Recently at a wedding someone was telling me how there is to too much negativity preached from the pulpit today and that what we need is more positive and uplifting messages. So would it be safe to assume she would not be a fan of this particular blog on the sinfulness of sin?
One of the people she mentioned who gives these positive and uplifting messages was Joel Osteen. Enough said. I made it unequivocally clear to her that he does not believe in the Jesus of the Bible.
Of course a man-centered message that strokes people’s felt needs and avoids any mention of sin and divine judgment will be attractive to the flesh. But any biblical message must include what one of the Puritans called the sinfulness of sin.
“On the contrary, as God is holy, all holy, only holy, altogether holy, and always holy, so sin is sinful, all sinful, only sinful, altogether sinful, and always sinful.”
Ralph Venning, The Sinfulness of Sin
Let me suggest 7 Biblical reasons for the sinfulness of sin.
1. Sin is crouching at the door and its desire is for you.
This was the graphic way God Himself personified sin when He confronted Cain about his anger toward his brother Abel.(Genesis 4:7) What vivid imagery. Like a crouching predator ready to pounce on its prey, so sin is ready to pounce on you.
2.Guilty of one, guilty of all.
“For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.”
If one of my children disobey in one thing, yet I punished them for disobeying in all things, that would not be fair. Yet with God it is fair of Him to punish us for breaking all of His holy Law even if we had only broken it at only one point. That is because God by nature is a just Judge and therefore judges with righteousness and with equity(Psalm 51:4; 98:9).
3. It takes the Holy Spirit Himself to bring conviction of sin.
No person can convict another of their sin. They can teach them what the Bible clearly says about sin and that it is an offence first and foremost against God and there is divine judgment for it. But it takes a divine and supernatural work to convict someone of sin. While teaching His disciples Jesus Himself said it is the work of the Holy Spirit.(John 16:8)
After Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost, doctor Luke describes the conviction of the Holy Spirit on the people by saying that they were cut to the heart and so much so that they saw they needed to respond to the message as they asked, “What shall we do?”(Acts 2:37-38) Peter was the human instrument that God used to preach the message. But let no one wrongly think that it was Peter who brought conviction. It was the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit.
“For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction.”
1 Thessalonians 1:4-5
4. Its extent is universal.
Sin affects the entire human race. We are polluted with sin. Our spiritual garments are stained with sin.(Isaiah 64:6) Like sheep, we have all gone astray(Isaiah 53:5) Each of us has turned to his own way(Isaiah 53:5). The charge against us is that all are under sin(Romans 3:9). All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God(Romans 3:23).
5. God hates sinners.
Wait just a moment. Doesn’t God hate sin but love the sinner. Sounds good, right? Even catchy. But the Bible declares otherwise.
“The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers.”
After all, God punishes the unrepentant sinner.
6. Sin is first and foremost against God.
In the opening chapter of the book of Romans, the apostle Paul gives a list of sins in which murder is grouped with disobedience to parents(Romans 1:29-30). How is that possible? Because all the sins in that list, including murder and disobedience to parents, are first and foremost against God. That is why within the context of the first chapter Paul says that…
…”they did not honor him as God or give thanks to Him”(Romans 1:21)
…”worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever!”(Romans1:25)
…”they did not see fit to acknowledge God”(Romans 1:28)
…”they are…haters of God.”(Romans 1:29-30)
David knew this truth well when he penned the following.
“Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight,”
He was responsible for committing adultery with Bathsheba and killing her husband, yet he realised his sins were first and foremost against God Himself.
7. Christ came into the world to save sinners.
“The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.”
1 Timothy 1:15
It took the eternal Son to lay aside His heavenly glory temporarily in order to come to earth to save sinners. That is how sinful sin is.
Why is He the only one who can save sinners. Because…
…He “in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.”(Hebrews 4:15)
…He is “holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners”(Hebrews 7:26)
…He “knew no sin”(2 Corinthians 5:21)
…He “committed no sin”(1 Peter 2:22)
…”in Him there is no sin.”(1 John 3:5)
…He is the Holy One of God(John 6:69)
…He is “the Holy and Righteous One”(Acts 3:14)
The sinfulness of sin. Yes. But O the sinlessness of the Savior!!!