Matthew 6:9-13 - After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom
come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive
our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
The Sermon for this week is: Making Much Of Sin
The center of the Gospel is the death of Christ. Christ died for sin. Therefore, there can be no
Gospel proclamation apart from a biblical treatment of sin. This includes explaining the heinous nature of it and exposing
men as sinners. I am aware that the subject of sin is somewhat out of vogue even in some Evangelical circles; nevertheless,
any honest consideration of Scripture as it relates to contemporary culture will demonstrate that there is still a need to
“make much of sin.” The need for speaking clearly about sin is acute since we live in a generation born in sin
and captivated by it. - Psalms 51:5 - Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother
conceive me. ; Psalms 58:3 - The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as
soon as they be born, speaking lies. We
are a people that drinks down iniquity like water,
(Job 15:16 - How much more abominable
and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water?) and cannot discern our fallen condition anymore than a fish can know that it is wet. Because of
this, we must endeavor to rediscover a biblical view of sin and the sinfulness of man. Our understanding of God and the Gospel
depends upon it.
As stewards of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we do no service to men by making light of sin, skirting
around the issue, or avoiding it altogether. Men only have one problem - They are under the wrath of God because of their
sin. - John 3:36 - He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not
the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. To deny this is to deny one of the most foundational doctrines of Christianity. It is not unloving
to tell men that they are sinners, but it is the grossest form of immorality not to tell them! In fact, God declares that
their blood will be on our hands if we do not warn them of their sin and the coming judgment. - Ezekiel 33:8 - When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou
dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity;
but his blood will I require at thine hand. To seek to preach the Gospel without making sin an issue is like trying to heal the brokenness of a people
superficially, saying, “Peace, peace,” when there is no peace. - Jeremiah 6:14 - They
have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when
there is no peace.
The book of Romans is the closest thing we have to a systematic theology in the Scriptures. In
this letter, the Apostle Paul is setting forth his doctrine before the church in Rome. He seeks to prepare them for his upcoming
visit, and hopes that they will join with him in his missionary endeavors in Spain. Romans 15:23-24 - But now having no more place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come unto you;
Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you: for I trust to see you in my journey, and to be brought on my
way thitherward by you, if first I be somewhat filled with your company. It is extremely important to note that the
first three chapters of this letter, with the exception of a brief introduction, is dedicated to hamartology -
Hamartology is derived from
the Greek words hamartía meaning sin and lógos meaning word or discourse. Hamartology is literally a discourse on sin. – the doctrine
of sin. For three chapters, the apostle labors with all his intellect and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit with one great
purpose – to prove the sinfulness of man and to condemn the entire world!
I have often heard Christians declare that God has not given us a ministry of condemnation and
death, but of righteousness, reconciliation and life.
2nd Corinthians 3:7-9 - But if
the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children
of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory
was to be done away: How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? For if the ministration of condemnation
be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. ; 2nd Corinthians 5:17 - Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
This is very true, but this does not mean that we are not to speak much
about sin, or use the Scriptures to bring men under the conviction of the Holy Spirit regarding their sin. It is true that
there is now no condemnation “in Christ Jesus” Romans 8:1 - There
is therefore now no condemnation to them
which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. - but there is nothing but condemnation apart from Him. Romans 5:18 - Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation;
even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of
life. The Scriptures tell us
that the Law was not given as a means of salvation, but as an instrument for exposing both the vileness of sin – that
sin would be utterly sinful, (Romans 7:13
- Was then that which is good made death
unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment
might become exceeding sinful.) and the sinfulness
of man – that all the world might become accountable to God. - Romans 3:19 - Now
we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and
all the world may become guilty before God. This ministry of the Law should continue to be an essential part of our Gospel proclamation. The “old”
preachers called it the breaking up of fallow ground,
(Jeremiah 4:3 - For thus saith the LORD
to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns. ; Hosea 10:12 - Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.) turning over
rocks, and pulling back curtains. They saw the need to hold men up to the mirror of God’s Law so that they might see
their destitute condition and cry out for mercy. Of course, this is not to be done with a spirit of pride or arrogance, and
we are not to handle people roughly. God has not called us to be a belligerent or offensive people, even though the truth
we preach with all humility may be quite offensive.
The ministry of the Apostle Paul did not have condemnation as it goal, but there is a very real
sense in which he labored to condemn men in the hope that they might recognize their utter moral ruin, and turn to Christ
in repentance and faith. In the book of Romans, Paul first sets out to prove the moral corruption of the entire world, its
hostility toward God, and its absolute refusal to submit to the truth it knows. - Romans 1:18-32 - For
the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made,
even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they
knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their
imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory
of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between
themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is
blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural
use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust
one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error
which was meet. 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 convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication,
wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of
God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers,
without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are
worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
Then he turns his attention to the Jew, and proves that although
uniquely blessed through the gift of special revelation, he is as guilty before God as the Gentile. - Romans 2:1-29 - Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest
another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is
according to truth against them which commit such things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things,
and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance
and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent
heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will
render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and
immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation
and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But
glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect
of persons with God. For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the
law shall be judged by the law; (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but
the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained
in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts,
their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else
excusing one another;) In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel. Behold,
thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God, And knowest his
will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law; And art confident that thou thyself
art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast
the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law. Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou
that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit
adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the
law dishonourest thou God? For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written. For circumcision
verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. Therefore
if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? And shall
not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress
the law? For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which
is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
Finally, he concludes his argument by presenting some of the most direct and offensive accusations found in Scripture against man. - Romans 3:1-18 - What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is
there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God. For what
if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but
every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous
who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man) God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world? For if the truth of God hath
more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner? And not rather,
(as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just.
What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and
Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth,
there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none
that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they
have used deceit; 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 ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear
of God before their eyes.
What is his purpose? He tells us in his closing arguments: Romans 3:19 - Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth
may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
Like Jeremiah before him, Paul was called not only to “build and to plant”, but also
to “pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow” - Jeremiah 1:10 - See,
I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw
down, to build, and to plant. He was, in his own words, “destroying
speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God” - 2nd Corinthians 10:5 - Casting
down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every
thought to the obedience of Christ;.
Under the ministry of the Holy Spirit, and through the Scriptures, Paul endeavored to end the hope of the pagan moralist,
the religious Jew, and everyone in between. He wrote and preached to close the mouths of men so that they would never again
boast in self-righteousness or make excuses for sin. He cut them off from every other hope so that they might turn to Christ
Was the Apostle Paul merely an angry and bitter man with an axe to grind against humanity? No!
He loved humanity to such an extent that his life was poured out like a drink offering on behalf of the Gentiles (Philippians 2:17 - Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy,
and rejoice with you all.),
and he even wished himself accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of his fellow Jew. - Romans 9:3 - For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:
Paul preached against sin for the same reason that
the physician works to diagnose his patient’s illness and is willing to tell him even the worst of news. It is a labor
of love for the salvation of the hearer. Any other response by doctor or preacher would be loveless and immoral.
It may be appropriate at this moment to ask ourselves if our Gospel preaching has such a purpose.
Do we love enough to teach truth, expose sin, and confront our hearers? Do we possess a biblical compassion that tells men
the truth in hope that their hearts might be broken under the weight of their sin and they might look to Christ alone? Are
we willing to risk being misunderstood and maligned in order that truth might be told and men might be saved? There seems
to be a growing conviction even among Evangelicals that contemporary western man is already so psychologically fractured and
burdened with guilt that we dare not press him further lest we crush him. Such a view fails to realize that there is a tremendous
difference between a psychological fracture and biblical repentance leading to life. Modern man has become the feeble character
that he is because he is self-absorbed and living in rebellion against God. He is loaded down with guilt because he is guilty.
He needs God’s Word to expose his sin, and bring him to repentance. Only then will there be a biblical brokenness that
leads to life. God’s dealings with the nation of Israel provide us with wonderful examples of this truth. Through the
prophet Isaiah, He describes Israel’s condition:
Isaiah 1:5-6 - Why
should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the
sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but
wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.
The nation of Israel was as fractured and frail as one could ever imagine, yet God dealt with them
for their own good by pointing out their rebellion and calling them to repentance. He used many “hard words” against
them (Isaiah 1:4 - Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children
that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away
but each was necessary to expose their sin, and turn them from it. - Isaiah 1:18-19 - Come
now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they
be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
Identifying a malady and explaining the seriousness of it is always the first step to a cure. A
man who has no knowledge of his cancer will not seek the aid of medicine, and a man will not flee from a burning house unless
he knows of a fire. To the same degree, a man will not seek salvation until he knows that he is thoroughly lost, and he will
not flee to Christ until he knows that there is no other means of salvation. Men must be told of their sin before they will
acknowledge it; they must be informed of the danger of it before they will flee from it; and they must be convinced that salvation
is found in Christ alone before they will leave behind all their selfrighteous hopes and run to Him. Making much of sin is
no longer a consideration for most of the Evangelical community. There even seems to be a conscious effort to discourage such
preaching as negative and destructive. We seem to balk at exposing the sinner’s sin, and yet this is a primary ministry
of the Holy Spirit:
John 16:8-11 - And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not
on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
According to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit has been sent into the world to convict men
of sin, righteousness, and judgment. Bringing sin to light and pressing the sinner to repentance is one of His primary ministries.
Should not we as ministers of the Gospel have the same goal? Should not our preaching reflect the same work? Is it possible
to evangelize in the power of the Holy Spirit, while refusing to work with the Spirit in this essential ministry? Although
the Holy Spirit is not dependent upon human instruments, God has ordained that men come to conviction of sin, repentance,
and saving faith through preaching. - 1st
Corinthians 1:21 - For after that
in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
Yet how can the Spirit use our preaching if we are not willing expose sin or call men to repentance?
The Scriptures teach us that the sword of the Spirit is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17 - And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of
but if God’s ministers only reluctantly use the sword in convicting men of sin, will it not quench both the person and
ministry of the Holy Spirit? We must not be afraid to follow the Spirit’s example in dealing with sinners. If He deems
it necessary to convict men of sin, we must join Him in this work. Those preachers and churches that have found a “better
way,” have no grounds for hoping that the Spirit of God is working among them to bring men to Christ.
Before we conclude, it is important to make one final note. The greatest reason for making much
of sin is that it exalts the Gospel. The beauty of the stars cannot be seen in the midday sky because they are eclipsed by
the light of the sun. However, when the sun is set and the sky becomes black as pitch, the stars are seen in the full force
of their splendor. So it is with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Its true beauty can only be seen in the backdrop of man’s
sin. The darker man appears, the brighter the Gospel. It seems that men never even notice the beauty of Christ or consider
His worth until they see the heinous nature of their sin and themselves as absolutely destitute of merit. There are countless
testimonies of Christians down through the ages who ever once esteemed Christ
until the day the Holy Spirit came and convicted them of sin, and righteousness, and judgment. It was only after they were
engulfed in the unrelenting darkness of their own sin, that Christ appeared like the morning star and became precious to them.
It is striking that when true believers in Jesus Christ hear a sermon regarding man’s depravity,
they walk out of the church bursting with joy and filled with a new zeal to follow Christ. It is not because they take sin
lightly or find some satisfaction in their former sinful state. Rather, they are filled with joy unspeakable, because in the
greater darkness they saw more of Christ! How we rob men of a greater vision of God, because we will not give them a lower
vision of themselves.
Mark 16:15-16 - And
he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall
be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
Matthew 28:19-20 - Go
ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching
them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.
I truly thank You for giving me the opportunity to present these words to my brethrens. I pray that You will give them Your
eternal blessings and accept them into Your heart - this I pray in the name of Thy Son, Jesus, the Messiah, Your only
begotten son which Ye sent to save mankind from themselves. Ephesians 6:23-24 - Peace be to the brethren, and love
with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.
This sermon is in the Public Domain - Free for all to use with the only requirement: That it never
be used for profit.