Here is something you other preachers have thought about and I picked up late.
Durable sin, the kind that inhabits the heart with snorting arrogance, can only be ousted by a prophetic word.
King David accepted his sin, covered up his sin, let it lodge in his heart with impunity. Nathan, the prophet, answered him with a story, prophetic narrative that made David’s sin real and personal. Durable sin, easily practiced by the man who just as easily condemns it in others, finds its match in a prophetic word.
Think of the symptoms of durable sin:
- Durable sin goes against one’s own personal codes but is so attractive it is irresistible, cf. Romans 7
- Durable sin is a perpetual lie, so its practioners may live so securely in the lie they (we, I) lose the ability to distinguish between right and wrong reliably
- Durable sin splits apart that which should be united. The prophetic word works repentance, uniting the artificially separated
- Durable sin seeps into the Covenant Community from the Culture and, thence, from the Covenant Community back into the Culture, only slightly altered to appear more acceptable
- Durable sin persists, as the name would imply, but persists more pervasively across generation and castes, often freezing the Culture into set strata, which one crosses only at great personal peril
- The Prophetic Word that purges durable sin touches a mystic nerve in the sinner, which, in turn, spreads pain (in the form of remorse along a spiritual neurological conduit in the soul, causing the soul itself to hate the sin-pain-remorse and so reject it.
- Durable sin first places religion in a protective cocoon, then renders it irrelevant
- Durable sin makes what should be commonly accepted controversial and what should be controversial commonly accepted
- Durable sin resists the usual forms of correction: standard religion, law, education, even money. Only a wrenching, courageous prophetic word transforms durable sin
You can think of others. A whole sermon series can be put together here, unless you are one of those reaching into the shopping cart of life applications. Yech.