Sin Is Serious
June 16, 2019
Pastor Ben Muresan
Download the bulletin here.
First Scripture Reading: Joshua 7:1-26
Second Scripture Reading: Joshua 8:1-35
Sermon Text: Joshua 7:1 - 8:35
Jesus’ tears in the Garden of Gethsemane give us some indication of the agony he endured as he considered the physical pain and the spiritual torment he was about to experience on the cross. Luke records, “And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44). As Jesus considered the cross, he said, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” (Matthew 26:38), and we read in Hebrews 5:7 that Jesus “offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.”
Jesus' agony when considering the terrors of the wrath of God help us understand the seriousness of sin. When we read about the judgment that God brought upon Achan because of his sin, our natural reaction might be to think that God overreacted. Did Achan really deserve death because of his sin? The Bible says Yes because the “wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Sin is serious. It brings with it the wrath of God, a terror so unimaginable that even Jesus agonized about it. When we understand this, we can appreciate all the more deeply what Jesus accomplished on the cross in bearing God’s wrath for his people.
1. Before you begin to consider the book of Joshua, take a moment to read the Athanasian Creed. What does this creed help us understand about God? Why do you think the doctrine of the trinity is important such that “anyone then who desires to be saved should think thus about the trinity”?
2. Review Joshua 5:13 - 6:27, the sermon text from last week. How did the fall of Jericho reveal both God’s just judgment and his grace?
3. What are the “devoted” things according to Joshua 6:17-19 and 7:1? How does this help us understand the seriousness of Achan’s sin?
4. How did Achan’s sin affect him, his family, and all of Israel? What does this teach us about the danger of sin (Joshua 7) and the blessings of obedience (Joshua 8)?
5. How are unrepentant sinners in the church dealt with today? Read and discuss Matthew 18:15-20 and 1 Corinthians 5:1-5, 12-13.
6. In preparation for next week, read Joshua 9:1-27. What do you learn from this story? How does it point forward to Christ?