Monday, September 23, 2013

Abortion, Man, Woman, Sin, GOD, Repentance, Forgiven, Redemption


James 1: 12-15

Are you aware that sin is a real, spiritual problem? What are you doing about your sin? Hello, I’m Phil Sanders; and this is a Bible study, ‘In Search of the Lord’s Way.’ And today, we’re taking a long look at sin. Stay with us.

Hello, I’m Phil Sanders and we’re here to search God’s Word for the Lord’s Way. We love God and we love you; and that’s why we spend time in God’s Word. We know that the Lord’s way will bless your life and will help you grow spiritually. We know the Lord’s way will help you avoid the pitfalls of life. We want the best for you. Thanks for taking time with us today; and we want to be a part of your life each week.

The word sin in the Old Testament first meant ‘to miss the mark’ and later by extension to the idea of sin. You get the original meaning in Judges 20 and verse 16; and it says, ‘Out of all these people 700 choice men were left-handed; each one could sling a stone at a hair and not miss.’ The words ‘not miss’ later came to apply to the teaching of God. Now, the mark that people miss today is when they fail to do the revealed will of God. They either fail to do what God says should be done or they do what God says should never be done. Well, in either case, they miss God’s mark and they commit sin.

Now, Scripture uses a variety of terms to describe sin: ‘evil,’ ‘abomination,’ ‘iniquity,’ ‘transgression,’ ‘lawlessness,’ ‘ungodliness,’ ‘error,’ or ‘wicked.’ Now, each of these sets aside the ways of God so that one can do as he pleases. Sin is like a snare that has an attractive power but ends up destroying the person who falls for it. Now, in Genesis 4 and verse 7 God warned Cain not to let his past failure overcome him. He said, ‘If you do well, will not your countenance (that is, your face) be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.’ Cain, however, fell weak to temptation and he killed his brother, Abel.

If you want to study more about sin, we offer copies of this program free. And if you would like a printed copy or a CD of our study and live in the United States, mail your request to In Search of the Lord’s Way, P.O. Box 371, Edmond, OK 73083 or send an e-mail to Or, you can call our toll-free telephone number. That number is 1 (800) 321-8633. Now, if you live outside the United States, we have free materials online, and you can stream this program at our website at The Edmond church will now worship in song; we’ll read from James 1, verses 12 to 15 and we will explore the idea of sin.

Our reading today comes from the letter of James, chapter 1, verses 12 to 15. ‘Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt any one. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.’ That’s a reading from God’s Holy Word. Let’s pray together. Father, we are thankful that You have taught us what You would have us to

do and how You would like us to live in Your Word. Help us to be faithful and loving to You and help us to stay away from sin. This is our prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen!

Today we’re going to explore the Biblical concept of ‘sin.’ Now, while everyone has an inner notion of what sin is, we are focusing on how God sees sin and how the Bible defines sin. Now, we realize that about one in eight people say that there’s no such thing as sin and about one in three think that sin is an obsolete word. But we feel it necessary to ask God what He thinks rather than listen to the fickle whims of society.

What is sin? First John 3 and verse 4 says that, ‘Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.’ Another version said that, ‘sin is the transgression of the law.’ Now, sin ignores or violates the law of God, and in doing so it shows utter disrespect for God Himself. It says to God that He is so insignificant that his laws and commandments do not matter. Well, when we do what God says not to do, we really challenge His authority in our lives. He created us; He gave us life; and He provides for our needs. When we sin against Him, we show that we are ungrateful for what He has done for us. Sometimes we sin by failing to do what God requires of us. James 4 and verse 17 says, ‘So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.’ When we fail to keep the commandments of the Lord our God, we’re saying God is not important in our lives. By failing to do what is right, we are actually showing contempt for God. First John 5 and verse 17 simply says that, ‘All unrighteousness is sin.’ When we fail to do what is right or do what God says is wrong, we are not acting righteously; we are sinning.

Now, someone asks, ‘Is sin really that big a problem?’ People commonly tend to downplay their sin. We try to soften our sin by labeling it as a mistake, an inappropriate act, or a misjudgment. Some who cannot use the word ‘evil’ will use the word ‘sick’ to describe wickedness (Which is exactly what we do with those people who murder people, for example, at the Naval Yard. We say they are mentally ill. Nonsense! They are committing a huge sin! MURDER is sin! Abortion is MURDER. Therefore, abortion is SIN!my addition). Now, think with me. When you are the person hurt by someone else’s sin against you, you don’t see sin the way that he does. He may feel indifferent or he may be genuinely sorry, but you’re the one hurt by his sin. You understand the pain of sin. Now, every sin is an offense to God; sin violates God’s commandments and breaks God’s heart. God takes our sin personally.

When Potiphar’s wife tried to get the servant Joseph to commit adultery with her, Joseph said in Genesis 39 and verse 9, ‘How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?’ The Lord was with Joseph, and Joseph knew that he had no right to have her. Joseph’s concern was with violating God’s commands; he simply would not offend God! I hear people say that we ought to be able to love anyone that we want, but love doesn’t justify a wicked relationship or sinning against God. Love doesn’t make right out of wrong. We must not confuse love with sexual desire. God has put boundaries on whom we can have sexual relations with, whether we love them or not. Love does not make adultery or incest okay. Loving children doesn’t make it right to marry a young child. You see, when we cross God’s boundaries, we cross God.

Now, all sin is evil; it’s harmful; and unjust. It offends God, destroys the one who commits it, and it hurts other people. The Lord Jesus said in Mark 7, verses 21 to 23, ‘For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, and deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. (Now), all these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.’ We must be careful not to let our hearts deceive us by thinking that whatever our hearts desire is okay. Our hearts can lead us into sin, if we’re not careful.

The Bible tells us about fleshly desires in Galatians 5, verses 19 to 21. Paul said, ‘Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these.’ He said, ‘I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.’ My friend, you can’t please the flesh by committing these sins and expect to live with God in the kingdom of heaven.

Someone says, ‘Surely, God won’t punish me.’ Are you sure? The Bible says in 2 Peter chapter 2, verses 4 to 9, ‘For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until judgment; and if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes (the Bible says) he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment.’ My friend, God has a track record of punishing those who sin; and we must take this warning seriously.

Now, people, on one hand, deny the reality of sin because they’re secular and have pushed God out of their lives. On the other hand, they have a moral conscience that reminds them that certain things are wrong. A research professor in sociology at Trinity University in Connecticut said, ‘Secular people still believe there's sin, judgment and punishment. It’s just a different list of sinners than religious traditions teach. What is unacceptable has changed. Racism and sexual harassment, which were not sins in the past, are now. Adultery and addiction are just bad and sad behavior. And commercial sex is a no, but breaking the bonds of marriage is not.’ He said there are no universal rules. ‘If people are held guilty, the punishment will be in this world, not the next. (Well), secular people (according to him) don't burn in hell; they burn in the court of public opinion.’

But God doesn’t play by secular rules; He’s not subject to our secular culture. He created this world; He keeps this world running; and will one day judge this world by His rules. God is not a servant who must come running to us for acceptance. He stands above us, and we need to respect and obey Him. God isn’t our servant; we’re God’s subjects. We are not His judge; He will judge us. We can’t make rules for God; we must live by His rules.

When we sin, we can’t expect that it won’t affect us. Sin leaves its mark on our lives. First, we must realize that sin will deceive us. Hebrews 3, verses 12 to 13 says, ‘Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called ‘Today,’ so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.’ Sin will promise you pleasure, but will end up hurting you and hardening your heart.

Now, the deception of sin leads to a second thing. Sin enslaves. The Lord Jesus said in John 8: 34, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you that, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.’ Again, Romans 6 and verse 16 says, ‘Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, that you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?’ Now, when a person gives himself to pleasure, desires begin to take over and will cause people to do things that they would never have thought they would do.

Third, sin will harden your heart. When people ignore God, according to Ephesians 4, verse 19, they ‘become callous’ and they give ‘themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.’ When people give themselves to sin, they end up having no limits. They don’t care what they do or how they hurt others. Our culture has changed so much, permitting sin and encouraging sin, that we have become desensitized to sin. People use the foulest of language; television glamorizes the worst of behaviors; and we lose respect for life and home.

Fourth, sin will bring spiritual death. James 1, verse 15 says, ‘Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.’ Now, spiritual death means you no longer have the promise of God. Ephesians 2, verses 1 through 3 says, ‘And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. (He says) Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.’ Sin and spiritual death is serious! The wrath of God is not something to ignore. Are you in sin?

Fifth, sin will separate you from God. Isaiah 59, verses 1 and 2 says, ‘Behold, the LORD’S hand is not so short That it cannot save; Nor is His ear so dull That it cannot hear. But 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.’ When we fall out of favor with God, He ceases to hear our prayers or to give us His blessing. Now, you can lose your friends on earth and still go to heaven, but you can’t lose your friendship with God and have a home in heaven. You can afford to lose everything that you have except your soul. What are you doing about your sins?

People tend to deceive themselves about sin! Many see the sins of others but they don’t consider their own sins. No one likes to recognize himself as a sinner or suppose that he could be lost. Many people think that they can live just any way they wish and not face the consequences.

Galatians 6, verses 7 to 8 says, ‘Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.’ You can’t mock God by living a sinful life and expect God to bless you and ignore your sin.

First John 1, verses 6 to 10 says that, ‘If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in darkness and sin, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous 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.’ The consequences of sin is heartbreaking, but thanks be to God that we have forgiveness through the blood of Jesus His Son and can be cleansed of all our sins.

We’ve talked about sin today because it’s important. Your soul is at stake. Because God loves you; and because we love you, we must speak about sin’s challenge to your soul. Thankfully, God has the answer to sin in Christ, and we have hope! My friend, put your hope in Christ! Let’s pray together. Father, we are thankful that through the blood of Jesus, our Lord, that we can have the forgiveness of our sins. Help us, Heavenly Father, to commit ourselves to You and to love You and to walk in all of Your ways. This is our prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen!

What are you going to do with your sin? Will you get angry that somebody pointed out that you’ve sinned? Or, will you ignore your old sins and just kind of hope they will be forgotten? Will you deny that you’ve done anything wrong? You know, the best thing, the only thing, you can do about your sins is to repent of them and to respond to the grace of Christ. God’s grace is powerful and wonderful, but it works with your repentance, not in spite of it. Again, I ask you, ‘What are you going to do with your sin?’ I hope you’ll think seriously about this.

God’s forgiveness is real because of the price that Jesus paid for us. Isaiah 53, verses 5 and 6 says, ‘But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.’ He personally bore your sins in His body on the cross.

And if the story of His amazing love touches your heart, respond by showing your love for Him. Put your trust in Him by believing that He is the Christ, the Son of God, and be willing to confess your faith publicly. Now, because you love God, turn away from the sin that offends and grieves Him. Repentance is not merely a turning away; it’s also a turning to God to serve and obey Him. Because you believe and love God, be baptized into Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. God’s grace is abundant; He can forgive all your sins. Acts 22 and verse 16 says, ‘Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.’ Don’t delay! Become a Christian today!

We hope that today’s study about sin has stirred your heart; and we hope you’ll take action. Now, if you live in United States and want a free printed copy or a CD of this message, mail your request to In Search of the Lord's Way, P.O. Box 371, Edmond, OK 73083 or send an e-mail to Or, you can call the Search office toll-free at 1 (800) 321-8633. Now, if you live outside the United States, you can download our material or watch the program online at our website: Now, don’t worry; we won’t ask you for money or put you on a list.

We ask that you please do get involved with a church of Christ. Oh, they love you and they support our ministry, for which we’re grateful. And if you are looking for a healthy, Biblical church home, we’ll be happy to help you find one. Now, churches of Christ love guests and you’ll be glad you worshiped with them. We’ll be back next week, Lord willing. So keep searching God’s Word with us and tell a friend. God bless you and we love you from all of us at In Search of the Lord’s Way.