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The Purpose of God Concerning Sin

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The Scope of Sin

To begin to comprehend the immeasurable problem that sin has created for mankind, we must first understand the scope of sin. Many people only view sin as the really bad things that people do, like stealing, killing someone, or committing adultery. We excuse our little white lies, and the selfish actions of children, as normal human behavior; or the promiscuity of young people, as just part of growing up. Many sins are passed off as social diseases such as alcoholism, drug addiction, compulsive stealing, or gambling. However, God does not view these minor faults we have in the same light, nor does He sugar coat them as our just being human. The truth is that we are sinners through and through, and everything we do is in some measure tainted by sin. The tentacles of sin have spread themselves into the deep recesses of our being, and we have become blind to their influence upon our lives. Even the so-called good things we do are unclean in the sight of God, because He sees our motives for doing them. Our nature has become so skewed by sins influences, that it is impossible for any person to do that which is good or acceptable to God.

Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Isa 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Rom 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

‘Well then,’ one might ask, ‘what is the purpose behind all the commandments and teachings of the Bible if we cannot obey them?’ The answer is twofold: first, the commandments were given to restrain the evil nature of men; because, although we are sinners through and through, we are not as bad as we can get; and, until the time when God would send His remedy for sin, He instituted the written law to keep man from destroying himself and the world. The second reason for the written laws was to reveal to man his evil condition, that he might be led to seek a means to escape his dire circumstance. When our spiritual eyes are opened, and we view God’s standard of righteousness in the law, we also see our sin and unworthiness before God. Even the prophet Isaiah, who was a preacher of righteousness to Israel, when he saw a vision of the holiness of God, cried out, “woe is me”.

Gal 3:19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.

Gal 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

Rom 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Isa 6:1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.
2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

Specifically then, let us look at our sin problem as it is revealed in the Scriptures, that we might understand and see ourselves as God sees us; and that we might be led to seek the remedy He has provided for us. Before anyone will go to a physician to seek help, they first must have some evidence that something is wrong, and that their physical well being is in danger. Even so, the evidence that we have a sin problem becomes apparent when we view God’s written law found in the Bible, and we become aware that our eternal well being is in grave danger. So apart from the big picture of what sin is, how do we recognize it as affecting our daily lives? What are some of the symptoms of our sin disease?

Sin is our rebellion against God, or against any of His designated authorities, whether it is our parents, or the head of our family, our religious leaders, or civil authorities.

Psa 5:10 Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee.

1Sam 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

Eph 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)
3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

Eph 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

Heb 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

Rom 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

Sin is our being untruthful in any measure, about anything we think, say, or do. It may be we are using deceit to gain some advantage, escape some unpleasant situation, or just telling an outright lie. It may be the breaking of an oath or covenant we have made with God, or a neighbor, or our spouses. Divorce, for any reason, is breaking the vows we made before God and with our marriage partner.

Rom 3:13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:

Exo 20:16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

Mal 2:14 Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.
15 And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.
16 For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.

Deu 23:21 When thou shalt vow a vow unto the LORD thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the LORD thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee.
22 But if thou shalt forbear to vow, it shall be no sin in thee.
23 That which is gone out of thy lips thou shalt keep and perform; even a freewill offering, according as thou hast vowed unto the LORD thy God, which thou hast promised with thy mouth.

Sin is allowing anything to come into our lives that takes the place of God. We are commanded to love the Lord with all of our being; when we allow the world, or any idol to take His place, we sin. When we worship a false god, or we worship the true God in a false way, we sin. When our devotion to Him is phony, or our service for Him is half-hearted, it is also sin.

Deu 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

1 Kin 12:28 Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
29 And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan.
30 And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan.

2 Kin 21:11 Because Manasseh king of Judah hath done these abominations, and hath done wickedly above all that the Amorites did, which were before him, and hath made Judah also to sin with his idols:

Gen 4:3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.
4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

Matt 23:14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.
15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

Matt 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.
27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.
28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

Sin is not loving our neighbor, having a concern for those in need, or helping others when we have the ability to do so. Sin, at its very root, is selfishness. It is satisfying our own desires and lusts with no concern for anyone else.

Lev 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.

Deu 15:7 If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother:
8 But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth.
9 Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the LORD against thee, and it be sin unto thee.
10 Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto.
11 For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.

Prov 3:27 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.
28 Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.
29 Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee.
30 Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.

Sin is our doing anything that we feel condemned about in our heart. If we willfully do something, while believing it is forbidden by God, that in itself is sin. We must either come to the place where we have the assurance that what we do is not sin, or we must abandon doing it. Albeit, there is false guilt and false self-condemnation, but the truth of God’s Word can set us free from such restraints.

Rom 14:22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.
23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

Sin is our living life only for the personal pleasures it gives. When our whole lives are devoted only to what makes us happy, and we ignore the will of God or the happiness of others, we sin.

Heb 11:24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter;
25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;

1 Tim 5:6 But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.

2 Tim 3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

Sin is our giving in to any lust that we know is contrary to God’s commands. We cannot adopt the modern philosophy of “whatsoever feels good, do it.” The feelings and desires that come from our sinful flesh are most often evil. There are good and proper ways to satisfy our sensual desires, but anything outside of what God has ordained is sin.

Jas 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

2 Tim 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

We are guilty of sins that we may not even be aware of committing. The saying “ignorance is no excuse”, certainly applies to God’s laws. The law demands that we fully make ourselves aware of everything it requires us to do. We are not exempt because we choose to live ignorantly of our responsibilities under the law.

Lev 4:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a soul shall sin through ignorance against any of the commandments of the LORD concerning things which ought not to be done, and shall do against any of them:

Lev 5:17 And if a soul sin, and commit any of these things which are forbidden to be done by the commandments of the LORD; though he wist it not, yet is he guilty, and shall bear his iniquity.

Sin is not only our doing those things which are forbidden by the law to do and are contrary to God’s nature, but it can be the neglect of doing those things which are good, and which we are commanded to do. Passiveness and apathy toward God and others are condemned just as much as any act of cruelty. 

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

1 Sam 12:23 Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way:

We sin by having “a proud heart”—thinking more of ourselves and our accomplishments than we should. We can sin by doing the right thing with a proud attitude. The Scripture says that a wicked man sins when he plows his fields, because he does it with a heart of pride and unthankfulness to God.

1 Cor 4:6 And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.
7 For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?

Pro 21:4 An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin.

We can sin just by thinking the wrong thoughts, by contemplating some evil or lustful act in our minds. We can not always avoid bad thoughts or temptations from entering into our minds; but when we begin to dwell upon them, have pleasure in thinking them, or try to think of how we might actually experience them, we sin without any outward act.

Pro 24:9 The thought of foolishness is sin: and the scorner is an abomination to men.

Psa 90:8 Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.

Matt 5:27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

We sin countless times a day by the things we say, the things we don’t say, or saying things with the wrong intention or attitude. Jesus warned that “every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment”. We must speak “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth” with the purest intentions, or it is sin. There are times when we should say nothing, and there are times when saying nothing is sin.

Jas 3:5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:
8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

Psa 39:1 I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.

Psa 51:6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.

Matt 12:36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

We sin by harboring any kind of prejudice in our hearts toward another person. If we treat people differently because of their social status, race, nationality, or any other criteria, we are “convinced of the law as transgressors.”

Jas 2:9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.

1 Tim 5:21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.

We can sin by deliberately offending someone by the things which we do, even if that thing, in itself, is not condemned by the law of God. That is not to say that we must be controlled by how everyone else thinks we should live; but we must consider the importance of what we do in light of offending others.

1 Cor 8:10 For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;
11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?
12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.

We can sin by rejoicing over the troubles of another, even if caused by their own wickedness.

Prov 24:17 Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth:
18 Lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him.

We sin by taking pleasure in seeing, hearing, or reading about the sins of others. We can be a “partaker of other men's sins” by encouraging them or failing to rebuke them.

Rom 1:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

1 Tim 5:22 Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure.

We do not even need to mention, or go into detail about all the sins that society considers to be wrong. We all acknowledge and see the terrible effects of the crimes of those which steal, rape, murder, and destroy others peoples lives and happiness.

Rom 1:29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

Just as the law is infinite in its measure, so there is no depth to the debauchery of sin that we may go. How deep a man, or mankind can go into sin, is controlled only by the restraining hand of God. Just as God destroyed the old world by the flood because of its wickedness, and as He destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by a fire bath because of their perversion, so He intervenes in the lives of nations and of men to control their sinful indulgences.

2 Thess 2:6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
(He who now restraineth will restrain)

Gen 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

Gen 18:20 And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;
21 I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.

Gen 19:24 Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;
25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.

2 Pet 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;
6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;


 

 

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