SERIES: White Collar Sins
MESSAGE: Sin in a Three-Piece Suit
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 23

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


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