Institutional First Baptist Church Weekly Sermon
Delivered By
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr
Delivered On
August 10, 2014 at 10:45 AM
Subject
Your Spiritual Maintenance
Description
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr. Sunday August 10, 2014
Your Spiritual Maintenance
"Come, let us reason together saith the Lord, though your sins be as scarlet, the shall be as white as snow, though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isaiah 1:18
There is a truism that ‘even iron wears out’! While this 
proverbial utterance is often used to denote the endurance 
level of physical artifacts, it also has implications for humankind. 
This reality has permeated the industrial world undergirded by 
manufacturing. To maintain satisfaction while increasing sales, 
companies offer limited warranties, service contracts, and 
maintenance provisions. The automotive industry, for years, has 
included a service manual for owners’ of new cars; the booklet 
has a mileage chart that specifies the time when the vehicle should 
be carried in for maintenance service. 
Admittedly, both the manual and owner compliance are 
essential for the continued efficient functioning of the car. Sadly, it is 
an overlooked fact that humanity tends to place more emphasis 
on the maintenance of cars, appliances, and other gadgets than it 
does on the physical body and spiritual endurance. Since both of 
these components are subjected to ongoing stress and strain of daily 
living, the sermon today will address the need for spiritual 
maintenance. Accordingly, it was entitled Your Spiritual Maintenance. 
It will include the following three considerations, namely: your 
spiritual nature, your spiritual conversion, and your spiritual 
maintenance. 
To properly anchor this subject, it is deemed necessary to 
first define maintenance as used herein and, then, briefly comment 
on the textual anchor for the sermon. In that order, attention is 
called to a definition of maintenance. As used today, that word is 
defined as the state of being maintained; care or upkeep, as of 
machinery or property, or ( with humans ) the care of body and mind.
The general human response is to focus more on material possessions 
than on the physical, mental, and social elements interwoven into a 
network known as self. 
Having stipulated a definition of maintenance as used in this 
sermon, the focus will now be placed its textual anchor. As noted 
in the earlier read scripture, it was lifted for Isaiah 1:18 where he 
made a somber call for humankind to make a maintenance stop 
for its spiritual cleansing and replenishing. This appeal will be more 
fully addressed in the third dimension of the sermon. 
Against both the definition of maintenance and the textual 
anchor, attention will be turned to the earlier three components of 
the sermon, the first one being - your spiritual nature. Even a 
casual glace at the behavior of people, there seems to be an 
unawareness that they have a spiritual residue. Instead, of 
exemplifying respect for their spiritual origin, their thoughts and 
actions are more consistent with the evolution theory of Charles 
Darwin. Sadly, they are committing a grievous error and merely need 
to read the Holy Bible; therein they will find that God “breezed into his 
nostrils of Adam and he became a living being” ( Gen. 2:7 ). Since the 
Bible teaches that Adam and Eve were the first family and all people 
born since that time are descendant from that couple. 
The Bible has many references to life as the spirit of God, some 
of which are: after death the body - which is mere dust - shall return 
to the earth as it was and the spirit shall return unto God who gave 
it. ( Eccl. 12: 7 ); the Patriarch - Job - envisioned life as a spirit and, 
therefore uttered, “ But there is a spirit, and the inspiration of the 
almighty giveth them understanding.” ( Job 32:8 ); continuing his 
expression of the spirit and life, Job asserted, “The Spirit of God 
hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty has given me life: 
( Job 33:4 ); even Jesus - the only begotten of the Father - last 
utterance as he expired on Calvary was, “Father, into thy hands, I 
commend my Spirit” ( Lk. 23:46 ); and Saint Paul - the Apostle 
born out of due time - taught of and preached on the efficacy of 
the spirit; he told the Corinthians that “Where the spirit of the Lord 
is there is peace”. ( 2nd Cor. 3:17 ). 
This glorious news of humanity’s original spiritual nature alone, 
leads to the question of how did it become contaminated? According 
to the Bible, this malady occurred in the Garden of Eden where Adam 
and Eve dis obeyed God’s mandate to avoid eating from the tree of the
knowledge of good and evil. ( Gen. 1:17 ). They did eat and God 
imposed a punishment on them; they were expelled from the Garden 
of Eden and, thus, became imbued with a sin nature. (Gen. 3:24 ). 
Biblical history is filled with historical human efforts to reacquire 
the spiritual union with God. Paul gives an overview of ineffective 
human efforts and concludes with the certainty than only by the blood
of Christ was the channel of salvation opened to human kind. He 
reminded the Hebrews that “neither by the blood of goats and calves, 
but by his own blood he...obtained eternal redemption for us” ( Heb. 
9:12 ). Peter referred to this blood sacrifice as the precious blood 
of Christ. ( 1st Peter 1:19 ). As result of this precious blood of Christ 
humankind can access spiritual affinity ( salvation ) with Christ by 
“...confessing with the mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in 
thine heart that God has raised him from the dead, thy shall be saved” 
( Rom.10:9 ). 
Beloved, these and several other Scriptures reassure the 
believers of their access to the spiritual nature, but because of the 
original sin, the whole of humanity is plagued by a dual nature - i.e., 
carnal and spiritual. Paul spoke of himself as being plagued by this 
dual nature; he said, “ For the good that I would do ( spiritual ) I do not: 
but for the evil which not, that I do” ( Rom. 7:19 ). Recognizing that he 
was a wretched man who could only be delivered though Jesus 
Christ, Paul gave thanks to God. ( Rom 7:24-25 ). 
Thus far, members of the household of faith, we have noted 
the following facts about our nature; first we were created in the 
image of God; next, our first biblical family committed the original 
sin; it was, therefore, expelled from the Garden of Eden; a dual nature 
of spiritual and carnality became endemic to humankind; numerous 
sacrificial, yet, futile human efforts were made to atone for the 
original sin; finally - in the spirit of time - God sent forth his Son who 
would offer the atoning blood at Calvary to offer believers access to 
the throne of Grace. 
The act of God’s love ( Jo.3:16 ) opened the door for converted 
individuals to pursue the spiritual life while struggling with a carnal 
body. This fact leads to the third, and final, component of the sermon 
which is - Your Spiritual Maintenance. As referenced earlier in this 
sermon, mechanical gadgets must receive proper maintenance in 
order to assure efficiency and longevity. In a lack manner, the 
human being must have maintenance for physical endurance. But 
p. 7 
there is an often neglected area in which maintenance is greatly 
needed; it is that of spiritual maintenance. From a casual observation 
of human interaction, it appears that humankind is more concerned 
about health, materialism, and social status than to embrace an 
holistic approach to life; such an approach merely requires the 
addition of a genuine commitment to accepting the finished work 
in one’s perception of life. 
This type of commitment is more than mere attending worship, 
contributing to the offertory, quickly speaking to a few of the 
worshipers, and driving away from the worship site while the Christ 
is being locked in the worship facility until the next Sunday. 
Beloved, the Christian life is a 24/7 endeavor and it is quite 
time consuming as reflected in Matthew 25:31-46 ). To comply with 
this expectation of stewardship reflects the nature and quality of 
spirituality, but - at the same time - it can become quite exhaustive 
and even in the words of a poet cause one “ to shutter and grow sick 
at heart”. But let not the believer becomes dismayed and, 
symbolically, throw in the towel. Instead, they need to heed the 
maintenance call of Isaiah - “Come now, and let us reason together, 
saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white 
as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be a wool” ( Isa. 
1:18 ).The crucial question becomes - what is sin? In the Zondervan, 
All In One Bible Reference, sin is defined as “that condition and 
activity of human beings that is offensive to God, their creator.” That 
source, also, as a basis for the root of sin. It is found in Mark 7:20-23
where it is presented as being rooted in the human heart; thus, the 
Scripture asserts that “For from within, out of man’s heart come...” 
From a practical anchor sin is therefore an evil thought, act, or deed 
that transgress the righteous laws of God. Against these comments on
sin, let us turn back to the call of Isaiah, “Come let us reason 
together notwithstanding the fact our sins be as scarlet... Is he 
being too presumptive in implying that humankind has committed 
sins? According to the Scriptures, Isaiah was correct in asserting 
the sinfulness of humanity. His conclusion was later echoed in the 
New Testament many Centuries later when John wrote, “ If we say 
that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves in the truth is not in 
us. John continued, “ If we confess our sins, his is faithful to forgive 
us our sins and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness” ( 1st John 1:8-9 ). 
Beloved, John’s reference to cleansing is the core of our spiritual 
maintenance. This task of spiritual cleansing comes not from the 
Pastor, a Christian Counselor, a Psycho therapist, or a godly old 
person. It comes only for a prayerful communication with the 
Almighty God. The hymn, O That I knew some secret place where 
I might find my God, unequivocally, expresses the believer’s 
knowledge of the transgressions and awareness of time for the 
spiritual maintenance. Just as there are check points for the 
automotive maintenance, there are critical areas for the spiritual 
maintenance; they include: your thoughts, your daily actions, 
your stewardship or helping others, your worship patterns, 
your prayer life, your faith in God, and your Bible reading. 
In closing, have you had a spiritual maintenance check up 
recently? Remember, the Prophet implied that we should not 
be afraid, maybe a bit ashamed, of what baggage we are bringing; 
instead we should come with an urge for forgiveness, a desire for 
strength to avoid of sinful past, and a thank you Lord for this 
maintenance inspection to keep me prepared for the hymnal certainty 
conveyed in the words - That awful day will surely come when I must stand before my judge, and hopefully pass that solemn test. Amen!
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