LESSON TEXTS: Mark 7: 8-9, 1 John 5:17
MEMORY VERSE: “All unrighteousness is sin…” (1 John 5:17)
LESSON AIM: To remind the Christian believers of our time of the poor spiritual state in which they live as a result of the prevailing sins in their lives.
BASIC TRUTH: From now on, Christians must live in the strength of the new man, to overcome the sinful desires arising from the sin nature until Christ’s return.
The subject of sin is one of the most misunderstood subjects in striving to walk with God. This is because many times we try to classify sin based on human standards. We also try to recognize sin through our conscience. Sin of our consciences is not in agreement with what God has defined as sin.
Consequently, we should not listen to our conscience, but rather base the standards of sin on God’s commandments and what the scripture says about sin. The Bible tells us that it a sin to disobey God’s commandment. Failing to live by His will is a sin before God, which carries the same weight as not believing the word of God.
God declared that it is a sin to live as the Pharisees, who rejected God’s commandment and put more importance on their own traditional teachings (Mark 7:8-9). More so, every person born into this world is a sinner. Even the most beautiful, innocent-looking baby will inevitably sin , because it is not first sinful action that makes a child a sinner , but rather the child commits sin because he is expressing the sinful nature with which he is born (Ps.51:5).
When we act naturally, as a result of the selfish nature with which we are born, we inevitably sin and displease God (Rom.3:23). We must understand that from birth every one is separated from God, otherwise every man, woman and child would know God naturally. The fall of our first parents transferred this nature to us, but thank God for Jesus who provided us with the opportunity of reconciliation through the new birth (2Cor.5:17).
- What is sin?
According to 1John 5:17, “All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death” (KJV).
Wonderful! This will point to the fact there are different kinds of sin which we will consider as we progress in this study.
All unrighteousness is sin before God, but within the “unrighteousness” there are some that are not punishable by `death and there are some which is a result of human weakness. This does not negate the fact that the wages of sin is death (physical, spiritual and eternal/second death).
“Sin not unto death” would mean sins that do not mark deliberate and persistent rebellion against God. These are the kind of sins every believer finds himself subject to and must resist it.
In Mark 7:8-9, rejecting the commandments of God and embracing the traditions of men is a sin.
“For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like thing ye do. And he said unto them, full well, ye rejected the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition” (KJV).
It is no longer a shocking experience to hear that people of our time substitute modern religious custom for divinely revealed truth. This is evidenced here in the United States of America that most believers have fallen into the error of putting away the revealed truth in the word of God, thereby embracing the societal influenced and censored truth in the word.
Christians are now involved in all kinds of immodest dressing, paintings, and artificial fixtures all in the name of fashion and with embedded notion that God is only interested in your heart. We must return to the modest dressing the Bible prescribed in 1Tim.2:9-10.
It is true that women have a divinely engrafted tendency to look good, but they must avoid extravagant and flamboyant dressing. Women are not to dress immodestly thereby exploiting their feminine charm causing distractions to brethren from worship. They are also not to over dress causing jealousy among the female believers. When we engage in all these, we are disregarding God’s word causing us to live in unrighteousness which is sin.
- Three kinds of sin
The meaning of the word sin and its usage in the O.T gives us a reflection that is confirmed in 1 John 5:17b “sin not unto death”. From the very mouth of God comes the statement that embodies three kinds of sin. King David also affirmed it as he prayed to God when he defiled and married another man’s wife (Bathsheba) and killed the husband (Uriah).
Consider the following scriptures:
Exodus 34:7; “Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation…” (KJV).
Psalm 51:1-5; “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
Against thee, thee only, have I sinned and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightiest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceived me” (KJV).
What is the difference between these words that are often used interchangeably to represent sin or a sinful action?
We will consider the differences in usage from the Hebrew and Greek noun form of the word sin.
- chatta ‘ah (Hebrew) and harmatia (Greek) are noun form of the word that represents SIN. This is basically “missing the mark”, to fall short of the mark. It also means habitual sins of human weakness (Rom.3:23).
- a’von’ (Hebrew) is the word that represents INIQUITY. This means sins of capital crimes, doing wickedly, pervasion and depravity such as murders, idolatry and adultery. It attracts death penalty in the Old Testament era.
- Pesha’(Hebrew) and parabasis (Greek) are noun forms that represent This is the strongest of all because it involves “breaking away from authority”, violation of God’s will or the law of God. It is associated with revolt against God and His government.
However, both transgressions and sin is a result of iniquity potentials being put into action.
CONSIDER THESE IN YOUR HEART:
- All unrighteousness is sin (1John 5:17)
- The unrighteous is a sinner
- The unrighteous (sinner) cannot inherit the kingdom of God (1Cor.6:9)
- The wages of sin is death (Rom.6:23)
- All have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom.3:23)
“Don’t you realize that those who do wrongs will not inherit the kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people-none of these will inherit the kingdom of a God” (1Cor.6:9-10,NLT).
In Mark 7:21-23, there are 12 kinds of sin.
“For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you” (NLT).
FUTHER READINGS: CONSEQUENCIES OF SIN
- It grieves God (Gen.6:5-7).
- It brings guilt (Ps.51:3-4).
- It brings separation from God (Isa.59:1-2).
- It causes spiritual death (Eph.2:1).
- It enslaves (Rom.6:17).