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Sermon No: 2738-Sin



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SERMON TOPIC: Sin

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 8 November 2015

Topic Groups: SIN, ETHICS

Sermon synopsis: The Biblical definition of sin is very different to the ideas that many have that confines sin to merely bad things that a person does, like lying stealing, sexual sin or murder.

The topic of sin is not a popular one today. Many view the concept of sin as archaic and demeaning -- something that needs to be cast aside in light of current ' modern thought'. Christians however know that there are some things taught in God's Word which will never become outdated. Sin is one such topic that is as relevant today as it was two thousand years ago.

The world view is that the individual or in some cases, society decides what is right or wrong. But one persons conscience differs from the next person and what a society or culture accepts differs with the passing of time. In the time of Rome leaving babies out to die of exposure was accepted and as the world was Christianized it became not just sin but a crime, however nowadays in many countries killing your unwanted baby before birth is not only accepted but encouraged.
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Sin.

The Biblical definition of sin is very different to the ideas that many have that confines sin to merely bad things that a person does, like lying stealing, sexual sin or murder.

Sin.

The topic of sin is not a popular one today.

Many view the concept of sin as archaic and demeaning -- something that needs to be cast aside in light of current " modern thought". Christians however know that there are some things taught in God's Word which will never become outdated. Sin is one such topic that is as relevant today as it was two thousand years ago.

The world view is that the individual or in some cases, society decides what is right or wrong.

But one persons conscience differs from the next person and what a society or culture accepts differs with the passing of time. In the time of Rome leaving babies out to die of exposure was accepted and as the world was Christianized it became not just sin but a crime, however nowadays in many countries killing your unwanted baby before birth is not only accepted but encouraged.

Killing infants: In the ancient seaport of Ashkelon, archaeologist Ross Voss made a gruesome find. While exploring one of the city’s sewers, he discovered a large number of small bones, it was later discovered that the bones were actually human –infant bones from the Roman era. With the remains amounting to more than 100 babies, it was the largest discovery of infant remains to date. Curious as to how and why these infants died, Voss took the remains to forensic anthropologist Professor Patricia Smith. Smith examined the infant remains and determined that there was no sign of illness or disease, and that the infants appeared to have been perfectly healthy when they died. She utilized a method of forensic testing that allowed her to determine that none of the infants had lived longer than a week before dying. During Roman times, it was not uncommon for infants to be killed as a form of birth control. It was not a crime, as newborn infants were viewed as being ‘not fully human’ a phrase used by our modern day butchers. Often a Roman woman who did not want a newborn would engage in the practice of “exposure.” She would abandon the infant, either to be found and cared for by someone else, or to perish.

Killing infants: In the ancient seaport of Ashkelon, archaeologist Ross Voss made a gruesome find. While exploring one of the city’s sewers, he discovered a large number of small bones, it was later discovered that the bones were actually human –infant bones from the Roman era. With the remains amounting to more than 100 babies, it was the largest discovery of infant remains to date. Curious as to how and why these infants died, Voss took the remains to forensic anthropologist Professor Patricia Smith. Smith examined the infant remains and determined that there was no sign of illness or disease, and that the infants appeared to have been perfectly healthy when they died. She utilized a method of forensic testing that allowed her to determine that none of the infants had lived longer than a week before dying. During Roman times, it was not uncommon for infants to be killed as a form of birth control. It was not a crime, as newborn infants were viewed as being ‘not fully human’ a phrase used by our modern day butchers. Often a Roman woman who did not want a newborn would engage in the practice of “exposure.” She would abandon the infant, either to be found and cared for by someone else, or to perish.

Sin.

Slavery.

In the time of Rome’s rule and before and even to a couple of centuries ago, slavery was accepted by society as normal, however once again Christians fought to liberate people from slavery and the civilized world today has outlawed it.

The definition of sin lies with God and not with man.

1 John 3:4.

Everyone who sins breaks the law, in fact sin is lawlessness.

Strongs concordance

lawlessness; the utter disregard for God's law (His written and living Word).

Sin is doing good instead of God’s will.

Luke 14:16-24.

Jesus replied: A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, Come, for everything is now ready. But they all alike began to make excuses.

The first said, I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.

Another said, I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me. Still another said, I just got married, so I can’t come. The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame. Sir, the servant said, what you ordered has been done, but there is still room. Then the master told his servant, Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.

Sin is doing good instead of God’s will.

I want to ask you some questions about this parable that Jesus told.

Which Banquet do you think that Jesus was talking about?

Who did not end up going to the banquet?

Who ended up going to the banquet?

To answer these, let us look again at this passage in Luke 14

Sin is doing good instead of God’s will.

Luke 14:1-15. One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee…… When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honour at the table, he told them this parable: When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honour, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat. Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place….. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. Then Jesus said to his host, When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbours; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous. When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.

Sin is doing good instead of God’s will.

I want to ask you some questions about this parable that Jesus told.

Which Banquet do you think that Jesus was talking about? Luke 14:14. When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.

Who did not end up going to the banquet? Luke 14:18-20. But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me. Another said, I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me. Still another said, I just got married, so I can’t come…… I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.

Sin is doing good instead of God’s will.

I want to ask you some questions about this parable that Jesus told.

Who ended up going to the banquet? Luke 14:21-23. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame. Sir, the servant said, what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.

Then the master told his servant, Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full.

Sin is doing good instead of God’s will.

Simply put, sin is doing your will instead of God’s will.

Matthew 7:21-23.

Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?

Then I will tell them plainly, I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!

Sin is not only what you do but what you don’t do.

Matthew 21:28-32.

What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, Son, go and work today in the vineyard. I will not, he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, I will, sir, but he did not go. Which of the two did what his father wanted? The first, they answered. Jesus said to them,

Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.

The greatest obstacle to God’s goodness is man’s goodness.

Luke 18:9-14.

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable:

Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: God, I thank you that I am not like other people robbers, evildoers, adulterers or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.

But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, God, have mercy on me, a sinner. I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

Deception.

Sin is very often not deliberately doing evil, but been deceived into trusting our own reasoning rather than God’s Word and His clear instructions.

It is the strategy that Satan used on Eve and it is the Strategy he used on Jesus when tempting him during his 40 day fast.

2 Corinthians 11:2-4.

I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.

The spirit of this age is one of lawlessness, of trusting your own reasoning rather than submitting to God’s Word.

Deception.

Satan deceives us into substituting obedience to God with our own human reasoning.

Genesis 3:1-6.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, Did God really say, You must not eat from any tree in the garden?

The woman said to the serpent, We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die. You will not certainly die, the serpent said to the woman. For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.

Deception.

Satan deceives us into substituting obedience to God with our own human reasoning.

1 Samuel 15:1-3 and 13-23.

Samuel said to Saul I am the one the LORD sent to anoint you king over his people Israel; so listen now to the message from the LORD. This is what the LORD Almighty says: I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys. Early in the morning Samuel got up and went to meet Saul, but he was told, Saul has gone to Carmel. There he has set up a monument in his own honour and has turned and gone on down to Gilgal. When Samuel reached him, Saul said, The LORD bless you! I have carried out the LORD’s instructions.

Deception.

1 Samuel 15:12-24.

But Samuel said, What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears? What is this lowing of cattle that I hear?

Saul answered, The soldiers brought them from the Amalekites; they spared the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the LORD your God, but we totally destroyed the rest. Enough! Samuel said to Saul. Let me tell you what the LORD said to me last night. Tell me, Saul replied. Samuel said, Although you were once small in your own eyes, did you not become the head of the tribes of Israel? The LORD anointed you king over Israel. And he sent you on a mission, saying, Go and completely destroy those wicked people, the Amalekites; wage war against them until you have wiped them out.

Deception.

1 Samuel 15:12-24 (continued)

Why did you not obey the LORD? Why did you pounce on the plunder and do evil in the eyes of the LORD? But I did obey the LORD, Saul said. I went on the mission the LORD assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king. The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the LORD your God at Gilgal.

But Samuel replied: Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king.

Then Saul said to Samuel, I have sinned. I violated the LORD’s command and your instructions. I was afraid of the men and so I gave in to them.

Deception.

So we can clearly see that sin is not just doing bad things, it is disobedience to God.

Jonah disobeyed God because of his reasoning, he believed that the Lord should punish Nineveh and not give them a chance to repent.

Imagine if God told you to go and preach to Isis, would you go??

Jonah 1:1-3.

The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me. But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish.

Not only where the rulers of Assyria terribly cruel, they boasted of the cruelty on monuments that exist in museums to this day. Boice quotes some of the choice boasts from various monuments:

Nineveh.

“I cut off their heads and formed them into pillars”

“Bubo, son of Buba, I flayed in the city of Arbela and I spread his skin upon the city wall”

“I flayed all the chief men who had revolted, and I covered the pillar with their skins”

“Many within the border of my own land I flayed, and spread their skins upon the walls”

“I cut off the limbs of the officers, the royal officers who had rebelled”

“3,000 captives I burned with fire”

“Their corpses I formed into pillars”

“From some I cut off their hands and their fingers, and from other I cut off their noses, their ears, and their fingers, of many I put out their eyes”

“I made one pillar of the living, and another of heads, I bound their heads to posts round about the city”

Nineveh.

Assyrian policy was to deport conquered peoples to other lands within the empire, to destroy their sense of nationalism, and break any pride or hope of rebellion and replace them with strangers from far away. Assyrians were great warriors. Most nations at that time period were looters, building their state by robbing other nations. Assyria was the most ferocious of them all. Their very name became a byword for cruelty and atrocity. They skinned their prisoners alive, and cut off various body parts to inspire terror in their enemies. There is records of Assyrian officials pulling out tongues and displaying mounds of human skulls all to bring about stark horror and wealthy tribute from surrounding nations. Nowhere are the pages of history more bloody than in the records of their wars.

Nineveh.

Jonah 4:1-11.

But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. He prayed to the LORD, Isn’t this what I said, LORD, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.

Now, LORD, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live. But the LORD replied, Is it right for you to be angry? Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city.

There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city.

Nineveh.

Jonah 4:1-11.

Then the LORD God provided a leafy plant and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant. But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered. When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, It would be better for me to die than to live.

But God said to Jonah, Is it right for you to be angry about the plant? It is, he said. And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.

But the LORD said, You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left and also many animals?

Sin is ignoring God’s authority.

Matthew 8:8-13.

The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.

For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, Go, and he goes; and that one, Come, and he comes. I say to my servant, Do this, and he does it.

When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.

I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Then Jesus said to the centurion, Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would. And his servant was healed at that moment.

Sin is ignoring God’s authority.

Matthew 8:9.

I tell this one, Go, and he goes; and that one, Come, and he comes. I say to my servant, Do this, and he does it.

BUT

The Lord tells us go; and we don’t,

fast and pray; and we don’t,

tithe; and we don’t,

forgive; and we don’t,

fellowship regularly; and we don’t,

do all things without grumbling and complaining; and we don’t,

give thanks and intercede for those in authority over you; and we don’t…… and the list goes on.

Sin is ignoring God’s authority.

Luke 6:46-49.

Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation.

The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.

Sin is ignoring God’s authority.

We disobey not only God but all the authority structures that He has placed over us.

We disregard the authority of our parents, bosses, husbands, government and church leaders because we reason that we know better.

Eve thought she knew better than God, so did Aaron and King Saul and so many others who followed their example of leaning on their own understanding instead of trusting the Lord with all their heart.

Submission doesn’t even start until you disagree.

Sin is ignoring God’s authority.

John 13:12-15.

When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. Do you understand what I have done for you?

he asked them. You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.

Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

I want to close with this question, and there are many other questions that could be asked.

Are you in this church to serve or to be served?

Do you see this church as a ship where everyone gets an oar and has to row if we are going to go anywhere, or do you see it as a luxury liner where people must wait on you and meet your needs?

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV:

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (http://www.lockman.org)




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