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Summary: Defines sin and explains the solution to the problem

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“The Problem with Sin”

March 18, 2018

1 John 3:4-10

“Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.

Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.”

The last time I spoke with you I shared with you some Scriptures that changed my life. This morning I want to talk to you about a concept that changed my life. That concept is sin. I have to tell you, at one time I could care less about sin. I didn’t care what man or God thought of me. I was only concerned about me and my pleasure and getting my way. That changed. I found out that self-seeking and hedonism is an allusion and a lie. It promises so much happiness and pleasure but ends up giving you so much more pain than pleasure. The Bible talks about sin bringing “pleasure for a season” or “the fleeting pleasures of sin” (Hebrews 11:25) and there IS pleasure in sin for a little bit, otherwise we wouldn’t do it. But the consequences of sin far outweigh the pleasure. The pain is far greater than any pleasure. The Bible talks of Satan, the great tempter, as coming as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). Sin certainly has its appeal. Sin has its attraction. It promises much – but delivers death. The Bible says the wages or results of sin is death (Romans 6:23). The prophet said “the soul that sins shall die! (Ezekiel 18:20) Sin is a broad and wide road that is easy to get on that leads to hell.

That’s some pretty serious stuff. If something was life threatening to me I would want to know about it, wouldn’t you? I think you would – so I am going to share some things about sin this morning that could save your immortal soul.

First, let’s define sin. There is much confusion about what sin even is and no wonder. The enemy of our souls wants us to be confused and darkened in our knowledge of sin. Our own flesh would betray us because we lie to ourselves that our way is the best way. It isn’t. Listen to what the Bible says about sin.

“…everything that does not come from faith is sin.” Romans 14:23

“Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.” 1 John 3:4

“All wrongdoing is sin…” 1 John 5:17

“If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” James 4:17

Doesn’t that clear things up? Probably not. There were at least nine different words in Hebrew alone that the English defines as the one word ‘sin’.

The Greek word “hamartia” is most often used for sin today in most churches. It means ‘missing the mark’. The bullseye is God’s will and to miss it is to sin. But it is not that easy to define. What was our intent? Did we miss on purpose or did we miss accidently?

When I was a young Christian I wrestled with this question, “What if I serve the Lord to the best of my ability all my life and on Judgment Day find out there were sins I had forgotten and didn’t confess? Would I go to hell?”

That concerned me. It troubled me. I wrestled with it for quite some time. Then one day the Lord brought this Scripture to my attention.

“27 “‘But if just one person sins unintentionally, that person must bring a year-old female goat for a sin offering. 28 The priest is to make atonement before the Lord for the one who erred by sinning unintentionally, and when atonement has been made, that person will be forgiven. 29 One and the same law applies to everyone who sins unintentionally, whether a native-born Israelite or a foreigner residing among you.

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