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Summary: Dealing with the realization that we are all sinners in need of a Savior.

WE MAY BE PRONE TO THINK THAT THERE REALLY ISN’T ALL THAT MUCH DIRECT HARM IN MOST OF LIFE’S LITTLE MISDEMEANORS. UNFORTUNATELY IT’S QUITE THE OPPOSITE.

WHY DOES IT ALWAYS SEEM TO BE THE LITTLE THINGS WE SCOFF AT AND BRUSH ASIDE THAT BECOME THE SEEDS THAT SOON SPROUT AND GROW INTO MAJOR INFRACTIONS?

AN ANCIENT RABBI SAID, “SIN BEGINS AS A SPIDER’S WEB AND BECOMES A SHIP’S ROPE.” YOU AND I ADD THOSE STRANDS THAT CHANGE THE SPIDER’S WEB INTO A ROPE.

WHAT IS UNIQUE IS THAT BECAUSE WE ADD JUST ONE STRAND AT A TIME, AND BECAUSE EACH ONE IS USUALLY SO SMALL, WE DON’T REALIZE WHAT WE ARE CONSTRUCTING.

SOMETIMES, ON THE OTHER HAND, THE GROWTH SEEMS TO HAPPEN ALMOST OF ITS OWN ACCORD. IT IS AS IF WE PLANTED A SEED IN THE SOIL OF THE SOUL BY SOME SMALL ACT OF SIN AND, WITHOUT OUR SEEMING TO ATTEND IT OR CARE FOR IT, IT DEVELOPS INTO A FULL-GROWN TREE.

SOMETIMES, EVEN A FOREST! HOW MANY OF US HAVE SUCH A FOREST IN OUR LIVES? HOW MANY OF US SEEM TO FEEL LIKE WE ARE EXPERTS IN THIS TYPE OF HORTICULTURE?

MAYBE IT’S NOT SO MUCH A FOREST AS IT IS A GARDEN, OR A SMALL FLOWER BOX. WHATEVER IT MAY BE THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS THAT THERE IS SOMETHING GROWING IN YOUR LIFE THAT NEEDS TO BE PULLED OUT LIKE A WEED.

THAT "SOMETHING" IS SIN! SIN. IT’S A LIKE A DISEASE AND EVERYONE’S GOT IT! THE PEOPLE WITH WHOM YOU LIVE? SINNERS! THOSE PEOPLE YOU WORK WITH? SINNERS!

THE PEOPLE WHO ARE WITH US HERE TODAY? SINNERS! THE PASTOR WHO DELIVERS YOU THIS VERY SERMON? SINNER! AS THE SCRIPTURE VERSE SAYS, THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS. NOT A SINGLE ONE!

IF A MEDICAL DISEASE WERE THIS PERVASIVE, WE WOULD BE DESPERATE! EDUCATION, RESEARCH AND FUNDING WOULD NOT STOP UNTIL THE DISEASE WAS CURED!

BUT, WHEN THE DISEASE IS "ONLY" SIN WE COP THE ATTITUDE, "OH, THAT’S IT? WELL, EVERYBODY IS A SINNER AND I KNOW I’M NOT HALF AS BAD AS SOME PEOPLE!" SO, ALL THE WHILE, THE DISEASE OF SIN GOES ON UNCHALLENGED.

SIN MUST BE CHALLENGED! SIN IS THE VERY THING THAT IS KEEPING YOUR FROM GOD! SIN IS PREVENTING YOU FROM BEING A LOVING, SERVING, GIVING CHILD OF GOD!

WORST OF ALL, SIN IS LEADING YOU TO DEATH! SO, THEN WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSED TO DO? WHAT! JUST STOP SINNING? YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING, RIGHT? LOOK, WE’VE ALREADY TRIED THAT AND IT DOESN’T WORK!

AND THERE’S OUR PROBLEM! WE LEISURELY TRY TO FIND THE CURE FOR SOMETHING WE REALLY AREN’T SURE WE WANT TO GET RID OF IN THE FIRST PLACE! BUT THERE IS A CURE, THAT IS, IF YOU WANT THE CURE. THE CURE IS NAMED JESUS!

THIS IS THE VERY POINT PAUL WAS TRYING TO MAKE TO THE JEWS IN ROME. PAUL WAS ASKING THEM WHETHER THEY THINK THEY HAVE AN "EDGE" OVER THE GENTILES BECAUSE OF THEIR MORAL AND SPIRITUAL FITNESS.

PAUL ANSWERS HIS OWN QUESTION BY EMPHATICALLY STATING, "NOT AT ALL!" PAUL SAYS THAT BEING JEWISH IS NOT A FORM OF RELIGIOUS SUPERIORITY. PAUL TEACHES THAT BOTH JEW AND GENTILE ARE ALL UNDER THE POWER OF SIN.

PAUL IS LITERALLY SAYING THAT TO BE UNDER SIN’S POWER IS TO BE UNDER ITS INFLUENCE AND SUBJECT TO ITS CONDEMNATION.

REGARDLESS OF WHAT RACE, NATIONALITY OR RELIGION THERE IS NOT A SINGLE PERSON ALIVE THAT WILL BE ABLE TO CLAIM GOD’S PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT.

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