Topical Sermons Power Point Show
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.
I. THE NEW OBSCENITY: “I CAN’T HELP MYSELF!”
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.
II. BIBLE: WE ARE MORALLY RESPONSIBLE BEINGS.
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).
III. TEMPTATION, SIN & FREE WILL, 1 Cor. 10:13.
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.