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Why Is Sin Wrong and Harmful?
1. We willingly sin against our knowledge of God. (See whole chapter of Romans 1)
a) We know that God exists, yet wanting to live our lives the way we want we push Him from our thoughts.
Romans 1:18-19 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven (we can see the effects of sin, ex. Death) against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.”
God’s existence has been “clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuses (Romans 1:20).”
b) We cannot plead ignorant of God’s law, because it is written on our hearts. Despite this knowledge, we sin as if we had never been given a law.
Romans 2:15 “They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them”
1John 3:4 “Sin is lawlessness.”
c) We sin even though we know that it invokes our condemnation.
Romans 1:32 “Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.”
2. Sinning against our knowledge of God is an insult to God.
a) All sin is ultimately against God.
Psalm 51:4 “Against you, you only, have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight.”
b) All sin is out of hostility towards God, making you an enemy of God.
Colossians 1:21 “And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds…”
Ephesians 2:3 “…Among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath like the rest of mankind.”
c) Walking in sin is an active forsaking of God.
Jeremiah 2:19 “Know and see that it is evil and bitter for you to forsake the Lord your God; the fear of me is not in you, declares the Lord God of hosts.”
Jeremiah 17:13 “O Lord, the hope of Israel, all who forsake you shall be put to shame; those who turn away from you shall be written in the earth, for they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living water.”
d) Sin shows our lack of appreciation for God, and all that He has granted us.
Deuteronomy 32:18 “You were unmindful of the Rock that bore you, and you forgot the God who gave you birth.”
Romans 1:21 “For although they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks to Him.”
e) Sin is often a preference and love of other things over and above God. Sin is finding satisfaction in places other than God. It is a pursuing of other things, while forgetting about God.
Hosea 2:8,13 “And she did not know that it was I who gave her the grain, the wine, and the oil, and who lavished on her silver and gold, which they used for Baal. And I will punish her for the feast days of the Baals when she burned offerings to them and adorned herself with her ring and jewelry, and went after her lovers and forgot me, declares the Lord.”
Psalm 52:3 “You love evil more than good, and lying more than speaking what is right.”
Jeremiah 2:13 “For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.”
Jeremiah 2:31 “Can a virgin forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet my people have forgotten me days without number.”
f) Sin shows that we find fault with God, and do not trust that His laws and ways are good for us.
Jeremiah 2:4 “What wrong did your fathers find in me that they went far from me, and went after worthlessness, and became worthless.”
Psalm 52:7 “See the man who would not make God his refuge, but trusted in the abundance of his riches and sought refuge in his own destruction!”
Psalm 78:21-22 “Therefore, when the Lord heard, he was full of wrath…because they did not believe in God and did not trust in his saving power.”
3. Sin is hurtful to other people and can make us hurtful creatures.
Matthew 10:17 “But beware of men.”
Here is Jonathon Edward’s comment on this scripture, in which Jesus is addressing his disciples before he sends them out. “What is that that Christ bids them beware of? Why, ‘tis men. They be not wild beasts; they are men. Christ don’t confine himself to a particular sort of men. He don’t say, Beware of the Jews, or beware of men that han’t the light of the Scriptures, or beware of the Gentiles, or beware of thieves and robbers, beware of barbarians, Scithians, and the more barbarous sorts of nations- “But beware of men.”
a) Sinning against other people, is sinning against God who made man in His likeness.
James 3:8-9 “But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.”
b) Sin destroys relationships between people.
Galatians 5:14-15 “For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.”
c) Living in and practicing sin, even in the heart, will lead to more hateful sin. You risk becoming a very injurious person.
2Timothy 3:2-5 “For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.”
4. Sin is hurtful for you, even in this life.
a) If you live in unrepentant sin you will have no lasting relief from your guilty conscience.
Psalm 32:3-4 “For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.”
b) Sin will bring you shame.
Romans 6:21 “But what fruit (benefit) were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed. The end of those things is death.”
c) The pleasure of sin is fleeting, and will always leave you feeling empty.
Hebrews 11:25 Moses was “choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God that to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.”
Job 20:5 “The exulting of the wicked is short, and the joy of the godless but for a moment.”
d) If you persist in sin you will have no peace, particularly not peace with God.
Isaiah 57:21 “There is no peace,” says my God, for the wicked.”
e) You will reap what you sow, to some extent in this life, but even more so in eternity.
Galatians 6:7-8 “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.”
5. All who commit sin are guilty before God, and “the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).”
a) If you die in your sin, you must face the God you have offended.
Hebrews 10:30-31 “For we know him who said, ‘Vengeance is mine: I will repay.” And again, ‘The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
b) He will judge you and deal retribution according to your deeds, and your response to the gospel.
Romans 14:10-11 “For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written, ‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.’ So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.”
Romans 2:5-8 “But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgement will be revealed. He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience and well-doing seeks for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self seeking and do not obey the truth buy obey unrighteousness there will be wrath and fury.”
2 Thessalonians 1:8 says that the Lord Jesus will come “in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.”
c) Sinning will lead to your eternal damnation in a place of everlasting punishment called Hell.
Revelations 21:8 “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death.”
Mark 9:47-48 “And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with to eyes to be thrown into hell, where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.”
My desire is that no one who has taken the time to read this will remain condemned.
John 3:18 “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”
If you have read this, and know in your heart that you do not know Christ in a saving relationship, please take time to read the following gospel presentation I have written.
Maybe during reading this article, the Holy Spirit has impressed upon you that you are not in a right standing with the Lord. You have felt deeply of your need to be forgiven in a saving sense, so that you may be spared the judgement to come and that you may know and love the Lord Jesus. I don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to share the gospel clearly with you. I pray the Lord will guide you to Himself, at the foot of the cross.
Let’s back up and start at your understanding of “goodness.”
Do you consider yourself to be a good person? Not just by your own standards, but by God’s standards. His standards can be found in the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments are also written on our heart and conscience, so that we may know the difference between right and wrong. God has given us these laws because he created us, loves us, and knows what is best for us. He also commands us to obey His commands so that our lives would not dishonour Him. Let’s go through some of them as a test to see if you would be good in God’s eyes. You can answer to yourself.
How many lies do you think you’ve told?
Have you ever stolen anything?
Have you ever used God’s name in blasphemy like “omg” or used Jesus name to curse with? Exodus 20:7 says “The Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His Name in vain.”
I am sure you have never murdered anyone. But the Bible says “Everyone who hates his brother (which just means another person) is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in them (1John 3:15).” Have you ever hated anyone? Have you ever called someone an “idiot?” Jesus says to call someone a fool is to be in danger of the fires of Hell (Matthew 5:22).
The Ten Commandments say that you must not commit adultery, and when Jesus came He said “everyone who looks at a woman (or man) with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matthew 5:20).” Have you ever looked with lust?
We just went through only five of the Ten Commandments. I know that I, in essence, have violated every one of them. What about you? If you stand before God on judgement day will he consider you innocent or guilty?
Many people have several reasons why they think God will still say they are innocent. The most common two ideas I hear, I will address.
Idea 1: “Ok sure I’ve done a lot of bad things, but I think my good will outweigh my bad. Therefore God will let me enter Heaven.”
Imagine that someone has murdered someone close to you. That murderer feels sorry for the bad
thing they did, so they make many efforts to make up for it. When they get to the court they say “Yes Judge, I did murder that innocent person. But I also washed your car, donated blood, gave money to orphans, and helped an old lady cross the road. Therefore I think you should let me go.”
The judge will say that is irrelevant to what the criminal is convicted of! It also insults the judge’s sense of justice. God is a just judge and He will punish sin wherever it is found. He is not a crooked judge who can be bribed by the good deeds with think we have to offer Him.
Therefore God cannot let you into heaven because you think that your good deeds outweigh your bad. The truth is, because God is Holy, He cannot dwell with sinners in Heaven. And for Him to just declare a sinner righteous because of a few good things they think they’ve done, would make God an unjust judge and an abomination to Himself.
Idea 2: “Well I know God will let me into heaven because He is very loving and very forgiving.”
You are correct that God is very loving and very forgiving, but He is also just and full of wrath towards sinners. Just because a judge is kind, doesn’t mean he should by any means let convicted criminals go. That doesn’t work on earth, and even more so, it will not work in Heaven.
The Bible says that “the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23)”, and “the soul who sins shall die (Ezekiel 18:4).” It also warns that “the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death (Revelations 21:8).” So what we earn and deserve for our sin and hostility towards God is eternal death in Hell.
In the same token however God’s heart says “Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord God, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live? (Ezekiel 18:23)”
So then, how has God made eternal life possible?
God knew that it was impossible for us to accomplish the righteousness He requires to enter into eternal life. So “when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons (Galatians 4:4-5).”
Jesus lived a perfect life. He was “tempted as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15).” Jesus Christ came with a mission. As the apostle Paul said “Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost (1Timothy 1:15).” When he was nailed to the cross, he took the terrible punishment that we deserved! Look at these most sorrowful yet wonderful words.
Isaiah 53:5-6,10 “But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
Yes he was crucified by the hands of sinful men, but who ultimately ordained His death? Look at verse 10 and stand in awe: “Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for sin.”
Jesus was willing to save us, not only baring the wrath of man, but much more necessarily He bore the wrath of God for our sin.
2Corinthians 5:21 “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
“What must I do to be saved?” – Acts 16:30
If you are already experiencing sorrow over your sin, and a recognition that all sin is against the Lord, then you are on the right track. If not, cry out to the Lord and pray for Him to break your heart over your sin! Psalm 51:17 “The sacrifices of God are a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”
Upon this conviction, confess your sins to God Almighty. Take your trust off of your own good works, and rid yourself of the notion that you are a good person. Be like the tax collector who “would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying “God be merciful to me, a sinner (Luke 18:13)!”
Place your trust instead in the sacrifice that Jesus made to remove your guilt and your transgressions. Ask Him to wash away your sin, and make you new. Psalm 51:7 “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.”
In John 6:37 Jesus said “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.”
Find a Bible teaching church and get in fellowship with other believers. Don’t let repentance be a “one time thing” but “bear fruit in keeping with repentance (John 3:8).” Jesus Christ is to be “our life (Colossians 3:4).” Read His word. Seek Him. Know Him. He is worthy of your all.
May God be gracious to you, and bless you, and make his face to shine upon you (Psalm 67:1).