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 Jeremiah 2:13 – Two Sins


 Audio Sermon

Two Sins

"My people have committed two evils (sins): They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn out for them cisterns – broken cisterns that can hold no water" (Jeremiah 2:13)

"Cisterns," as mentioned in this verse, were large containers for water, cut into the bedrock underneath the ground.  God wants to give us "living water" (John 4:10) which makes our "cisterns" unnecessary.  Religion can be impressive, but God is infinitely better for us.  He is indeed "the fountain of living waters."

The human race is a race of sinners and this "sin" or "evil" we are afflicted with is like a disease of the soul, a cancer of the heart, passed from one generation to another.  There is an interesting pattern to sin, and one aspect is that when we sin, we tend to sin a second time.  The second sin is an attempt to cover up the first, and the process tends to continue throughout our lives.  Doing wrong and covering it up becomes a way of life.

A good example is King David, in relation to Bathsheba and Uriah.  David wrongly took Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba, and to cover up what was done, he had Uriah killed (2 Samuel 11:1-27).  He did something very wrong and then attempted to deal with that sin by committing another.  The fact that he subsequently married her did not correct the preceding two sins in the sight of God. 

Abortion, the sin of murdering a human being, tends to follow the same pattern. If you then marry the girl, as David did, it’s nice, but it does not remove or correct the problem in the sight of a Holy God. Only in Christ can guilt be removed. Jesus took responsibility for your sin on His Cross, made active through your faith in what He did.  Jesus paid the price.  "By His stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5).  Jesus paid the price.

In Jeremiah 2:13, we see the most terrible sin of all.  As a people, we have "FORSAKEN" GOD, our Creator, who always intends to be like a spring of "living water" to us.  We would rather please ourselves and amazingly we are slow to choose the One Who would refresh us, now and forever.

Down deep, we all know our need of God, and yet, there is an interesting trick we perform (like the smoke and mirrors of a magician), in order to cover up our rejection of Him.  We substitute man-made religion, which involves our efforts, in place of His idea - which is trusting in the Lord.  David sinned just like we have, but he repented and was forgiven.  The basis of his forgiveness is the Cross of Christ, which came hundreds of years later, but it was just as effective for him then as it is for you today.

Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6).  Many object to God’s way as being "too simple" or "too easy."  But what He wants is what it's all about.  He offers us salvation and rest; but we prefer to form a committee, develop a strategic plan and argue about who the leader is.

Our doctrines, our creeds, our religions – have you really studied them?  Have you noticed how busy we are  with committees and meetings?  But about those meetings; do they really glorify God? About that sick person you have been visiting – Do you love them?  You may be an usher or sew clothing for the poor.  But look inside yourself - do you really have FAITH in the Lord?  And do you really care for the poor you are serving?

In Revelation 2:1-7, Jesus found the Church at Ephesus to be doctrinally correct but lacking in love (Revelation 2:4).  They chose intense religious activity over the love of God and trusted in their doctrines more than they trusted in Him.

And that is the point of Jeremiah 2:13.  We often 1) reject the simple love of God in Christ who died for us, and 2) we make religions of our own.  This can be seen in the attitudes of churches, when they sometimes seem to be saying to each other, "MY doctrines are better than YOUR doctrines."  We lean toward childishness and call it "religion."

"Eastern" religions say they are more "enlightened" or "open" because they teach "all ways lead to God."  They miss the point that mere religion cannot save you.  Religion simply consists of our ideas about God. We are sinners in need of redemption.  Christ IS our Redeemer and He IS the "way" to God.

The method of salvation God chose for humanity is faith in Jesus Christ.  King David of Israel understood such faith, though he had less information than we do because the cross was future to him.  For us it is in the past and we have no excuse for neglecting the Lord and His offer of salvation.

Years ago, I read the Bible, the Koran, the Book of Mormon, and also read in the Vedas, along with other writings at that time.  I spent time in a "Hindu" monastery.  I was not changed by any of this, nor did my life get any better.  Then I prayed.  It was a simple prayer of need, with a tiny bit of faith that He would answer.

And He did answer.  He opened His Word, the Bible to me.  I discontinued my search for a "philosophy of life" (my goal in those years) and trusted in Him.  There is a Scripture which goes like this: "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Romans 10:17).  His Word brought me to Christ, who gave me His Holy Spirit; and He opened my understanding.

Your ideas about God may be attractive but they are not complete or even reasonable unless they are true.  The Word of God (the Bible) is true and also ALIVE.   "The Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword" (Hebrews 4:12).  Give up your "broken," your "cracked cisterns" and go to the "Living Water."   Take this prescription: Prayerfully say "yes" to the Lord.  Then thank Him and tell Him how happy He has made you. And you will be happy.  Best of all, He will be happy with you.

Father, we give ourselves to You.  Please forgive our sins and fill us with Your Holy Spirit.  Thank You.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

Ron Beckham, Pastor
Friday Study Ministries

Tel: (562) 688-5559
PO Box 92131
Long Beach, CA 90809-2131
"While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8)

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