SIN, WHY NOT?

Many of us are familiar with the fact that sin separates us from God and disqualifies us from spending eternity with Him in heaven, but often we arenít quite as aware or concerned about sin, after becoming a Christian. We can tend to treat eternal life as a whole separate issue from the manner in which we conduct ourselves while on earth. However, if you opened up the New Testament at random, the odds would be better that youíd come across scripture that was more applicable to your behavior as opposed to eternal life.

Before we accepted Christís sacrifice for our sin, thereby opening the door to heaven, we were slaves to sin, it was our master. However, Christís death on the cross broke these chains to sin, and made us slaves to righteousness (Romans 6). We can now have abundant life because sin is no longer our master. However, we all still struggle with sin. One reason why we struggle with it, is because we view rules, even Godís rules, as challenges or obstacles to our independence. We sometimes live with the opinion that rules arenít meant for our good, they are meant for us to break. (Example of sign asking people to refrain from spitting on the wall).

Another reason why we struggle to get out from sinís grasp is that it blinds us. The Bible calls sin "deceitful" Ė we canít see or think from a Godly perspective because of it. Sin can have an affect on us similar to how being "in love" can make us irrational. We have all been there, or know somebody who has been there. The presence of the girlfriend or boyfriend in your life gives you this warm fuzzy feeling, you feel like you canít live without them, you think that you are madly in love, and you are ready to plan the next 50 years of your life while based on your feelings after 3 months of dating. Everyone else can see how ridiculous you are acting. There are obvious signs for why the relationship wonít last, but do you listen? Sin can do the same thing to us, it clouds our judgement, it encourages us to seek pleasure or relief, but ignores the warning signs.

Now if I were a good friend of yours or a relative who was trying to get you to see your relationship with your boyfriend or girlfriend from a more rational perspective, Iíd try to point out some reasons why you were about to make the "biggest mistake of your life." Reasons that you might not have thought about before.

Letís change the scenario a little today, and pretend that sin is like your boyfriend or girlfriend, and you are open to hearing some of the reasons why not to sin. I have summarized 7 reasons that the Bible points out for why a Christian shouldnít sin. God commands us not to sin, but we often ask ourselves, "Yeah, but why"? Think of these 7 reasons as a response to that question.

  1. The first reason for choosing not to sin is found when a person comes to a proper recognition of who God is, the position that they occupy before Him, and the understanding of what He has done for us. The first reason is OUT OF REVERENCE FOR WHO HE IS AND LOVE FOR WHAT HE HAS DONE. Specifically the Bible says to "perfect holiness out of reverence" and "to love God by obeying". When a person has accepted Godís gift of salvation through Jesus Christ we are instructed to act worthy of the name that we now carry. II Timothy 2:19 talks about a correlation that exists between confessing that Jesus is your Lord and your commitment to turn from sin. This commitment (or act of worship) is also described as oneís offering of their own body as a living sacrifice to God. After all, you arenít your own anymore, you were bought at a price. Christ paid for you with His life, and you agreed to the terms. In fact, the purpose of your new life in Christ is to be like God in righteousness.
  2. II Corinthians 7:1, 1 John 5:3, II Corinthians 6:19-20, Romans 12:1,2, Ephesians 4:22-24

     

     

     

     

     

  3. While the first reason for why a person should choose not sin is based on oneís position, the second reason has more to do with your relationship with God. Just like sin can permanently separate us from God and heaven prior to becoming a Christian, sin committed afterward can create a division between us and God relationally. The second reason for why not to sin is TO HAVE FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD AND INCREASE YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF HIM. Participating in sin negatively affects your relationship with God. Sin can even be compounded to the point where you actually feel like God is absent and to where you lose the motivation to do anything about it. The Bible uses phrases such as, "Godís face being hidden", "out of His love", "turning from Him", and "grieving the Holy Spirit".
  4. This break-down in the relationship is similar to the saying that I have written in my Bible, "This book will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from this book". The book of Genesis also contains an example of the breakdown that occurs in the relationship between God and man. After Adam and Eve sinned against God by eating the fruit from the tree, they covered themselves with leaves out of embarrassment, they ran and hid from God, and they talked to Him in half-truths.

    How does sin affect our fellowship with God and our knowledge of Him? The presence of sin in our life tends to drive a wedge between God and us because God is perfect and we are not. It is harder to have a good relationship with someone whom you have very little in common. It is similar to a teenager who likes rock and roll and a retired person who likes Beethoven, trying to agree on what concert the 2 of them should attend together. To a certain extent we view ourselves as imperfect, and therefore can intentionally separate ourselves from Him.

    Also, sin tends to breed more sin and can deaden our sensitivity to it. A personís interest in spiritual matters will tend to decline when sin is present. We spend less and less time in Godís Word and in prayer. We drift farther and farther away, no longer seeing life or making decisions concerning our behavior from Godís eyes. The Bible even says that the effectiveness of our prayers declines. This process that occurs here is similar to the picture of a roller coaster that has just crested the first hill on the ride. At first it is moving slowly downhill, but by the time it reaches the bottom it is moving at a high rate of speed and is much more difficult to stop.

    Conversely, the Bible describes how a different kind of cycle can be developed in our life. The Bible teaches us to "obey God in order to know Him", and "knowledge of Him causes obedience". Not sinning contributes to a better relationship with God, and allows us to know Him.

    John 7:17, Ephesians 4:30, Isaiah 59:2, 1 John 2:3, Hebrews 3:12, John 15:10, Psalm 66:18, 1 Peter 3:12

  5. The remaining reasons for why not to sin have more to do with results that you can see. NOT SINNING LEADS TO FRUIT BEARING - righteous characteristics that benefit you and benefit others. The Bible says that the condition for "remaining in Christ" is to obey, and the result is that you will bear fruit. For example, joy results when we are in fellowship with God. Proverbs 29:6 even describes being glad and singing as a result of our righteousness. Peace is also a result of acting according to Godís standard, and having our mind on things that are holy, rather than sinful. Job 11:13-20 clearly describes the security and guiltlessness that results from not sinning. Matthew 6:33 also describes the security that results from seeking God and His righteousness. There can be plenty of satisfaction from fulfilling the purpose of your new life in Christ Ė righteousness.
  6. John 15:5, John 15:11, Philippians 4:8-9, John 16:33

     

     

     

     

     

     

  7. Why not sin? Reason number 4 is TO BE USEABLE BY GOD. There is no greater role that a person can have in life than to be used by God. One of the common denominators between people who are used by God is that they obey. Over and over again in the Bible, people who are humble in spirit and those who relinquish their wants into Godís hands are the ones that God works through. God says that the people He is interested in using are the ones that obey Him, not the ones who just make sacrifices. In the Old Testament, the book of Joshua has some vivid examples of this fact. When Joshua is first given the leadership role for the people of Israel, God is very clear, to succeed, Joshua and the people would need to obey. When the city of Jericho crumbles into ruins, it is a result of the people following the Word of God, instructions that appear to be quite ridiculous. On the other hand, Joshua chapter 7 contains an incident that occurred as a result of disobeying. Some of the people disobeyed God when they stole some of Jerichoís riches for themselves. The very next time that the Israelites went to battle against the city of Ai, they were routed. God tells them they were defeated because of their disobedience, and instructs them to rid themselves of that sinfulness.
  8. In the new Testament, you can use Paulís letters to Timothy as good examples for how a person should behave if they want to be used by God in ministry. II Timothy 2:20-21 describes that a person needs to cleanse themselves from sin if they want to be used for "noble purposes".

    Joshua 1:6-9, Joshua 6:18,19, Joshua 7, 1 Timothy 3

  9. Why not sin? Because GOD PROMISES BLESSING AND REWARDS IN HEAVEN for the good we do. The extent of our reward is dependant upon what type of lifestyle we lead, one of obedience, or one of sin. We will be rewarded by God for our decisions to live righteous lives. James describes how a Christian should listen intently to the word of God, and to do what it says. The person who does this will be blessed.
  10. Colossians 3:22-25, Matthew 16:27, Hebrews 11:24-26, II John 8

  11. To avoid the consequences of sin. The ultimate consequence of sin is death, separation from God. It required the grace and mercy of God through Jesus Christ for us to be spared from that consequence. Even so, we still donít fully escape - we receive eternal life, but our physical body is still going to die. Whether we commit sin before becoming a Christian, or after, whether the sin has been forgiven or not, there are still consequences that result from sin. The sin will also affects us negatively whether or not we get caught.
  12. We all know that there is some amount of pleasure, or relief, or satisfaction that we get when we sin, otherwise we wouldnít do it Ė the Bible uses the phrase, "pleasure for a season". Which means there is pleasure, but it doesnít last. II Peter 3:11 promises that anything that was attained by sinning wonít last, it will be destroyed. So the long term results from sin are bad. Sin has bad consequences in the short term also. In broad terms, sin wages war against your soul. But there are specific things that result as well. The book of Proverbs contains many instructions for sins that should be avoided and the consequences that result it we donít. If I named a particular sin, you could probably identify something bad that would result from it.

    Another consequence we already mentioned was the tendency for sin to breed more sin and the downward spiral that can occur. For example, David sinned with Bathsheba, then he compounded it by having Uriah murdered.

    Finally, Hebrews teaches us that Christians can expect to be disciplined by God to encourage them to turn from sin towards righteousness. Discipline can be painful.

    James 5:19-20, 1 Peter 2:11, Romans 5:12, Hebrews 3:13, Ephesians 5:6, Proverbs 28:14,18, Galatians 6:8, II Peter 3:11, Colossians 3:25.

     

     

  13. Why not sin? BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE WATCHING YOU.

Brothers and sisters in Christ are watching. Your decision to pursue righteousness will be a motivation and encouragement to them. Other people can see the difference that Jesus Christ is making in your life when you are living in submission to Him. Hebrews instructs Christians not to turn from God, but to encourage each other by the way in which we live. In several of Paulís letters, you see that he is encouraged and motivated by the fact that those he is writing to are turning from sin and pursuing righteousness. Pretend you felt you were overweight and were looking for a diet plan to help you out. Which would motivate you more, seeing a commercial of someone who weighs 500 pounds saying you should try their diet plan, or someone who used to weigh 500 pounds, but now weighs 200, saying you should try their diet plan?

Non-believers are watching you also. People canít see God with their eyes, but the Bible says that one of the ways that people see God (figuratively) is when they see your righteousness and good deeds. How does this happen? People were created in the image of God, with eternity set in their hearts (even non-believers). What a non-believer needs is a relationship with God. It is our responsibility to live a life that helps direct others toward what they need (not necessarily to what they think they want). One of the biggest turn offs to Christianity that non-believers have is hypocrisy. If they canít see a difference between them and you, why would they want what you have? As far as they are concerned, they already have it.

1 Thessalonians 1:2-10, Philippians 1:3-6, Hebrews 3:12-13, Hebrews 12:14, 1 Peter 2:12

 

WRAP UP

So there are 7 good reasons why not to sin. But it is one thing to know the reasons, and a quite different thing to choose not to sin. We have to be willing to submit our desires over to what God requires. How do we do this?

  1. Know what sin is Ė read Godís Word and find out.
  1. Need to have an attitude of repentance. Admit your behavior is falling short of Godís character and commit to turn from it.
  2. Develop a lifestyle that discourages sin. Flee from it. Develop a "habit" of being righteous. Start somewhere.
  3. Look for the results of not sinning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SIN, WHY NOT?

1.

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II Corinthians 7:1, 1 John 5:3, II Corinthians 6:19-20, Romans 12:1,2, Ephesians 4:22-24

2.

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John 7:17, Ephesians 4:30, Isaiah 59:2, 1 John 2:3, Hebrews 3:12, John 15:10, Psalm 66:18,

1 Peter 3:12

3.

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John 15:5, John 15:11, Philippians 4:8-9, John 16:33

4.

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Joshua 1:6-9, Joshua 6:18,19, Joshua 7, 1 Timothy 3

5.

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Colossians 3:22-25, Matthew 16:27, Hebrews 11:24-26, II John 8

6.

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James 5:19-20, 1 Peter 2:11, Romans 5:12, Hebrews 3:13, Ephesians 5:6, Proverbs 28:14,18,

Galatians 6:8, II Peter 3:11, Colossians 3:25

7.

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1 Thessalonians 1:2-10, Philippians 1:3-6, Hebrews 3:12-13, Hebrews 12:14, 1 Peter 2:12

 

Check.

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"Sin, Why Not?"

July 4, 1999

Shoreline Community Church

 

Prelude

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Scripture

Song Ė Tere Bauer

Worship

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