Program Air Date - 3-21-04



"This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it," Psalms 118:24! Oh, how true these words should be to every follower of God! This is a great day! We should be rejoicing! We must be glad! WHY - We are blessed servants of God able to assemble before His throne on this, the Lord's Day!

I am glad you are with us this morning and thank God you have made the right decision to give this time to your Creator. I look forward to our time spent together today as we sing praises to the Almighty and as we study from His matchless Word! This Morning, I know we will all be edified through our time spent together. So let's all do our part to make this time profitable before God, and furthermore may we use it as a great encouragement one to another!

At this time, let's approach our Father's throne in prayer:


Today we want to again take a moment to acknowledge one of the fine congregations which support this work of Christ. Let me encourage our viewers in the Gainesville, Missouri area to visit with the Smith Chapel Church of Christ.

This congregation provides an opportunity, even this morning, to worship God. Today, their services will begin with Bible classes at 10:30. Immediately after class they will have a worship assembly at 11:15.

So we encourage you to visit with this congregation if you live in their area. If you need any further information about this body of Christ please contact them at (417)679-3927. Their ministers name is, Vic Williams. We again thank these good brethren for helping to make this work of our Lord possible. Well, it is time to join in our first song of the morning. So, won't you participate with the congregation at this time as we sing together, "Holy, Holy, Holy!"

(SONG # 1)


One of the most encouraging things about being a Christian, is the knowledge that our God is always with us. No matter what may come our way, whether trials, tribulations, persecutions or problems of any sort our God is there. However, Job helps us to know something that God will do as He is with us through these difficult times. In Job 23:10 we read, "But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold." Did you hear the promise of our God in this text? God is with us, He knows what we are going through, and because of Him we will come out as gold. You know what that tells me? Everything is going to be ok with God on our side. But better than that, everything is going to be great and for our betterment!

Remember what Paul said in Romans 8:28? "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." I hope you are a true follow of God this day, because as you can see it is well worth it. If you are not yet His child, study His Word, obey His will and do what He has commanded in order to be a part of His Kingdom! Will you obey the Savior today?

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, "Important Doctrines of God." Our specific lesson of the morning is entitled, "The Doctrine of Sin."

As far as our speaker this morning, we are happy to have brother Jim Poland with us. Brother Poland is the minister for the Bona Church of Christ and we look forward to him guiding us in our lesson thoughts of the day. So please stay with for this study from God's Word. Now let's join together in our next song of the morning. The name of this hymn, "How Sweet, How Heavenly."

(SONG # 2)


Speaker: Jim Poland

Thank you for tuning in today. It's a privilege to be into your home.

We've been talking about some doctrines. The doctrine is just teaching. The doctrine of Christ is singular in it's overall view. But within it are many different topics, such as the doctrine of sin, the doctrine of justification, the doctrine of sanctification or consecration, the doctrine of salvation, organization or structure of the church, or the faith that was once and for all delivered to the saints. The topic for today that has been assigned to me is the doctrine of sin. There's a great deal in the scriptures about that.

We're going to look simply at what the Bible says concerning sin. Everyone has a sense of right and wrong and has some kind of an idea about what is sin, and what isn't. A Biblical word that is most used for sin is a word that in it's original form means to miss or to miss the mark. To hit the mark is right. To miss the mark is sin. But what mark? Who determines what sin is? How can we know what it is and what is right? Is it just a matter of how one feels or how one sees it? Is there just a slide rule of differences for different people and different rules and different cultures and different circumstances? This is much the way the world views what sin might be in mankind. But what is sin in God's sight? Will He vary or does He have a standard, a doctrine that states what sin is and what it is not? Or are we just left to figure this out on our own, from our own wisdom or from the wisdom of someone who supposedly has more knowledge and spiritual superiority? The Lord has not left us to wonder. He has revealed the doctrine of sin in His Word.

Jesus came to save man from sin. It therefore must be serious and identifiable. Sin separates man from God. It therefore is a matter that we cannot worship Him and serve Him in harmony and salvation if sin is practiced in our lives. Therefore to be a child of God, sin must be recognized and taken away and forgiven. Identification of sin is what diagnosis is to finding a cure.

Two things I want us to look at today: Sins' beginning and how far reaching it is.

Sins' beginning goes back to the book of beginnings, Genesis chapters 1, 2, and 3. God's mark for us is that we be in His image, we obey His Will and we serve Him in loving service to Him and His creation. In the creation account, at the pinnacle of the creation, it says in Genesis 1, "God said let us make man in our image according to our likeness." The next verse, "God created man in His own image. In the image of God, He created male and female. He created them." Then on the end of that sixth day, He said in verse 31, "Indeed everything is very good." (sentence inaudible) But it was very good from the very beginning.

God has given us some great privileges and responsibilities. The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and keep it. Meaningful existence in work. The He said in command to the man saying, "Of the trees of the garden you may freely eat, but of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it, you shall surely die."

We know in Genesis chapter 3 that Satan took on the form of a serpent and he beguiled Eve. He is a deceiver and he is a liar and he just plainly contradicted God. "You shall not surely die, for God knows that the day that you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God knowing good and evil." So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her and he ate.

Sin did not begin in poverty. That didn't cause it. It didn't begin in distorted wealth and the temptations that come with that. It began in paradise where everything was just right, everything was perfect. Therefore, it is not a cultural condition, but it's a heart condition of the spirit of man. It is deciding right and wrong from the senses of man. No, it was not an apple. We don't know what the fruit just looked like, but we are plainly told it was the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. That's what they were after. They decided that they could determine right and what was wrong and what was sin by what satisfied their appetites, good for food. What was desirable for them to look at, pleasant to their eyes and most of all what would make them wise above what their Creator had given them. So man stepped out on his own in sin because he decided that he could decide what was right or wrong from within himself. Adam and Eve thought they would take over and things would be very good and they would be very distinguished, but they lost their dignity. They lost their rewarding life in the garden on earth, but most of all they lost their covenant, loving relationship with God, their Father, their Creator and lover of all mankind.

Well did Isaiah say, "Behold the Lord's hand is not shortened that He cannot save, nor His ear heavy that He cannot hear, but your iniquities have separated between you and your God and your sins have hit in His face from you that He will not hear." This is spiritual death, separation from God. When man rejects God's Word and adds to it, he misses the mark of God's glory. He misses the mark of God's truth. He misses the mark of God's righteousness. When man thinks that he can discern what is right or wrong from within his own sense of ethics, he has eaten of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam and Eve had many sons and daughters. He is left with what he can see and test with his senses and that will miss God's mark every time in sin. Man can role play and he can sincerely feel that he has determined right and wrong and improve his commission and position in many ways, but he will never arrive at the Holy Spirit inspired complete and authoritative Word of God, the eternal truth.

Well how far reaching is sin? Romans chapter 1, verse 18 and through chapter 3, verse 20 gives us a very detailed account of the doctrine of sin. No one is exempt if they live long enough to understand good and evil. Well did the prophet Ezekiel say in chapter 18 and verse 20, "The soul who sins shall die. 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 himself. Each will answer for his own idea of what right and wrong is."

The Roman writer was inspired of the Holy Spirit to sum it up like this in Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."

So man's number 1 problem is sin, not the ecology, not the economy, but it's sin and sin is found in unbelief. Jesus said, "Unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sin," John 8:24.

"Whatever is not of faith is sin," Romans 14:23, "And you know that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God."

Sin is found sometimes in not what we do, but in what we should do. James 4:17, "We know to do good and do it not, it is sin."

Then it is also found in those lists of things that are immoral in the scriptures: Romans chapter 1, Galatians chapter 5 and other places. So the world of man trying to determine right or wrong, sin from what is right, and he may call adultery an "affair," he may call homosexuality "gay," or living together unmarried in fornication, he may say that's just a "significant other," but these are all products of not hearing the Word of God for good and evil. They all have their roots in unbelief which inexcusable to mankind.

In Romans chapter 1, verse 18 through 20 it says, "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and all unrighteousness of man who suppress the truth in unrighteousness because what may be known of God is manifest of them for God has sent it to them, for since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made even His eternal power and godhead so that they are without excuse." When man looks at the creation that the Creator has brought about, they see something other than God the Creator and His Will, he's going to miss the mark.

There are inevitable results of this unbelief. And the inevitable results of unbelief is sin. Going on in Romans chapter 1 and verse 21, first of all we find that it brings about a degradation of religion because they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, became futile in their thoughts and their foolish hearts were darkened. You see man is going to worship something, but if his worship has to meet man's approval, it becomes futile.

Another thing that comes as a result of unbelief is the corruption of intelligence. Romans 1:22 says, "Professing to be wise they became fools." Adam was wise. Adam could name every animal, and even realize that he was not just an animal and he needed someone that he could compare to and to be comparable to him and God created Eve. Adam was wise and very intelligent, but sin made him a fool to the point that he even thought that he could hide from God and everything that happens it debases deity. It puts down God. We misunderstand who God is and we (inaudible). Romans 1 and 23, "And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man and to birds and four-footed animals and creeping things."

Man through the ages have made Pharaoh of Egypt God and all the other gods that they worship. There is the Apollo of Greece. There is the Eagle of Rome. There was the Bull of India. There was the Serpent of Assyria. Then we have the dollar of America and the Hedonism of the world and we worship man.

We find that underneath also loses God's influence and leads us into immorality. We read from Romans chapter 1 and verse 24 and following, "Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness in the lust of their hearts to dishonor their bodies among themselves: who changed the truth of God for the lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile affections for even their women did change the natural use unto that which is against nature. Likewise also the men leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men, committing what is shameful and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which is due. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting. Being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness, they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, and inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning and untrustworthy unloving and unforgiving, knowing that the righteousness judgment of God, are upon those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them."

They lose God's influence and practice immorality. They really miss the mark of what they are really created to do. Man may try to dignify sin and make light of sin and make a joke of it, but God tells us how really horribly horrible sin is in His sight and you read about that in Romans chapter 3, verses 9-20. It is not a pretty picture that He brings forth. "There is none righteous, no not one. There is none that seeketh after God." Oh there's a lot of people that seek for God. The key here is whether we seek after God according to His way. He says, "Their is an open tomb and their tongue is (inaudible) or they practice deceit and the poison of asps is under their lips whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood. Destruction and misery are in their way and the way of peace it is not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes." What a wasted life.

I read of a man in Canada who took an old hand-me-down Colt 45 and went into a bank and he robbed that bank and received $6,000. Later the police arrested him and they rescued all the money and they also took his pistol from him and as they looked at this pistol, they realized that the very instrument that he used to gain $6,000 was an antique pistol that was worth nearly $100,000. He had no need of doing that. But we do that many times. We take a soul that Jesus said is "worth more than this whole world," and we use it to gain the things that are temporary. We misuse it and we miss the mark to live in sin and we gain those things that will just appeal to the eye, appeal to the flesh and appeal to pride.

So sin is to miss the mark of God's image, miss the mark and all mankind have missed it. On a positive note however, Jesus Christ came to restore it in His name alone.

Thank you.

(SONG # 3 - "Let The Beauty of Jesus!")


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!

But for now, let me ask if you have any questions or comments about today's lesson? Maybe, you would like a free transcript or a cassette tape of this program? Possibly, we could assist you with free Bible materials or correspondence courses? No matter what your need is, please contact us at the following address:

The Living Word 2540 N. Kansas Expressway Springfield, Mo. 65803

Many of these items are also available on our web page. That address:

Or if you prefer, you may call us at: (417)869-2284

How thankful we should be that the Bible clearly teaches us about sin, so that we may turn away from that which is wrong - toward the marvelous light of our Savior Jesus Christ.

(Program closing)