Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Sin

There are two definitions in the Bible for sin:

Romans 14:23 “….for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”

James 4:17 “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”

But there are many examples of sin:

Of course the first one is Adam and Eve.

I have talked of this before, but I want to describe the way we got here.

God created Adam in His image: God is Father, Son and Holy Ghost….we are spirit, soul and body.

He is a Trinity….we are a tri-unity. He made us that we could have fellowship with Him…the greatest joy. (Genesis 1:26, 2:7)

God also gave Adam a help-meet: Eve. Eve was taken out of Adam, from his rib, and formed….she was not formed separately from the dust of the ground as Adam was….she was from Adam.

They were placed in a garden and told to keep it. The animals were brought to Adam to name them….he was given dominion over all the creatures, as God’s vice-governor;…..with one law…..

Adam was not to eat of one…..yes, that is right, just one of the trees of the garden.

All the other trees, he could eat of, but that one.

Genesis 2:16-17 “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:

But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

Why was there any law?

Because God is a God of holiness and beauty….therefore a government of order, even among those He fellowships with, is necessary.

When God breathed into Adam the breath of life (the Holy Spirit), Adam became a living soul….conscious of his feelings, of his thoughts, and of his will….conscious of God and His love and care.

That gift of life, by the Holy Spirit within, brought faith with it….a knowledge of God, Who He was, and His character and government over him and Eve.

Adam was fully grown, intelligent, and had experienced God’s love, care and power. In him all the generations of mankind lay ready to experience supreme happiness…if he would continue in it.

Would Adam continue to believe and trust God?

Though Adam was innocent, without sin at this point,…..still he was changeable.

Would he stay true to God, on the one point of law that God required?

As a tree, would be established…root, trunk, and branches; so Adam, and His dependents, would be established in righteousness forever had he been obedient to this one thing.

And as a tree, Adam and His descendants, would be cut down….if he disobeyed.

We know what happened: Eve was tempted by the devil….he was under a guise of a serpent; and started talking to Eve.

This must have startled her, for no other creature could talk.

(I might add here, she should have immediately turned from him and ran to get Adam, and told him and God what was going on….but she listened. A wile of the devil we still fall into)

Genesis 3:4-6a “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. (Silly, they already knew good, why know evil?)

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise,…”

As she listened….he started to make “sense”. She started to imagine what he was offering….

They would not die, as God had said….but instead (yes, her imagination is getting into full swing)

They would be able to “see”….(the only thing she was seeing was illusion)….

beauty and food (she already had that in every other tree);

We will be as gods……(the idea of bondage in obedience to God came in here…they had absolute freedom, joy and peace with themselves and the creation around them, including animals….but the idea of “something more” dazzled her.)

Now again, I must say….we did not die in Eve. She came from Adam, so it was all up to Adam to say for the human race.

Would he believe God and stay true to Him…..and save himself, and his generations?

Or would he “see” with Eve, and kill himself, Eve, and millions of his children?

Genesis 3:6b-7 “…she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave (offered) also to her husband with her, and he did eat.

And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.”

Naked…their souls, which had been clothed with the goodness and peace of God; became bare before a Holy God.

God, their God,….became God, the Judge. A horrible place to be…so they tried to hide.

Of course they could not hide…..but God, even then, gave them the chance to confess their sin…but instead they continued to try and hide their choice:

Adam blamed God for giving him Eve….(Genesis 3:12)

Eve blamed the devil for tempting her….(Genesis 3:13)

(We are certainly like our father, Adam….we blame God for all the illness, death, and destruction which comes….when it is sin, Adam’s for all; and ours in particular which separates us from God and His blessing for us.)

And the sin just kept getting worse: the second son of Adam and Eve was murdered by the first…and so it continues…

But God did not give up on the human race: He had a plan, which is called the Everlasting Covenant.

Hebrews 13:20-21 “And the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that Great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the Everlasting Covenant,

Make you perfect in every good work to do His Will, working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to Whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

In eternity past God made a way for all mankind to be saved from the sin of Adam….and their personal sin.

1 Corinthians 15:21-22 “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead,

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

Christ Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life….only by Him shall any be saved from their sin. (Matthew 1:21)

He was the Son of God come to earth as the Son of man. He was both man and God in one, and as such was the only man of worth, who could pay the penalty for the sins of the world.

Christ Jesus came, and lived a perfect life…fulfilling all the law, doing all God’s Will, speaking all that the Father wanted Him to.

He gave Himself a perfect sacrifice

(none could have held Him, if He had chosen….but He chose the Father’s Will of sacrifice; unlike Adam who chose his own way. John 18:37, 19:11)

He commended His own Spirit into the Father’s hands….

Luke 23:46 “And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, He said, Father, into Thy hands I commend My Spirit: and having said thus He gave up the ghost.”

None took His life from Him…..even with all the pain and agony……He gave His Father all the payment that God required to free us from condemnation.

Christ’s sacrifice was accepted, for God raised Christ from the dead, and set Him at His right hand….the place of power and authority. (Matthew 28:18,

1 Corinthians 15:27)

Christ rose again by the Father’s power, to give us Eternal Life (Romans 6:23)….which is His life in us, now, and forever…..making us righteous before a Holy God….in Him.

That same power which raised Christ, He works in us, who believe:

Ephesians 1:19-20 “And what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power,

Which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places.”

When we receive Christ Jesus as our Lord and Savior (John 1:12), then…..

God is no longer our Judge…..He becomes to us the Living God,

the God of all grace (1 Peter 5:10),

the God of peace (Phil. 4:9),

our Father in heaven,

the God of patience (Romans15:5),

the God of hope (Romans 15:13),

the God of all comfort (2 Cor. 1:3),…..all this and more…. for His presence by the Holy Spirit teaches us that nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:39).

Now all this is the grand and glorious life we have in Christ Jesus…..our standing in Christ.

But are we obtaining all that His life offers us?

Romans 6:6 “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”

Here is the Way we should go, as servants of our great Lord and Savior, we should not serve sin.

And Christ has placed within us, by His Holy Spirit, the light, the means, and the power to be free from all our personal sin….we can be obedient….and follow Him into real liberty.

Romans 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 (for Christians it is death to our joy, peace and closeness to Christ), or of obedience unto righteousness.”

We are born again to glorify God….to be His lights.

Hopefully, harbor lights to show others the Way,……and not warning lights which say,….serving God is bondage.

(I truly believe any who thinks that serving the Lord is bondage, needs to set things right with God….something is wrong. They are listening to the devil’s wiles, like Eve did)

But the horribleness of our world surrounds us….what are we to do?

I have heard people ask, If God is so good, why do terrible things happen?

God is good,……and in this world, covered in the horribleness of sin, He offers Himself….to save us from it.

He also heals (Spiritually and often physically), comforts, strengthens, and leads us in the right way.

But often there is fear and distress….very real trouble.

Hebrews 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Once we look up, we can breathe again…..God is in charge….

Then…….we are to get up……and get about the work He has called each of us to do…. to do the next step, and the next…

I have been given the illustration of a pebble—not a boulder—but a small pebble thrown into water.

The ripples outward are from the force of the small pebble influencing the water around it.

So are we…..obedience is to be first in me. Christ’s kingdom must reign within me….He must rule…in me.

Matthew 6:10 “Thy kingdom come. Thy Will be done, in earth (me) as it is in heaven.”

Then, the influence of my obedience is in ever widening circles….those of my influence….my church, my home, my job….they should know the power of God,……because they see it in me.

Then it just keeps going….God’s Word spoken, God’s peace noticed, God’s mercy given.

Titus 2:11-14 “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ;

Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

For though we are not here to serve men,……….the Lord, Himself, serves, encourages, helps, strengthens, and ministers to men….through us.

James 1:27 “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless, and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”

Sin is truly the evil God said it is….it brings death: both physical and spiritual—which is separation from God.

It is bondage of a terrible sort….no joy, no peace, no true satisfaction.

“More, more” is the language of sin….there is never enough, for it swallows whole parts of our lives.

Come to Jesus….

Psalms 37:4 “Delight thyself also in the Lord;..”

Those who come to know the Lord, learn that He is a delight, following is a delight, and learn that the way of faith is delightful.

May we all be more saved from our sin….leading us into more joy, and usefulness to God’s great work of love…to Him and others.

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