This is not a very popular subject. We are living in a day when men are color blind to sin. People do not see the awfulness, the blackness, or the eternal consequences of sin. Many do not want to hear about it. Some try to gloss it over and call it weakness, but God calls it wickedness!
The world in which we live is terribly sick. We can hear about it on the radio, read about it in the newspaper, and watch it vividly displayed in our living rooms. The problem is not on the surface, but is a deep-seated problem.
While watching a documentary on the oil spill in Alaska and the subsequent attempt at a clean-up, it was amazing to see the destruction caused by the oil. The oil soaked deep into many of the shorelines and continues to be brought to the surface with every high tide. The workers can clean up the oil on one day and the next day it is back again. Washing off the surface was simply not enough to solve the problem.
You visit a man in the hospital whose face is pale and drawn. He clutches at the covers and writhes in pain. You ask the doctor, "What is wrong with this man?" There must be something terribly wrong, but you cannot see what it is. The doctor then shows you an x- ray which reveals that there is a cancer inside eating this man's life away!
There is a cancer that is eating away at this world. Men and women, boys and girls, young and old, rich and poor all suffering from this terrible disease. It cannot be dealt with by trying to remove the surface symptoms. We see murder, war, deceit, all sorts of social problems; but these are but symptoms of the deep-seated disease called SIN!
I. What is SIN?
A. Sin is the transgression of God's Law.
1. Transgress means "to go across".
2. Example: Traffic signal turns red, but you go across the intersection anyway! You have just transgressed the law of the state of Indiana.
3. God's Word is our standard, in the Bible God has shown us what is right and wrong.
4. When we sin, we transgress or go across the line that God has drawn!
B. Sin is rebellion against God.
1. The prodigal son cried out to his father "...I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight..." cf Luke 15:21
2. David confessed his wickedness to God and said, "...against thee, thee only, have I sinned..." cf Ps. 51:4
3. When we sin, we hurt others; but our sin is not only against man, but it is against God!
C. Sin is the omission of good.
1. Jas. 4:17, "Therefore to him that knoweth to good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin."
2. Many are careful not to commit what they know are outwardly sinful acts.
3. But their neglect of the things they know that God expects them to do is just as sinful as anything their hearts could imagine!
4. Jesus asked, "Why call ye me Lord, Lord and do not the things which I say?" cf Luke 6:46
II. Who Commits Sin?
A. Note the Scriptures:
1. "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Ro. 3:23
2. "There is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not." Eccl. 7:20
3. "All we like sheep have gone astray." Is. 53:6
4. "But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin." Gal. 3:22
B. Note the examples of godly men.
1. Moses sinned, David sinned, Paul sinned, every godly man in the Scriptures, with the exception of Jesus Christ, sinned!
2. Every person in this auditorium this morning, myself included, sins!
3. "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." "If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us." 1 John 1:8 & 10
III. What is the Penalty for Sin?
A. The immediate penalty.
1. Unhappiness, poverty, pain, disorder, and pain.
2. "But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked." Isaiah 57:19-20
3. Continuing turmoil and sorrow.
B. The penalty of physical death.
1. God told Adam, "Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die." Ge. 3:3b
2. Adam chose to rebel against God and cross over the line that God had set down, and in due time he died.
C. The ultimate penalty of eternal death.
1. "The wages of sin is death" Ro. 6:23
2. "The soul that sinneth it shall die." Ez. 18:4
3. "The wicked shall be turned into hell" Ps. 9:17
4. "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." Re. 20:15
5. When man sins his life away, there is nothing left for him but to perish forever in eternal hell.
IV. What is the Remedy for Sin?
A. It is not education.
1. There are those who say that sin comes because of ignorance.
2. There are more educational institutions today than ever before but sin is on the increase.
3. Education of the head doesn't make a change in the heart!
B. It is not a change in environment.
1. Some would say that if you take a man out of his old environment and place him in a good environment and he will live a good life!
2. You can give a pig a good bath, tie a ribbon around his neck and put him in your finest room, but he is still a pig.
3. Given the first opportunity he will head back for the mudhole, because his nature hasn't changed!
4. Until a man has been born again and becomes a new creature in Christ, his environment will make little difference.
C. It certainly isn't religion.
1. Cain was religious.
2. The Pharisees and Sadducees were very religious.
3. Religion is simply man's attempt to circumvent the plan of God!
D. The only remedy for sin is Jesus Christ!
1. He saves from the guilt of sin. "There is therefore now no condemmnation to them whioch are in Christ Jesus." Ro. 8:1
2. He saves from the power of sin. "For sin shall not have dominion over you." Ro. 6:14
3. He saves from the penalty of sin. "...The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin." 1 Jn. 1:7
Conclusion: No matter who you are or what you have done, Christ can forgive and save (cf. Is. 1:18). If you are here this morning and without Christ, the only reason that you won't be saved today is if you refuse to submit to Christ. Christian, the only reason that you will leave this auditorium this morning with unconfessed sin in your life is because you refuse to submit to Christ.
Sin, it is destroying the society in which we live. It is destroying lives every day. It is robbing Christians of their power and effectiveness in ministry. BUT...it was dealt with on the cross of Calvary when Jesus shed His precious blood. Won't you come this morning?