Summary: Part of the "good news" of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that we are sinners. If we are sinners than we are not victims and there is a solution to our problem.
Reading Book: The Reason for God, Belief in an Age of Skepticism, by Timothy Keller.
It answers many questions we ask about God/faith.
How can a loving God send people to hell?
How can one religion be right- others wrong?
Author- presents- rational case for belief in God.
He provides answers to the reasons people use for not believing in God- confronts doubt/unbelief.
Men who claim that …
God is dead,
creation is a random collection of atoms,
… still want to believe it is wrong for the strong to oppress/kill the weak.
If violence is a natural result of this random creation-who can say it is wrong for?
There is no moral obligation unless there is some standard beyond nature that defines normal.
It is only if you believe that the world was made by a God of peace/justice/love, that you can conclude
that violence, oppression, and hate are wrong.
According to Christianity, our biggest problem is sin.
The concept of sin is ridiculous/offensive to many.
And yet sin is foundational to the Christian faith.
When God created the world- He said- it is good!
Sin entered- when- serpent tempted Adam and Eve …
Gen 3:5 "For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." NASU
Promise the serpent made- do what you want to do, eat the fruit, and you will find happiness.
Man struggles with the same problem today.
If I could only do this or do that, throw off these restraints, I would suddenly be happier.
Young people often think that once they turn 18 they will leave their parents house, no longer be under parents their rules, and suddenly they will be much happier.
Lack of restraint does not always produce happiness.
Pr 29:18 A nation without God’s guidance is a nation without order. Happy are those who keep God’s law! GNT
A certain amount of restraint- necessary for order.
Part of the Good News is that we are sinners
Why is that fact that we are sinners good news?
If we understand that we are sinners, then we are not helpless victims of …
Our own psychological problems, or
social systems of the world in which we live.
In other words, there is a reason we are caught in this cycle of sin- we can repent and find freedom.
Recognizing we are sinners, brings a sense of hope.
Popular today to see our problems as the result of ...
what others have done to us or
what our environment has forced on us.
Our only hope- to come to- place where we recognize- we are flawed human beings who need help.
Rom 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, NASU
We all have sinned and fall short of God’s standard.
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. NASU
Here we see the …
result of our sin, death, and
solution to our problem, Jesus Christ.
What is sin?
What does the Bible mean when it talks about sin?
(ask question of church, roving microphone)
Sin is the refusal to find our deepest level of significance in our relationship/service to God.
Sin-trying to find-identity for our self apart from God.
1 Jn 3:4 Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.
Lawlessness is trying to live our lives apart from God.
That is not to say you are doing something bad/evil.
There is something in man that drives him to find a sense of identity and self-worth.
Every man will find it in something or someone.
However, man was created to …
center his life on God above everything, and
to build his identity or self-worth on God.
Too many times we understand sin as breaking rules.
But what is the first commandment …
Ex 20:3 "You shall have no other gods before Me. NASU
Sin is not just doing bad things, it is making good things into the most important things in our life.
It is making something other than God as central to our sense of significance, purpose, and happiness.
Our need for self-worth is so powerful- whatever we base it on we tend to make like a god in our lives.
Whether it be …
work, relationship, recreation, computer games, TV, sports, self-discipline, human approval, etc-
becomes central to who we are/what we live for
i.e. I have heard teenage girls say …
I cannot live without a boy friend.
Their sense of worth is in having a boy friend.
Without a boyfriend they feel less of a person.
If we do not build our identity on God- we will build it on something else.