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Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 18:4-9
Whatever Happened to Sin?
1. Do people know what sin is today?
a. "People know what sin is; they just don't believe in it anymore. We mix up happiness and holiness, and God is no longer the reference point." (Rev. Michael Horton, professor of theology at Westminster Seminary in Escondido, Calif., cited in Has the 'notion of sin' been lost?, Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA TODAY, 4/16/2008)
b. "A new survey by Ellison Research in Phoenix finds 87% of U.S. adults believe in the existence of sin, which is defined as "something that is almost always considered wrong, particularly from a religious or moral perspective."
"Topping the list are adultery (81%) and racism (74%).
"But other sins no longer draw majority condemnation. Premarital sex? Only 45% call it sin. Gambling? Just 30% say it's sinful.
"A lot of this is relative. We tend to view sin not as God views it, but how we view it," says Ellison president Ron Sellers." (Ibid)
c. "David Kinnaman, president of Barna Research, a company in Ventura, Calif., that tracks Christian trends, draws a similar conclusion: "People are quick to toe the line on traditional thinking" that there is sin "but interpret that reality in a very personal and self-congratulatory manner — I have to do what's best for me; I am not as sinful as most." (Ibid)
d. "Popular evangelist Joel Osteen, pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, never mentions sin in his TV sermons or best sellers such as Your Best Life Now." (Ibid)
2. It is clear that many, many people do not understand or respect what the Bible says sin is and what it does. They do not know the gospel that tells how to be saved from sin, and how to live without being ruled by sin.
3. Part 1: Define and understand sin. Part 2: Renaming sin out of existence.
I. WHAT SIN IS.
A. Missing the Mark of God's Revealed Will. (hamartia)
-God's word, the Bible, is the standard that identifies and judges sin.
1. Disobedience to God, Rom. 10:21 (contrary, obstinate), Violation.
2. Transgression: “to go aside”...“to go beyond,” Matt. 15:3; 2 Jno. 9.
3. Iniquity (lawlessness, reject divine rule), 1 Jno. 3:4 (Matt. 7:23).
4. Unrighteousness, 1 Jno. 5:17.
5. Choosing not to do God's will, Jas. 4:17; 1 Sam. 15:11.
6. Rebellion against God, 1 Sam. 15:23; Deut. 9:7.
7. Comprehensive description, Ezek. 18:4-9. (Departure/Fail to do)
B. Sin is Universal, Rom. 3:10-18, 23.
C. Sin is Personal, Psa. 32:5.
1. Sin is not inherited from Adam, Ezek. 18:4.
2. Sin is not your inherent nature (sin nature). But, you can make it your nature (habit) by your conduct, Eccl. 7:29; Eph. 2:3.
II. WHAT SIN DOES.
A. Spiritual Death, Gen. 2:17; Isa. 59:1-2 (Rom. 5:12); Eph. 2:1-2.
B. Guilt, cf. Gen. 2:25 with Gen. 3:7-11.
C. Eternal Death, Rom. 6:23; Rev. 21:8.
III. HOW SIN IS DEFEATED.
A. Sin is Defeated at the Cross, Rom. 5:6-11. God's grace, Rom. 5:20-21.
1. Sinners are saved from sin by grace, through faith, Eph. 2:8.
2. Sin washed away by Christ in baptism, Acts 22:16 (Rom. 6:3).
B. Through the Radical Change Repentance Demands, Matt. 5:29-30.
1. By resisting temptations, Jas. 4:7.
2. By fleeing lusts, 2 Tim. 2:22.
3. By being watchful, 1 Pet. 5:8.
C. By a Choice of Faith: Refusing to Let Sin Rule You, Rom. 6:11-14, 16.
-"How do we overcome sin?"
1. First, through gospel salvation in Jesus Christ, Acts 4:12.
2. Then, by deliberately offering yourself to God as a living sacrifice, instead of daily offering yourself to sin, Rom. 12:1-2.
D. By Walking in the Light (confessing our sin to God), 1 Jno. 1:6-9.
1. By understanding sin we can identify our personal sin so we can repent of it (cf. Lk. 3:8, 10-14).
2. Part 2: How sin is redefined, and how this re-defining minimizes sin out of existence.
By: Joe R. Price
Posted: March 25, 2016