Summary: When we think about sin we often think - I don't really want to know about this. But we should think about sin and say, "Yay I am glad we did that". This message shows us why.
I’m going to put a word up on the screen. When you see the word I want you to try and remember your first thoughts.
Whose first thought was …
… I’ve heard about this so many times?
… how does Allan know?
… who thought about a specific action that was sinful?
… what have I done now?
There are plenty of reactions. Did anyone have this reaction?
Yay we are going to talk about sin?
I doubt it. But here is what I want to do today. I am going to talk about sin with the view of us getting to the end of the message and each one of us saying
“Yay, we talked about sin”.
To help us do that we need to turn to the Bible.
Anyone feeling a little uncomfortable at the moment. That is a pretty intense description of people isn’t it.
There is no-one righteous. (Romans 3:10)
Their throats are open to the grave. (Romans 3:13)
The poison of vipers is on their lips. (Romans 3:13)
Ruin and misery mark their way. (Romans 3:16)
There is no fear of God. (Romans 3:18)
Is that a description of us? Surely not!
Paul must be thinking of people like Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. These were the two young men responsible for the shooting of 12 students at Columbine High School. The shooters deliberately cut short the lives of young people with all their potentialities unfulfilled and their years unrealised.
Perhaps Paul was thinking of Martin Bryant. He is the man responsible for the Port Arthur shootings. 35 people were killed there. Some families lost 3 members. It caused the loss of peace and tranquillity in a part of the world that was supposed to be safe from such things.
Or maybe Paul was taking about the people responsible for the September 11th attack … or ruthless leaders like Hitler and Gaddafi.
Surely these are the sort of people Paul has in mind. Not us.
Don’t be so sure.
This letter is written a group of people in Rome. This letter is meant to be read by all believers … at all times … in all places. And Paul is emphatic about one fact – he is pointing to each one of us and he is saying, “You are not nice people”.
They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.
You think you are not like others? Don’t flatter yourself. Sin pervades our whole life. Throat. Lips. Feet. Hands. Hearts. Minds. Our anatomy is repulsive because sin has taken hold of them all. And that means we have all got a problem. Paul explains the problem in Romans 1:18.
The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness.
Sin does to us what pruning shears do to a flower. Take the shears and with one cut you separate the flower from its source of life.