the way our culture communicates
        1. Our language is changing meaning
        2. We are cultivating thin relationships
  3. Words Have Potential (vv. 11-15)
    1. We can choose to use our words for good or for bad (see Proverbs 18:21)
      1. Some words can destroy—others can delight; some words can enrich—others can kill (see Proverbs 12:18)
      2. James acknowledged the potential of the tongue (see James 3:2-10)
    2. The tongue can bless or curse
  4. Words Are Powerful (v. 16)
    1. Talebearers
      1. There may be traces of truth in what they say
      2. They are not trying to reveal truth; they are trying to ruin the person they are talking about
      3. The difference between a talebearer and a concerned friend is the difference between a butcher and a surgeon
      4. Words can ruin one's reputation by bearing a tale
      5. Rakil = slanderer
    2. As believers, we have become very crafty at the sin of gossip
      1. We package it not as gossip, but as concern
      2. We package it in prayer
      3. To discern whether what you are sharing is gossip, ask yourself whether you raise or lower your voice as you tell it (see Proverbs 16:28)
    3. Of the seven things God hates, three of them have to do with the tongue
      1. If God hates something, we should pay attention so we don't do it
      2. "One who sows discord among brethren" (Proverbs 6:19)
  5. Words Should Be Purposeful (vv. 17-18)
    1. Words are just a gauge of the heart (see Luke 6:45)
      1. If you speak good things, it reveals good things are in your heart
      2. If you speak bad things, it reveals bad things are in your heart
    2. If you really love people, you don't slander them (see 1 Corinthians 13:6)
      1. If someone hurts you, you must go to that person directly and talk about it
      2. Don't talk about that person—talk to them (see Matthew 18:15)
    3. The problem is not just that people love to say gossip; it's that people love to hear it
      1. There wouldn't be so many open mouths if there weren't so many open ears
      2. We enjoy hearing gossip (see Proverbs 18:8)
    4. When someone wants to bring you gossip:
      1. Ask them why they are bringing it to you specifically
      2. Ask them where they got their information
      3. Ask them if they have gone directly to that person
      4. Ask them if they have personally checked out the facts
      5. Ask them if you can quote them on it
Figures referenced: Tim Challies, Billy Graham, Bill Grayolis, Erik Jan Hanussen, Adolf Hitler, Gervase Markham

Works referenced: "Solomon on Social Media"

Hebrew words: rakil

Cross references: Leviticus 19:1-10; Proverbs 6:19; 12:18; 16:28; 18:8, 21; Matthew 18:15; Luke 1:5-20; 6:45; 1 Corinthians 13:6; James 3:2-10

Topic: Gossip

Keywords: gossip, holiness, social media, tongue, prayer, love

 


 

SERIES: White Collar Sins
MESSAGE: Gluttony: Society’s Most Acceptable Sin
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4284

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Overindulgence has become a hallmark of our modern American culture. Our bodies are constantly alive with conflicting desires and drives. The temptation to eat too much, drink too much, or indulge in any number of things is constant. And it is also trivialized. So what if a person eats a little too much? It’s his body! It’s her life! Or is it? How can we bring honor to God with our bodies? Is caring for them carnal, or is it a responsible activity of stewardship?

STUDY GUIDE
Recap Notes: March 11, 2018
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Gluttony: Society's Most Acceptable Sin"
Text: 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Path

Overindulgence has become a hallmark of our modern American culture. Our bodies are constantly alive with conflicting desires and drives. The temptation to eat too much, drink too much, or indulge in any number of things is constant. It is also trivialized. So what if a person eats a little too much? It's his body! It's her life! Or is it? How can we bring honor to God with our bodies? Is caring for them carnal, or is it a responsible activity of stewardship? In this teaching, Pastor Skip unpacked four affirming truths about our bodies:

  1. Your Body Is a Holy Place (v. 19a)
  2. Your Body Has a Holy Person (v. 19b)
  3. Your Body Had a Hefty Price (vv. 19c-20a)
  4. Your Body Has a Heavenly Purpose (v. 20b)
Points

Your Body Is a Holy Place
Your Body Has a Holy Person
Your Body Had a Hefty Price
Your Body Has a Heavenly Purpose
Practice

Connect Up: Pastor Skip mentioned that gluttony was once on the historic list of the seven deadly sins. Why do you think the Bible, and therefore God, views gluttony as a serious problem? What does placing anything higher than the Lord do to your relationship with Him?

Connect In: Though some people may struggle with gluttony within the church, why is it important not to base our thoughts on outward appearances? How can we change the mindset of fellowship from "When we meet, we eat" to "When we meet, let's eat His Word and meet one another's needs?" What practical things can we do to encourage one another away from gluttony and toward God?

Connect Out: In a day and age where excess (in food, money, etc.) is seen as a virtue, why is it important to live simply before the Lord and others? How can simple living be a witness to a watching world?

OUTLINE

  1. Your Body Is a Holy Place (v. 19a)

  2. Your Body Has a Holy Person (v. 19b)

  3. Your Body Had a Hefty Price (vv. 19c-20a)

  4. Your Body Has a Heavenly Purpose (v. 20b)

 


 

SERIES: White Collar Sins
MESSAGE: When You Haven't Got a Prayer
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: 1 Samuel 12:19-25
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4288

MESSAGE SUMMARY
The great mission worker Hudson Taylor was often refreshed by times of prayer. His son noted, "For forty years the sun never rose on China that God didn't find him on his knees." Someone called prayer the gymnasium of the soul. When was the last time you had a good "workout"? Today we delve into the mysterious cooperation of the divine and the human and consider the last topic in our White Collar Sins series--prayerlessness.

STUDY GUIDE
Recap Notes: March 25, 2018
Teacher: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "When You Haven't Got a Prayer"
Text: 1 Samuel 12:19-25

Path

The great mission worker Hudson Taylor was often refreshed by times of prayer. His son noted, "For forty years the sun never rose on China that God didn't find him on his knees." Someone called prayer the gymnasium of the soul. When was the last time you had a good "workout"? Today we delve into the mysterious cooperation of the divine and the human and consider the last topic in our White Collar Sins series—prayerlessness. Pastor Skip gave us four facts about prayer to encourage and guide us into prayer:


Points

Prayer Is Needed
Intercession Is Powerful
Obedience Is Essential
Prayerlessness Is Sinful
Practice

Connect Up: Billy Graham talked about wishing he had spent more time in study and prayer, just telling God that he loved Him. Take time now to do that and commit to taking time each day just to let God know how much you appreciate Him.

Connect In: The needs around us, even in the church, can feel overwhelming. We want to pray but the thought itself is exhausting. What are some ways you can discipline yourself to intercede for your brothers and sisters in Christ? Ask God to give you a heart for prayer. Consider making a list and dividing it into prayers for each day, setting a regular time and sticking to it, like you're keeping a meeting or appointment. What other tips have worked for you?

Connect Out: Billy Graham also said that the three most important things when undertaking any ministry are prayer, prayer, and prayer. He believed that prayer works. Prayer is your connection to God as your power source. What does it mean to make sure you've got a tight connection with God before you head out into the world?

OUTLINE


  1. Prayer Is Needful (v. 19a)

  2. Intercession Is Powerful (v. 19a-b)

  3. Obedience Is Essential (vv. 20-22)

  4. Prayerlessness Is Sinful (v. 23)


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