Summary: The nature and source of sin and its cure.
INTRO.: ILLUS.: I Kings 8:33-39 The prayer of David shows a direct relationship between sin and suffering in Israel’s history. National calamity was the result of national sin. There is also a close relationship between sin and the temple because that was the place Israel was to come to in order to find forgiveness.
Sin has been a curse on mankind ever since Adam and Eve and no doubt always will be. Sin is the reason God sent His Son to die for us. It is the cause of suffering, guilt, and death.
Let’s try to answer a few questions to learn something about this problem: sin. It is God Who has defined sin and we will look to His Word for its meaning.
I. What, exactly, is the nature of sin?
A. ILLUS.: An archer shoots an arrow at a target. It can go over the target, shoot too short, or go left or right. In any case, he has missed the mark.
1. The Greeks used the word translated "sin" to mean "missing the mark" (Harmatia).
2. This is also one of the words the Bible translates "sin." Sin is missing the mark.
3. It is "wandering from the truth." James 5:19, 20. Wandering off target.
4. In His Word, God has given us a target to shoot at. We must not wander off.
B. The Holy Spirit has given us an inspired definition of sin in I John 3:4
1. The Law referred to is God’s Law as revealed in the Bible.
2. Any time one violates God’s law he is guilty of sin.
3. This can also be extended to the laws of our land. Rom. 13:1-6
C. Consider the parable recorded in Luke 18:2-6
1. The judge is "unjust" because he has no concern for God or man.
2. This caused him to treat the woman unfairly. Injustice is a sin.
3. I Pet. 3:18: Failure to act justly toward your fellow man is "unrighteousness" and that is another name for sin.
II. What are the origins of sin?
A. Historically, sin originated in the Garden of Eden: Gen. 3:1-15
1. Eve, then Adam, heard, believed, and acted upon a lie. They deviated from the truth, "missing the mark."
2. God had given only one law and they violated it, becoming "lawless."
3. It was an act of rebellion in which the will of man was put ahead of the law of God.
B. In our own lives, sin originates when we willfully disobey God in order to fulfill some selfish desire: James 1:14, 15
1. Some say we are born with sin. Does it really matter? We are born with the consequences of sin. Rom. 5:12.
2. We will each be required to give account for his own sins, not those of others. Rom. 14:12
3. Eze. 18:20 The soul that sins is the one that will die. Sin is the result of a decision to put self ahead of God.
C. The result of sin is death:
1. We all die because we all sin.
2. Rom. 6:23 makes this very clear if we need proof.
3. There has only been one exception and He died for our sins. He had none of His own and this is why He was a suitable sacrifice for ours.
III. This brings up the third and most important question: "What is the cure for sin?"
A. Acts 14:15 - Story of Paul and Barnabas in Iconium provides an example of men turning to men for absolution.
1. We must turn to the living God for forgiveness.
2. He has provided the price of our redemption: I Pet. 1:19
3. We must accept the death of Jesus as the sacrifice for our sins.
B. Through the death of Jesus, we can stand justified before God. Rom. 5:1, 2
1. We have forgiveness because He paid the price for our sins.
2. Matt. 10:32, 33 Acknowledge Jesus as Son of God, Savior.
C. We must apply this cure to our own lives:
1. Saul of Tarsus was a terrible sinner. He found forgiveness by participating in the sacrifice of Jesus. Acts 22:16
2. Rom. 6:1-4 tells us what baptism has to do with the death of Jesus. It is a symbolic sharing in His death so that we might also share in His resurrection.
3. Of course, baptism does not stand alone. It is teamed with belief in Mark 16:16
4. Repentance in Acts 2:38
CONC.: Talk of sin is not popular. We do not like to acknowledge we are sinners in need of forgiveness, but we are. ILLUS.: Minister, who spoke at baccalaureate service talked about sin as the cause of all the world’s problems and called upon hearers to get right with God. One man was heard to say as he left the auditorium; "I’m glad I’m not a member of his church!"
His words were evidence of religious ignorance because no matter what religion you are, you need deliverance from sin and it is only available in Jesus,