Summary: How do you view sin? ... How do you deal with sin in your life?


A) On a sunny September day in Chicago, a stern-faced, plainly dressed man could be seen

standing still on a street corner in the busy Loop!

* As people were hurrying on their way to lunch or business, he would solemnly lift his right arm,

point to the person nearest him, and loudly say a single word: “GUILTY!”

* He would do this without any change of expression, then resume his stiff stance for a short period

and repeat the process again.

* Over and over he would raise his right arm, point to a person and pronounce them “GUILTY!”

B) A person present described the reactions of the pedestrians as almost eerie!

* It was as if they didn’t quite know how to respond.

* One man, perhaps describing how many others probably felt, turned to another person and

exclaimed: “But how did he know?”

C) Whatever became of sin?

* It’s not that sin has disappeared or that we no longer feel guilty ... In fact, most people could

respond just like the passerby in Chicago.

* Most people do have a sense of their own guilt ... They feel guilty, not because someone tells

them they’re guilty, but because they truly are guilty.

* We’re guilty because we have done wrong ... And guilt is not some dysfunctional feeling that we

should not be having ... Guilt is a warning that tells us we have violated the moral code.

D) We’re all guilty ... Jesus, here in the Sermon on the Mount, has been pointing out that not

only is the sinful deed wrong but also the sinful desire!

* So it should be clear that we have all failed to meet the standard.

* Sin, however, is largely ignored as moral evil in our day ... We do not like to use the term.

* We down-play sin ... We say that we have faults, short-comings, hang-ups, problems, mistakes,

slip-ups, or that we are dysfunctional or sick.

* We simply don’t like to use the word sin ... We don’t want to be a sinner.

E) Why is this the case? ... There are probably many reasons!

* One that comes to my mind is that sin has religious overtones.

* Normally, when we think of sin, we also think of God.

* After all, isn’t sin breaking the law of God? ... And if we break the law of God, do we not have to

answer to that God for the breaking of His law?

* Many people don’t like to think of that possibility ... Why? ... Because it’s simply easier to talk

about a failure than a sin.

F) Another reason is that in our culture, calling a thing a sin is taking matters a little too far!

* What is true yesterday may not be true today or tomorrow.

* You see, if you do away with God, truth and morality becomes what the culture currently says it

is, since there is no absolute standard by which things should be judged.

* Therefore, to call faults, failures, mistakes, slip-ups sin is just too ridiculous!

G) There is one problem with this kind of thinking ... It is wrong!

* There is a God and He takes sin quite seriously ... The Bible is clear when it calls sin a violation

of God’s law ... It is also clear when it declares that we have all committed sin.

* Even if you only committed one sin a day for an average lifetime, you would have over seventy-

thousand sins on your record, and most of us manage to commit a few more than one sin a day.

* If you went into a court of law as a multiple offender with over seventy-thousand crimes for

which you were guilty as charged, do you suppose you would be in just a little bit of trouble?

H) In the text before us, Jesus gives us a powerful and radical evaluation of sin!

* From even a casual reading of this passage, there can be no doubt that Jesus took sin seriously.

* There should be no doubt in your mind that He still takes sin seriously.

* For Him to advocate the tearing out of eyes and the cutting off of hands should not only get our

attention, but should also cause us to be alarmed at how casually we take sin.

I) Do you take sin seriously, or do you seriously sin?

* We will do one or the other ... But Jesus’ message should be clear ... We must deal seriously with

sin because sin is serious business.

* How you deal with sin should be extremely important to you because it can destroy you.

* In fact, you may be being destroyed right now.

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