Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Let's Talk About Sin

Sin is a wretched condition and action that, in the words of one speaker, will "take you further than you meant to stray, keep you longer than you meant to stay, and cost you more than you meant to pay."  Some disbelieve in the existence of such a condition or activity because to believe such is to acknowledge the existence of absolute law.  The Bible, the Word of God, is the authoritative law in which we learn about sin.

God was not willing to allow fallen people to simply die in their sinful state so, in His mercy, He revealed to mankind that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.  Though all were guilty of sin and under the curse of sin, no one knew about sin until God revealed its presence, its power and its penalty.  Let's talk about sin and its DEFINITION.

In Psalm 51, rather than suggesting he messed up, made a mistake, or goofed, David referred to his wrong-doing as sin, transgression, iniquity, and evil.  According to Proverbs 14:21, "Whoever despises his neighbor is a sinner..."  In Romans 14:23, the Apostle Paul teaches that "whatsoever is not of faith is sin."  Knowing what is right and choosing not to do it is sin according to James 4:17.  The Apostle John reveals the seriousness of sin in his first general epistle by stating, "sin is the transgression of the law" and "all unrighteousness is sin".  He goes on to say in chapter three verse eight, "Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil..."  Now, let's talk about sin and its DECEITFULNESS.

Wisdom in Proverbs 14:12 discloses "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death."  It is imperative that one never forget the warning of Matthew 12:36 that every human will stand before The Creator to give an account of each deed and even every careless word.  The disbelief of those who claim there is no judgement of sin does not negate its reality.  People often try to justify actions with the declaration that the deed hurts no one but herself or himself.  The absence of one who dies or is imprisoned as a result of breaking the law greatly impacts the spouse, children, friends, and loved ones left behind.  Sin never appears in the beginning as it does in the end.  The siren call of sin causes people to think they will get by with what ensnared and enslaved others.  When Lot chose to go to Sodom, no one could have told him he would rise as a civic leader in such a vile place.  He never dreamed that his choice would cost him two of his daughters, that he would offer angelic guests to be abused by the Sodomites, that his wife would become a pillar of salt, or that two of his daughters would arrange to get him so drunk  on two successive nights that he would not know when each got in or out of bed with him, and that each incestuous encounter would produce a child that would be an enemy of the nation of Israel.  One can continue the discussion with the events of Luke 15 regarding the losses incurred by the prodigal son.  When we see how deceitful sin is, we then learn about its DESTRUCTIVENESS.

Romans 6:23 declares, "...the wages of sin is death..."  The prophet Moses warned the nation of Israel  to "be sure your sin will find you out."  David's adulterous affair with Bathsheba left a path of grief and sorrow.  The husband of Bathsheba, Uriah the Hittite, was killed, impacting the lives of his family and friends.  The illegitimate child conceived in the adulterous act, died.  His son, Amnon, raped his daughter, Tamar.  David's son, Absalom, killed Amnon and in a great rebellion tried to take the throne away from King David, only to die by hanging from a tree with darts in his chest. One recognizes that, according to the prophecy, the sword never departed from the house of David.  The rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram caused the earth to swallow them and their families alive.  A married couple, Ananias and Sapphira, lied about giving an offering and each was struck dead.  Observe what sin did to the Lord Jesus.  He did no sin, knew no sin, and had no sin.  Yet, He became sin for us.  God laid on Him the iniquity of us all.  As our sin bearer,  He was forced to carry a cross.  He was flogged and beaten beyond recognition.  He had a crown of thorns thrust on His brow.  His hands and feet were nailed to the cross.  A spear was shoved into His side.  He was mocked, spat upon, and crucified because of our sin, not His.  What a destructive price He paid!  When He died in our place so that we would not be destroyed by our sin, He made available to all who believe the only DETERGENT for sin.

The prophet Zechariah foretold of a fountain that would be opened for sin and uncleanness.  Through the prophet Isaiah, God invites all who have sinned to “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool."  None of the animals in the sacrificial system could completely deal with sin.  At best, sins were rolled forward for a year to be dealt with again.  Through the sacrifice and shed blood of Jesus Christ, sin is blotted out.  Our judicial record.is expunged.  A person who believes upon the Lord Jesus Christ, though guilty of heinous crimes against God, is forgiven and declared to be as though the person had never committed any wrong doing at all.  The Apostle Peter wrote that we are not redeemed by corruptible things like silver and gold or by the blood of bulls and goats.  He announced that we are redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ!  A favorite song of believers asks a question, "What can wash away my sin?"  That hymn quickly answers the question with the truth "Nothing but the blood of Jesus."  Anyone singing that song eventually finds great peace in the chorus, "Oh! precious is the flow that makes me white as snow; No other fount I know, nothing but the blood of Jesus."  Hear the hope calling from 1 John 1:7-9, "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.  If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."  

In closing, God hates sin.  Everyone is guilty of sin.  No one is righteous without the righteousness of Jesus Christ.  He became sin for us so we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.  God loved the world so much that He gave Jesus to die on a cross so all who place their trust in Him will be saved and forgiven of their sins.  We cannot do enough good things to be forgiven of sins.  We cannot stop doing enough bad things to obtain forgiveness of sins.  Salvation is only because of divine grace.  Sin abounds.  But, grace abounds much more!