Presentation on theme: "1 Question Imagine yourself standing under the blaze of the pure light of God’s presence. You are absolutely exposed. He knows everything about everything."— Presentation transcript:
1 Question Imagine yourself standing under the blaze of the pure light of God’s presence. You are absolutely exposed. He knows everything about everything you have ever done and why you did it. You know that He knows and you have nothing to offer in your own defense. How do you feel?
2 This Week i. Explore the various ways man responds to being alerted by his conscience that he has sinned. ii. Review the distinctions between the natural man’s response to his sin and that of the spiritual response to sin. iii. Discuss the operation of defense mechanisms and the purposes served by them. Lesson Plan
3 This Week IV. Explore the most commonly used defense mechanisms. V. Examine our own reliance upon defense mechanisms in our past and clean house as appropriate. Lesson Plan
The Conscience at Work 4 Knowledge of Good & Evil Intended or Actual Offense GuiltShame Remorse & Repentance
The Conscience at Work 5 Knowledge of Good & Evil Intended or Actual Offense GuiltShame Remorse & Repentance
6 I. Introduction a. In previous lessons of this series we have already established that every sin committed by the individual is recorded in the conscience. b. Although the task of the believer is to maintain a conscience that is void of offense toward God and toward man (Acts 24:16), very often in experience, believers attempt to deny or minimize the consciousness of their personal sin.
7 I. Introduction c. It is clear from the reading of Scripture that there is something within the soul of man that almost invariably prompts him to make purposeful attempts to keep his own guilt at arms- length and to deny it if at all possible. Gen 3:12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. KJV d. It is as if there is an underlying fear in the natural man that accepting one's responsibility for guilt is to somehow cause the guilty party to be undone to be diminished as a person.
8 I. Introduction e. For the believer, failure to acknowledge one's own sin is not an option. Since denial of one’s own sin suggests that one will continue in that sinful practice, hardening of the conscience and even reprobation is the likely result.
9 I. Introduction f. The Bible also makes it very clear that God's design for the treatment of sin is confession, repentance, forgiveness and healing. For the believer burying one's own sin rather than dealing with it is done at great spiritual cost. Ps 51:6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. KJV
10 I. Introduction g. The process of the natural man which enables such separation from one’s own conscious burden of guilt is referred to as mechanisms of defense. h. While the mechanisms of defense seek to make life in the flesh easier to bear, ultimately they result in the opposite wherein the sinner becomes burdened down by secret sins, sins about which he has no conscious idea and which may persist indefinitely.
11 II. Two Man Principle a. The Bible is not a textbook on human psychology, but it does provide clear insight into the behavioral mechanisms that have driven the conduct of many important Saints both in the Old Testament and the New Testament.
12 II. Two Man Principle b. It is a clear teaching of the Bible that believers have two natures: The natural man who is bent toward sin and the spiritual man who will always agree with the viewpoint of God on everything. To walk in the Spirit is to be in harmony with that Spirit. Ps 51:1-5 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. KJV
13 II. Two Man Principle c. Beginning with the sin of Adam, from cover to cover in the Biblical narrative we find examples of men walking according to the flesh denying and minimizing their lack of obedience to God. This is the response of the natural man to his own sin. Gal 5:17-18 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. NIV
14 II. Two Man Principle d. The natural man is always preoccupied with the self: Protecting the self; building up his self- esteem; fulfilling the desires of the self; etc. It naturally follows that when it comes to an admission of failure, acknowledging it as failure runs contrary to one’s self-interest. e. Behavioral scientists theorize that it is imperative for one to make sense of one’s own behavior in a way that is compatible with one’s image of self in the soul. One must do something to file and sort one’s ordinary experience.
15 II. Two Man Principle f. When a believer does something that does not fit with their image or their expectation (sin), if it is not acknowledged as sin, the way the event is processed is through what are called mechanisms of defense.
16 III. Defense Mechanisms a.The five primary functions of defense mechanisms are these: 1.To minimize anxiety and or guilt 2.To protect the ego 3.To maintain equilibrium 4.To prevent discomfort 5.To avoid having to expend further energy in dealing with the situation.
17 III. Defense Mechanisms b. On some level defense mechanisms may be useful. They give the individual time to think about and reflect upon what their conduct has been. Ps 32:3-5 When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. KJV
18 III. Defense Mechanisms c. Unfortunately, the longer the defense mechanisms are employed around a given sin, the more difficult it is to surface that sin and to deal with it in a cleansing and healing manner. d. Burying and denying sin is self-deceiving, it seems to be a good idea but one does so at great price. He may make strenuous efforts to avoid activities, places or people that arouse recollections of his unconfessed sinful situation because it raises anxiety.
19 III. Defense Mechanisms e. In serious traumatically sinful events, the individual may have a markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities, and a feeling of detachment or estrangement from others and become depressed. f. For the believer in denial of their sin, this may even include a sense of a foreshortened future (e.g. does not expect to have a career, marriage, children or a normal life span) because they believe that God's judgment is about to fall upon them.
20 IV. Commonly Used DM a. Altruism: The individual deals with the emotional conflict imposed by their guilt by becoming dedicated to meeting the needs of others, even sacrificially.
21 IV. Commonly Used DM b. In so doing he receives gratification either vicariously or from the response of others and as that gratification occurs it is sufficient proof that he is not a bad or worthless person or that he has paid the price for his sin. Luke 18:18-21 And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. KJV
22 IV. Commonly Used DM c. Compensation: Realizing his failure to obey, the sinner overemphasizes his compliance in another behavior. 1 Sam 15:13-15 And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the Lord: I have performed the commandment of the Lord. And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear? And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed. KJV
23 IV. Commonly Used DM d. Denial: Failing to recognize obvious implications or consequences of a thought, act, or situation. 1 John 1:6-8 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. KJV
24 IV. Commonly Used DM e. Help-Rejecting: The individual experiences the pain and frustration of his sin and makes repetitious requests for help that disguise covert feelings or hostility or reproach toward others. He then rejects the suggestions, advice, or help that others offer. 2 Kings 5:11-12 But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage. KJV
25 IV. Commonly Used DM f. Intellectualization: Is the overemphasis on thinking when confronted with an unacceptable impulse or sinful behavior without placing such thoughts into the context of spiritual treason that more accurately reflects what they are truly. Gen 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, KJV
26 IV. Commonly Used DM g. Rationalization: Offering a self-deceptive and socially acceptable and apparently more or less logical explanation for an act or decision actually produced by unconscious impulses to sin. Gen 19:31-32 One day the older daughter said to the younger, "Our father is old, and there is no man around here to lie with us, as is the custom all over the earth. 32 Let's get our father to drink wine and then lie with him and preserve our family line through our father." NIV
27 IV. Commonly Used DM h. Repression: The unconscious blocking of the awareness of past sins, unacceptable thoughts, feelings and impulses. The key to repression is that people do it unconsciously and it is through the conviction of the Spirit that it can be overcome. 1 Cor 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God. NIV
28 IV. Commonly Used DM i. Suppression: The conscious analog of repression; intentional exclusion of material from consciousness. At times, suppression may lead to subsequent repression. Rom 1:18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, NIV
29 IV. Commonly Used DM j. Although the use of defense mechanisms is a natural response when confronted with one’s own sin, it is ultimately ineffective and counter- productive. The only godly response to sin is to acknowledge it as God sees it, confess it, and repent from it. Ps 6:1-2 O Lord, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. Have mercy upon me, O Lord; for I am weak: O Lord, heal me; KJV
30 IV. Commonly Used DM k. The subtle ways of the flesh are not always easy to recognize but the results of those ways are always predictable. Prov 16:25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. KJV
a. As you reflect upon the various ways that the natural man has for dealing with his sin, do you recognize times that you have fallen into those same traps. b. If so, what do you need to do to clean up your spiritual house? c. What can you do to keep yourself from falling into the subtle traps of the natural man? 31 V. Application