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Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
There is a burden in life that comes with sin, and that burden is too much to bear alone! Sin is something that must be dealt with because it destroys people and it separates people from the God of all Creation, as the LORD is holy, righteous, just, and true. So what exactly is sin?
In considering what sin is, it is imperative to go to the source of all truth, which is the Word of God (John 14:6), as recorded in the best-selling book of all time, the Bible. Beginning in the Book of Genesis, we find that “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth (Gen. 1:1).” And it is essential to know that everything begins and ends with God. He is Preeminent, which means that He is Sovereign! He is the LORD, and beside Him there is no other!
God made man in his image and likeness. And in that He gave man a free will, but he also gave man certain, distinct, and important boundaries, lines of which should never, ever, be crossed. Boundaries are essential in life, as they keep people from going places where they do not belong. According to the Word of God, one such boundary is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And in that boundary there is a consequence for crossing the line, and that penalty is death. This passage is often referred to as the Covenant of Works.
Genesis 2:16, 17 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
When temptation came to Eve (Adam’s wife) as the result of the serpent’s influence, Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the tree. And as was promised, the result of disobeying the Lord God was certain punishment, the details of which are found in Genesis 3:14-24. The immediate effects were seen in that they knew they were naked and needed to be clothed. And in that nakedness they experienced shame. Adam also found himself making excuses and blaming his wife. The serpent and ground was cursed, Eve, would bare children with much sorrow, Adam, would rule his wife, they were driven out of the Garden of Eden, the significance being that they would no longer walk in the presence of the Lord God, and death was brought to all mankind. Not only does mankind return to the dust in death, the seed of man was also corrupted, which means that the sin nature of man passes from one generation to the next. This account is regarded as the Fall of Man (Original Sin).
And in that is often found an argument as to why is it fair for mankind to suffer as a result of Adam and Eve’s disobedience to the Lord God? The answer will become apparent as we move forward in considering the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We find that sin is not only an act of disobedience in transgressing the commandments of the Lord God, but it is also found in the nature of man. The Apostle Paul describes this reality in the Book of Romans, Chapter 5. He identifies the sin of Adam being a transgression, which is also considered to be an offense.
Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned – Romans 5:17 … by one man’s offence death reigned by one… Romans 5:18 … as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation…Romans 5:19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners…
The ultimate result of that sin is death.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 5:13 But sin is not imputed (Charged to the account of) when there is no law.
This simply means that the law of God is necessary to show us what sin is so that we can know and understand the will of God. If there is no law, there is no chargeable offense. And this is the point at which we look at the Ten Commandments.
The Ten Commandments was given to the nation of Israel who was in a covenant relationship with the Lord God. Here is an abbreviated list of the Ten Commandments, as detailed in Exodus, Chapter 20:
- Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
- Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them
- Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain.
- Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
- Honour thy father and thy mother
- Thou shalt not kill.
- Thou shalt not commit adultery.
- Thou shalt not steal.
- Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
- Thou shalt not covet
In the New Testament, the Ten Commandments are further explained in Matthew 22:37 – 40, which states:
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Wow, what an amazing lesson to be learned about the law of God! Who has not broken one of these laws at one time or another?
We are reminded most every day about the importance of being clean (Sin is something that is unclean). We take baths to remove dirt, grime, and offensive odors. We use the restroom to relieve ourselves from unwanted waste. Many people wash their hands and cook their food before eating. Water is often purified by boiling it to ensure that impurities are removed to prevent illness. People also are known to wash their clothing to make certain that their clothes are clean. Wax is removed from our ears, scales removed from eyes, dried nasal mucus is removed from our noses, hair is routinely cut, and nails are frequently trimmed. These things are common to man and require attention. We too need to be cleansed from our sin!
John the Baptist baptized in the river Jordan and preached the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins during the time of the Lord Jesus Christ on the earth. The confession of sins goes along with purification and cleansing. The baptism of John is symbolic of what the Lord Jesus Christ will do when He baptizes a person with the Holy Spirit when they are born again. Jesus said, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me (Matthew 16:24).
And what a journey one will find when they obey the Lord Jesus Christ. We often get caught up with ourselves and do what we want. Yet it is not until we come to the end of ourselves that we find life. And that life is only found in the Lord Jesus Christ.
There is a consequence for sin. We know that when someone harms us or hurts our family or friends. We often demand justice and want things to be made right. We want criminals to be punished. But do we really know the injustice of our own sin? Just consider the Ten Commandments again and ask yourself how you compare to God’s standard of holiness. The fact is, apart from the Lord Jesus Christ, we are wretched, filthy, rotten, hell-deserving sinners who have broken the law of God. To break even one law is to be guilty of being a law breaker.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God
The Good News is that there is a way of redemption, a way in finding forgiveness of sins. There is a way to make things right, to go on and to sin no more. But that way is straight and narrow. How narrow?
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
There is no other way to eternal life, no other way to Heaven. There is nowhere else to turn. All other roads are dead ends that lead to death.
In this we find the grace and mercy of God. Though it is not seemingly fair that death should come on all mankind as a result of Adam’s transgression, it is the grace of God that Jesus Christ died on the cross of Calvary some two thousand years ago, taking on Himself the just wrath of God in our place, the wrath and punishment that we all deserve. He is regarded as the Lamb of God who is spotless, without blemish, and without sin. He kept every aspect of the law, and yet He offered Himself to die a criminal’s death that we would be reconciled to God through His shed blood which is the only way for sins to be washed away. [Read Isaiah 53]
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
But the story does not end there. On the third day after being buried, God rose Jesus from the grave. He is the firstborn from the dead. At the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, we know that every Word of God is true! He said destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. He said if I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me. At the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ we know that there is hope of salvation, hope of eternal life. We know that death and hell has been defeated. At the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ we know that He is alive!
Why not turn to Him today and repent of your sins? Has He not done enough for us? He did what none other could or would do. He gave His life as a ransom for many. Should we not but follow Him? He is our Savior and soon coming King! He did for us what we could not do for ourselves. Have you been saved? Have you been baptized in the Holy Spirit?
Romans 10:9, 10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Lord Jesus, I find myself as a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe that you died on the Cross for me, that you were buried, and that you rose again on the third day. I ask that you forgive me of my sin and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I ask you to come into my heart and save me, and be the Lord of my life! Amen.