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Dirty Hands

By: Admin on March 21, 2013

This Easter season at Waverley Church we are taking a look at hands. Whose hands? Our hands, Jesus' hands and God's hands.

The first message we heard how we have dirty hands.

In our minds, what do we associate with Easter? Bunnies and chocolate eggs? Spring finally having arrived? Something religious to do with Jesus?

What about hands? Our hands, Jesus’ hands and God’s hands. Whatever we touch seems to break. Whatever God touches comes to life.

Easter is the time in which we will see what our hands, Jesus’ hands and God’s hands have done and will do in our lives and in the world.

When Adam and Eve bit into that fruit God told them not to eat, their hands got dirty. Dirty not from fruit juice, but from the guilt of having rejected God.

All humans have dirty hands from sin and we dirty everything we touch. We add to our own guilt by our own attitudes, words and actions. Do we even realize how dirty our hands have gotten?

When the Bible talks dirt and bad, it is nothing pleasant. It is real, harsh, stark and cold. God pulls no punches. Sin is dirty and ugly.

A teacher in the Bible named Isaiah calls us out graphically on how dirty our lives are and then calls on us to turn to the one who can make us clean again.

Isaiah 59:2 - 4
2 But your iniquities have separated
you from your God;
your sins have hidden his face from you,
so that he will not hear.
3 For your hands are stained with blood,
your fingers with guilt.
Your lips have spoken falsely,
and your tongue mutters wicked things.
4 No one calls for justice;
no one pleads a case with integrity.
They rely on empty arguments, they utter lies;
they conceive trouble and give birth to evil.

(The Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, Isaiah, J. Alec Motyer, 1999, InterVarsity Press p . 364, 365, Brown-Driver-Briggs Old Testament Hebrew Lexicon)

When it comes to sin, our sin is PERSONAL

Isaiah talks about YOUR iniquities and sins.The decision and the will. The seed is there in each of us.Not your parents, siblings or friends. Not the devil. Not TV. Not video games or the internet.

Our sin is ACTIVE
Isaiah talks about "hands": that which grips, this means something active. Our hands are stained, polluted, defiled with blood, the result of our active sin.

Our lips and tongue: not just the physical lips and tongue but the “language”, the use of our instrument of communication in all aspects of speech. We communicate lies and deception - the idea is to deceive for personal benefit or to get someone else in trouble

Our sins are OBVIOUS
No one is calling for or proclaiming true justice - that which is right, good and normal. Define normal? It has to do with God’s definition. Society and education is constantly changing and is very fluid, not strong and stable to give us the definition. The complaint from God is that no one is taking the public, open stand for what is truly right

It goes beyond speech - it has to do with a heart and mind with a conviction and that acts on the conviction. Either a conviction to do what is right or the conviction to do what is wrong.
• No one pleads a case - legal terminology, not really for a witness, rather a pronouncement of a judge who has considered all the evidence and now makes a statement (BDB, own)

This is the sad reality in which every person on the earth lives. The Bible author Paul says this:
Galatians 5:19 - 21- “19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Do we see our condition here? Can anyone of us truly say we have “Clean Hands” when faced with these descriptions of how God views sin? This list includes something for everyone. No one is innocent. No one is clean before God.

THE RESULTS OF SIN: Separation from God
Our sin separates us from God. The connection is divided and we are now isolated from Him. Isaiah says God has hidden His face from us because of our sins. He isn't paying attention to us. He also says God won't hear us. God hasn't lost his hearing, he is choosing NOT to hear.

Our sin separates us from God.

What does this separation look like? What does it mean to have “God hide his face from us”?

(From The Buzzards are Circling but God’s not Finished with Me, Yet, Stan Toler, 2001, Honor Books. Page 210)
• Hopelessness
• Moral decay
• Spiritual indifference
• Selfishness
• Leave God out of the picture and now we are left to our own devices
• We default to self-preservation and self-satisfaction
• Division
• Me against you. My allies against yours. My ideas against yours. Win and Lose.
• Anger
• My own personal offense and my reaction toward others
• Pleasure seeking
• Going after “whatever” in order to feel happy and satisfied
• Doesn’t last long, we get bored, lose stuff, can’t afford it.
• Conflicts
• Personal and international conflicts, sometimes over the stupidest of things
• No trust

This, by the way, is hell. A place without God’s love, care and attention. It is hopeless, immoral, indifferent, selfish, divided, full of anger, always looking for pleasure but never finding it, full of conflict and distrust. This state is now and goes on forever, no limits or relief.

What is the solution?

ACTS 16:31, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved"

Why can’t I save myself? Because of the very condition I am in. I'm a sinner who has caused this condition. I am so dirty I can't clean myself.

Therefore we are saved only by and through Jesus. Only Jesus. No one else but Jesus.

Just believe.

Topics: easter, message series, sin

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