"What does my sin mean?"
(What do our sins bring to mind or bring forward?)
Good Morning, for those of you today who are believers, than there has come a time at some point in your life were you were taught about sin and what it is and means. Maybe it was early on in your life or for some later on. The point is, that you were taught about original sin, and that because of Adam and Eve choosing to disobey God’s good and perfect plan for their lives, they choose to disobey and eat from the fruit that God told them not to eat of. Because of this they fell from their original righteousness and communion with God and became sinners. And since Adam is the father of mankind, his guilt and sin nature are conveyed to all who have descended from him down through the generations of mankind. Though we have been pardoned by the blood of Jesus, this sin nature still lives within us and that is why we need a Savior.
So, the question that I want us to wrestle with today is this subject on sin and really the doctrine of sin. Do we understand what this is all about today? The reason that I ask this is because I have seen over the past several years that the average sinner and of course unbelievers have little understanding of what sin is and that it actually is wrong. Let me put it this way. If you are here today and believe that there is no such thing as sin or that it’s not wrong to sin, as God’s Word tells us about sin then.
-Number one, you don’t see a need for God’s moral law in the 10 commandments.
-You don’t see the wisdom of God’s Word. That you need it for life.
-You don’t see a reason to depend on God
-You don’t see the need and the importance of a redeemer in that of Jesus Christ who died for our sin.
-You don’t see the importance of the ministry of the church.
-And last, you don’t really have a hope for eternity.
Many people today don’t believe in the tragedy and universality of sin. And because of that, what I have seen is that they continue to try and fix themselves. People try to fix themselves by putting their hope in education, politics, philosophy, psychology, medicine, and on and on the list could go. Yes, these things can help somewhat, and can all be good things, but they ultimately have no power to rescue us from the destruction, darkness and death of sin.
So what exactly is sin? I mean what does God’s word tell us is sin? Let’s begin in the Old Testament and then I want us to look to the new testament.
Exodus 20:3–17 (ESV)
“You shall have no other gods before me.
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me,
but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Six days you shall labor, and do all your work,
but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.
For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
“You shall not murder.
“You shall not commit adultery.
“You shall not steal.
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”
Now let’s continue with these but we will look at what Jesus had to say about the actual commandments in the New Testament and then also look at one other passage. Turn with me to Matthew chapter 5.
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Now I want you to turn with me to Galatians chapter 5.
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
And these like these. I may have not mentioned every sin today, but I think we get the point. God’s Word tells us that these things are wrong and sinful.
Definition of sin: Sin is a rejection of God’s authority and his laws, and putting ourselves as the ultimate authority and writing our own laws. Sin is a breaking of a relationship with God that then leads us to break his commands. First John shows us what this really looks like.
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
There are a lot of things that we can love in this world that leaves us guilty before God. Maybe it’s looking at pornography, or cheating on our taxes. Maybe it’s being bitter and unforgiving in our marriage. Maybe it’s patterns of gluttony, or racial animosity. For some it can be greed and materialism, or patterns of gossip. Whatever it is these all miss the mark.
A popular definition of sin is “missing the mark.” The picture here that we have on the screens is of an archer who aimed at the target and missed to the left or right every time. In other words, every arrow that we shoot falls short of the target. No matter how hard we try or shoot, over and over again we will fall short. On our own we are all hopelessly unable to hit the goal. There is a standard, “God’s standard,” and we cannot attain it. Paul says it this way in Romans.
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
What sin has done is that it has left us blind and deaf. It has left us irrational and very foolish. It has left us sick and dying. It has left us lame and limp like the crippled man who was laying by the pool of Bethsaida in John chapter 5. We don’t have the power to help ourselves, and we cannot reverse sin’s damage. Turn with me to John 5.
After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked. Now that day was the Sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.” But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’ ” They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him.
This man has been laying there for 38 years. That is a really long time. This man had no hope of getting up and being healed without a divine intervention. If Jesus had not come along and said, “Get up, take your bed and walk,” this man would have continued to stay there on his mat for many more years. I want you to think about this story with me today. Why? Here is why, because just like this man desperately needed the grace of physical healing, we all today need the grace of spiritual healing. Because of sin, there is not any of us who are well. Sin has left us morally week, unable to be what we are supposed to be and do what we have been created to do.
But there is good news church!!! There is hope.
-What is God’s response to our sin?
God warns us not judges us.
Yes, someday we will all stand before God and be held accountable for what we did here on earth, but right now God gives us many warnings in His Word.
Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.
For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.
Why are there so many warnings in Scripture? Because God loves us. I love this: a warning isn’t judgment. If all God intended to do was to judge and condemn us, he wouldn’t first warn us; he would only judge and condemn! One of the ways we experience the loving fatherhood of God is that He gives us boundaries in His laws. These laws are an expression of his love for us. Here is what I mean by that. God’s laws protect us from danger and draw us toward a deeper dependency and communion with him. In his word, he sets boundaries of protection for us. He does not do that to rob us of our freedom and joy, but so that we would be freed from the bondage and sadness that always result when we as sinners choose our own selfish way. Jesus Christ fulfilled the law and took on our penalty by dying on the cross. We all desperately need a Savior. We need someone to save us from our sin. So, in each warning and with each law, we really do experience the love from God. How? Here is how, each warning shows us God’s patience, faithfulness, wisdom, and grace. Each law reminds us of his care. Each warning teaches us that God is ready and willing to forgive and restore again. Our Father is infinitely wiser than us. He really does know better, and we should listen and obey.
2. He disciplines us (those whom he loves) Hebrews 12:6
For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”
Please hear me today church. We must not look and deal with sin lightly. Sin is a big deal because it’s what separates us from a holy and righteous God. We don’t continue in our sin so that God’s Grace may abound. (Romans 6:1) We can never turn away from the Lord’s discipline for our lives. The Bible clearly teaches us that our sins bring with it the discipline of the Lord. He does this so that we will not continue in our sin.
3. However he also forgives us, restores us into a right relationship, and also pardons us.
God’s Word assures us that when we run to the Lord and ask him to forgives us He will do exactly that. Confess your sin to the Lord today and He will forgive you
for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
When we confess our sin and the Lord forgives us, he also restores us into a right relationship.
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
Finally, I want you to see the wonderful truth that God will pardon us. He pardon’s our sins so that someday we can live with Christ for all eternity. He pardon’s us from the death of hell. What a gracious thing that is church.
“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
Closing: Our biggest problem in this life is not the annoying person at work or the irritating boss. It’s not our spouse or children. It’s not the government, culture around us or the church. It is not a physical disease, financial mess or the media. Our biggest problem lives within us. It is the remaining sin that we will deal with until the Lord calls us home. Why? Because sin has the power to deceive us and make us think that we are ok. The good news today is that our Savior has not left us alone. He has given us His wonderful Word. He has given us the convicting and empowering of the Holy Spirit. He has given us the church and God’s people to help us to see what we cannot. Today I want to encourage you to open your hearts and minds to God’s gracious provisions so that you can have a defense against the blinding power of sin.
(Close in Prayer and Lead into Communion)
Today we come to the Lord’s Table. We are about to take part in Remembering the Lord’s death and resurrection and ultimately His return. I want to take a moment and explain what we are doing by participating in the Lord’s Supper. First of all this ordinance is for those of you who believe in Jesus and know that Christ has changed your life. I want to give you a moment here in just a minute to examine your hearts and relationships. In just a moment we are going to join together by saying I identify myself as a true believer of Christ and in doing so I am taking part in Communion by taking the bread and juice. Here is how Paul puts it.
Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.
Let’s take a moment to examine our lives before we take the bread and juice.
For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.