Friday, December 4, 2009

Truth from Tiger's Tragic Transgression

The events surrounding and concerning Tiger Woods this past week are tragic and sad. He has tried very hard as a public figure to guard his privacy. He has put forth and attempted to maintain an image that would justify and in no way jeopardize the millions of dollars he receives from product endorsements.

That “squeaky” clean image is now publically tarnished. The press, unfortunately, will take little pity on him or his family as it seeks to uncover every sordid detail of both his infidelities and the events related to the early morning accident. As many have said, there is now no going back for Tiger Woods.

As believers, we are not to be like the press. We have been made aware of the sin but we do not need to be hanging on for every disgusting detail of these events. Our duty is to pray for both Tiger Woods and his family. This shredding of his reputation and invasion into his privacy may be that very thing that our Sovereign God uses to draw Tiger and his wife to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. We need to be praying that good not evil, glory and not gutter details win the day.

In addition to our need to pray for the supremacy of God in Tiger’s tragic sin, we as believers need to remember some things. Let me share with you at least five (5) lessons to be learned:

1. Those of us who stand stiffly resolute in our own confidence need to take heed, lest we fall into a similar sin.

I Corinthians 10:12- “Therefore, let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.”

James 1:14 tells us that the temptation to sin comes from within each one of us; “…each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.”

If it were not for the restraining grace of our God through the indwelling Holy Spirit, His written word, our values, the fear of consequences, the church, our families, or whatever restraint that God determines to use, we would fall into the very same sin or worse.

2. The appetites of the flesh are extremely powerful.

Ephesians 4:17-23“Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.

Man is in bondage to his sin nature. We as believers who possess the Spirit of God must be always about the business of denying, mortifying, and subduing the appetites of the flesh. They are powerful. Our own heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, always luring us into be controlled by the lust of the flesh.

3. Your sin will find you out.

Numbers 32:23 says; “…if you will not do so, behold you have sinned against the Lord, and be sure your sin will find you out.”

I am sure that Tiger Woods, like every other adulterer, thought he had been very careful. He was probably sure that he had covered his tracks. It may appear that he had for quite some time been successful in hiding his immorality. You may think that also. We have a tendency to hide in the darkness and hope to sin in secret. We may go to great links in hiding our sin but we cannot hide our sin from God.

God will bring to light those hidden and secret things. I don’t have the slightest idea why God brought this hidden sin of Woods to the attention of the world. Sometimes God will not allow His glorious character to be maligned. There are times in a child of God’s life that God will gently nudge us to repentance through various forms of chastisement. Sometimes in the lives of unbelievers God works to further establish His glory. Even the wrath of man, the sin of man can be used by God to praise and magnify the glory of God.

Remember what Joseph said in Genesis 50:20? You (his brothers) by your sin in betraying me meant evil, but God used this same event for His glory to bring about His sovereign will.

I don’t know whether Tiger Woods is a believer or not. I have never heard him say anything over the years that would lead me to believe that he is, nevertheless, whether he is a believer or not, God brought his sin to light.

4. It is shameful to even speak of the things done in secret.

Ephesians 5:12“For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret.”

The there are only three reasons why we would even mention these sins even in general:

• To reveal the ugliness of sin

• To impress upon us the necessity of producing the fruit of the Spirit in our lives

• To reprove those who are caught in sin & direct them to repentance

We should not be caught up in the details that the press will dig up. It is morbid and forbidden by God. It is forbidden because knowing such details could lead others to sin in the same manner. Immorality, adultery, and related sins are disgraceful and vile and need not be made known or discussed by those who have no need to know them.

Sin should only be exposed to the necessity of leading one to repentance and restoration in one’s walk with God. Resist the temptation to read the lurid magazine articles, to listen to the TV coverage, and filter out the internet.

5. The need for a savior is still very great.

We are constantly reminded that salvation is not addition but transformation. We don’t simply add Christ to our life as an insurance policy against the future and continue to live our lives by the dictates of our flesh. We are to be transformed by the power of God through the indwelling Holy Spirit.

Romans 12:2 “And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (ASV)

Only through the Lord Jesus Christ can we mortify and put to death the deeds of the flesh. It is only through Christ that we can be freed from the bondage of sin. It is through Christ that we are freed from the penalty of sin, the power of sin –but it is only through death that we are freed from the presence of sin (or the coming rapture of the church.)

In this life we are admonished to put to death the deeds of the flesh (Romans 8:13; Colossians 3:5.)

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