By E. L. Thornton
(John 8:34) “Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.”
There is no Bible fact as evident and no Bible subject as clear as that of sin. Sin is older than man, since it originated in the mind of Satan before the creation of man. Satan became the first sinner, when lifted up with pride, he desired equality with God (Is. 14:12-14). Since sin’s entrance into the world it has become universal. “All have sinned” (Ro. 5:12). A right concept of sin is therefore imperative for if a man errs here, he errs everywhere. If a man does not have scriptural views of sin’s nature, he will not have scriptural views of sin’s efficacious (ef’-i-ka’-shes) remedy.
At the outset of this study, we cannot emphasize too strongly, the necessity of understanding the mind of God, as revealed in the words of Jesus.
In these apostate days there is an insistence upon a change of evangelical phraseology. Such phrases as “Ruined by the Fall”, and “Redeemed by the Blood,” are deemed to be too acrimonious or harsh and out of date. Words like “sin,” “lost,” and “hell-bound,” or “saved by the blood,” are intrusive and are no longer exceptable to the modern, cultured mind of our day. Such language is antiquated and unfashionable. They say “Old truths must be given a modern dress.” But it doesn’t matter how you try to camouflage or dissimulate sin, it is still SIN! And it is an affront to God!
We don’t preach against things such as adultery, homosexuality, stealing, killing, lying, etc… because we are prejudice against people, but we preach that these things are sin and they are inadmissible into the Church because they are incompatible with Godly living. These things are insidious to God, and invidious to those who would live Godly in this present world.
Coming to the Bible’s evaluation of sin, there is no study so illuminating. And our obligation is to study such a theme, not from the moral standards of society, but from God’s perspective. Sin occupies a most conspicuous place in the Word of God. In fact, we are both surprised and appalled at the space given to such an intrusion into God’s universe. Under the divine searchlight of the Word, the ramifications of evil in the human heart are revealed as being varied and complex. It is only as we discover the heinous nature of sin that we can rightly extrol Him who came to save us from its curse and condemnation.
The teaching of the Old Testament on this subject is both solemn and searching. Sin originated with the devil, before he became a devil, and entered the world through the disobedience of Adam, and became universal, (Rom 5:12) “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” resulting in physical and spiritual death, (Rom 6:23) “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Man is born to sin; but not born as a slave to sin. Man becomes a slave to sin by voluntarily yielding to sin (Rom 6:16) “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” Man is a sinner by birth but not responsible for this, but when he becomes a sinner by practice, then he is responsible to God for sins committed.
If we honestly desire to know the mind of God regarding any truth, we must examine the words He uses about that truth. God’s aversion to sin, His instruction against sin, and His judgment for sin, is a Bible truth and our ignorance of such truth will not exonerate us.
I. JESUS SAID, SIN BRINGS BAD THINGS ON YOU:
John 5:5 “And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.”
(John 5:14) “Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.”
It is insinuated, by Jesus, in this verse, that sin brings bad things on a person.
Because of sin, bad things came to Adam and Eve. Because of sin, bad things happened to Cain. And throughout the Bible we read that bad things came on people as a direct result of sin.
What could be worst than 38 years being a cripple? Jesus said “sin no more lest a worse thing come upon you.”
II. JESUS SAID, THERE’S NO COVERING FOR SIN:
(John 15:22) “If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.”
Job 34:21-22 “For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings. There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.”
In the anguish of his soul, David cried, (Psa 69:5) “O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee.”
The first thing David did, after he had sinned, was try to hide it. He tried to cover it up. But he found out that sin cannot be hidden.
(2 Sam. 12:7-12) “And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.”
Adam and Eve didn’t hide their sin. Cain didn’t hide his sin. Abraham didn’t hide his sin. Moses didn’t hide his sin. David didn’t hide his sin, and you, Mister, won’t hide your sin either.
III. JESUS SAID, SIN’S WILL BE FORGIVEN YOU:
(Mat 12:31) “Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.”
On the cross, was carried the sins of the whole world, a heavy load. Man is on his way to hell because of sins that’s unrepented of.
We live in a superficial age, and nowhere is superficiality more evident than in the religious realm. As a general rule, people do not want their conscience disturbed, so the message of repentance is seldom preached. Militant conservatives and destructive liberals alike are guilty of the abandonment of any truth distasteful to the ears of the self-satisfied.
Our forefathers were right in insisting on a deep and genuine upturning of the soul in repentance. In our age we have swung to the other direction. We seldom hear the old prophetic cry, “Break up your fallow ground, sow not among thorns.” (Jere. 4:3) This generation, with all its religion, has lost the sense of sin and pays preachers to “Prophesy smooth things.” Repentance is robbed of its true significance.
The plow of conviction is never driven deep into the human soil. So-called “revivals” and “evangelistic efforts” produce shallow results because of the shallow message of repentance that is preached. Deep mourning of sin, hot, scalding tears of repentance, souls twisting in agony because of their burden of sin are not as common as they used to be.
Saved and unsaved alike are not over-awed by the holiness of God and the filthiness of their own evil nature. The sob of anguish, “Woe is me, for I am undone,” is seldom, if ever, heard in our services today.
But the Book still says, “Repent or else,” and you will not like the “or else.”
Your sin is carrying you to hell. Repentance may be a bitter, drastic pill for our sin-sick generation to take, but it is necessary if you will ever receive your spiritual healing. The Bible unhesitatingly and emphatically declares that repentance, is not arbitrary, but necessary to soul salvation.
And when you repent God will forgive.