The Apostles’ Creed (Part 25)

Who told you that “naughty” was sin? I want to suggest that even as a toddler, without any comprehension about good and bad, sin and holiness, when you did wrong you knew you did wrong to the point where you felt bad about what you did. Before you understood the Biblical Doctrine of sin, depravity, evil and wickedness … before you were aware of a real sinister creature called the “devil”, your inner conscience convicted you of your “wrong” which was sin and you felt bad about it. As you grew and developed, your parents might have taught you the difference between right and wrong, good and bad … and they might even have explained that all wrong is sin in the eyes of God. The point I am making is that from the earliest age, even without the knowledge of sin, we are aware we do wrong because such deeds affect us and make us feel bad. Often we wanted to hide away. This basic principle is true as we progress in age and become aware of naughty as sin. Throughout life, sin affects us and when we do it we feel bad … and this “bad” turns into “guilt” and alto often leads into depression. We are almost done with the Apostles Creed and the last part says …

I believe in the Holy Spirit; Christ’s holy universal church; the fellowship of Christians; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

The Holy Spirit, as the Executive of the Godhead, makes real the Father’s intention for the Church … that it should belong to Jesus, be holy, stretch across the planet to all ethnicities, and be a people in fellowship and partnership with God and each other … but there is more that the Holy Spirit does. So flowing from the introduction we needed to deal with … “I believe in … the forgiveness of sins”.

1) Sin is mankind’s birthright. That might sound awful and terrible but without our permission, we inherit a sinful disposition from our first parent. When Adam sinned, he sinned subsitutionally for us. Just as Jesus’ payment for our sin price was substitutional. His death was for our redemption. In that sense Adam’s sin is our sin. Every human being, male and female are born sinners … even though birthright seems the wrong word … that is what it is … it is an inheritance we cannot refuse.

2) Sin is the problem of all mankind. So many refuse to believe in the concept of sin. Even in the Church of the Lord Jesus, many refuse to accept the Doctrine of Original Sin and the Depravity of Mankind. When this position is taken, the Word of God is not believed and part of the Holy Spirit’s function is to author the Scriptures and convince man of the authority, inerrancy and reliability of God’s Word. It says

Ro 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.Before one can get into the space of Jesus as your substitute, you need to understand that you are a sinner.

3) Sin is offensive towards God. Perhaps we ought to ask the question … “What is sin?” We use this word at times not even thinking what is meant by it.

(1) Often people look at the Acts of the Sinful Nature as listed and think that is the sum of sin.

Gal 5:19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.

I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. This is not the sum of sin. This is a short list, it is not complete … it was directed at the real problems within the society and possibly the Church of the day, which naturally is our issues today too.

(2) Perhaps John’s letter is more helpful.

1Jn 3:4 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. This verse is interesting and helpful because it explains what sin is!

(a) Sin is breaking God’s Law. If one reads through the Bible, cover to cover, you will see that God has many laws and breaking these laws is sin. However the summary of God’s Law may be found in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5, then as said many times, each of God’s commandments have many subsidiary commandments. Together these are known as God’s Moral Law. All these commands cover every possible sin, if not stated, at least by implication. Often we speak about sinning in word, thought and deed … thought sin really goes far deeper than that as sin is a heart matter. One could overlook the attitude, emotions, body language, lusts, intentions, etc. and limiting sin to what we say, thing and do, yet skipping out on what we see and hear and feel.

(b) Sin is lawlessness. Wow! This is implies that when I sin I am lawless. What God intends for us to hear here is that when I sin I behave as though there are not laws … or at least … I live outside any responsibility towards the Law of God. It means I am a free agent without needing to be accountable to anyone. Each one of us ought to consider this, for we sin daily and each time we sin we are saying “I am lawless”. What a motivation to reduce our levels of sin. What an opportunity to make a real effort to strive for greater obedience.

3) Sin draws the anger of God. I said it in a sermon recently … look at Adam being kicked out of the garden. Look at the people of Noah’s time drowning (see the opening verses of Genesis 6). Look at what happened to the people at Babel. Look at what happened to Israel in the Assyrian Exile and Judah in the Babylonian Exile … look at Calvary! Consider the consequences of unforgiven sin.

4) Sin prevents a relationship with God. God refuses to have a relationship with wicked people because sin is offensive to Him. Holiness and sin cannot co-exist!

5) Sin could not be dealt with by mankind. This is the reason for the Incarnation … God coming to save sinners. This is the reason for the Cross and … when

1 Jn 1:7 we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

We believe this and more … we believe

1 Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Dear Lord, thank You for the Blood of the Lord Jesus that through faith in Him and His sacrifice we might be forgiven of all sin and have our guilt removed. Help us to cherish our salvation in Jesus. Amen.

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