Examination of Sin Through Scripture.
In the last year, I have witnessed the confusion within the church to biblically address the issue of Sin. Because of recent issues affecting the church, I have had to prayerfully re-examine my own convictions on this issue by biblically studying the scriptures through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. One must ask questions of God and be willing to study the scriptures and submit to the answers that God provides. The following is an examination of the Bible congruency of sin.
“Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers. Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.” (II Timothy 2:14-16)
WHAT IS SIN?
“Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.” (I John 3:4 NKJV)
Sin is clearly defined by scripture as lawlessness. This is rebellion against God, who is Holy. He demands that our conduct must be done in holiness before Him. Doing what is morally right in His eyes. Practicing righteousness is doing what is right in Gods view not ours.
“Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.” (I John 3:7 NKJV)
Therefore, one can conclude that practicing unrighteousness is living in rebellion to God. The one who sins is the agent of Satan, the devil, the leader of the rebellion against God. The punishment for rebellion is death.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23 NKJV)
“He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” (I John 3:8 NKJV)
DOES PRACTICING RIGHTEOUSNESS SAVE ME?
The answer is “No”. We humans love to use measurements for success. “Nothing measured nothing gained”. The truth is our scales of good works are always out weighted by sin, our desire to rebel against God. Good works can’t save us, nor can they tip the scales in our favor.
“There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.”(Proverbs 14:12 NKJV)
The dilemma for man is that what we think is right is often tainted by desires that lead to sin. We are corrupted by our desires of selfishness.
“But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” (James 1:14-15)
These selfish desires taint our righteousness with rebellion towards God and His moral law. No-one can keep every commandment. No-one is perfect. The scripture tells us that favoritism towards individuals because of affiliations, status, culture or race is sin. Today some pastors are refusing church attendance to individuals because of vaccination status, or not wearing a mask. This violates scripture.
“but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.” (James 2:9-10)
“Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:20, 23 NKJV)
SO HOW CAN WE BE SAVED?
“For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:3-7 NKJV)
When Jesus began his ministry, He preached, “Repent and Believe in the Gospel.” The Gospel message always begins with God. It starts with his love for us, then it is demonstrated by His mercy, and finally justified by His grace through Jesus and the cross. God loves the whole world, but he hates evil. God is Holy and righteous. So, God came in the flesh and died for us.
“For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” (Romans 5:6-9 NKJV)
We deserve wrath, but because of Gods love for us, He gives us mercy. The Bible says that God is the Father of all mercy and the God of all comfort. He demonstrates His love and mercy through Jesus. Jesus took our sins by paying the price of our punishment for us. Jesus willingly was put to death for us. This is grace. We are saved by grace through faith.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV)
SO WHY DO WE NEED TO REPENT AND BELIEVE?
“For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.” (II Corinthians 7:10-11 NKJV)
Repentance is our acknowledgment to God that we have sinned and that we need salvation through Christ. It is our confession of our sins and the seeking of forgiveness by the atonement of the blood that Christ shed on the cross. It is turning towards the righteousness of Christ and denying our own righteous works, declaring them as sin.
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” (I John 1:8-10 NKJV)
Repentance is the work of a sovereign God planting the seeds of faith to believe. Repentance means no longer trusting in yourself, but turning towards trusting in God and His truth. We know the truth of God because it has been revealed to us. We are with out excuse.
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,” (Romans 1:18-20 NKJV)
The one who repents is no longer denying the truth, but confessing the truth and believing that Jesus is God. He no longer holds the Word of God near his mouth, but hides it in his heart. He goes from believing in a god, to believing God and His Holy Word.
“But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” (Romans 10:8-11 NKJV)