I love the old joke about the preacher who decides to paint the building where the congregation gathers. He went and bought all his supplies and began to paint. He got about half way done with the first side and realized he would need a lot more paint than he could afford. So he mixed in some paint thinner to make the paint last. He finished all four sides with paint to spare. That night a bad storm rolled in and heavy rains came. The preacher got up the next day and noticed that his thinned out paint was mostly washed away. It looked terrible so he cried out in prayer asking what to do. He heard a rumbling voice from above that said, "Repaint, and thin no more!"
The Bible says we are all thinners... I mean sinners, as stated in the above verse. When you ask Christians about sin you get a variety of answers. It can be like the old TV show hosted by Bill Cosby, "Kids will say the darnedest things." Let's look at a few verses concerning sin to see what sin is.
How does the Bible define sin? All unrighteousness is sin 1Jn 5:17; sin is a transgression of the Law 1Jn 3:4; and knowing to do right and not doing it is sin Jas 4:17. I always say being a Christian isn't just about avoiding the wrong, but it's also about doing the right. These scriptures tell us that sin is breaking the Law of God, either doing what he forbids or not disobeying what He commands. Adam and Eve were given much and told to avoid little. Yet, they chose to disobey and therefore they sinned. Sin isn't all about how we look at something. It's about how God looks at something. We may feel like ignoring the needy isn't a big deal, but it is in God's eyes!
Sin has its punishment. Adam and Eve found that out. They were warned of sins punishment, but they underestimated what God said. Many are falling victim to the same type of thinking today. Every person must bear the guilt of their own sin. The guilt of sin is never transferred from person to person. The consequences can be, but not the guilt. Today, women suffer the consequence of pain in childbirth from Eve's sin, but not her guilt. A baby who had a drug addicted mother may face the consequences of its mother's sin, but not the guilt. We are all personally accountable for our sin and not what others have done. 2Co 5:10
The Bible clearly says all have sinned. Rom 3:23; Gal 3:22 All are under sin, who can really say they never said something they shouldn't have said, did something they shouldn't have did, or thought something they shouldn't have thought? Who can say they have always said, done, & thought what the Lord has wanted them to do? NOBODY! If they do say that, they just sinned. 1Jn 1:9,10 Remember sin is how God looks at something not how we look at it.
So all have sinned and that is easy to see. This sin in our lives, if left untreated, will destroy us. Now every person will face a physical death. We all will die. The old saying goes, "Only two things are guaranteed, death and taxes." Now the Bible refers to a second death. Rev 2:11 This second death is what we get for untreated sin in our lives. Rom 6:23 This sounds bad, doesn't it? Did you notice in Rev 2:11 the only way to face the second death is to "overcome?" Did you notice in Rom 6:23 that we do not have to face death because God gives us a free gift of eternal life in Jesus? It's true God doesn't want you to experience this second death. Peter says, "...the Lord is not wishing that any should perish but all to come to repentance" in 2Pe 3:9 You see we have the free gift of eternity when we are "in Christ." (See Rom 6:23) We are taught that Jesus came to save the lost in Lk 19:10. Christ freed us from that penalty of the second death when he died in our place on that cross. Isa 53:4-6
Jesus is the savior of all that obey Him. Heb 5:9 Our salvation comes when we are obedient to Christ, not just a mental assertion of who He is and what He can do. I'm reminded of the old hymn that says, "When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word, what a glory He sheds on our way! While we do His good Will, He abides in us still, and with all who will trust and obey. Trust and obey for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey."
You see, when we are trusting in God's promise of eternal life in Jesus, which means we are obeying all He commands, we are separating ourselves from sin. We will be citizens of a new heaven and new earth where we dwell in righteousness. 2Pe 3:13
So we can see today that Jesus saves us from the penalty of sin (Rom 6:23), the practice of sin (Heb 5:9), and the presence of sin (2Pe 3:13). God has done His part in sending Jesus to be our sacrifice. Jesus has done His part in humbling himself to the point of death for us. Have you done your part of submitting to the Lord and His Will. I ask you today are you "in Christ" and ready to receive the free gift of eternity? Are you ready to trust and obey, for there's no other way? Will you obey that gospel call?
WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?
Hear The Word- Rom 10:17; Acts 4:4
We Must Believe or Have Faith- Heb 11:6; Acts 16:31
We Must Repent- Lk 13:3; Acts 17:30
We Must Confess Christ Before Others- Mt 10:32; Acts 8:37
We Must Be Immersed Into Christ (Baptized)- 1Pe 3:21; Mk 16:16; Acts 2:38
We Must Remain Faithful- Rev 2:10; Acts 14:22