Sunday, May 2, 2010

What is Sin - Part 1 : Introduction to Sin

Part 1 - Introduction to Sin
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |


Romans 3:23 “...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God...”


What Is Sin - The Big Question
We live in a culture where the concept of sin becomes entangled in legalistic arguments over right and wrong.  When many of us consider "What is sin?" we think of violations of the Ten Commandments.  Even then, we tend to think of murder and adultery as "major" sins compared with lying, cursing, or idolatry.

The truth is that sin, as defined in the original translations of the Bible, means, "to miss the mark."  The mark, in this case, is the standard of perfection established by God and evidenced by Jesus.  Viewed in that light, it is clear that we are all sinners.

The Apostle Paul says in Romans 3:23: "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

In light of this, it does no good to compare ourselves to others.  We cannot escape our failure to be righteous in our own strength.  This is by God's design, because only when we understand our weakness will we consider relying on the atoning sacrifice of Jesus.

What Is Sin - A Biblical Perspective
Sin is mentioned hundreds of times in the Bible, starting with the "original" sin when Adam and Eve ate of the tree of knowledge.  Often it seems as if sin is simply the violation of any of God's laws, including the Ten Commandments.

Paul, however, puts this in perspective in Romans 3:20, when he says, "Therefore no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin."
God wanted us to recognize our sins.  Even those who have not murdered or committed adultery will find themselves convicted of lying, or of worshipping false idols like wealth or power ahead of God.

Tragically, sin in any amount will distance us from God.

"Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear," says Isaiah 59: 1-2. "But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear."

We must resist the temptation to act as if we are righteous, especially by leaning on our good works.

"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives" 1 John 1:8-10

What Is Sin - A Call to Repentance
The good news in all of this is that, once we recognize ourselves as sinners, we need only to repent and embrace Jesus to be forgiven.  Jesus can forgive us because he died and rose again three days later in victory over sin and death.

The Apostle Paul refers to this process of recognizing sin and being responsible for it as "godly sorrow."

"Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death," Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 7:10-11.  "See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter."

Question: When did sin start, and when will it end?

I.                   IN THE BEGINNING...ALL WAS GOOD
a.      Genesis: When reading Genesis, we see many times during and after the week of creation, God says that He looked upon it, and it was “good”.
                                                             i.      The creation took place in seven “literal” days!  We know this because the bible tells us so.
1.      In Genesis v3-8 when God creates light (i.e. the matter itself), when it says God divided the light from the dark, means the darkness is void of light, which we now know is matter.
2.      On the third day, God created land, plants and grass with seeds and bearing fruit.
3.      On the fourth day, God creates the Sun in verse 16.  This shows that the days were literally 24 hours, because the plants God created on the third day, would not have survived millions of years as some suggest the length of the creation days were, without the sun.
4.      Also...God did not create insects until the sixth day...many plants NEED insects to pollinate and reproduce.  Without the insects, they would not survive 1 year, let alone a million!

b.     Satan’s Sin:  In the beginning, God gave Adam his Word (instruction on righteousness through obedience, ‘Do not eat of the tree...’).
                                                             i.      Genesis 2:16 the Word was given, “You CAN...”
                                                          ii.      Genesis 2:17a the Word was given, “You CANNOT...”
                                                       iii.      Genesis 2:17b the Word was given, “If you do...”
                                                         iv.      Satan comes to initiate the fall.
1.      When had Satan sinned? Long before he came to destroy what God established here on earth, but we don’t know when.
2.      What we do know is
a.      Satan was the most beautiful of angels
b.     He played a harp & led the music and worship of God in heaven.
c.      He had 1/3 of the angels follow him in his rebellion against God.
d.     Isaiah tells us Satan said he would establish his throne above God.  Pride was his sin which caused separation between him and God.

c.      Eve’s Sin: Eve’s sin sometimes overshadows what happened in the garden that day.
                                                             i.      God gave Adam the Word BEFORE Eve was created, and it was Adams responsibility as the Spiritual head of the house to ensure that God’s will was known, and followed.
                                                          ii.      We do not read anywhere in scripture that Adam said anything to Eve about God’s word, but we know he said something because of Eve’s response to Satan, “we may eat of any tree but the tree of knowledge...”
                                                       iii.      We see Satan becoming legalistic...”...has God said YOU shall not eat?”

d.     Adam’s Sin:  The entire fall of man could have been avoided if the spiritual head of the house stopped the process when Eve came to him.
                                                             i.      She brought her sin to him, to take him down as well.
1.      Once sin grabs us, we naturally grab those around us to drag them down with us.  Sin is a contagious disease that destroys the carrier, and those he infects if not dealt with.
a.      Galatians 6:1-3 “ 1Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. 2Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.”
2.      Sin is a trap that ensnares us, and those around us.
                                                           ii.      Adam could have rebuked her sin, but instead, he took part in it.

a.      Satan’s Separation: Satan’s sin caused separation, and he, along with 1/3 of the angels that also rebelled, were cast out of heaven.

b.     Man’s Separation:  After the sin, the voice of the Lord in the garden scared them, the same voice which used to be a welcomed sound.
                                                              i.      The first question in the Old Testament, “Where are you?”
1.      This is God seeking the sinner...
                                                           ii.      The first question in the New Testament, “Where is he?”
1.      Matthew 2:2, asking where Jesus is.  Man seeking God.
                                                         iii.      Sin in any form causes us to be separated from God.
1.      Although we are not separated from his love, because no matter where you are in life, God will meet with you, and forgive your sin, and have a relationship with you through Jesus Christ.

c.      God’s Solution:  In Genesis, God had a solution to the separation, just as He has a solution for us today.
                                                             i.      But the solution did not come until the consequence to the decisions were handed out.
                                                          ii.      God warned Adam of the consequence to disobedience, and God will keep His Word.  His Word will not return void, but accomplish what it was set out to do.
1.      We think of the good things when we hear this scripture, but it refers to ALL things said by God!

a.      Consequences dealt to Satan:
                                                             i.      In Genesis 3:14-19 we see the consequences for their sin were handed out.
1.      First the curse for the serpent.
2.      Second, God put enmity between Satan and woman.
a.      What does this mean? 
                                                                                                                                      i.      Satan brought the fall of man through a woman, now God will bring redemption of man through a woman as well.
3.      Thirdly, between Satan’s seed and her seed there will also be enmity.
a.      Meaning, those who follow Satan will hate those who follow Christ.
b.      Remember Jesus told the Sadducees that Satan was their father in John 8:44.  They were his seed because they followed him, not God.
4.      Lastly, her seed (Jesus) shall bruise your head (take away your rule), and you (Satan) shall bruise his (Jesus) heel. (the cross).

b.     Consequences dealt to Eve:
                                                             i.      God’s original plan was for Adam and Eve to bring children into the world in the likeness of God, now, because of sin...they would come in the likeness of Adam.
                                                          ii.      Because of sin, children would be born into a world of sorrow.
                                                       iii.      Her husband would now be rule over her.

c.      Consequences dealt to Adam:
                                                             i.      Because he listened to his wife over God, and ate of the tree (sinned with disobedience), cursed is the ground.
                                                          ii.      In sorrow you shall eat of it, all the days of your life.
1.      The earth was intended to be a paradise, but now it would be a curse to all mankind.
                                                       iii.      Thorns and thistles came forth, and herbs now had to be cultivated in farms instead of everything growing wild for us to eat.
                                                         iv.      Hard labor to obtain sustenance.
                                                            v.      Until you die, life will be hard.
                                                         vi.      Verse 19, “You were taken from the dust, now you shall return to the dust...”
1.      God gave us His spirit, but sin caused separation, and we lost our connection with God.  Now, instead of our bodies living forever, because of sin, we now “surly die.”
2.      For us to live everlasting once more, we must re-introduce God to our souls.
a.      This can only come from a relationship with Jesus Christ.

d.     God’s Solution:
                                                             i.      until Christ could come and remove sin by being the perfect sacrifice, God sacrificed  an animal in v.21, and covered Adam and Eve with skins.
1.      This was to show them that Christ was going to come and cover them with His atoning sacrifice, but until then, man was to sacrifice animals as a “covering”, and to teach of the coming Christ.


God evicted Adam and Eve from the Paradise He had created for them in the Garden of Eden because of sin and the separation.

We too, separate ourselves from God when we disobey Him and His Word.

We too, lose Paradise as long as we are living in disobedience.

We too, shall surly die spiritually if we do not introduce God’s Spirit back into our own.

God made a way, a sacrifice and covering for Adam and Eve to teach and show of the coming Christ.

Christ has come, and He has paid the price each of us own for our sin.

We can once again have a relationship with Christ, and be forgiven of our disobedience, and have the promise of paradise simply by turning to Jesus Christ.

When we ask for forgiveness, and when we repent of sin, making Jesus our Lord, God our Father, it is then we become His children and heirs to all of His promises.

Just as He kept His Word to Adam, He keeps His Word to us.

"Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death," Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 7:10-11.  "See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter."