Are you a sinner? A sinner is one who commits sin. But what does the word “sin” mean? We need to understand the meaning of the word sin before we can answer the question, “Are you a sinner?”
1 John 3:4 – “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.”
How does God define sin? God defines sin as transgressing God’s Law which means that you sin when you disobey Him.
Example 1. In Exodus 20:4-5, God says,
“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image… thou shalt not bow down thyself to them”
Have you ever bowed to an idol? Every time it happened, you disobeyed God. You transgressed God’s Law. You committed sin.
Example 2. In Exodus 20:12, God says,
“Honour thy father and mother”
You honor your parents when you obey them. You dishonor them when you do not obey them or when you sass back to them.
Have you always obeyed your parents in everything they told you? Maybe they told you to clean your room, take out the garbage, or wash the dishes and you did not do it. That is disobedience. That is dishonoring your parents.
If we are honest, we have all disobeyed our parents at some point in our life. Every time it happened, you disobeyed God. You transgressed God’s Law. You committed sin.
Example 3. In Exodus 20:13, God says,
“Thou shalt not kill”
Jesus said that if you have ever been angry with another person, you have murdered them in your heart (Matthew 5:22). Have you ever been angry with someone else? Every time you have been angry with someone else, you disobeyed God. You transgressed God’s Law. You committed sin.
Example 4. In Exodus 20:14, God says,
“Thou shalt not commit adultery”
Jesus said that if ever you have looked on someone else with sexual desire who is not your spouse, then you have committed adultery in the heart (Matthew 5:28).
Have you ever looked on someone else with sexual desire who is not your spouse? Every time you did, you disobeyed God. You transgressed God’s Law. You committed sin.
Example 5. In Exodus 20:16, God says,
“Thou shalt not bear false witness”
Have you ever told a lie? Of course, you have. Every person has told a lie. It does not matter if your culture says it is o.k., God says do not lie. Every time you have lied, you disobeyed God. You transgressed God’s Law. You committed sin.
If you have ever bowed to an idol, disobeyed your parents, been angry with someone else, looked on another person with sexual desire who is not your spouse, or told a lie, even one time, then you are guilty of breaking God’s Law, which means you are a sinner.
If God were to judge you just based on these few commandments, would you be guilty or innocent? If honest, every person would admit that they are guilty of breaking God’s law and therefore a sinner.
Romans 3:23 – “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”
According to this verse, who has sinned? Every person has sinned. Every person includes me. Every person includes you. There is no one who is righteous in God’s eyes.
According to this verse, who has every person has come short of? God. Does man’s sin lead him to God in Heaven or to Hell? Sin is leading man to death in Hell.
It is very important for you to realize that your sin is leading you to Hell. Praise God that He made a way for you to come into a right relationship with Him but coming into a right relationship with God starts with you admitting to God that you are a hell-deserving sinner.
Questions for Key Truth #13
1. According to 1 John 3:4, how does God define sin?
2. According to Exodus 20:4-5, every time you have ever bowed to an idol, you committed sin. True or False
3. According to Exodus 20:12, every time you disobeyed your parents, you committed sin. True or False
4. According to Jesus Christ, every time you have been angry with someone else, you have committed sin. True or False
5. According to Jesus Christ, every time you looked on someone else with sexual desire who is not your spouse, you have committed sin. True or False
6. According to Exodus 20:16, every time you have told a lie, you have committed a sin. True or False
7. If you have ever committed any of these, then you are guilty of breaking God’s Law. Are you guilty of breaking God’s Law? Yes or No
8. According to Romans 3:23, are you a sinner? Yes or No
9. Does your sin lead you to death in Hell or to life in Heaven?
The gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ died for your sins, He was buried and the third day He rose from the dead. However, just because of what Jesus did for you does not mean that you will automatically go to Heaven.
As we already studied, the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ. As with any gift, it does not become ours until we receive it. So, there is a response that God expects of us. What is that response?
Mark 1:15 – “And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”
Jesus said that man’s response to the gospel is two things, what are they? It is repentance and faith. We will first study repentance and then faith in the next lesson.
Luke 13:3 – “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”
What did Jesus say would happen if you do not repent? Jesus said if you did not repent then you will perish meaning go to hell. You cannot go to Heaven without true repentance. That is why it is so important to understand the meaning of repentance. What does it mean? The Bible defines it in,
Matthew 21:28-29 – “28But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. 29He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.”
How did the son answer his father? He said, “I will not go”. But then the Bible says he repented. What was the result? The son went. So, repentance means a change of mind resulting in a change of action.
In salvation, repentance is a surrender to God; a change of mind about your sin that shows in turning away from sin and turning to God which results in a changed life.
Most people believe they are a good person and do not deserve to go to Hell. Repentance starts with admitting that you are a hell-deserving sinner. When you see the seriousness of your sin then it causes you to feel deeply sorry because you know you sinned against God. The Bible calls this godly sorrow.
2 Corinthians 7:10 – “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation…”
Is godly sorrow the same as repentance? No, being deeply sorry is not repentance, but it leads to true repentance and a desire to turn away from sin. We find an example of this in 1 Thessalonians 1:9.
1 Thessalonians 1:9 – “…and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God”
An idol is more than just an object that you worship. Anything that is more important than God is an idol in your heart.
For some people, education is more important than God. For some, money is more important than God. For some, a position, a job, or maybe a boyfriend or a girlfriend is more important than God. Some people have the idol of drunkenness or drugs in their life. For some people, their false religion is more important than God.
True repentance is seen in turning away from these sins and turning to God. You surrender to God. You change your mind and say in your heart, “I don’t want this sin to be a part of my life anymore”. It results in a change of action. Now you want to follow God and obey Him.
If you profess to be a Christian but have been struggling to live the Christian life, examine your heart, maybe you did not repent.
If there was no repentance, then you are not a true Christian, but still on the road that leads to Hell.
Questions for Key Point #14
10. According to Mark 1:15, Jesus said that man’s response to the gospel is two things, what are they?
11. In Luke 13:3, what did Jesus say would happen if you do not repent?
12. In Matthew 21:28-29, what did the son say to his father?
13. Then, according to this verse, then son said he would not go, but the afterward he ____________.
14. What was the result of his repentance?
15. Repentance is a change of __________ about your sin that shows in turning away from _______ and turning to ________ that results in a changed life.
16. According to 2 Corinthians 7:10, feeling deeply sorry for your sin is not repentance but leads to ______________.
17. An idol in your heart is anything that is more important than ________.
18. True repentance is turning away from _______ and turning to ________.
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