4/18/21                                                                               Rentz

 

 

When Principle and Populism Conflict

Ezra 9:1-15

 

Introduction—This chapter of the book of Ezra truly reflects the spiritual situation that exists today within our country and our churches.  Ezra had faithfully led the people during the time of rebuilding the Temple, but during times of his absence many had fallen into the kind of compromise that had originally led Israel into destruction.  We can easily find ways to criticize the failures of others, but we need to be honest about our own weaknesses and failures.  Temptation abounds and we need the constant help of God!

 

I. A Lack of Separation (1-4)

                A. None are immune to sin and compromise (1-2)

                                1. Compromise is often a one-way path—

                                    rarely does a wicked cause yield to a

                                    righteous cause

                                2. If we tolerate or excuse sin, it is an action

                                    against God (Ps.51:1-4)

                B. Does sin appall us, or does it appeal to us? (3)

                                1. Do we make excuses for our fleshly

                                    actions?

                                2. Does sin horrify us before God?

                C. We need the fellowship of those who reverence

                   God’s Word (4)

                                1. The Pharisees practiced a form of

                                    legalism that brought others into

                                    conformity to them (Matt.23:15)

                                2. Our heart cry should be “more like Jesus”

 

II. A Need for Supplication (5-9)

                A. Honest confession without excuses (5-6)—we

                    must not blame our situation or our surroundings

                B. Honest assessment of our waywardness (7)

                                1. We must see ourselves from God’s

                                    perspective

                                2. Spiritual health comes when we seek to

                                    be clear with God (II Cor.7:9-11)

                C. Honest praise for God’s mercy and grace (8-9)—

                    God grants us reviving in our bondage

 

III. A Plea for Sanctification (10-15)

                A. Remember God’s instructions and warnings

                    (10-12)

                                1. God hasn’t given us His word to deprive

                                    us of happiness

                                2. The Bible and the Holy Spirit instructs us

                                    toward a life of joy (I Jn.1:3-4)

                B. Remember God’s patience (13)—our chastisement

                    is less than we truly deserve

                C. Remember God’s holiness and our weakness

                    (14-15)

                                1. We cannot stand in our own strength—“I

                                    need thee every hour”

                                2. As we draw close to God, He will

                                    empower us to do great things for His

                                    glory (Jer.33:3)

 

Conclusion—We can’t bemoan the spiritual failures of our society and excuse the spiritual weakness and failure among professing believers.  It’s time for serious prayer!  It’s time for serious confession!  It’s time for serious self-examination!

Rentz Baptist Church,  1011 Bates Ave. / P.O. Box 35, Rentz, GA 30175  | rentzbaptist@gmail.com  |  Tel: 478-984-4657

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