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Summary: Debunking some common myths about sin.

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Car urban legends (according to snopes.com):

• Cell phones have touched off explosions at gas stations.

• Putting sugar in the gas tank will ruin a vehicle’s engine.

• The Chevy Nova sold poorly in Mexico because “no va” means “doesn’t go” in Spanish.

• Cars equipped with remote keyless entry systems can be unlocked via a cell phone.

• Red cars receive more speeding tickets than do vehicles of other colors.

URBAN LEGENDS ABOUT SIN

1. “I’m not a BAD person.”

Illustration: Three white t-shirts, one very dirty, one slightly dirty, and one clean. We (slightly dirty shirt) compare ourselves to those who are worse than us (very dirty shirt). But none of us measure up to God’s standard: perfection (clean shirt).

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us… If we claim we have not sinned, we make [God] out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives (1 John 1:8, 10).

Verse 8 refers to our sinful nature; verse 10 refers to our sinful acts. We sin because we have a sinful nature.

Unless we see ourselves as SINNERS, we won’t see our need for a SAVIOR.

Over and over again the Bible says that all people are sinners:

• Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin”? (Proverbs 20:9).

• There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins (Ecclesiastes 7:20).

• We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way (Isaiah 53:6).

• For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

…all our righteous acts are like filthy rags…and like the wind our sins sweep us away (Isaiah 64:6).

In the eyes of God, we are all sinners.

2. “All sin is the SAME.”

Illustration: Different kinds of stains on the dirty t-shirt. Not all stains are the same; some are more difficult to remove.

Let me be clear: all unforgiven sin separates us from a holy God. God hates all sin. But different sins have different consequences.

Our obedience or disobedience influences:

a. Consequences on EARTH

Illustration: There would be different consequences for the sin of speeding and the sin of stealing the church’s money.

b. Rewards in HEAVEN

“Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ [giving, prayer, fasting] before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven” (Matthew 6:1).

c. Punishment in HELL

“And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths. If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you” (Matthew 11:23-24).

"Beware of these teachers of religious law! For they like to parade in flowing robes and love to receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces… Yet they shamelessly cheat widows out of their property… Because of this, they will be severely punished” (Luke 20:46-47).

Illustration: T-shirt, fairly clean on the outside but filthy on the inside

3. “I’ve already sinned. I might as well CONTINUE.”

Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? (Romans 6:1-2).

The most miserable people in the world are not non-Christians, but Christians LIVING in SIN. Example: David and his sin of adultery

When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer (Psalm 32:3-4).

Restore to me the joy of your salvation… (Psalm 51:12).

Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”—and you forgave the guilt of my sin (Psalm 32:5).

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

Illustration: Cover dirty shirt with clean shirt.

What is the dominant sin in your life?

URBAN LEGENDS

Debunking Spiritual Myths

URBAN LEGEND #3: Sin Legends

1. “I’m not a __________ person.”

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us… If we claim we have not sinned, we make [God] out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives (1 John 1:8, 10).

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