Summary: An examination of Luke 13 to see what Jesus taught about the nature of sin.
“There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
13:2 And Jesus answered and said to them, "Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things?
13:3 "I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.
13:4 "Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem?
13:5 "I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish."
13:6 He also spoke this parable: "A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none.
13:7 "Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ’Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’
13:8 "But he answered and said to him, ’Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it.
13:9 ’And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.’ ”
Sin is any breaking of God’s standards especially summed up in the 10 commandments.
What’s the big deal? Why is sin such an issue and a problem in Christian teaching?
And what did Jesus think and teach about it?
There is a well known anecdote told about U.S. President Calvin Coolidge who went to church one Sunday. “Returning from church…, Calvin Coolidge’s father asked him on what topic the minister had preached. ‘Sin,’ he said. ‘And what did he say about sin?’ his father asked. Replied Coolidge: ‘He was against it.’ ” (http://www.anecdotage.com/index.php?aid=4650)
Apparently Coolidge was famous for such witty replies.
While even someone as important as a President can be brief in their consideration of the topic, sin is still there and it does not go away.
What did Jesus say about it? How should we regard sin?
Well, we start with the truth by which all things are measured or considered.
“What is truth?” was one of Pontius Pilate’s questions when confronted by Jesus. Where do you find out the truth?
You can start with the Bible. Of course we have to come to the Bible with the right attitude.
In this case, we must come to see what it actually teaches about sin and be prepared to heed its message.
It is our attitude to the Word of God that matters!
Jesus said that we would know the true believers by their actions. What you believe is what you will become.
Selecting the Truth.
Last Sunday, in Luke 4, we discovered that Jesus took God’s word seriously. When tempted by the devil, and in extreme personal circumstances, Jesus got rid of him by speaking God’s written word.
With such clear teaching of Jesus about the authority of the word of God, I do not know where people get the idea that there will be no eternal consequences if we sin.
When tempted, Jesus Himself refused to submit to the devil’s words because Jesus lived under a higher law, a better law: the word of God.
So where can you find out what is true about these things?
It depends where you get your information from. As I said, we all need true information. Just as our bodies need water to live and thrive, so we need to know the truth which will set us free. Jesus said: “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” (Jn 8:32)
If the “truth” you are following does not set you free, it is not God’s truth.
There are those who take all their main teaching from the words of Jesus, and yet they still deny that Jesus said we would suffer God’s eternal punishment if we sinned.
“UNLESS YOU REPENT YOU SHALL ALL LIKEWISE PERISH.”
They just do not see that there are serious consequences for us if we commit sins.
Well, I don’t know where they get that idea. They did not get it from Jesus, even if they think they did. I conclude that they do not believe the words of Jesus in the Bible. I understand some people read the Gospels selectively, only taking from them that which pleases them, or which fits their picture of the world.
Some will say I am being selective too. I have to agree.
I choose to select the whole Bible and not just the parts I like or can cope with. If that is being selective then I am selective too.
I am also selective about what I eat. What is better? To be selective, to take care, or just eat anything without knowing whether it will do you good or harm?