Summary: Man calls it an accident, God calls it abomination ... Man calls it a weakness, God calls it willfulness. We live in the last days when people have started to call evil good and good evil ... What will you say about good and evil? The choice is yours!
Opening illustration: Dr. J. Wilbur Chapman told of a distinguished minister, Dr. Howard, from Australia who preached very strongly on the subject of SIN. After the service, one of the church deacons came to counsel with him in the study. "Dr. Howard," he said, "we don’t want you to talk as openly as you do about man’s guilt and corruption, because if our boys and girls hear you discussing that subject they will more easily become sinners. Call it a mistake if you will, but do not speak so plainly about sin. "The minister took down a small bottle and showing it to the deacon said, "You see that label? It says strychnine - and underneath in bold, red letters the word ’Poison!’ Do you know, man, what you are asking me to do? You are suggesting that I change the label. Suppose I do, and paste over it the words, ’Essence of Peppermint’; don’t you see what might happen? Someone would use it; not knowing the danger involved, and would certainly die. So it is, too, with the matter of sin. The milder you make your label; the more dangerous you make your poison!"
Let us look into God’s Word and see what the Bible calls good and evil and whether they are one of the same thing.
Introduction: Those who set their hearts upon the world will justly be disappointed. Here is woe to those who dote upon the pleasures and the delights of sense. The use of music is lawful; but when it draws away the heart from God, then it becomes a sin to us. God’s judgments have seized them, but they will not disturb themselves in their pleasures. The judgments are declared. Let a man be ever so high, death will bring him low; ever so mean and death will bring him lower. The fruit of these judgments shall be that God will be glorified as a God of power. Also, as a God that is holy; he shall be owned and declared to be so, in the righteous punishment of proud men. Those are in a woeful condition who set up sin, and who exert themselves to gratify their base lusts. They are daring in sin, and walk after their own lusts; it is in scorn that they call God the Holy One of Israel. They confound and overthrow distinctions between good and evil. They prefer their own reasonings to Divine revelations; their own devices to the counsels and commands of God. They deem it prudent and politic to continue profitable sins, and to neglect self-denying duties. Also, how light soever men make of drunkenness; it is a sin which lays open to the wrath and curse of God. Their judges perverted justice. Every sin needs some other to conceal it. And the consequences of sin we all have to bear some time or the other. But we must understand that it has been forgiven through Christ and we don’t have to continue bringing before God the animal sacrifices for our atonement.
Let us define SIN?
The word used to denote the willful breaking of God’s law.
1. Sin is "any want of conformity unto or transgression of the law of God" (1 John 3:4; Rom. 4:15), in the inward state and habit of the soul, as well as in the outward conduct of the life, whether by omission or commission (Romans 6:12-17; 7:5-24).
2. It is "not a mere violation of the law of our constitution, nor of the system of things, but an offense against a personal lawgiver and moral governor who vindicates his law with penalties. The soul that sins is always conscious that his sin is…
• intrinsically vile and polluting, and…
• that it justly deserves punishment, and calls down the righteous wrath of God.
3. Hence sin carries with it two inalienable characters,
• ill-desert, guilt (reatus); and
• pollution (macula)."
Illustration: What is sin [a comparison of man’s and God’s perspective]?
Man calls it an accident, God calls it abomination.
Man calls it a defect, God calls it a disease.
Man calls it an error, God calls it an enmity.
Man calls it a liberty, God calls it lawlessness.
Man calls it a trifle, God calls it a tragedy.
Man calls it a mistake, God calls it madness.
Man calls it a weakness, God calls it willfulness.
What happens when evil is called good? [Steps to calling evil good]
1. Sin is used as a CRUTCH & YOKE [vs. 18 – 19]:
“An evil inclination is at first like a fine hair-string, but the finishing like a cart-rope.” The antithesis is between the slender cords of sophistry, like the spider’s web (Isa_59:5; Job_8:14), with which one sin draws on another, until they at last bind themselves with great guilt as with a cart-rope. They strain every nerve in sin. The general idea in this verse and the next, is, doubtless, that of plunging deeper and deeper into sin. The word “sin” here, has been sometimes supposed to mean “the punishment” for sin. Iniquity and sin are mentioned here as carrying with them their own punishment.