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Now that we know how the law of God works from the last unit we can finally ask the question, “What happens if, and when, I sin?”
But I want to point something out before we begin to fully address this question. There is only 1 end result of sin. That result is death. The Bible is very clear about this.
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:
1 Corinthians 15:56
56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.
The result of sin has always been death. And, we are all guilty before God. We see in 1 Corinthians 15:56 that sin is like the arm of the executioner. It is empowered by the law, to strike with the blade of death.
Without the law, there would be no strength in the arm of sin. Without death, there would be no justice. But without sin, there would be no need for death, the blade, or any action by the executioner.
Have you noticed that everyone dies? We all fall under the blade of death. This is because we all sin. All of us are therefore guilty before God.
Even if we know the law, and how it works, we are still going to be found guilty of breaking that law. It doesn’t matter how good we try to be. We are all called sinners, because we all commit sin.
9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; 10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? 26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
Obviously, there is a problem. It is impossible for any of us to be saved through our own ability to follow the law! There is no exception to this rule, except for Jesus Himself! We will talk about why Jesus is exempt later.
Why can’t we do it? Why can’t we follow the law and be without sin?
7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. 8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: 9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
We spoke in Unit 2:3 about the difference between the old and the new covenant. You may remember this quote, “But, those who tried to gain salvation by works alone didn’t even have to believe. We didn’t have to be made into a new person. Our heart didn’t have to be pure. And thus, we could never gain salvation, because good works flow from a good heart.”
Without a good heart, we could never keep the law. Why? Because ALL of the law hangs on the one greatest command. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart. From this love flows a love for your neighbor. From this love for God and others comes all the works of the law.
But the problem is that unless we have God within us we do not have that kind of love in us (for God is love). Our love is different. Our love is directed first towards the things of this world. From that kind of love flows all of the works of sin.
1 John 4:7-8
7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
This is why Jesus was able to keep the law. It was because He had the love of God dwelling inside of Him. He had the Spirit of God in Him. On a side note, I think it is important at this point to tell you that even though Jesus was God in the flesh, He was still in the flesh. He was still human, like us.
Just because He was God in the flesh does NOT mean He could not be tempted. He had flesh and that flesh had a choice to obey the temptation or the desire of the spirit. The Bible says Christians have the same choice.
17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
This is the dilemma that Jesus faced. It is also the dilemma that Christians face now. We are often called hypocrites because we do the things we tell others (and ourselves) that we should not do. Of course, this is a false accusation because we do not claim to be immune to temptation or sin ourselves.
But we all face this problem of knowing right from wrong, and somehow we may find ourselves powerless to do right. This is why we hear many people claim that the law of God is a burden that should be done away with. Many people claiming Christ also say this. But the reality is that being righteous is only a burden to those who are not righteous. Being clean is only a burden to those who revel in filth. Christians are NOT powerless. We just don’t USE that power at times. Jesus did, and that is what makes Him exempt from “all have sinned.”
Being unrighteous is a burden to the righteous. It isn’t who they really are. Being filthy is a burden to the clean. Now, the Bible says none are righteous. That is why we need the righteousness of Jesus to be conferred upon us!
So we see 2 different groups of people. One who wants to obey the law because they agree with it, the other wants to do away with the law because it doesn’t agree with them. And guess what, each Christian has a part of them that wants to obey the law, while another part wants to sin. We will talk about that in unit 3.
This is what God said He found fault with in the old covenant. It wasn’t enough to follow the law, we had to become one with the law. Because unless we came into agreement with the law (saying it was good), then we could not walk with it.
3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
God says the law is good and holy. It is His word. Can we walk with Him if we disagree? Amos explains that we can not.
Speaking of that, I also need to let you know that some people claim the law was “given by Moses” but that “grace and truth came by Jesus.”
That IS part of scripture. That does NOT, however, mean the law CAME from Moses. The fact is that the law came from God Himself. That means it ALSO came from Jesus. Since Jesus IS GOD! Moses GAVE the law just as a pizza delivery driver GIVES you pizza. Normally it is the one in the store that actually made it and not the driver. We all know that.
It is because we have our love set first on this world that we can not obey the law as a righteous and holy person. We simply do not have it in us to do so. This is why it is impossible for man to be saved on his own ability.
Now there is something that many people believe in called “original sin.” This is supposed to mean we are born and are immediately seen as a sinner. This is not something that the Bible says. If it were true that all humans are sinners even before they take their first breath then there would be no hope of salvation.
This is because Jesus is 100% God, … but He is also 100% man. To deny this is what the Bible calls the spirit of antichrist. If the doctrine of original sin were true then Jesus would have been born a sinner, because He is 100% man. This would disqualify Him from being the perfect sacrifice.
Now let me make one thing clear. We DO all have the ability to be tempted by sin. But being tempted is not actually sin in itself. And just because we are born with the natural nature to fall into sin when we are tempted, it does not mean we are born sinners.
You have to actually commit a sin before you can become a sinner. But when does temptation become a sin? Is it the moment we act on it? Jesus said that if you have thought it in your heart then you have done it. This is where people get confused and think that just because they were tempted then they have sinned.
Let’s say you are walking down the road and you see someone. Satan says, “Look at that person. Aren’t they sexy?” You can’t help but notice things. You are not blind. BUT noticing something doesn’t mean you are acting on it.
Satan says, “Think about how you can get them.” And here is where you will either fall into the temptation to sin or you will have already decided to ignore this command of his. Jesus said, “Whosoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her in his heart.” Notice that Jesus said TO LUST. In other words, Jesus was saying that when you purposefully begin to act on a thought it becomes more than a temptation.
“Would you like to have them? Think about how you can get them.” Now when you look it isn’t because you can’t help but notice beauty. Now it’s for the purpose of indulging in lust. Now you have already set your heart to sin. Even if you don’t act on it, and thus adding fornication or adultery to the list, you have still lusted after that which is not yours. You have made a choice to sin in your heart.
But a child just being born hasn’t had any purposeful action based on any temptation. So they are without sin until they do.
You may be asking, “Why do they die?” It is because we live in a fallen world which can inflict pain and suffering on the innocent. “But isn’t death the punishment for sin? Why are they being punished?” The truth is that they are not. They will be raised from the dead when it is time because they have no sin. Just as Christians who have been washed in the blood of Jesus also will be raised, since they too now have no sin.
Remember above when I said, “Normally it is the one in the store that actually made it and not the driver. We ALL know that.” You probably didn’t even bat an eye at that word “all.” We don’t “all” know that. But it is common knowledge. Why should the word all used by Paul be different?
Since the subject of original sin is so important at this point in our study, we will talk about it in greater detail in the next unit. We will also explain why the words “all have sinned” do not include those who have just been born. The word “all” isn’t always “all inclusive” if you are talking only about a specific group. It CAN mean “all of THESE” people instead of “all people.”
July 21, 2015 at 7:47 pm | | 6 comments