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Scripture Reading:  Ephesians 2:1-10


"I Can't Help Myself!"



1.  Widespread deception in our society:  Man is viewed as merely an organism being acted on by biological & social forces rather than as an agent of free will.  Moral offenders are “sick” & “ill,” not “sinners” & “criminals.”  (Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 5:3-7)

  a.  “The New Obscenity” (William Lee Wilbanks, Reader’s Digest, 12/88 – at the time a professor of criminal justice at Florida Int’l Univ.)

  b.  Illustration:  In ‘80’s an heir of the Upjohn pharmaceutical fortune was convicted of sexually molesting his 14 yr. old stepdaughter.  Judge placed him on probation & ordered Rx to reduce his testosterone…the judge blamed biology for the man’s crime.

2.  Unless people accept free will & its responsibilities they will never overcome immoral behavior…never be converted to Christ, Matt. 13:13-15.



  A.  The Result of Humanistic, Evolutionary Thought.

    1.  Man is the product of chance (natural selection); biological phenomenon.  So, morality is not regarded as a valid answer to man’s lack of self-control, indulgences & destructive actions.

    2.  Provides no moral standard (man is measure of all things).

    3.  Man is not made “in the image of God” – image of animals!

    4.  “I can’t help myself…I was made this way!” – Rom. 1:18-23

  B.  The Result of Failing to View People as Agents of Free Will.

    1.  Are moral offenders just “sick,” are also “sinners?” – Eph. 4:17-19 (“gave themselves over to…”) – Free will; chose immorality (Eph. 2:3).

    2.  Where there free will there is also personal responsibility & accountability, Eccl. 7:29; 11:9; Matt. 25:15, 24-27, 30.

  C.  It Says That Just Deciding to Reform is Futile.

    1.  “Addiction” (compulsory reaction to stimuli):  Lost control & can’t help ones self.  But habit, by definition, is self-induced behavior.

      a.  Sexual immorality (Eph. 5:3, 6) – Fornication is a choice, not a biological necessity.  1 Cor. 6:13-15 (cf. Homosexuality)

      b.  Anger (Col. 3:8) – “He made me mad.”  No, we allow ourselves to become angry…choice, not biological inevitability.  (Notice how seldom we lose control when frustrated by our boss vs. a family member – choice.)

      c.  Gambling (1 Tim. 6:9-10) – “Victimization” not responsibility.

      d.  Alcohol/drugs (Rom. 13:12-14) – There are certainly biological realities that may need medical treatment, but fundamentally, such “addictions” result from choices, not inescapable biological realities.

      e.  Smoking (1 Cor. 6:12) – In 1988, 30% of US adults smoked, & most said they were “addicted” – yet most of the 40 million ex-smokers quit w/o professional help…they decided to & did.



  A.  We are the Product of Divine Creation, Gen. 1:26-27.

  B.  We Possess Free Will, Gen. 2:16-17; Eccl. 7:29.

    1.  We have all chosen to sin, Rom. 3:9-19, 23.

    2.  God holds us morally responsible, Rom. 6:23.

  C.  God Provides Power over Sin in Jesus Christ, Matt. 11:28-30; Rom. 1:16; 6:23; Acts 2:37-38, 41.

    1.  We must choose to obey God to be saved, Rom. 6:17-18.

    2.  We must adapt our will to God’s will, Lk. 9:23; Rom. 12:2; Col. 3:1-5.

    3.  We must take responsibility for our own sin & repent (decide to change).



  A.  We Have a Choice (Josh. 24:15).

    1.  We don’t “have” to sin, Jas. 1:14-15; 4:7.

    2.  cf. King David had choices, 2 Sam. 11:2-3.

  B.  We Make a Choice, Eph. 2:1-3 (moral decision is made to lust & fulfill the lust).  (David made choices, 2 Sam. 11:4).

  C.  We are Responsible for Our Choices, Rom. 2:1-3, 6.

    1.  We will not escape responsibility & accountability to God.

    2.  David was responsible, 2 Sam. 12:7.

  D.  Christ Will Forgive our Sin (sinful choices) when we Repent & Obey Him, 1 Cor. 6:9-11 (Acts 18:8).  (David was forgiven, 2 Sam. 12:13)



1.  “I can’t help myself!” is obscene because it denies:  Free will & moral responsibility; reality of sin; remedy for sin, Jesus Christ.

2.  Gospel presents moral choices:  Choose to cease sin (repent) & obey God (live by the gospel of Christ) – Matt. 7:21.