1. Hello, listening friends.
2. If you are joining us for the first time,
3. this is the second message in a series on the purpose of Advent.
4. In the last message,
5. we saw that Jesus, the Son of God, came to destroy the works of the devil.
6. We saw that the works of the devil are death, darkness, hatred and lawlessness.
7. Today, we see how Jesus has dealt with sin.
8. The word "sin" expresses all these things that are the works of the devil.
9. For example,
10. death is the wages of sin.
11. Sin is due to darkness.
12. Sin is due to hatred.
13. Sin is due to lawlessness;
14. so, in today’s message, we will see the purpose of Advent as it touches our human needs.
15. The Bible said
16. that Jesus, the Son of God, was manifested to take away sin;
17. but, before we can even talk about taking away sin,
18. we have to understand what sin is all about.
19. Sin is not a very popular word today.
20. We prefer to say that we made mistakes;
21. but sin is more than just making mistakes.
22. Sin is an implicitly aggressive quality.
23. Sin is ruthless.
24. Sin is hurting.
25. Sin is rebellion.
26. Sin has a willful and disloyal quality.
27. In sin, someone is defied.
28. Someone is hurt.
29. Someone is offended,
30. and to ignore sin or gloss over it would be dishonest.
31. The New Testament uses five Greek words for sin.
32. These words portray sin’s various aspects, both passive and active.
33. First, there is a word that can be translated, "missing the mark;"
34. then, there is another word which can be translated, "unrighteousness;"
35. and, then, there is another word which can be translated "evil," or "vicious."
36. There is another word which can be translated "transgression;"
37. and, finally, there is a word which means "lawlessness," or "violation of the law;"
38. but these sins, in the plural, stem from the principle of sin in the singular.
39. The Bible emphasizes that the root of sin is self-centeredness.
40. Every sin is a breach of what Jesus called the first and the greatest commandment,
41. namely, loving God with all your being;
42. so, when we don’t put God first in all things,
43. it means that we have rejected Him
44. and we want to be independent of Him.
45. It means that we have unseated God and placed ourselves in the center;
46. and that’s exactly what Satan tried to do in Heaven.
47. He attempted to unseat God and take His place;
48. and every time we do not put God first in our lives,
49. we are doing the same thing Satan did many years ago.
50. Satan tried to tempt Eve to unseat God,
51. but she failed;
52. and, when she failed, Satan tried to convince Adam;
53. but he, too, failed;
54. and he has been trying to convince men and women in every generation to unseat God from their lives.
55. The consequence for those who try to unseat God from their lives will end up in eternal punishment.
56. My listening friends, please listen carefully to what I’m going to tell you.
57. Sin is not a regrettable lapse from conventional standards.
58. Sin is not okay because everybody else sins.
59. Sin, in its essence, is a hostility toward God.
60. The Bible confirms this in Romans 8:7.
61. Sin is saying to God, “God, I am in charge of my life and no one tells me what to do.”
62. Sin issues an active rebellion against a holy God.
63. Sin is getting rid of God in order to put ourselves in His place.
64. That is sin.
65. You must understand that every sin you commit against another person is a sin against God.
66. Listen to David’s confession in Psalm 51, verse 4:
67. “Against you, and you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight,...”
68. In committing adultery with Bathsheba,
69. and committing murder against Uriah,
70. David did not only commit a serious offense against these individuals and against the nation,
71. he knew that it was God’s law that he had broken,
72. and, thereby, ultimately, he sinned against God.
73. Now, do you understand the gravity of sin?
74. We can now begin to see why Jesus said that He was manifested to take away sin,
75. for John the Baptist kept on baptizing and kept on looking at the same time;
76. and, on one night, he saw a man walking toward him
77. and John the Baptist called out with a loud voice,
78. “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.”
79. Well, some of you may be asking,
80. “Why should our forgiveness of sin depend on Christ’s death?
81. Why does God not simply forgive us without the necessity of the cross?
82. After all, when we sin against each other, we forgive each other, as we are required to do.
83. We do it without being crucified.
84. Why does God make so much fuss about forgiving our sins so that Jesus gets sacrificed?”
85. Some will say, “It is unfair for a sinless Christ to die for my sin.”
86. My friend, when you ask such questions, you are thinking of God like just another human being;
87. but God is not just a private citizen,
88. nor is sin just a personal injury.
89. On the contrary,
90. God is the Maker of these laws that we break
91. and sin is rebellion against Him.
92. The reason Jesus had to die on the cross
93. is because there was an inevitable collision between divine perfection and human rebellion.
94. There was an inevitable collision between God, as He is, and us, as we are.
95. The problem wasn’t just our sin of rebellion against God,
96. but, also, the divine justice and wrath toward that rebellion.
97. Someone may say,
98. “…but you say that God is love. How can He also be wrath and justice?”
99. God indeed is love; yet, His love is holy love -
100. a love which yearns over sinners,
101. while, at the same time, cannot, by His very nature, condone sin.
102. How, then, can God express His holy love?
103. How can He express His love in forgiving sinners without compromising His holiness?
104. How can He express His holiness in judging sinners without frustrating His love?
105. How could God be true to Himself as holy love and confront evil at the same time?
106. God had the answer.
107. We could never provide a solution to this dilemma;
108. only God could.
109. God’s solution was the shedding of His Own blood;
110. and, there at the cross,
111. God Himself, through Christ,
112. paid the full penalty of our disobedience.
113. He bore the judgment we deserve in order to bring us the forgiveness we don’t deserve.
114. On the cross,
115. the divine mercy and justice were equally expressed and eternally reconciled.
116. God’s holy love was satisfied.
117. Let me explain it another way.
118. Habakkuk 1:13 said
119. God’s eyes are too pure to look on evil and He cannot tolerate wrong;
120. that He refused to listen to our prayers;
121. therefore, effectively, our sins separate us from God.
122. His face is hidden from us.
123. and that is why in the Scripture, again and again, we see that no one was able to set eyes on God.
124. All those who were granted even a glimpse of His glory were unable to endure the sight.
125. Moses hid his face because he was afraid to look at God.
126. When Isaiah had a vision of Yahweh exalted and lifted up,
127. he was overwhelmed by a sense of his uncleanliness.
128. When God revealed Himself, personally, to Job,
129. Job’s reaction was to despise himself and repent in dust and ashes.
130. Ezekiel saw only the appearance of the likeness of the glory of God in fire and brilliant light;
131. and Daniel fainted with his face to the ground.
132. Those who were confronted by the Lord Jesus Christ,
133. even during His earthly life, when His glory was veiled,
134. they felt a profound discomfort.
135. Peter told Him to get out of his boat because Peter was a sinful man.
136. John, in the Book of Revelation, fell on his face;
137. and, closely related to God’s holiness, is His wrath.
138. Some of you may think that the God of wrath belongs to the Old Testament,
139. while the God of the New Testament is the God of love.
140. Let me challenge you to read what Jesus said in the Gospels about the fate of those who refuse to submit to His Lordship.
141. God’s holiness and justice go hand in hand.
142. He has provided you a way of escape.
143. He has provided you a way of salvation.
144. He paid dearly to satisfy His holy love.
145. What else can He do?
146. Yet, most people in the world don’t know the true God.
147. They think they know about God,
148. but they really don’t know God personally;
149. and that is why Peter tells us, in 1 Peter, Chapter 1, verse 17,
150. “Since you call on the Father who judges each man impartially, live your lives in reverent fear.”
151. Even some Christians take God’s forgiveness for granted.
152. They sin and numb their conscience by saying, “God will forgive us and everything will be fine.”
153. Well, the problem is, everything is not fine,
154. for God hates evil.
155. God is disgusted and angered by sin.
156. God refuses to come to terms with sin, other than through the cross.
157. Jesus said that He came to take away our sin;
158. so, when you come to Him in repentance and faith,
159. He forgives you.
160. He gives you a new nature.
161. He regenerates you.
162. He takes you from death to life.
163. He takes you from darkness to light;
164. and that is why a true believer can never live a life of habitual sin.
165. It’s against God’s nature,
166. and, therefore, it is against the new nature.
167. To men and women without Jesus, sin is natural.
168. They are not bothered with it;
169. but, when they become a new creation in Christ,
170. they will hate sin, just as God hates sin.
171. My beloved friend, listen carefully.
172. God has provided a way of escape from sin,
173. and the consequences of sin.
174. He who had no sin
175. came to take away our sin.
176. Have you experienced the forgiveness that only Jesus Christ can give you?
177. You can do so today;
178. and, then, write to us and tell us about it.
179. Until next time, I wish you God’s richest blessing.