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What Is Sin? #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
January 23, 2023 7:00 am

What Is Sin? #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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January 23, 2023 7:00 am

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Why would we disobey like this? Why is it that that's what motivates us? Why is it that we're not motivated by gratitude? Why is it that sin comes so naturally to the unbeliever?

If someone is given all on your behalf, isn't gratitude the expected response? To instead mock that person is an affront, but that's just what unbelievers and scoffers do to Jesus Christ. And on this edition of The Truth Pulpit, as Pastor Don Green continues to teach God's people God's word, he'll be showing you the reason for this behavior, sin. Hi there, I'm Bill Wright, and Don's with us in studio right now to tell us about his burden for this message.

Don? Well, you know, as you listen today, I would hope that you would grapple with the weight of sin. We all tend to be so superficial when we think about spiritual things. And, you know, there's more to sin than simply doing a bad thing. And if you have a deep view of sin, you will have a deep love for Christ. He said, he who is forgiven much, loves much. Let's grow together as we study God's word today on The Truth Pulpit. Thank you, Don. Our teacher is presenting part one of a message titled, What is Sin? So here he is now in The Truth Pulpit. Let me give you a definition of sin that is not meant to be perfectly technical, but just gives us a sense of what we're talking about here today, and then we'll unpack it as we go along.

I'll read this a couple of times so those of you that are taking notes can get it down. Sin is any personal failure to conform to God's law or his moral character and finds its root in inexcusable ingratitude for God's goodness and love. Just reading that definition breaks my heart. You see, and it defines it in relationship to God's law, God's character, and God's love. When men sin, all of those aspects of the perfection of God are being violated.

So let me give you this definition one more time. Sin is any personal failure to conform to God's law or his moral character and it finds its root in inexcusable ingratitude for God's goodness and love. If we are to understand the present order that we are now living in, it is imperative to get to the roots of this situation and to be prepared to take responsibility for our contribution to the overall condition. Turn in your Bibles to Romans chapter 1 as a starting point. We're really not going to expound this passage, but we just need a starting point to kind of frame things for us here today.

And as we go through these passages, beloved, I want to ask you for a favor. I want you to repeatedly be thinking about this content from the perspective of God. It's not that God is so wounded in his feelings that he can't bear the hurt that man has caused to him.

That's not the point at all. But I want you to think about it from the perspective of who God is and what he has done for man and the blessings that he continues to shower upon the human race despite the rebellion. We need to think about this from God's perspective. If we're going to understand where we stand in relationship to all of it, let's think about it from God's perspective. Romans chapter 1 verse 18. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth and unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them, for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes, his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks.

You see it there? They did not honor him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations and their foolish heart was darkened. We'll stop there. You see that, from this passage, that mankind is existing in the realm of the reserved wrath of God for all of its unrighteousness and ungodliness. Actually, the sequence, it goes the other way, the ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. Ungodliness toward God, unrighteousness in our human relationships and in our personal demeanor. And the Bible says that this is a culpable condition. That mankind is not a passive victim of his circumstances.

He's not a passive victim of what people have done to him in the past. That for each one of us, there is a culpability, that there is a culpability in sin that comes from being able to somehow look at everything around, look at the creation around, and stick our fingers, our collective fingers in our ears, and say, I don't see God here. That's inexcusable. Of course you see it. It's all around.

It's not just that you should see it. It's that God, Scripture says, has clearly made it evident to them. And so the refusal to acknowledge the existence of a Creator, the refusal to give thanks is a deliberate suppression of known truth by the human conscience. By the human will, maybe, would be a better way to put it.

The conscience testifies against this act of deliberate insubordination. Look at verse 19. That which is known about God is evident within them.

It's inside. They know within because God made it evident to them. Verse 20, since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made so that they are without excuse. It's clear. It's evident. It is obvious. So, beloved, speaking about the human race in general, it is absolutely inexcusable that worship and gratitude does not come back from the human race toward its Creator.

There is no excuse for that. It is so obvious that God made us. It is so obvious that there is a powerful Creator made known in what He has made. And Scripture says it is a deliberate suppression of truth that men find themselves in this condition. And those of you that are here today that are not Christians, I speak to you gently, but I speak to the agreement and to the testimony of your own conscience to the rightness of what I'm about to say. Those of you that are rejecting Christ, those of you who are pursuing a life of sin, you are doing it against the testimony of your own conscience. God has made it clear to you and there is no excuse for your stubborn defiance of the testimony of your own inner conscience as well as what is all about you. To say nothing about those of you that are here under the teaching of the Word of God week by week. Oh, oh, how awful the judgment is going to be upon you if you don't repent.

I can't bear the thought of it. But I have to warn you and tell you that this is what Scripture testifies to. And look at verse 21 here because it kind of in a negative way shows what should be happening and is the basis for part of the definition that I gave you.

Even though they knew God, this was obvious to them even though they suppressed it, they did not honor him as God or give thanks. Scripture puts ingratitude at the very heart motivation of sin. And so, beloved, when we consider the question what is sin, what I want you to see is this. Is that we're obviously talking about something that goes far deeper than our external behavior.

It's more than what we dress, it's more than what we say. That there's a very core defining principle of how we view God and respond to him that is at the core of sin. The refusal to submit, the refusal to worship, the refusal to give thanks to him can only be a hard-hearted, deliberate, stubborn rejection of that which is obvious. This is sobering.

This is what we need to consider. I'm going to give you four statements to help you kind of progressively go from the external to the internal about sin and be able to put this together in a way that sticks in our minds hopefully. First of all, point number one, I'm going to give you four statements about sin to help you recognize the vileness of sin so that those of us who are Christians would be even more devoted to turning away from it.

And those of you that don't know Christ here today, that the Spirit of God would somehow, we ask once again, dear Lord, once again we ask that you would use your word to convict those who have yet to bow the knee to Christ. Point number one, sin includes your disobedient acts. Sin includes your disobedient acts, A-C-T-S. Not sure how my annunciation is going today, so sometimes I'll spell something for you to make sure we don't miss it.

What is sin? Well, at one level we could say when God commands something not to be done and you do it anyway, that is sin. And for that let's turn to the book of Exodus chapter 20 and just take a quick look at some of the Ten Commandments. Exodus chapter 20, the law of God. The moral law of God expressing his will for what men should be like delivered first to Israel in the Old Testament, repeated again in the New Testament, directed to Jews and Gentiles alike. When God commands something not to be done and you do it anyway, that is sin. Exodus chapter 20, let's pick it up in verse 13.

I'm being random here and starting in the middle of the Decalogue. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal.

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. Okay, we'll stop there. I'm just making a very simple point now, reminding you of that which you already know.

I understand that. But from a perspective of a physical act, a physical act of murder, a physical act of adultery, a physical act of theft, a spoken false word, a lie, is sin. God said, don't do that.

Somewhere along the line man says, I will do that. It's a direct defiance. It's a direct rebellion against the spoken command of God.

Okay, external acts. That's the way people tend to think about sin, and that's one right way to think about sin, but it's hardly exhaustive. We often forget that sin can be passive.

This is really important because many of us can say, well, I've never done those outward physical acts, so I must be okay. No, not according to the testimony of Scripture. It doesn't work that way.

Listen to me carefully, please. God not only prohibits certain conduct, like we just read, he also requires positive conduct as well. It's not just avoiding certain acts of evil. God commands positive things to come out of our lives.

So, for example, we're just choosing things. You could open the Bible at random and find support for what we're saying here, but think about it this way. Matthew 6 verse 33.

You don't have to turn there. Most of you know that verse anyway. Nice little chorus that's put these words of Scripture to music. Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness. Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness. The Lord Jesus Christ commanded that. To seek first as your first priority the kingdom of God and the righteousness of God. Now, beloved, do you realize what that means? That requires active devotion. That requires you to actually do something.

It requires you to desire something in your heart and then to go after it. And so, that means that your indifference to God's righteousness is sin. Even if you are not openly hostile toward him. You may not be a flaming atheist. You may not be someone who comes up on this stage and debates and argues in favor of evolution and proclaims false philosophies. But that doesn't mean that you're okay. Even if you are not openly hostile to God, if you are indifferent to him, if you just don't care, you are sinning greatly against the word of Christ who said, seek first his kingdom and his righteousness as a number one priority of your life.

If loving Christ and seeking him is not the number one priority of life, oh, beloved, you're in such a miserable condition of sin, I don't know how to help you. In one respect, sin includes the way that you act, but that's positive and negative. Here's a way to help you think about that, that we can all relate to. Those of us that have ever had a job, and even you kids that have been told by your parents to do something and not to do something.

Yeah, you can think about it that way. You guys that are 8, 9, 10, 12, 14 years old, you can think about it this way. Your parents have rules for things that you are not to do and you have things that you are supposed to do. Well, it's not enough for you to be obedient to your parents to simply not do what they say not to do. If they give you tasks that you're supposed to do and you say, I'm not going to do them, that's sinful. If they say don't do that and you do it, that's sinful. Your parents get you coming and going, kids.

This is kind of tough. For those of us that are adults, it works the same way in the real world. Most employees have some manner of written or understood job description, which requires certain tasks to be performed on the job. It's not enough for an employee simply not to do what his employer tells him not to do. He has to positively do his job if he wants to keep his job.

If he fails to do the job requirements, he'll get fired. So it is in the spiritual realm. God not only says, don't do this, he says, do this. We have dual responsibilities in our response to the God who created us. And it's bad enough that the people do what he prohibits. It's equally bad, sometimes in many ways worse, that they don't do what he calls them to do. We live, we walk through life under an obligation to respond to the commands of God. Those commands are positive and negative.

And yet, so as we understand this a little bit, we're not giving this nearly the attention that it deserves. And yet, beloved, think. Think of how you used to talk as before you were a Christian. Think about interactions that you've had with unbelievers or that you've seen in videos and things like that. How often?

How often? When someone is asked, do you think you'll go to heaven? They'll say, yeah, I'm pretty sure. Why do you think that? Well, I've never killed anyone.

I'm not a Hitler or a Mussolini or anything like that. And by this human comparison, they seek to establish their own righteousness as that which would entitle them to an eternal blessedness with God throughout all of eternity. That is insipid. That's foolishness.

That's not the question at all. The question is, have you loved God with all of your heart, soul, strength, and mind throughout all of your life? Do you love the Lord Jesus Christ without reservation? Have you turned to Him and submitted to Him?

If you haven't, you're a sinner of highest degree. You see, it couldn't possibly be. When we would stop and think about it, it couldn't possibly be that righteousness is established by what we don't do. None of you in marriage would want to live that way, to have a spouse who never did anything for you, never said anything to you, but just avoided doing bad things.

You want positive things out of your relationship as well. No one would live that way. And yet, that's what is projected on God is what He requires, and He's accused of unfairness if He doesn't deal with us that way. You see, don't you, that the problem is not with the Holy Creator. It's that we're so biased and warped in our own favor that we'll say and do anything that excuses ourselves from an obligation of worship, gratitude, and obedience.

Shame on us as a human race. So, as we answer this question, what is sin? Sin includes all disobedient acts toward God.

Understanding that, this kind of disobedience that we're talking about here in this first point, can be active or passive. Now, that's enough to convict us all, but if you think more deeply about it, you're going to realize something pretty quickly, and you're certainly going to see this if you read Scripture on any consistent basis. There must be something more to sin than simply our external conduct or lack thereof.

There has to be something more to it than that. Why would we disobey like this? Why is it that that's what motivates us?

Why is it that we're not motivated by gratitude? Why is it that sin comes so naturally to the unbeliever? Well, point number two, sin includes your disobedient attitudes. Sin includes your disobedient attitudes, and Scripture makes this so very clear. You see, beloved, our sin is more than what we do or don't do. It's far more than that. The Bible defines sins in terms of our thoughts, our attitudes, and even our motives.

It's not just about external conduct. God, Scripture says, looks on the heart. We're all laid bare before Him with whom we have to live and do. If you think that, you're still in Exodus chapter 20. And I believe that probably the most overlooked and neglected of the Ten Commandments is the last one. Certainly, the man on the street has not thought adequately about the implications of the tenth of the Ten Commandments. Found in Exodus chapter 20 verse 17.

Look at it with me. You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. You see, God earlier had commanded certain things not to do. He said, don't do these deeds. But then at the end, He says, you shall not even desire them in your heart.

You shall not even want this. And that points out a couple of things. First of all, God is the maker of both the material and the immaterial side of man. He made both the outside and the inside of man. Therefore, beloved, He rules as Lord over both the outside and the inside of man. God rules over the internal aspects of our heart. He claims dominion there in the realm of your desires. And He says, you shall not have wicked desires in your heart.

God, just bring the full weight of the law down and crush me. I can fool men, but God sees my heart. He sees your heart. What this helps us to see is the reason that our conduct, passive and active, is not what it should be, is that our hearts are not producing the right kind of fruit. What you are on the outside is a dusty image of what you are on the inside. Sinful acts come from sinful attitudes found in the human heart. Well, so far in this lesson, we've learned that sin includes disobedient acts of both commission and omission.

And it includes disobedient attitudes as well. Next time, Pastor Don Green has two more characteristics of sin to help us define what is sin. It's all part of our series, Key Questions Answered. And we hope you're gaining valuable insight from God's Word right here on The Truth Pulpit. You know, you can hear any part of this series again at your convenience when you visit our website,

You can download podcasts or find out how to receive CD copies for your personal study library. Plus, you'll find the link Follow Don's Pulpit. That'll take you to Don's full-length weekly sermons, not subject to the time editing we need for radio broadcasts. Again, that's all at And by the way, may we also say thank you for your support of this ministry. Without you, this program would not be possible. Well, now for Don Green, I'm Bill Wright, inviting you back next time as Don continues to teach God's people God's Word from The Truth Pulpit.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-23 04:57:21 / 2023-01-23 05:06:09 / 9

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