Just like a heartbeat pumps blood, a sinful heart pumps it out.
Not always a continual fountain that's evident for you to see, but when you see the spurts coming, understand that there's a fountain underneath it. We're so glad you've joined us for this edition of the Truth Pulpit with Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. Hello, I'm Bill Wright. Today's lesson is part of a larger series titled, Key Questions Answered, in which Don is tackling many of the big questions of our faith. Last time, Don began a message titled, What is Sin?, and he presented the first two of four principles to help us properly answer. Sin includes disobedient acts, failures to act, and disobedient attitudes. It's all counterintuitive to what you'd expect in response to a loving God who not only created us, but rescued us from eternal perdition.
On this edition of the program, Don has two more principles to impart, so let's join him right now as he continues to teach God's people God's word in the Truth Pulpit. Sinful acts come from sinful attitudes found in the human heart. Look over at Mark chapter 7, verse 20. Jesus said, that which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed.
See it there? It's from this heart that the stuff bubbles over. It's because the fountain inside of man is polluted, that polluted water comes out, that a polluted life comes out of a polluted heart. Jesus said, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man. You see, Scripture teaches us that when you see external sin, you know that internal sin has come first. When sharp, angry, profane words come out of your mouth, whether they recognize it or not, people are seeing a window into what's going on in your heart at that time.
Those things don't occur out of a heart of neutrality. That stuff comes out of our lives because it's going on in our hearts. And so your mouth is displaying what's going on inside you. Okay, I get it. I get that sinful actions come from sinful heart. I can understand that.
So can you. We see all the time that when a lover gets angry, he turns around and kills people over and gives release to his sinful anger through murderous acts. But beloved, go with me here to point number three. Where do bad attitudes come from? Where do bad attitudes come from?
Why is it that that stuff just comes naturally to the unconverted man? Point number three. Sin pollutes your entire nature. It pollutes man's entire nature, we could say.
We're kind of talking about this today on a general basis, aren't we? Sin pollutes your entire nature. Point number three. Sin has contaminated, in other words, every aspect of man's being.
His heart, his mind, and his will. The reason that people think bad thoughts is because their very heart is polluted and corrupted. You see, here's the thing. Here's the point that I want you to see. You can't view an external act apart from the internal attitude that produced it.
All right? We've seen that. Something motivated you to do your sinful actions, or to not do what was right. Something motivated that. It came from a sinful attitude of one kind or another. Here's what you've got to see if you are going to get the full testimony of Scripture against the sinfulness of man. You can't view your sinful attitudes in isolation, and that's what we want to do, and that's where the profound realm of self-deception is so available to all of us.
You want to view, we all want to view our sinful attitudes in isolation and say, Oh, but that's not the real me. I was just tired. I was just stressed out. But really, now that I'm back to normal, everything's okay.
No, it does not work that way. You see, sin has contaminated the entire nature of man. Let me explain what I mean here. We're touching on the doctrine often referred to as total depravity. Man is not as bad as he possibly could be.
Man is not incapable of comparative degrees of human kindness. But when we talk about sin, and we talk about your entire nature, what we're saying is that man, apart from Christ, cannot do anything to please God whatsoever. Unredeemed sinners have no spiritual merit before God at all. They are utterly unable to do any spiritual good that is acceptable to God.
They are unable to change their own condition. That's what Scripture means when it says you are dead in your trespasses and sins. You have no spiritual life.
You have no spiritual pulse if you're not a Christian. Because your entire nature is dead to God. Your entire nature is alive to sin, as it were. And the reason that sin comes so naturally is not because of isolated incidents like it's some kind of silo separated one from another. No, there's a common connection to all of those outbursts and lusts and different things that go on in a sinner's life. There are weeds in the garden where they spread out and spread out, but you pick it all up and you see that there's one common root.
And the common root of all of your sins as an unbeliever is the fact that you have a dead, corrupted heart that just spews that stuff out. It pulsates out. And it pulsates out, and it flashes forth and then perhaps comes back.
It's not that it's coming back to neutral or coming back to what's really good. It's just waiting to pulsate again, just like a heartbeat pumps blood. A sinful heart pumps it out.
Not always a continual fountain that's evident for you to see, but when you see the spurts coming, understand that there's a fountain underneath it. We inherit guilt and corruption from Adam. Sinful desires flow from a sinful condition that permeates man's very being. Turn over to the book of Romans chapter 3. Romans chapter 3. Again, a familiar passage that is quoted all too easily in superficial gospel presentations.
Romans chapter 3 verse 10. There is none righteous, not even one. There is none who understands. There is none who seeks for God. All have turned aside. Together they have become useless. There is none who does good.
There is not even one. We're born into this world with a corrupt disposition that turns us away from God and inclines us towards sin and evil. It's not that you're a sinner because you sin. It's that you sin because you're a sinner. It's because your nature produces sin. It's not that individual acts classify you as a sinner. It's that you have a nature that is sinful and that's why you sin. And that's why God must condemn and judge the human race. It is irredeemable in its present state. It could never be made fit in that unconverted condition.
It could never be made fit for the holy presence of God. David said in Psalm 51 verse 5, as he was confessing murder and adultery, he said, he said, against you, you only I have sinned. And he went on and he said, behold I was brought forth in iniquity and in sin my mother conceived me. He's saying it attached itself to my very nature from the moment of my conception. You see, we're not born in neutral. We're not born good. We're not born neutral. We're born into a condition of sin.
It's our very nature. And so when an unsaved man rejects God, when he pursues sin, he's acting according to his very nature. It's what he loves. It's all that he knows. It's what motivates and defines him. It's an anti-God approach to life that expresses itself in different ways, but comes to that common root. Whether it's a bow-tie guy, or the drunk on the street, or the wife abuser. There's all this stuff.
It just comes from a common core, a common pool of corruption. The unsaved man in the final analysis Scripture teaches, he rejects God and he pursues sin because he loves it and it's all that he knows. Here's what I want you to see. The utter horror and the utter ugliness of sin in this natural condition of man. A good God created man in his image to be the pinnacle and the ruler over earth. Made to reflect the image of this good God. Made to walk in fellowship with him.
The supreme one in the universe. Good and great. Powerful and merciful.
Good and kind. And we're meant to reflect him and enjoy fellowship with him. That's what we're meant to do. And in that high and lofty appointment, man fell.
We were on Mount Everest and we jumped off and we fell and fell and fell and there's no way getting back apart from the gospel of Christ. A tremendous privilege of position has been squandered. The one who bestowed it upon us has been attacked.
That's wrong. It's perverse. Creation pulsates with a desire to have that reversed because it should not be this way. And God, what can we say except we are so sorry. We are so sorry, God, for all of our rebellion, all of our sin, all of our indifference. God, compared to what you made us to be, the squalor of our spiritual condition is so sad and tragic by comparison. Now, think with me just a little bit more. What we've been describing here is true of every man apart from Christ who has ever lived since the fall of Adam. Alright, now think here with me.
Stay with me just a little bit longer if you would. When you multiply individual corruption like that by seven billion living people right now, when you add to that the cumulative effect of thousands of years of this kind of rebellion, don't be surprised at what you see in the world. We've become so accustomed to multiple fatality shootings. We've become so accustomed to abortion and homosexuality that it just seems normal.
It's not normal! It is an absolute violation of what life is supposed to look like. We can't accept this as the Church of Christ. We can't accommodate ourselves to that like some people like Andy Stanley want us to do and just kind of go along with the culture.
No, we have to cry out against it. Creation is groaning against it. Why isn't the church groaning against it too? It's all due to sin. It all comes back to this one common root, and that root is so deeply embedded that only a supernatural act of God could ever get it out of one human heart, let alone the entire human race. Here's what I want you to see, beloved, today. It's legitimate and it's right for us to grieve our personal individual sins.
We should do that. Those who mourn over sin are the only ones who are going to be comforted. What I'm pleading with you today to do in your thinking and in your heart is this. I want you to grieve over sin because of the great cosmic assault it is on what God created in the beginning. And to see what a violation it is of what the men and women on this planet ought to be doing. It is the exact opposite, and it should grieve us for the sake of God that it's like that. And then in that context, realize, God, I participate in that too. But I want you today to just see sin in that vertical dimension. See it in that cosmic dimension and realize that a cosmic crime has been committed and there hasn't been justice executed for it yet. Because the human race is still going about. There hasn't been final justice executed for it yet.
Let me put it that way. Point number four here. Sin has profound consequences. Sin has profound consequences. First of all, it produces spiritual slavery.
We're just going to read most of these verses without any comment. Sin produces spiritual slavery. John 8.34, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin.
That's John 8.34. 2 Timothy 2 verse 26 says that unbelievers are in the snare of the devil and held captive by him to do his will. So sin produces spiritual slavery. Secondly, sin produces separation from God.
Separation from God. Isaiah 59 verse 2. Your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.
That's Isaiah 59 verse 2. God who made us in his image, created the human race for fellowship with him, has rightly and justly found himself separated from man by sin. And it's not his fault, it's the fault of the human race.
And now man cannot find God on his own. It's tragic. It's horrifying.
It's terrible. Thirdly, sin puts us under the judgment of God. It's not just that we're separated. You can tell that the human race kind of likes that part of it. But God's not going to tolerate it forever.
Or even on an individual basis. Point number three, sin places us under the judgment of God. John 3, 36. John 3, 36. He who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. See there's just this progression. Spiritual slavery, separation from God, abiding under the wrath of God.
And you know I'm not done yet, right? Because sin is about more than this life, the consequences of sin. We said they're profound. Point number four, sin leads us to eternal hell. Eternal hell. Mankind, beloved, is plunging toward eternal destruction. The judgment of God upon our race is severe and it is righteous. Is it any wonder then that the message of the gospel can be reflected, can be found in the apostolic preaching of Acts chapter 2 verse 40? When the apostle Peter cried out, be saved from this perverse generation. Do you see the glory and the urgency of the gospel? The gospel that promises forgiveness of sin and new nature, a spiritual cleansing, eternal forgiveness of sin. Do you see the gospel that promises eternal life through faith in the crucified and resurrected Lord Jesus Christ? Do you see why the gospel is good news?
Do you see why it's so urgent to believe in Christ? Do you see why Peter said in Acts 2 verse 40, as he preached to some of those who were involved in the crucifixion of the Messiah himself, he said, be saved from this perverse generation. That's the gospel.
The gospel is a ten alarm fire going off, alarms going off, saying look at this awful condition and come out of it to Christ. Come out of your sin to Christ. Don't you hear in your heart as it were the Spirit pulling you, wooing you, begging you, this is too desperately bad for you to stay where you're at and we beg you on behalf of Christ be reconciled to God through faith in Christ. And to make you hate sin for its own intrinsic evil, to see it in your own heart and say that repulses me and Lord Jesus won't you deliver me from it. What else can I say, beloved? Why would someone come in here from a life of sin and walk out saying I'm not going to change. This has no effect on me.
How could you do that? Oh, I can't understand. If you're not a Christian, don't you see your horrible plight? Won't you turn from sin and turn to Christ and be saved?
Please, please, please. For those of us that know Christ, to end on a word of gratitude and hope, those of us that have been delivered, those of us that God has reached down and saved us, He worked through His Word and brought us to faith in Christ and you've repented of your sin and you're forgiven and you're cleansed and you no longer face eternal hell. You're no longer under the judgment of God.
You're no longer separated from Him. You're no longer a slave to sin. Aren't you thankful?
Aren't you glad? We've gone up to the very edge of hell and whiffed the smoke. And yet, here we are. Here we are in the hands of Christ. Here we are, safe in Him, delivered, secure, forgiven, in His hand where He said no one can pluck you out.
What mercy has been shown to you. What love was expressed in your salvation. That God reached down to save you by name. That Christ bled for your sins by name.
We've sniffed hell. The Bible says, when you're in Christ now, you're smelling the aroma of life. And for that, to come to that conclusion after a consideration of what is sin, should fill our hearts with joy. Christ has acted. Christ has saved us. Christ will keep us. We've been delivered from that horrific power. And now, we belong to Him. Praise God. That's Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, with part two of a message called, What is Sin?
Part of the series, Key Questions Answered. Next time, Don begins addressing the question, What is Salvation? So be sure to join us then on The Truth Pulpit.
But right now, Don's back here in studio with us. Well, I just want to thank you for listening to The Truth Pulpit today. And while I'm at it, I want to extend a personal invitation for you to visit us sometime at Truth Community Church. I realize some of you are too far away.
And if so, join us on our live stream, which you can find on our website. But if you're in the Cincinnati area, please come and see us. Please come and introduce yourself to me. I would love to greet you and make you feel at home at our church. We have a Sunday morning service or a Tuesday evening Bible study. We're easy to find on our website. Bill's here to tell you how to find us. Just visit thetruthpulpit.com and follow the links. Again, that's thetruthpulpit.com. Now for Don Green, I'm Bill Wright, inviting you to join us again next time as Don continues to teach God's people God's Word from The Truth Pulpit.
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