THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 10-24-04
LESSON TITLE: "FROM HEAVEN OR MEN: MAN AND ORIGINAL SIN"
We are truly excited to have you with us today as we together break the Living Word of God. We are certainly glad that you have chosen this day, to give this time to our Creator - so that together we may Worship and Praise His Holy name!
As we come together this day, it is my hope and prayer that we will each participate and do our part to make this time acceptable before God. As a collective offering of those who love God, and who are willing to submit their own sacrifices before His throne.
So, At this time, as we turn our full attention to the reason we have come together, let's approach our Father's throne in prayer:
As those who love God, it is of the utmost importance that we put God first and obey His Will. In our first song of the day, we are reminded of just who we need to live closest too. So, won't you join in and participate with the congregation at this time as we sing together, "Let Me Live Close To Thee Each Day!"
(SONG # 1)
In all of our lives it seems like we spend a great deal of time on that which is perishing. Just consider the amount of time we spend working and striving to get all of the things which we need and pretty much whatever we want! However, we must not loose sight with the fact that if we become to consumed with acquiring the things of this life, we might well find ourselves missing the most important opportunity of all. That is the promise of eternal life in the end, if we are found faithful to our God in our stewardship of this life!
One verse which really helps us in our thoughts this morning is found in John 6. Here we find Jesus had actually been able to escape the multitudes for a little while, but eventually they found Him and asked Him where He had been. In verse 26, we find Jesus rebuking the people for He knew their hearts and as to why they really were following Him or wanting to be around Him. There we read, "Jesus answered them and said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled." These individuals were following God for all the wrong reasons, and notice that the first and foremost reason was for what they could get or acquire of this life!
Now let's read the next verse, 27. Here we find Jesus helping the people to understand where they really should focus their attentions, as He said, "Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him." Jesus said we must put our main time, effort and hope in that which is eternal in nature and not in those things which are perishing. But the reality is, many of us have this teaching backwards, and we really give more effort and time to the world, as opposed to putting God first and foremost. So what will you place your trust in, what will you put first in your life? May we all make the good, right and proper choice and realize that the only things that really matters, is that which is eternal - God and His Will!
In just a few minutes it will be time to begin our main study of the day. Our topic of study will again focus on whether those things we do in religion are based in that which is, "From Heaven Or Men." Our specific lesson of the morning is entitled, "Man and Original Sin." So please stay with us for this study from God's Word, and I will be leading our thoughts at the appropriate time. Now let's join together in our next song of the morning. The name of this hymn, "Yield Not to Temptation."
(SONG # 2)
Speaker: Ray Sullins
We want to consider again today another doctrine and go to God's Word to find out if the doctrine that we look at together is something that is from man or something that truly is from God. There's a doctrine that is referred to often as original sin and basically its roots are very old in that many religions and many places of time have maybe talked of and maybe tried to promote this type of an idea. What does it say? It basically says that a man is born in sin or a sinner. In other words, because Adam sinned, we all are born as sinners. Now if you look at the context in and of itself, certainly as we will look at together through God's Word, sin is something that everyone is plagued with in the world. However, to say that one is born in sin or a sinner the moment that they breathe their first breath on this earth, that is the question that we have to ask because especially many of us as parents, as grandparents when we hold that new little baby in our hands, it might seem strange to us that somehow this child could be in sin when it is so innocent, so pure, so helpless and so unable to do anything in this life or understand anything and how solely dependent it is on its parent.
I want you to notice with me in God's Word what the Bible says. In the very beginning, in Genesis chapter 1 and verse 26, we find that God as He was creating all that was created, there on the 6th day in verse 26 said, "Let us make man in our own image according to our likeness and we will have him to be in dominion over all things." Here we find two ideas. That God made man. He made man in His likeness, in His own image. The next verse, verse 27 goes on to say that "God did create man and He created him in His own image." Let me ask you a question. If you were to talk about God and what is God like, what are words that come to mind? Pure? Holy? Righteous? Good? Moral? On and on and on we could go about those things that exemplify what God is. God says He made man in His own image. Not a sinner. He made man after His likeness. Not a sinner! Is God a sinner? Is God's sinner or likeness sin? Certainly not! In fact, we know that Adam and Eve were sinless and we know that they did not sin and did not even know the difference between right and wrong in many ways because they had not yet eaten of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And it was later that after eating of this tree that they became, it says, wise and they realized that what they had done was wrong and they had transgressed for the first time in recorded history, man had transgressed the Will of God, sin. Now why did they sin? Because they were born in it? Or because they had done something contrary to God's Will, contrary to what God has set out?
Brethren, we want to look at what the Bible has to say this day about original sin and find out what it is the Bible says about you and I, about our children. Do my children bear my sin? Do my children somehow bear the sins that I have done in my life or do I bear the sins of my parents or do I and my children bear the sins of Adam? Let's find out what the book says there in Ezekiel chapter 18. In fact in Ezekiel chapter 18, the very topic was being dealt with there in verse 20 when there he proclaims this: "The soul who sins shall die." Notice that. The one who sins shall die. The one involved in the sin is the one who dies. We're going to talk about sin in a little bit and find out exactly what it is so that we can understand what it takes to sin. But here the soul that sins... it doesn't stop there. It goes on to say and clarify that the son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon themselves. We find out clearly here that the sinner is guilty of his or her sins because they themselves have done it. We do not inherit the sin of someone else.
Now I think the confusion might sometimes be the fact of consequences. Do we bear consequences now because Adam and Eve sinned? Certainly. We will all die. We will suffer, that is if we are women, in childbirth. We will be those who as men toil and sweat with the labor of our brows to have the ground bring forth food. There are consequences to that sin but we don't actually bear that sin and have to own up for that sin. What about the fact again that I as a father, if I sin, does my child bear that? This writer here, this godly writer inspired of God said no. My son does not bear my sins. Is it possible that that son bears a consequence to my sin? Certainly. Certainly if I were to do something wrong and maybe go out and commit fornication and I cause the family to be broken up and my wife and I divorce, certainly that child is going to bear consequences of my sin, but that child does not bear my sin or does not answer for my sin. Why? Because it says here, "The wicked answer for their sins, the sin of the wicked and the righteous answer for their own righteousness."
I want you however to go with me further into the discussion as we look at this concept of sin because to understand the concept of original sin, I think we need to understand what this sin is all about. Certainly the Bible tells us in Romans 3:23 that "all have sinned." It doesn't leave anybody out. Everyone has sinned. It goes on to say, "...fallen short of God's glory." When we sin, it somehow separates us from God's glory. Isn't that what Isaiah and others have said? That sin or iniquity is that which separates us or pulls us away from God. So when I sin and all have and will sin, it separates me from God. And what's the outcome of sin? Well in Romans 6:23 it says, "the wages of sin is death." You see, when we sin we pull ourselves away from God and if we don't repent, the outcome of that is being away from God, lost, that we die spiritually, that we no longer have the opportunity of blessings and promises in this life.
How again, I ask, can that child who is in my arms, that infant sin? How can that child sin when it says, "all have sinned," but what does it take? Well I think we've got to go further into the scriptures to understand what it takes to sin. I love the way there that the writer there in 1 John 5:17, John proclaims that "all unrighteousness is sin." What does it take to have sin? Unrighteousness. There has to first be unrighteousness for there to be sin. See we begin to open up our eyes and clarify, yes, all have sinned. But why? They have sinned because they have become unrighteous. They have allowed unrighteousness to prevail in their lives and therefore they are seen as those in sin.
I think perhaps James in the New Testament does better than any other author in helping us to understand what sin is, not only in knowing what it's all about, but at what moment we sin, because you and I know we are tempted. The sin is placed before us and our reaction to it then might determine whether we sin or not. But what is the moment that we sin? James there begins in James chapter 1 beginning in verse 13 by saying, "Don't blame God when we sin." Why? Because it says, "let no man say when he is tempted I am tempted of God, for God can not be tempted with evil nor will He tempt any other man." Notice He Himself does not tempt anyone. You see, God does not tempt. He cannot be tempted and He is not the tempter. Satan is. So don't blame God when we are tempted and then when we choose to give in to that temptation. When was the last time you heard somebody blame God for something that happened? Or say if God had only...? Where was God? Why didn't He help me? Don't blame God. God does not tempt you and cause you to desire to sin.
What is it then, James, that causes me to sin? Verse 14 continues, "But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed." What is it then that starts to take me down the path towards sin? My own desires. My own ability to want to be enticed. That's when I'm heading towards sin. Who put those desires there? God did, but those desires are good and wholesome and right in the proper sense. But in the wrong sense, and in an unrighteous sense, our desires can be misused and become sinful. There are many things in life like that. For instance money. Money in and of itself is not evil, but the misuse of it can therefore produce that which is evil. Well the same is true here. The temptation is coming. It is something that is appealing to us because we're drawn toward it and we're enticed but still we have not sinned. James, when have we sinned? Verse 15, "then when desire has conceived it gives birth to sin." When that desire has conceived. When you and I see the temptation coming, we are enticed as it says. We allow that desire then to conceive. We act on the desire. That's when we sin.
Another example that might help us is the one there in Matthew 5 when it talks about how that we might even lust after a woman. When we have looked upon a woman to lust, we have sinned in our heart already. You see the sin is not in finding beauty maybe in the woman, but when we in our heart have desired and allowed that desire to conceive. Not that we've thought about it, but that we've carried our thoughts out. Maybe not even in a physical way, but at least in an emotional way. James here says that "sin comes about when we allow our desires to come to fruition." When we act on those things that we know that we should not and we know that they are contrary to God and therefore, he continues in verse 15 to say, "when our desire has conceived it gives birth to sin and sin, when it is full grown, it brings forth death." You see again as we looked at in Romans, all have sinned. All have an opportunity to sin or to stay away from sin because we can focus on God, but we will sin because we are human. We will sin. But that sin, when our desire is conceived, is brought forth and therefore when that happens, that sin leads us towards death, except we repent. Obviously if we repent, we know the Bible talks about that God will forgive and He will remember those sins no more. Thanks be to God for that promise, but the reality is sin is when one has allowed their own desire to conceive and then acted on that desire and therefore brought forth unrighteousness either in mind, in action, or in word. Now you explain to me how an infant does that. You explain to me how that child that can't even speak yet and doesn't know right or wrong, can't even communicate as of yet, how does it desire and allow itself to be enticed and then the sin to be conceived in it so that it commits unrighteousness and therefore sins? How does that sin bring forth death? You see the reality is that they are not born in sin. We are not born in sin. But sin is a result of an adult making a conscience decision to do that which is contrary to the Will of God because they have been enticed and they allow that desire and that enticement to come to fruition in order that they somehow again transgress and turn away from the Will of God.
I want you to further notice with me what the Bible says about those who are babes or infants. We have those today who even baptize infants. We might just refer to the verse that is found there in 2 Samuel 12 and verse 23 where David talked of his son and his son that had just died, his young boy. He says, "I cannot at this time bring him back, but I will go and I will be with him, with God. Where was it that David knew that this infant boy, this child, had gone? To be with God. Why? Not because he had repented of his sins, because he was innocent. He was already humble. He was already one that the kingdom of God is likened to. Isn't that what Jesus said?
I want you to turn with me to Matthew 19. In Matthew 19 and verse 13, there Jesus was dealing with the very situation as some little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray for them, and the disciples rebuked them and the people, and said, "Get the children away." But Jesus said in verse 14, "Let the little children come to me and do not forbid them for such is as in the kingdom of heaven." If I think about what's in heaven and the what the souls of heaven are like, what do I see? Children.
What about back in the same book, Matthew 18 in the first four verses? He there again in a similar situation sees the disciples arguing and they say, "How do we know who is the greatest, who is the biggest?" and He calls a child among them there and He says to them in verse 3, "Assuredly I say unto you unless you be converted and become as a little child, you will by no means enter the kingdom of God." Then he adds there in the next verse, verse 4, "Therefore whoever humbles himself as a little child, this is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." The one that is innocent and humble and still does not know right from wrong, still is unable to determine those things and discern properly in relationship to fully what is good and what is bad. That child is God's child and such is as is the kingdom of God, that is heaven.
So therefore when we think about sin again, original sin, we know that God has made us like Him. We are not born as sinners, but yet when we grow old enough to contemplate sin, the sad reality is that all will sin because we will allow ourselves to be enticed because of our desires. We will at times allow them to conceive and we will then be headed towards death unless we respond to the glorious promise of God, repentance.
I hope today that if you are found guilty of sin because as an adult you have done that which God said you should not, repent and know that as you repent, He proclaims there to us in His Word, Hebrews chapter 8, that He will not only forgive us of our sins but forget our sins because we have repented of them and turned towards our God. Are you willing to submit fully to the things that God requires through His Word?
(SONG # 3 - "Wonderful Words Of Life!")
Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today. I hope our time together has been an encouragement and blessing to us all. We invite you to join us every First day of the week, at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this time of Worship before God!
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Thanks be to God that He has created us in His own image and in accordance to His own likeness. Furthermore, we thank Him because when we sin, He has provided us a way by which we can be forgiven. Oh, what a loving God we truly serve!