The Subject of Sin
I think that most people don’t like to talk about sin very much. At least they sure don’t like to talk very candidly about it. Actually, most people don’t mind talking about other people’s sin. But what they don’t like to talk about is the sin in THEIR lives! But the bible says that there is indeed, sin in all of our lives.. Right? 1 John 1, verse 8 says; “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” So, it is a fact, that there is sin in all of our lives.
But the problem is.. What are we going to do about it? Is it OK for it to simply be there, since everyone has it? Is it OK then to just accept it and ignore it, and go on? Well, according to the bible, it’s not Ok to just allow it to be there. What does the bible say to do about it?
Jesus says, in Luke 13,verse 3; “..Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish!”
But the bible also says, in 1 John 1, verse 9; “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” So we better not just ignore our sin, because God has provided a way to get rid of it.
So, if we go to God in prayer, and if we say; “Father, I know that I have sin in my life, I confess that fact, but I know that you have promised to forgive me, and cleanse me. And thank you Father for forgiving me for my sin.” Will that do it then? Is that really a confession of sin? That sounds more like an acknowledgment of sin, but not really a confession.
If you really confessed your sin to God, wouldn’t you need to specify what exactly that sin is? It’s one thing to acknowledge that the word of God is true, that Yes, I have sin in my life. But wouldn’t you think that it’s a whole other thing, to actually confess a specific sin? And so I think that’s there’s a bit more implied, in 1 John verse 9, when it tell us to confess our sins, in order to be forgiven of them. And that’s where those words of Jesus come in; “..Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish!”
Repentance is absolutely implied, in 1 John 1:8, if we would hope to be forgiven. In Acts 17, verse 30, The scripture tells us, that God DECLARES, that we all must repent! Listen to the verse.. Actually, I’m going to read verses 29 first; “Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art, and man’s device.”
That’s what idolatry is. Worshipping created things, and not worshipping the actual Creator of all things. That’s been a pretty common practice of man over the ages hasn’t it? And it’s still pretty common today, even though people won’t admit that they worship created things. But admit it or not, mankind does indeed, worship things of the world! Oh maybe they don’t gather together for a worship assembly, like we do on the first day of every week; But people still do worship created things.
Actually, the things that you and I put first in our lives, are the things that we “worship”. And so hopefully, we put God first in our life, so that we are rightfully worshipping God. But that’s not the way it is with the majority of people on the earth.
Let me read to you three definitions of what it means to worship.
#1. Reverence offered a divine being, or supernatural power; Also an act of expressing such reverence.
#2. A form of religious practice with its creed and ritual.
And #3. An extravagant respect or admiration for, or devotion to, an object of esteem . How many people fall into that category of worship?
How many people worship the almighty.. Dollar? How many people do you think have sinned, in order to make a financial profit? How many have compromised honesty? Oh, only have the world, maybe three quarters. And how many know perfectly well that they’ve traded their honesty for a profit? But how many would ever even think about repenting?
When you think about it, it’s pretty ignorant, to trade off your honesty and your integrity, for profit, isn’t it. I mean, considering who we have to deal with. Hebrews 4, verse 13 says; “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: But all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.”
Psalm 7, verse 11 says; “God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation each day.”
Listen to Psalm 50:16 thru 23; “But to the wicked God says; What right have you to tell of My statutes And to take My covenant in your mouth? For you hate My instruction and cast My words behind you. When you see a thief, you befriend him, and throw in your lot with adulterers. You unleash your mouth for evil and unharness your tongue for deceit. You sit and speak against your brother; You slander your own mother’s son. You have done these things, and I kept silent; you thought I was just like you. But now I rebuke you and accuse you to your face. Now consider this, you who forget God, lest I tear you to pieces, with no one to rescue you: He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me; And to him who orders his way aright I shall show the salvation of God.”
It’s rather ignorant when we sin, no matter what the particular sin is. I said I was going to read Acts 17, verse 30, and here it is; “Although God overlooked the ignorance of earlier times, He now commands all people everywhere to repent.” When’s the last time you repented of a sin? We all have sin in our lives, don’t we? God says we do. I’m not saying that we as Christians, sin every day. I would hope that a Christian wouldn’t sin everyday. But we do sin. But when’s the last time you confessed a particular sin? When’s the last time you repented of a sin?
Unless WE repent, of the specific sins that somehow find their way into our lives, we will all likewise perish. It’s no wonder most of us don’t like to talk about, or even think about sin. Because Jesus puts quite a charge upon us. “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” “God is DECLARING that all men everywhere should repent.” It’s not an option is it?
We talked about idolatry a couple minutes ago, and what people worship. Do you know what some people worship? They worship their pride! Because their pride means more to them than anything else. Pride will stop someone from repenting, won’t it? Sure it will. Do we sometimes suffer from pride? Is it possible, that sometimes, we Christians, fail to even admit that we’ve sinned, because our pride has deceived us?
Since it’s a fact, that we all have some kind of sin in our lives, what kind is in your life? You don’t to go tell anyone what it is. But what we all DO have to do, is think about it, so that we can confess that sin to God, and repent of it. Otherwise, we’re going to perish. Oh, but I’m a Christian! I’ve been forgiven! That’s right, and we need to continue to be forgiven!
And so it would behoove us, to do some serious, and honest thinking about our lives. Where is the sin in our lives. We know it’s there somewhere. But where is it. It’s for our own good, isn’t it? Where is our sin?
Is it in our faithfulness to God? Could we be more faithful, than we are? Have we sinned in that respect? Is it in our behavior toward others? Do you have a grudge against someone? Are you harboring anger, and bad feelings toward someone? Maybe someone really di do you wrong. Maybe they sinned against you! But it doesn’t matter does it? It doesn’t matter what anyone has done to us. All that matters is how WE treat them.
Have we sacrificed our honesty, in some area or another? Maybe it wasn’t for the purpose of making a profit, like we were talking about earlier. Or maybe it wasn’t even for the sake of pride. Who knows what it might have been for. But just give it some thought. Have you been less than honest, about anything?
Here’s something to think about. Could it be possible, that the sin in our life, could be in regard to something that we HAVEN’T done, and not something that we have done?
I’m sure you’re all familiar with the words of James 4:17; “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” So you can see that we can sin, without doing anything! Because the sin, is in NOT doing, what you know you should be doing! But let’s dig into that verse a little bit more, to try to see exactly what it’s talking about. Because someone could misunderstand that verse, and misapply it.
For example; We all know that it’s a good thing, actually it’s more than just a “good thing”, to visit the afflicted, right? Of course to “visit” actually means.. to supply their needs. (James 1:27) But what if we don’t do that today? Have we sinned, because we haven’t done today what we know is a “good thing”? Of course not, all we need to do is use our common sense. Not everyone can do that every day. But what if we NEVER have done that?
“Pure religion, and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” What if we NEVER practice that part of “pure religion”? Have we sinned? I think we have.
So then, is there sin in our life, because of what we have neglected to do? There certainly could be. And that’s why the scriptures tell us to “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; Test yourselves. Can’t you see for yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you—unless you actually fail the test?” (2 Corinthians 13, verse 5) And so we need to examine our lives, to make sure that we’re not allowing sin to be there, through our own negligence, in failing to do, what we know we need to be doing.
What else might we be failing to do, that we know perfectly well is the right thing to do? Could our attendance in the assembly possibly suffer, because of our own neglect? How about our giving, upon the first day of the week? Could we actually be in sin, because we maybe aren’t giving as we’ve been prospered? I suppose that’s possible, especially if our attendance falls off. Lots of people make up the contribution when they’re not able to attend, because of sickness of something like that. But it’s pretty easy to NOT make up your offering, when your attendance is failing, simply due to neglect.
And I don’t need to name all the things that we know we should be doing. All the things that we know, are the “good things” to do. Just like I don’t need to name all the “bad things” that we need to stay away from doing. That’s why we’ve got the bible, to tell us all those “good things” and the “bad things”.
Which brings up another “good thing” that we might actually be neglecting. And that’s bible study. Is it a ‘good thing” to study the bible with regularity? It is, isn’t it? And you KNOW that it’s one of the very best things you can do. Yet we’re lucky if we can get 6 or 7 people in a bible study. Why do you think that is?
We all know that we’ve got sin in our lives. God tells us that we do. But the question is.. Where is that sin? Does it lie in something that we do that we know, we should not be doing? Or does it lie in something that we know we should be doing, but for some reason, aren’t doing?
Where does the sin lie in your life? We better think about it now, while we still have the time to fix it!