Summary: Preachers once preached against sin and God’s people felt the weight of guilt and shame for their sin. In our world today we have a hard time finding someone willing to admit to sinning. The question must be asked “Whatever has happened to sin?”
Whatever Happened to Sin?
Introduction: President Calvin Coolidge was well-known for being a man of few words, reticent, and straight to the point. There’s a story that after attending church one day, someone apparently asked him what the preacher had preached about. “Sin,” Mr. Coolidge replied. “And what did he have to say about it?” the questioner persisted. After pausing for a moment’s thought, Coolidge replied, “He was against it.”
There was a time when preachers preached against sin and God’s people felt the weight of guilt and shame for their sin. In our world today we have a hard time finding someone willing to admit to sinning. The question must be asked “Whatever has happened to sin?”
I. What has happened to Sin?
A. Sin has been Redefined
1. We live in a day of political correctness. Today it is politically incorrect to call a person "ignorant". Instead he is merely, "factually unencumbered." A person should not be called a "loser"; in its place say he is a "uniquely fortuned individual on an alternative career path." People are not "obnoxious", they are "charismatically impeded."
2. We change sin’s definition from being offense against God to the imperfections. We talk about mistakes or failures.
3. Let me give you a few examples of how we have redefined sin.
• Fornication has become “casual sex”
• Drunkenness has become “chemical dependency”
• Sodomy has become an “alternative lifestyle”
• Pride has become a “superiority complex” or “inflated ego”
• Gossip has been termed “sharing”
4. Some would divide sin into two categories. Some may call it Mortal and Venal, or Big sins and Little sins (you know “whoppers” and “little white lies”).
5. Man may call it “error”; God calls it sin. Man calls it “sickness”; God calls it sin. We live in a day in which man minimizes the seriousness of sin.
B. Sin has been Trivialized
1. We have gotten to the place where we have said sin is no big deal.
2. Proverbs 14:9 “Fools mock at sin…”
3. Sin is trivialized when we make it an exclusively personal matter
• Sins are seen as offenses we commit against ourselves that keep us from realizing our own individual expectations and potentials.
• There is no horizontal scope to our sin believing it hurts no one but me. - Romans 14:7 “For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself.”
• There is no vertical plain to our sin with a belief that they are not offensive to God but keep us from realizing all the fullness a loving God wants for us. - Psalms 51:4 “Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight - that You may be found just when You speak, and blameless when You judge.”
C. Sin has been Dismissed
1. Today, the whole idea of sin has been dismissed. As such there is no accountability for one’s actions.
2. Romans 3:23 “All have sinned”
3. Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death…”
4. Too many people negate the assumption that we are all sinners deserving of such punishment. They believe that God is too loving and kind to punish sin.
5. The false claim of freedom is seen in the twisting of the words of Paul.
• 1 Corinthians 10:23 “All things are lawful for me…”
• Romans 6:14 “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
Note Verse 15 “What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!”
II. What is Sin?
A. Sin is the transgression of the law
1. 1 John 3:4 "Whosoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law"
2. The law is still a valid statement of God’s Holy Character and will.
3. Matthew 5:17 "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.”
4. Matthew 5:18 “For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.”
5. God’s standard has never changed.
B. Sin is unrighteousness
1. 1 John 5:17 “All unrighteousness is sin…”
2. Adikia – injustice, wrong doing, wrong action, iniquity
3. In Greek mythology, Adikia (Ἀäéêßá) was the goddess and personification of injustice. She was depicted as an ugly person.
4. Leprosy is used as a type or picture of sin and what it does to us spiritually. Leprosy eats away and destroys and disfigures the body a little at a time. Sin eats away and destroys and disfigures us. Sin is ugly and loathsome.