Summary: What should we do about sin and those who commit sin? Our text gives us the proper action. 1- Pray for the one who commits a sin 2- Trust God to keep you safe 3- Realize the world is under control 4- Stay away from idols
INTRO.- ILL.- Perhaps you heard about the other version of John chapter 8 when the woman was caught in adultery.
Jesus saw a crowd chasing down a woman to stone her and approached them. "What’s going on here, anyway?" he asked. "This woman was found committing adultery, and the law says we should stone her!" one of the crowd responded.
"Wait," yelled Jesus. "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." Suddenly, a stone was thrown from out of the sky, and knocked the woman on the side of her head. Jesus said, "Aw, c’mon, Dad. I’m trying to make a point here!"
It is true that we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. And it is true that we all deserve to die because of our sin. And it is true, however, that Christ bore our sins in His body on the tree. It is true that He became sin for us so that we could become the righteousness of God. It is true that He tasted death for all mankind because of sin.
And it is also true that if we are without sin then and only then can we cast the first stone! But we are often pretty quick to cast stones at people. We all tend to be guilty of stoning others!
But we should be quicker to cast stones or condemn sin in our own lives before we do it to others! Billy Sunday did that.
ILL.- It was said that preacher Billy Sunday, the baseball evangelist and reformer of the 1930‘s, never spared himself nor those he wanted to help in his attacks on sin. He thundered against evil from the Gay Nineties through the Great Depression. He preached Christ as the only answer to man’s needs until his death in 1935. He said, “I’m against sin. I’ll kick it as long as I’ve got a foot, and I’ll fight it as long as I’ve got a fist. I’ll butt it as long as I’ve got a head. I’ll bite it as long as I’ve got a tooth. “When I’m old and fistless and footless and toothless, I’ll gum it till I go home to Glory and it goes home to perdition.”
I like Billy Sunday’s spirit and fire for the Lord! It sounds like he was truly converted. Billy Sunday was right about sin. He knew what to do about sin! Kick it, fight it, butt it, and send it away to perdition, destruction and damnation!
Of course, we can’t do this without the Lord’s help. No one can fight sin or the devil by himself. It takes a far greater power than what we have. Greater is He who is in us!
PROP.- What should we do about sin and those who commit sin? Our text gives us the proper action.
1- Pray for the one who commits a sin
2- Trust God to keep you safe
3- Realize the world is under control
4- Stay away from idols
I. PRAY FOR THE ONE WHO COMMITS A SIN
16If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that he should pray about that. 17All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.
ILL.- A preacher got pulled over for speeding and he said to the officer, "Blessed are the merciful" And the police officer replied, "Go and sin no more!”
Nice thought, but it doesn’t work that way. The police are often not as forgiving as we are supposed to be. And sometimes we’re not very forgiving either.
What is this “sin not to death?” Are some sins worse than others? I thought all sin was alike?
Warren Wiersbe believes John is talking about “habitual” sin, where someone continues to walk in that sin.
Commentator William Barclay says that the sin not to death is where a man sins but hates his sin, is ashamed of it and wants to hide it. He really doesn’t want to sin. Whereas the sin to death is when a man rejoices in his sin and doesn’t see anything wrong with it. He boasts of it and glories in it.
How can we know what sin is “to death” and what sin is “not to death”? There may be times when it’s hard to distinguish since we are not God and cannot discern like He does.
Galatians 6:1-2 “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each others’ burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”