What is Sin?

Points Covered: What is sin? Origin of sin. The consequence of sin. The nature of sin. The cure for sin. How to keep from sinning?

Introduction: Sin is not a popular subject in this world. Chrysostom, the early church father said “I fear nothing but sin.” Paradise or heaven exists under one condition: the absence of sin. Once there was paradise because there wasn’t any sin. Again there will be paradise when there isn’t any sin; but in the meantime there is sin, and that’s the age in which we live. Because of sin, there is pain, there are tears, fighting, war, anxiety, discord, unrest, fear, worry, and death. Every broken marriage, every disrupted home, every wayward child, every shattered friendship, every argument, and every disagreement can be attributed at the source to sin.

Every time a new baby is born into the world, sin awaits to greet it upon its entrance. “In sin did my mother conceive me,” said David, recognizing that from the very womb, sin would be a reality. In Joshua 7:13, God calls it “the accursed thing”. It is compared to the venom of snakes. Sin is compared to the stench of a corpse.

And somehow the media and society has been able to pull over the face of sin a mask, and we laugh at it more than we cry. If sin mars humanity, we better understand it. So what is sin?

1. What is sin?

Romans 14:23 Everything that does not come from faith is sin.

1 John 5:17 All wrongdoing is sin.

James 4:17 If anyone knows the good they ought to do, and does not do it, it is sin.

1 John 3:4 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.

God has laid down laws which are based on what is right, what is holy, what is just, and what is good. The violation of those is sin. Sin, then, is going beyond the bounds that God has set. And somebody might say, “Well, how do we know what the bounds are?”

a. Our Conscience.

Romans 2:15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.

Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

b. The Bible. The law of God is revealed in the pages of the Word of God. Psalm 119:160 All your words are true, all your righteous laws are eternal.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

God has given his law that man’s life might be good, happy, and blessed. That’s why David said, in Psalm 119:2 Blessed are those who keep his statutes.

But what has man done? He has violated God’s law. He thought there was greener grass outside God’s pasture, and so he jumped and ended in the muck of sin, and now he’s unable to extricate himself, and the longer he’s there the uglier it all becomes. Sin is breaking God’s law.

2. How did Sin start?

The origin of sin. Sin did not begin in the garden of Eden, Sin began in heaven. In Ezekiel and in Isaiah, God tells us very clearly that a very powerful angel with a very responsible position made a decision. In this confession of satan is the heart and core of all sin. Isaiah 14:13-14 13You said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. 14I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” Sin in a sense is the spirit of independence, “ I will do what I choose to do in spite of what God says. I will get my needs me when and how I want to in spite of what God thinks.”

That is the reason, satan is a fallen angel because he choose to act independent of God, to be equal to God or superior to God. All sin begins today this when you and we say “I will.” I will meet my needs. I will choose what I need. I will be free of all restraints. I will do what I please to do.

Now think about this, Adam and even had it all. There was not anything in their heart’s desire that God had not already provided. But instead of waiting upon God and choosing his way, eve acted independent of God. She choose to gain knowledge and satisfy her appetite independent of God and what happened? She lost it all.

The nature of sin is this: To act independently of God and ultimately lose it all. Satan losing out from his position in heaven, satan in the garden of Eden tempted Eve and Eve offering to Adam and when Adam sinned against God something happened to God’s whole big plan for humanity.

3. The consequence of sin.

What is it that happened? Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man (Adam), and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned. 

Here is what happened: When Adam who was the father of the whole human race sinned, sin came into mankind. Your children were in you, they came out of you. You came out of your parents. In fact, we all came from the first man Adam. In Adam the whole of human race was there in Adam.

When you poison the head fountain of the stream, all the rest of the water is poisoned. So, today the whole of the human race is poisoned. You can trace is all the way back to Adam. All of us have the problem of sin. That is we came into the world with a nature bent away from God. So, sinning is natural and normal for anyone who is born.

4. The nature of sin.

a. Sin blinds us.

2 Corinthians 4:4 The God of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

The natural man does not understand the things of God. He is blind. A nonbeliever cannot discern sin because he does not have the spirit of God. Sin blinds the mind.

b. Sin defiles our heart.

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure Who can understand it? Sin blinds us and sin defiles our heart. So when a man in sin who is blind in the eye and defiled in the heart, what does he do? He tries to get satisfaction things in his life that he cannot satisfy.

So man who is without God lives in sin. He is blinded and defiled in sin. What does he do? He spends his life trying to regain personally everything Adam and Eve lost for us in the garden of Eden. Man independently try to get the joy, happiness, love, blessings, status that we lost in the garden. It is a hopeless experience, you cannot gain it. He goes on this endless search trying to gain everything that he lost.

You see, man cannot complete something when God alone holds the final piece of the puzzle. Everything man tries is futile, but he is blind so he just goes on. It is the blood of Jesus that takes the penalty of my sins. It is the person of Jesus that enables me to live above the power of the principle of sin in a believer. The blood took care my sins.

c. Sin enslaves us.

Every evil has its own form of slavery. Every single person who is unsaved is a slave of sin, slave to satan who makes them commit the sin and a slave to themselves. Salve to their bodily appetites.

John 8:34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.

Romans 6:16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?

d. Sin is a separator.

Sin has separated us from God. Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.

Sin has separated us from each other. James 4:1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?

e. Physical death is the result of sin.

See the result of sin as God spoke to Adam after the fall. Genesis 3:19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” All of us are going to experience death because of the nature of sin. Even after we are saved, we are going to die physically. The only difference is for the believer when we pass on from this life, you are absent from this body, present in the Lord. You cannot bury a child of God. So death which is a consequence of sin, God for the believer has made it a doorway into God’s presence with him.

f. Ultimately the wrath of God.

Sin is going to be the bull’s eye for God’s guns of judgement. Death without Jesus is a doorway to eternal torment in hell. Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. The vengeance of God upon sin.

Ephesians 2:3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.

God hates sin, and decrees to punish it. God’s wrath is coming on all sin

1 Thessalonians 1:10 Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath

g. Sin is incurable.

You know, sin is a disease; it’s a disease that infects, and it is a congenital disease that has been passed on since Adam. In Isaiah chapter 1, Isaiah talks of sin as a disease.

Isaiah 1:4 Woe to the sinful nation, a people whose guilt is great, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! Congenital aspect of sin.

Isaiah 1:5-6 5Why should you be beaten anymore? (Do you like the punishment that your sin brings?) Why do you persist in rebellion? Your whole head is injured, your whole heart afflicted. 6From the sole of your foot to the top of your head there is no soundness—only wounds and welts and open sores, not cleansed or bandaged or soothed with olive oil.

Sin is an incurable sickness. It is a disease from the tip of your toe to the crown of your head. Can man change it? Can he make his New Year’s resolution and eliminate sin? Can he do his religious calisthenics, and light his candles, and bow down, to whatever god he manufactures or has been manufactured cure sin? Can he educate himself out of it? No, no way.

Jeremiah 13:23 Can an Ethiopian change his skin or a leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil. God says no. Sin is a disease that is humanly incurable.

John Flavel said, “All the tears of a penitent sinner should he shed as many as there have fallen drops of rain since creation, could not wash away one sin.” He’s right. There is no cure humanly. Sin, you see, is a disease that can only be cured by the blood of Jesus, and that’s why the writer of Hebrews says, “Without the shedding of blood there is no remission for sins.”

h. Sin is hard work.

If you’re really going to be a good sinner, you’ve got to work hard at it. All that it ever causes is pain, and it’s incredible to me that even with pain, people work so hard at being sinners. I mean, some people spend all their money, stay up all night, carouse, can’t sleep, getting stoned drunk, wreck their car, lose their family, destroy their kids, – all because they’re sinning, and they’re working hard at it.

Jeremiah 9:5 They weary themselves with sinning. “Well, why are you so tired?” “I’ve been sinning. I’ve been working at it, man.”

You know, I’ll just give you a classic illustration of this: In Genesis 19, the place is Sodom and it is the house of Lot. Two angelic visitors came to visit Lot in Sodom, and Sodom was a bad place. Sodom would be characterized as a city of homosexuals, and the word today in the dictionary, “sodomy,” has reference to homosexuality.

The two angels come and Lot meets them and he says, “Come to my house, and I’ll give you a place to stay and then you can get up early in the morning and go your way.” “Oh, no,” they said, “We’ll stay here in the street.”

Well, they didn’t know what they were going to get into if they stayed in the street in Sodom. Angels are very attractive beings when they take a physical form; beautiful beings. So, “he pressed on them,” and finally they entered the house, and he made a feast and they had eaten it. And “before they lay down, the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young.” The Bible says, “All the people from every part of the city of Sodom came.”

All of a sudden, Lot looks out, and he said, “What’s going on? This house is surrounded with people, old and young.” And “Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door, and said, ‘I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.’”

Genesis 19:5 They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.” And then, in a foolish act of compromise, he offers them his daughters. Genesis 19:9 “Get out of our way,” they replied. They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door. (This is the almost midnight, they’re all around the house. This is a lot of effort.)

Genesis 19:10-11 10But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door.11KJV And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door.

All sin is hard work. You need to weary yourself to commit it.

Psalm 7:14 Behold, he travaileth with iniquity. Saul is always after David. And apparently, Saul had an agent named Cush, and Cush is chasing him, and David’s comment is, “This guy is literally in pain chasing me, but he won’t quit.”

Ezekiel 24:12 She hath wearied herself with lies.

Proverbs 4:16 For they cannot rest until they do evil.

They can’t even go to bed unless they’ve done evil. People weary themselves to sin and then their conscience would keep them awake. So sin is hard work. They say, people go to Hell sweating.

5. The cure for sin.

Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned.

Romans 5:19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. 

There is only one hope from sin and that is the person of Jesus Christ. There is nothing you can do about your old sin nature if you do not believe in Jesus. No one can ever change the law of God. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. Reject the Lord Jesus Christ and you will incur the wrath of God for ever and ever and ever. I don’t want that to happen in your life. If you say this prayer God will change your life and he will change your eternal destiny. If you refuse you will keep on living rejected and one day it is going to be too late to relive your life.

1 John 3:8 The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.

Let me talk to believers: Are we indulging in and partaking of sin? Do you know that believers are supposed to lead a sinless life or avoid sin? The tragedy of sin is that we believers becomes so accommodative of sin, we have gotten so weaker against sin. Have we been so hoodwinked by sin and now we are accommodative of it?

We all need to take inventory once in a while and see if we have drifted in our acts and see if we have been deceived or we are rationalizing sin.

Jesus talked about salt. Jesus talked about light, a bright light. We are to penetrate into the world with God and our live and sin should be defeated from wherever a Christian is.

Do you know why the church of God is weak? Do you know what the church of God is not advancing as it out to?

When a person becomes a believer something happens. When we received Jesus Christ as or savior God did something to our nature: 2 Peter 1:4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

When you became believer, the Lord Jesus Christ came into your life, your nature is changed. Now, you become the partaker of the divine nature. 1 John 3:9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.

The truth is there are many people who say they are saved, get baptized, attend church, confess a sin or two but still continue to sin. What is the problem, they have never dwelt with the old sin nature. We must be redeemed, we must be born again, we must be the partaker of the divine nature. That is what separates us from the unbeliever. We have the nature of God within us, that is the source of desire to be obedient to God and walk holy before him.

Paul said it is an old sin principle. All of us those who are saved, there is within us at times something we have to wrestle with. Paul says the principle of sin within me. Paul says I want to do this and I found myself doing this. We live in a world that is ungodly, amidst the powers that is dark, still there remains as long as we are in this fleshly body a principle of sin. However, we have the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, now we have the power to overcome sin. Before being in Christ we could not.

How to keep from sinning?

Psalm 119:11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

Psalm 119:9 How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word.

1 John 1:8-10 8If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

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