Dealing with Sin Teaching Series

Dealing With Sin Social MediaChristians struggle with sin. When someone becomes a Christians they don’t stop struggling with sin. In fact, before someone is a Christian there isn’t really a struggle at all. They are dead in their sins and live in rebellion against God. However, when someone becomes a Christian their sins are forgiven and they receive a new nature (Ephesians 1:7; 2 Corinthians 5:17). This new nature in Christ is what starts the struggle with sin. The old nature remains. Until Christians get to heaven that old nature will still be with them. This old nature is at war with the new nature (Paul shares this struggle in Romans 7). The good news is God has revealed in His Word how Christians can deal with sin. We are not to continue in our sin but strive to put off our old man and put on the new man (Ephesians 4:22-24).

Below you will find a link to a three week teaching series I wrote and taugh on the topic of dealing with sin. In this series, I cover three ways the Bible tells Christians to deal with sin – confession, repentance, and war. Each week focuses on one of these things. This series includes three teaching manuscriptssmall group questions, and the series graphic.

The link below will take you to Download Youth Ministry where you can purchase the entire series or individual messages from this series. While you’re there check out some of the other resources DYM offers.

Click Here to Purchase the Dealing with Sin Series

Note: Please keep in mind this series was originally written for and taught to students. However, it’s a great series for other audiences as well so feel free to tweak it and use it how it best fits your context. I hope this series is a blessing to you and your ministry.

What We Did This Week

Dealing With Sin Social MediaThis week we had some pretty good nights in our student ministries. The attendance was way down for our high school ministry due to the local high school having a band concert that many of our students were involved in. However, we still had a good night and our middle school ministry night was good as well. Below are the details on what we did.

What We Did at Porch (High School)
Upfront Game: Animix. This was an awesome upfront game! Basically we show a picture of two animals and contestants have to guess what the name of the animal would be if those two animals were combined. It comes from Download Youth Ministry, but is only available right now to those that have a membership. So get a membership with them! It’s worth it. You get tons of awesome stuff.
Worship Set List: Jonathan Claytor, the Christ Community Chapel (Stow Campus) worship leader,  came and led in acoustic worship for us instead of our normal student band playing. Songs where Unstoppable God (Elevation Worship), Lord I Need You (Chris Tomlin), We Will Run (Gungor), I Am Not the Same (Aaron Keys).
Teaching: We continued our “Dealing with Sin” series by talking about repentance. The first part of the talk focused on what repentance is and the second part of the talk focused on what does repentance in the life of the believer look like. For the second part of the talk we walked through Psalm 51.
Highlight: Playing the game Animix. It’s tough to find games that work well with our high school students. This game worked well for us. It was fun for the crowd to watch and the contestants had a good time with it. I also enjoyed co-leading the game with one of our college leaders Tommy.

What We Did at Edge (Middle School)
Upfront Game: Animix (see above)
Group Game: Scatterball. This is by far the most popular in our middle school ministry. It’s basically dodgeball with only one ball (I throw in a few more balls throughout the game). You can only take up to three steps with the ball. Our students love it and we usually play it once or twice a month right now. Click the link above to get the graphic we use for this game.
Teaching: Twice a month we have small groups within our middle school ministry. Instead of me teaching we have students break into groups by grade and gender. Each group is led by one or two adult leaders. Students continued our “Dealing with Sin” series by talking about repentance in their small groups.
Highlight: Filling in and leading one of our guys small groups. I usually don’t lead a group but one of our leaders wasn’t there so I filled in for him. It was fun connecting with some of the students I didn’t really know and being able to talk with them about repentance.

3 Ways to Handle Personal Sin as a Leader

I believe one area of leadership we don’t talk enough about is how leaders should handle personal sin and failure due to sin. We often wait until leaders sin to the point where they are disqualified, then we talk about what they should do. They should step down. They should be fired. They need to get help. But we never talk about what they should do to handle the sin before it gets to the point they are disqualified. I believe there are a few reasons for this problem. First, leaders don’t always like talking about their sin. As a leader, you don’t want people to see your flaws and struggle because your their leader. This is a terrible attitude, but we often have it as leaders. Second, if a leader does talk about his sin, he will be judged and condemned. That might be a strong statement, but often times when leaders confess sin and ask for help they don’t receive the loving support and help we are told to give in Galatians 6:1.

As leaders, we are sinners just like the people we lead. If you’re a pastor, you’re a sinner just like the people in your congregation. Student pastors, you are a sinner just like the students that make up your student ministry. Leaders, we will sin and struggle with sin, but we need to learn how to handle it so it doesn’t destroy us to the point of having to leave our leadership position. Here are three things leaders can do to handle personal sin in their life.

1. Confess and repent quickly. This may seem simple, but when we sin we often get so discouraged and down on ourselves we forget God told us to confess our sin to Him and He will forgive us (1 John 1:9). In his book Doctrine, Mark Driscoll reminds us that repentance is a gift to the Christian. Because of Christ and his payment for our sin on the cross, we have the privilege to confess and repent of sin! Christian leader, don’t stay down and discouraged when you sin, confess and repent of it quickly! God will forgive you and your fellowship will be restored the moment you confess! This doesn’t mean that you will not feel broken, we should feel broken over our sin. But remember Christ already paid for every single sin you will ever commit on the cross. Confess, repent, and get back up!

2. Seek out accountability. This is huge! We often shy away from this as leaders because we don’t want to reveal our sin to someone else and naturally as sinners we don’t want to be accountable to someone. But as leaders, we must have accountability set up in our life’s. Don’t stop at confessing and repenting when you sin, get help and be accountable to someone. Leaders, you need someone in your life asking you the “hard questions” and asking how you’re doing personally in your walk with God. The leader who does not have accountability in their life are asking for the enemy and their flesh to destroy their leadership position. When you sin, confess, repent quickly, get back up, and find some accountability!

3. Use your sin to encourage others. I am not saying share all your struggles when you stand up to preach or teach, but what I am saying is that when it is helpful and appropriate encourage others by your struggle with sin. Encourage others to confess and repent as you confess and repent. Encourage others to seek out accountability as you seek out accountability. The people we minister to need to know their leader is a real person who has real struggles. In Psalm 51 David confesses his sin to God. In verse 13 he says, “Then I will teach transgressors your ways…” After he has confessed and repented of his sin, David says he will then turn and teach others no to sin! J.D. Greear, pastor of The Summit Church, said, “God can take the sins of our kingdom and use them in great ways in His kingdom.”

Leader, you will sin and will blow it at times. If you have fallen morally you may lose your position because God is clear in His Word that there are some sins that will disqualify a leader. But you WILL NEVER loose your relationship with Him! Deal with your sin before it costs you your position.

A book I would recommend on this subject would be Failing Forward by John Maxwell. In this book he explains how as a leader you can fail, but fail forward in a way that will help you as a leader. Also, if your a leader, you need to check out Perry Nobles blog for some great thoughts on leadership.

Dealing with Doubt

Recently my fiancee and I traveled from Ohio down to North Carolina to spend this Christmas with my family. One of the things we always do on long trips is listen to sermons from preachers we both like. On this trip we decided to listen to a Perry Noble sermon and a Matt Chandler sermon. Both were great, but the sermon from Matt Chandler was just what I needed! I want to share with you the main points of the sermon and hope it ministers to you as it did me.

The sermon was called “Dealing with Doubt.” If we were all honest, we would admit that sometime in our Christian life we have struggled with doubt. Either something has caused us to question the reality of our salvation or the assurance of it. To be honest, this is one of the “thorns in my flesh.” Doubt is an issue that from time to time I struggle with and if I am not careful, it becomes a sin that the enemy uses to distract me. I was encouraged by Matt Chandler’s honesty in this sermon as he shared that he struggles with doubt from time to time as well.

In this sermon, Matt Chandler addresses three areas where doubt comes from. He then ends the sermon with some principles to examine if you truly have saving faith or not. I want to share the three areas then give my own principle that will help us examine if we have saving faith or not.

1. You really are not Christian. One reason a person may doubt is simply because they are not truly a born-again Christian. They may “profess” to being a Christian, but that is not enough! Matthew 7:22-23 says that many will stand before God one day and profess His name and even say they did things in His name, but sadly God will tell them He never really knew them. There is a big different between knowing about God and personally knowing Him in a relationship. James 2:19 tells us that even the demons believe there is a God! One reason many doubt their salvation is because they profess it, but do not truly possess it.

2. Uncertainty of God’s affection for you. Many Christians struggle with doubt because they forget that God loves them unconditionally. We received Christ’s righteousness at the point of salvation, but we start to live the Christian life in our own righteousness. So we start to see the Christian life as a checklist and a list of things we can do and things we cannot do. The problem is we are sinners, and we still sin and do those things we shouldn’t do. So what happens is that we start to doubt and every time we sin we doubt if God really loves us. When we doubt that God loves us and if we are truly saved, we are looking at the cross of Christ and telling God He must show us something better for us to believe He loves us. God showed His love for us by sending Jesus to die for us (Romans 5:8). Not only did He die for us, but we have been given His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). We now stand justified before God (Romans 3:24).

3. You are walking in sin. I believe this is the main reason Christians struggle with doubt. Many struggle with doubt because the are walking in unconfessed, unrepentant sin. When a Christian is walking in unconfessed sin they are miserable! Just read Psalm 32 and see how David felt when he did not confess his sin. When we are walking in unconfessed we cant see God clearly and we cant see His love clearly. Because of this we doubt our salvation. The good thing about this is that God has given us a way out of this situation. Because Christ already paid for all of our sin on the cross, we can confess and repent when we do sin which restores our fellowship with God (1 John 1:9). Many people doubt their salvation because they are out of fellowship with God, they are not confessing and repenting of sin. In his book, Doctrine, Mark Driscoll reminds us that repentance is a gift to the Christian. Christians, don’t forsake the gift of repentance. When you sin, confess and repent quickly!

I want to take a step away from Matt Chandler’s sermon now and share with you one simple idea that I believe can help us identify if we truly have saving faith or not. I believe your life indicates whether or not you have true saving faith. What I mean by this is that your life, since you became a Christian, should tell you that your are a true Christian. There should be spiritual growth, changes, and conviction of sin. If things like this are not seen in your life it is probably an indication that you are not a true Christian. I’m not talking about perfection. As a Christian, you will sin and may have times when you turn your back on God, but the overall picture of your life will be growth, change, and God working in your life.

Matt Chandler is lead pastor of The Village Church in TX. You can download their preaching podcast here and listen to all of Matt Chandler’s sermons. I would encourage you to listen Matt Chandler’s sermons as well as the other pastors at The Village Church.