Sermon Detail

Happiness Revealed An Urgent and Gripping Illustration Regarding a Life of Service and Role Modeling in the Kingdom

April 16, 2023 | Buster Brown

“And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’”  Mark 9:44-48

The most important aspect in the life of a disciple is to see the reality of Jesus in a comprehensive and clear fashion by the power of the Holy Spirit under the authority of the Word of God.

“When methods (for growth in Christ) promise a great deal more than they actually deliver, the net result is not victory over sin, but an ever-greater sense of guilt and heightened awareness of personal failure. THEORIES THAT DO NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE EVER-PRESENT POWER OF SIN SIMPLY CANNOT DELIVER WHAT THEY PROMISE.”  John D. Hannah, John Owen and the “Normal” Christian Life: Or Sanctification in the Era of Confusion

“Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.”  Hebrews 12:14


1. Growth in grace is to be pursued and the corresponding realized joy and usefulness in the life of a believer is worthy of the most costly sacrifice.

“and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.”   1 Timothy 1:10b-11

2. Mortification (putting sin to death) is a lifelong process in the life of the believer and it is his joyful duty. 

“Make it your daily work to put sin to death; be always at it while you live; cease not a day from this work. Be killing sin or it will be killing you.”  John Owen, Mortification of Sin, p. 50

“This sanctification works in the whole person, but not completely or perfectly in this life. The old sinful nature retains some of its control in body, mind, and spirit. And so a continual and irreconcilable war goes on in every believer. The old nature tries to get its way in opposition to the Spirit, and the Spirit fights to assert its authority over the flesh.

Although the old nature temporarily wins battles in this warfare, the continual strengthening of the sanctifying Spirit of Christ enables the regenerate nature in each believer to overcome. And so the saints grow in grace, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”   Westminster Confession of Faith (Chapter 13 - Justification), Article 2 & 3

“Therefore, I think he has profited greatly who has learned to be very much displeased with himself, not so as to stick fast in this mire and progress no farther, but rather to hasten to God and yearn for him in order that, having been engrafted into the life and death of Christ, he may give attention to continual repentance. Truly, they who are held by a real loathing of sin cannot do otherwise. For no one ever hates sin unless he has previously been seized with a love of righteousness.”  Calvin, The Institutes of Christian Religion, p. 615

3. Jesus uses these startling metaphors to underscore the urgency of the message.

Unconfessed and unforsaken sin weakens, darkens, saps energy, brings sorrow, and limits the usefulness of the child of God. (Psalm 6:1-7, 32:3-4)

4. Put sin to death by the Holy Spirit.

"For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God."  Romans 8:13-14

How do we, by the Spirit, put to death the deeds of the body? We plead with God for the power of the Holy Spirit, pursue him by the means of grace (Galatians 3:2) and endeavor to put sin to death.

5. We must know ourselves. This knowledge includes our inclinations and points of potential failure/sin.

6. Eternity is at stake. The honoring of Christ and the blessing of others is in the balance. We put sin to death not to earn our standing in Christ; but fleeing from dishonoring behavior is a sign of our justification by faith alone in Christ alone.