more than 2,000 times in the Bible. But, even if we did not have the Bible to tell us about it, we would learn to do wrong; lie, steal, and all the rest. We do not have to teach our children to do wrong. Instead, we have to instruct them how to do right. The reason is that all of us have been born into this world with a sinful, human nature. Some would have us pretend that sin is just a joke, that it does not really exist. I John 3:4-5 shows us the reality of iniquity. Sin is more than a state of mind. We cannot rationalize the problem of wrongdoing. Sin is not a disease or a mere misfortune. The Bible is always the supreme court and final authority for our consider ation. Sin is the sum total of man’s transgressions. One of the best defin itions is “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law, for sin is the transgression of the law” (I John 3 :4 ). Sin is lawlessness. It refers not only to the law of Moses, but also to ■all of the standards set by God for His creation in maintaining holiness and order. Another good description is, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). Sin is a departure from God and His divine standards. God placed restric tions in the Garden of Eden. Man went beyond these boundaries. He has been doing the same ever since. He willfully goes right on down the broad way that leads to destruction. We must realize that sin is rebellion and disobedience towards God. The character of sin is revealed in depravity and guilt. There are six ways by which man is definitely de praved. First, because of his inabil ity to hear and see spiritual things, his attention is diverted (Ps. 28:27). Secondly, man is depraved in his everyday walk (Isa. 53:6). It is quite natural to want to go our own way. This shows that we are sinners in need of Jesus Christ. Third, man is depraved in his thinking (Rom. 8:7).
man is still pride and rebellion. Sin is not just outward acts such as ly ing, stealing, cheating or taking the Lord’s name in vain. It is not com mitting some immoral act. Sin goes far deeper than that. All of these things, as bad as they are, are sim ply the outward expression of the inward sinful heart. Jeremiah rightly points out that “The heart is deceit ful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” Sin, in the last analysis, is rebellion of the human heart against the Lord. Men think they can do as they please. The devil is real; he is not a myth but a menace (I Pet. 5:8, 9 ). It is not just enough to’ know that there is a devil. We must know that he has evil plans for us. We must be able to meet this foe with the power of God at work in our lives. While the devil’s power is now limited, he is not to be lightly considered. We are told to put on the whole armour of God (Eph. 6:10-18). Our struggle is not of flesh and blood; it is a battle against principalities and powers; rulers of darkness, and spiritual wick edness in high places. We must not be ignorant of the devil’s schemes. Satan holds in his power all those who do not believe in Jesus Christ ( I I Cor. 4 :4 ). The unbeliever can not understand spiritual things. Spir itual things will bore you if you are not a born-again Christian. At the cross Jesus Christ forever broke the power and dominion of the devil. By faith in the Saviour we can share in His victory. Satan will eventually be cast into the lake of fire and brim stone. He had the opportunity to be one of God’s greatest heavenly help ers and angels. Instead, he rebelled in pride. Do not let the same be true with you. Am I That Bad? How sinful is mankind? Will God really judge him for all his sinful thoughts as well as deeds? The word sin in all of its related forms is found
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