Spiritual Life of the Leader - Lesson 13

The Eight Deadly Sins, Question and Answer

Is there a sin that's not deadly? To what extent can you worry about something before it becomes a sin? What does it take to overcome gluttony? The minute you make an exception for yourself, you either presume on the grace of God or break a known law of God. Admit what you are feeling and submit it to God to have faith in him in the situation, then do your part.

Stephen Martyn
Spiritual Life of the Leader
Lesson 13
Watching Now
The Eight Deadly Sins, Question and Answer

The Eight Deadly Sins: Question and Answer

I. Is there a sin that's not deadly?

II. To what extent can you worry about something before it becomes a sin?

III. Overcoming gluttony

  • This lesson covers the involvement of Christians in societal issues, using historical examples and emphasizing the balance of Christ's work for and in believers, while critiquing modern church practices and advocating for active ministry participation by all members.
  • This lesson teaches the importance of balancing Christian service with receptivity to God's word, using the story of Martha and Mary to illustrate the need for prioritizing spiritual union with Christ over mere activity, emphasizing the consequences of a divided heart and the necessity of both justification and sanctification.
  • Learn to identify red flags in your ministry, distinguish between serving God and personal ambition, and address anxiety, self-pity, and control issues by trusting God and adopting humility.
  • Understand the theological concept that your essence is divinely created and precedes your existence, contrasting this with Sartre's existentialism, and learn the importance of receiving God's guidance over defining your life by accomplishments.
  • Learn to critically evaluate your motives, distinguish between self-serving and God-serving actions, understand the role of community in avoiding self-deception, recognize the significance of Christ's atonement, handle red flags, and balance people's expectations with God's calling.
  • The lesson teaches you to balance spiritual renewal and active ministry by self-reflecting on weekly activities, ensuring you receive God's grace and effectively respond to His directives, thus preventing burnout and sustaining a healthy ministry.
  • Learn to live like a reservoir, receiving spiritual replenishment before giving, through prioritizing key practices like prayer and scripture, and avoiding depletion by maintaining a constant spiritual reservoir and making essential practices an integral part of daily life.
  • This lesson teaches you to live by integrating core Christian principles daily, maintaining foundational practices like loving God, building relationships, serving vocally, and caring for your body, while emphasizing the importance of following Jesus closely and avoiding the pitfalls of church leadership.
  • Learn about the eight deadly sins, their historical and spiritual context, and the importance of overcoming them through spiritual disciplines, while illustrating the consequences of these sins through biblical examples, especially emphasizing the dangers of anger and depreciation of God's goodness.
  • Learn about dealing with inordinate sadness and grief in ministry, understanding the importance of acknowledging suffering, supporting others compassionately, handling difficult relationships with integrity, and addressing unresolved anger constructively.
  • You learn the importance of gratitude, the dangers of sadness and acedia, the need for internal well-being through a relationship with God, and the power of infused hope in overcoming ministry challenges.
  • Gain insights into the dangers of vainglory and pride, the importance of humility, prayer, and community support, and the significance of recognizing God's sovereignty in overcoming self-centeredness and narcissism.
  • Integrating sermon teachings into your heart is crucial, all sins are deadly, and you should submit worries to God, rejoice, and take every thought captive for Christ, using early church wisdom to overcome temptations like gluttony for spiritual growth.
  • This lesson teaches you how to identify and combat the eight deadly sins using virtues like temperance, chaste love, poverty of spirit, meekness, appreciation, infused faith, hope, love, and humility, relying on divine grace to transform these vices into a deeper spiritual life.
  • Understand that crises, whether personal or ministry-related, are opportunities for spiritual growth by seeking God's refuge, understanding forced detachment crises, maintaining healthy life rhythms, and recognizing divine purification amidst challenges.
  • This lesson teaches how crises reveal the light of Christ, illustrating the transformative power of faith through biblical examples and personal experiences, emphasizing reliance on God's resources and presence, and portraying ministry as a pressure cooker demanding quick maturity and resilience.
  • Explore Christian anthropology, understanding God's image in us, and the dimensions of human life, roles, and spiritual longings, emphasizing the balance between physical, functional, and spiritual aspects guided by the Holy Spirit.
  • This lesson continues the study of Christian anthropology through Adrian Von Comm's field theory, emphasizing Christ at the center of interconnected aspects of human existence—interior, relational, here and now, and global life—encouraging balance, cooperation with the Holy Spirit, and harmonious Christian living.
  • Learn that as a leader, worship is central to your role, involving a holistic response to God's love and guidance, emphasizing discipleship, biblical understanding, and aligning with God's purpose through praise and adoration, preventing apathy and enriching your leadership journey.
  • Understand that true worship according to the New Testament is about honoring and serving God alone, avoiding idolatry, and leading a life of genuine service and love toward Him, while recognizing and addressing the major obstacles to authentic worship within contemporary church practices.
  • Understand the importance of genuine worship leadership, personal worship alignment, the significance of historical church traditions, the dangers of overloaded worship services, and the mission to uphold true worship against global falsehoods.
  • Learn about the core aspects of worship in Revelation 4, emphasizing humility, submission, and the connection between future and present worship, encouraging heartfelt adoration and genuine worship practices in church leadership.
  • Learn how a leader's spiritual life impacts their ministry, the necessity of comprehensive discipleship, the integration of gospel content into daily life, and the importance of articulating and practicing core theological doctrines.
  • Explore the dynamic nature of spiritual life and leadership, emphasizing shifts from traditional to transformative ministry, clergy-centered to congregation-empowered roles, and solo to team leadership, advocating mature discipleship and active laity engagement.
  • Learn the importance of integrating sermons into discipleship, focusing on high commitment, contextualization, personal mentoring, and a family-like atmosphere, while emphasizing biblical and theological grounding for a solid foundation.
  • Biblical and theological grounding, genuine discipleship, and the formation of life-giving dispositions are crucial for spiritual growth and active participation in God's mission, leading to personal joy, communal fulfillment, and a global impact.

What do you think the priorities should be for a leader in the Church? How do you cultivate your personal spiritual life in a way that keeps you emotionally healthy and helps you avoid choosing sin? What is your measure of success for your church? How does that compare with a biblical measure of success? What is a disciple? What should the process of discipleship look like? What principles can you learn from the way Jesus interacted with his followers that will help you to encourage spiritual formation of the people in your sphere of influence? What are sins that people in leadership have commonly struggled with over the past 2,000 years? How do you recognize them in your own life and what are some practical ways to avoid them or repent and recover from them? What is the essence of worship? How do you live your life so you are worshipping God authentically in everything you do? How do you lead worship in a group setting in a way that encourages others to worship authentically? 

These are a few of the questions that Dr. Martyn poses to begin a conversation regarding the subject of the spiritual life of the leader. As a pastor for more than 20 years, Dr. Martyn asked and answered these questions in the context of loving and serving people personally. As part of his current position of teaching future pastors at Asbury seminary, he and some of his colleagues have conducted extensive surveys of church leaders throughout the North America and the world to get a better understanding of the responsibilities and pressures that church leaders face every day. His goal is to be able to understand biblical principles and use his experience to help leaders develop a model of ministry that helps them develop their personal spiritual life and give them a model to disciple and encourage the people they work with in a way that is healthy and encourages their faith and practice. 

Whether you have an official leadership position or not, you will benefit from listening to this class. It is one of the most comprehensive classes on spiritual formation, discipleship, leadership principles and worship that you will ever hear. If you listen and reflect on each of the lectures from beginning to end, you will be glad you did. 

Dr. Stephen Martyn
Spiritual Life of a Leader
The Eight Deadly Sins, Question and Answer
Lesson Transcript


[00:00:00] Okay. So it's really important once again, to integrate this stuff. You know, it's how many sermons have your people heard if they're made thousands of sermons, the real issues, how many of the sermons messages have integrated into their hearts and sometimes questions and and coming back and forth can really help us do that. So questions now about deadly sins coming out of it, Twisted hysteria, acedia. Anyway, where are we? Okay. My first question is, is is there any sin that's not deadly? Oh, okay. I'm sorry. That was just a joke. No, wait a minute. Wait a minute. Can we can we jump on it? Sure. I mean, what's the cure? What's the popular thought here? I mean, go ahead and come back. I mean, what's the popular thought? Even little lies. Oh, hold the microphone. So, of course, there's little white lies and plenty of small sins. Yeah. So here's the deal. The early church was, you know, over and over, you'll read this the minute you make an exception for yourself, That's when you're going to either fall off the right into stupid presumption or off to the where you presume upon the grace of God, you know, throw yourself from the temple, He'll take care of you or you fall off to the left where you broke a known law of God. So is there anything but a deadly sin? And they're all deadly. That's why Christ had to die. Yeah, Go ahead. Give. Thank you. My other question, a more serious question was about the whole notion of acedia. You hear people I have heard people address and say the sin of worry or it is a word is a sin to worry. And I'm worried about that. Well, of course, you know, you talked about acedia in a way that I think is enough on distant from the center, that I think it's easier to say, well, that's not my problem.


[00:02:09] But every day worries I think are and so let's let's want to comment on that. Yeah, I use a tool quite I have a tool in my office that that I love. It's this tool called inner linear for the rest of us. So. Okay, so I'm making this huge confession. Yes. I'm a seminary professor that uses an inter linear. Okay, so get over it. It's just how it is. I am not fluent in Greek and I've got to have help with Greek. So I thank the Lord for this man, William Mounts. And I'm going to try and find Philippians those seasons. Philippians Hello Galatians of Ephesians. Tell over, learn that song Matthew, Mark, Luke and John acts in the letter to the Romans. You know, that's all goes through my mind here. Okay, let's see if I can find it. So. Oh, what is worry? You know, in some sense, one of my friends defines worry like this. Worry is praying to yourself. I attribute that to my friend, my fellow colleague. That's is very similar. Michael voice. He's a medieval expert. Anyway. Praying to yourself. So this this word here, Philippians four four. I bet many, many, many of you know this by memory. Rejoice in the Lord. How often? Always. I will say it again. Rejoice. Let your gentleness be evident to all. Why the Lord is near. Oh, close by, on the verge of right bias. Then I'm going to make sure our great scholar is here because I'm having a little hard time seeing all the fine print. But it's it's imperative command at this point. So looking at our Greek scholar in my okay, the Greek scholar says yes, do not be anxious about anything as haughty. Saying is what Paul said.


[00:04:34] Do not be anxious about anything. But in everything, by prayer and petition with Thanksgiving, present your request to God. Now, let's just take a little break there. Yeah. Is there any day that you have that maybe some little worry or some little concern doesn't pop up Sometimes in the background, there's huge, big worries, anxieties, you know, like dark, huge, terrible storm clouds, fearing what's coming, fearing what's brewing. Sometimes there's just little concerns, little anxieties. All right. I think what I see from the best of our tradition right here, all this business of anxiety and worry is that we want to take what did we just hear? We want to take every thought captive for Christ. Right now, if the word identifies my worry as something that is not in accordance with God's will, then I've got to submit that. So for me, it begins by me. Okay, Lord, I've got a worry here. I've got a concern even even coming out here. You know, there's been a season in my life where I have flown on airplanes so much and I've been in obedience. I've been in some violent, violent turbulence, some of the worse been over the Northern Atlantic Ocean. Oh, my gosh. And I've been in airplanes where the English screamed, you know, when when John Wesley was coming over on a little boat, both coming and going, they got into storms that Wesley talked about to America from England, talked about how the English screamed. And I've been on airplanes when the English screamed, You may have been on airplanes. When the Chinese scream, when Africans grieve, you know, you get shaken up enough and people start screaming. And even on this trip, we hit a little bit of chop in a and boy, some of those past memories came back to me and boom, right there I'm kind of letting a little anxiety in my.


[00:07:05] And then the Lord just said, No, stop it. Stop it. Absolutely. Stop it. That's not what you are called to do, nor who you are called to be. So I'm taking every thought captive. I admit it, Lord Jesus, this is anxiety. I know it's not of your will. I submitted a praying to prayer. Be pleased to God to deliver me the Lord. My case to help me. Then what does the rest of the the word say when we do it, when we do this? And the sweetest, sweet, the sweetest words in the New Testament arena. If you're named Irene, you're named after this arena. And the peace, the peace of God, which transcends or goes beyond all understanding, will guard, will protect your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. So I'm trying to. This business of knowing society, no fear, no anger, no adulterous thoughts, you know, no, no gluttonous thoughts. You just go down the list. And so I got to admit it. Sometimes I have to confess it now. Temptation is not a sin. All right? All of us are tempted. So if it's just a temptation, I admit it's a temptation. If I've given evil thought in my mind the whole time, I'm asking for forgiveness. So I'm bringing it to Christ. Say, Lord, you know, I know this is wrong. I need your help. It may be something. Also, I need to kneel on the cross, something really bad in my own mind or my own thought or thinking. Lord, please nail it on the cross. This. This has got to die. The sin nature's got to die. This is not a view. So anyway, that's a long. Please come back at me. Can forgive me. That's for the long answer.


[00:09:07] Actually. Have a video. Maybe we can even play. So go ahead. I'm sorry. That's all right. Other questions that you would like to bring up to clarify. I just want to make sure I understand correctly. You started saying gluttony. If I if I couldn't overcome that, then the rest would be much harder. Would be much harder. And that's where it starts. That's from the early church. Now, that's that that's not a straight out of scripture. So we need to make those distinctions. That's the wisdom of the tradition. But that's a little bit lower rung the inscription. So I would never fight about it. It's just what they observe. They said, listen, if you can't overcome gluttony, then it's going to make it a whole lot harder to work your way down, especially with adultery. It's going to make it really hard. But it's a great question and thank you. So anyway, good.