The Law and Sin –

Sin:  Breaking of the Law

Ezekiel 3:16-21
Jeremiah 16:10-13; Nehemiah 9:28b-34
Psalms 78:1-18
1 John 2:1-11
James 2:1-13

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Ezekiel 3:16-21 (5/30/11)

I am reliably informed that people don’t want to hear about sin.  As my niece’s priest pointed out, that’s odd, because they certainly have no trouble committing sins.

Nevertheless, if your preacher and I (and any other Bible teachers you may have) are doing our jobs, we are occasionally going to be warning you about your sin.  We have several motives for this. It is this final point that we read about today.  Maybe over the next few weeks when you get really, really tired of hearing about sin, you will remember God’s instructions to Ezekiel and cut me a little slack.

Jeremiah 16:10-13; Nehemiah 9:28b-34 (5/31/11)

Assorted wits who feel strongly about their property rights have posted signs saying, “Prayer is the best way to meet the Lord, but Trespassing is faster.”  There are a variety of ways to commit a sin, but (aside from worshipping other gods) trespassing against Gods’ law is without question the fastest and most reliable method.

I imagine God was especially exasperated with whoever asked the questions in Jeremiah 16:10.  They sound like a bunch of kids:  “What?!  Why are you yelling at me?  What did I do?” – this after you have told them 16 times to knock it off! 

Read the book!  The rules are right there, and if you follow them, you will live.  If you don’t, it’s a sin.  Very simple.

Psalms 78:1-18 (6/1/11)

Remember Asaph?  He was an important musician who wrote twelve of the psalms recorded in the Bible.  He worked during the time of David and Solomon, centuries earlier than the prophets Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and Nehemiah, whose works we read from earlier this week.  Like them, he equates breaking God’s law with sin.

1 John 2:1-11 (6/2/11)

John points out that “Love!” is the old commandment, as we saw a couple of weeks back in Deuteronomy and Numbers, and it is the new commandment, as we saw in Matthew.  He reminds us of this “so that we may not sin” by breaking the two great commandments about love.

Most of the instruction in the New Testament focuses on Christian behavior.  John’s books don’t.  John’s attitude is that if Christians love God, love other Christians, and love non-believers, bad behavior will never come up.
James 2:1-13 (6/3/11)

Here’s the view of sin from where human beings sit and look around at each other:
Our view of sin.  Yours is worse than mine, and theirs is worse than ours.
James says that from where God sits and looks down on all of us, the view of sin is more like this:

God's view of sin. All sin is the same.
God’s view of sin is that all sins are the same size, and they are all pretty black.  And by the way, James also says that not keeping God’s commandments is a sin, just like the other Biblical writers we’ve read this week.
More on The Law and Sin

The Law: Given by God
The Law: Civil and Criminal
The Law: Ethics, Morality, and Love
The Law: Written in Our Hearts
Sin: Breaking of the Law
Sin: Apostasy
Sin: Separation and Estrangement
Sin: Unfaithfulness to God is Adultery
The Doctrine of Original Sin
Dead in Sin

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