Pastor Erwin Lutzer. A Biblical Perspective of Sin. Judas Iscariot

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1 A A Biblical Perspective of Sin A Biblical Perspective of Sin I. The Problem of Sin a. Judas Iscariot s sin b. The consequence of sin II. God s view of sin a. Question b. Old Testament on Sin c. New Testament on Sin d. What God Hates III. a. Messages & Messengers of Biblical Truth are disqualified b. Sin is diminished c. Sanctification and transformation suffer IV. Good News!! Pastor Erwin Lutzer Judas Iscariot Pastor John Piper says that Judas was guilty of the most spectacular sin ever committed. In Mark 14:21, Jesus says of Judas, It would be better for him if he had not been born. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 6:23 All sins, from the biggest to the smallest, separate people from God. 1

2 Question: Are certain sins more offensive to God than others? "Also the Glory of Israel will not lie or change His mind; for He is not a man that He should change His mind." - Samuel 15:29 "For I am the Lord, I do not change." - Malachi 3:6 "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever." - Hebrews 13:8 The Old Testament The Old Testament lays down three main types of punishment: 1. the death penalty for the gravest public sins against life, religion and the family; 2. cutting-off for grave private sins; 3. and restitution for property offenses. 2

3 (1) The Death Penalty The death penalty is prescribed for a wide range of crimes: premeditated murder (Ex. 21:1 2ff.; Num. 35; Deut. 19); man-stealing (Ex. 21:16; Deut. 24:7); persistent disobedience to authorities and parents (Deut. 17:12; 21:18ff.); adultery (Lev. 20:10; Deut. 22:22); homosexuality (Lev. 20:13); the worst forms of incest (Lev. 20:1ff.); false prophecy (Deut. 13:1f.); profanation of the Sabbath (Num. 15:32ff.); blasphemy (Lev. 24:13ff.); idolatry (Lev. 20:2ff.); magic and divination (Ex. 22:18; cf.). (2) Cutting-off It could be argued that cutting-off means excommunication from the covenant community. But this treatment is reserved for the unclean rather than criminals (Lev. 13:45f.; Num. 5:1-4). The traditional interpretation of cutting-off : it is a threat of direct punishment by God usually in the form of premature death. Since many of the offenses punishable by cuttingoff would only been seen by God, a threat of His judgment would have been the main deterrent. (3) Restitution In cases of theft or misappropriation of property, restitution of the stolen property was demanded. Additional penalties vary with the degree of penitence shown by the thief. If he is penitent, he restores what he has stolen plus a fifth (Lev. 6:5, cf. H5:24). If he is caught with the goods on him, he restores double. If he has already disposed of the goods by sale or other means, he must restore four or fivefold. If a thief cannot pay, he may be taken as a slave by the injured party until he has worked off the debt (22:3; cf.). His slavery would usually be for a maximum of six years (Ex. 21:1f.; Deut. 15:12ff.) or until the year of Jubilee (Lev. 25:39ff.) when all debts are forgiven. The New Testament: As Jesus was speaking to Pilate, Jesus said, The one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin" (John 19:11). For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment. (Hebrews 2:2) They devour widows' houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely. (Mark 12:40) In Matthew 11:20-24 Jesus said that Sodom was more wicked than Capernaum, but, because Sodom did not have the light that Capernaum had, Capernaum would be punished more severely. My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. (James 3:1) (Speaking of false teachers) These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. (2 Peter 2:17) List of Sins God Hates: 1. Homosexual acts (Leviticus 18:22). 2. Bestiality (Leviticus 18:23) 3. Idols, and the materials used to make idols (Deuteronomy 7:25) 4. Blemished sacrifices (Deuteronomy 17:1) 5. Worshipping the sun, moon or stars (Deuteronomy 17:3-4) 6. Divination (Deuteronomy 18:10) 7. Astrology (Deuteronomy 18:10) 8. Enchanters (Deuteronomy 18:10) 9. Witches (Deuteronomy 18:10) 10. Charmers (Deuteronomy 18:11) 11. Wizards (Deuteronomy 18:11) 12. Necromancers (Deuteronomy 18:11) 3

4 13. Transvestitism (Deuteronomy 22:5) 14. The hire of a whore (Deuteronomy 23:18) 15. Remarriage to a former wife after she has been married to another man (Deuteronomy 24:4) 16. Dishonest scales (Deuteronomy 25:13-16) 17. Workers of iniquity (Psalm 5:5) 18. The wicked (Psalm 11:5) 19. Those who love violence (Psalm 11:5) 20. The perverse (Proverbs 3:32) 21. A proud look (Proverbs 6:16-17) 22. A lying tongue (Proverbs 6:17) 23. Hands that shed innocent blood (Proverbs 6:17) 24. A heart that devises wicked imaginations (Proverbs 6:18) 25. Feet that are swift in running to mischief (Proverbs 6:18) 26. A false witness who speaks lies (Proverbs 6:19) 27. Anyone who sows discord among brethren (Proverbs 6:19) 28. Lying lips (Proverbs 12:22) 29. The sacrifices of the wicked (Proverbs 15:8) 30. The ways of the wicked (Proverbs 15:9) 31. The thoughts of the wicked (Proverbs 15:26) 32. The proud in heart (Proverbs 16:5) 33. Those who justify the wicked (Proverbs 17:15) 34. Those who condemn the just (Proverbs 17:15) 35. Vain sacrifices (Isaiah 1:13) 36. Feasts as Israel celebrated them (Isaiah 1:14) 37. Robbery for burnt offering (Isaiah 61:8) 38. Idolatry (Jeremiah 44:2-4) 39. Evil plans against neighbors (Zechariah 8:17) 40. False oaths (Zechariah 8:17) 41. Esau (Malachi 1:1-3; Romans 9:13) 42. Divorce (Malachi 2:14-16) 43. The deeds of the Nicolaitans (Revelation 2:6, 15) 1.) Sin is taken less seriously. Although many people claim that since all sins are equal, they think their sin of pride is as serious as adultery, fornication, and homosexuality, their actions tell a different story. In refusing to respond appropriately to egregious sin, they reveal that they think the objectively greater sins of adultery, fornication, and homosexuality as if they were less serious. Their purported belief in the equivalence of sin results in the trivialization of serious sin. ~IFI s Laurie Higgins 2.) Creates a hurdle to spiritual growth. If we are to be transformed into the likeness of Christ (2 Cor. 3:18), if we are to get an accurate view of the nature and character of God (Isaiah 6), we must understand and view sin the way God sees sin. I say this every time I tell my testimony to churches and groups. All have sinned but unless you know you are sinning how can you repent? Unless you know what the sin is, how you have offended God how do you turn and sin no more? Without the clear declaration of truth there is no truth. ~Greg Quinlan, an ex-gay pro-family advocate 4

5 3.) Messages & Messengers of Biblical Truth are disqualified There is a tendency to believe any sin disqualifies anyone from making moral claims against serious sins. This is a result of making greater sin (adultery, homosexuality) equivalent to lesser sin (pride, anger, anxiety, etc.). Taken to the logical conclusion, this would disqualify anyone from ever preaching a sermon or taking the pulpit. The final consequence of the unbiblical idea that all sins are equal is that it provides a rationalization for not engaging in the critical moral and civic activity of judging between right and wrong in the public square. If, for example, homosexuality is no more serious a sin than pride or sloth, then the burden of opposing the promotion of homosexuality in public schools is diminished. This feeds into the other dominant biblical misunderstanding which is that Christians are not to judge. ~IFI s Laurie Higgins Satan doesn't want us to take sin seriously in our own lives. Satan doesn t want us to grow spiritually. Satan doesn t want us stand up for righteousness and expose wickedness for what it is. In Colossians 2:8 we are warned: Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. We must take sin seriously. We must continue to work out our own salvation. We must oppose evil because it goes against God's character and nature. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade kept in heaven for you. 1 Peter 1:3-4 Jesus satisfied God s wrath against sin 5

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