What Sin Does

17 Mar

* Sin perverts.

To pervert something literally means to twist or distort it. And that is exactly what sin does. One of the Hebrew words for sin is bent. Sin is bent. I think you can imagine in your minds, being young and you are parents save up enough money to give you a bicycle for Christmas. Your brother though comes in when you are not looking and he bends the frame. The wheel instead of going straight, goes sideways.

That’s what sin does to the good gifts God put in this world.

Sin is twisted by nature, it twists and distorts good things into things that are gross, ugly and hurtful.

Take sexual sin as just one example.

God has a great plan for sex, a plan that when followed brings joy and satisfaction. But people sin by taking what God designed for their good and twisting it into something that brings momentary pleasure but lasting harm.

Here’s this great gift from God for our enjoyment but think about all the pain that has come into this world and is constantly coming into this world just because of the way sin has perverted this one gift of God’s.

* Sin empties.

When you choose to sin, you are choosing to do something that is over the long haul doesn’t work. In the long run, sin does not work. That is why when the Old Testament writers saw someone sinning, they would sometimes say he was ‘doing emptiness.’ Sin takes the meaning out of life and replaces it with nothingness. Sinning is like getting into a bathtub filled with water, grabbing the sides, and then trying to lift the bathtub to the ceiling while you are still in it. Sin is banging your head against the wall.

I like how one of my former pastors has put it,

“Sin is hard work. You know, most people go to hell sweating because there’s a furious effort to really consummate as much sin as they possibly can. It produces pain and death and yet people work very hard at sinning successfully. They in their lusts conceive of sin, as James says, and then they work out the fulfillment of the conception. Jeremiah 9, Jeremiah says, “O that my head were waters and my eyes a fountain of tears that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people.” He’s weeping about the sinful people who are being punished by God. He said, “O that I had in the desert a wayfarer’s lodging place that I might leave my people and go from them, for all of them are adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men, they bend their tongue like their bow, lies and not truth prevail in the land for they proceed from evil to evil and they do not know Me, declares the Lord.” They just go from one sin to the next, to the next, to the next. “And everyone be on guard against his neighbor and do not trust any brother because every brother deals craftily, every neighbor goes about as a slanderer, everyone deceives his neighbor and doesn’t speak the truth. They have taught their tongues to speak lies.” Listen to this, verse 5, “They wear themselves out committing iniquity.” They weary themselves committing iniquity. They go to hell sweating. Psalm 7:14, “Behold he travails with wickedness.” They literally are in a relentless, passionate drive to do sin that wearies them. Sin consumes people’s lives and energies.”

* Sin defiles.

Sin is filthy.

That’s why when the Bible talks about being holy, it talks about being clean and when it talks about sinning, it talks about defiling oneself. When someone rolls around in the mud, his body gets dirty and when someone rolls around in sin, his soul gets dirty.

To be as blunt as possible, sin makes us ugly. As someone has said, “Sin is to the soul what rust is to gold, what scars are to a beautiful face, what stain is to white silk cloth. It is ugliness across the face of beauty…Sin is a poison, sinners serpents, sin is called vomits, sinners dogs, sin is called the stench of graves, sinners rotten sepulchers, sin is called mire, sinners pigs. Sin is defiling, degrading. It stamps the devils image on the human soul.”

* Sin makes you dumb.

Sinning is always stupid. Or to use a more biblical term, sinning is always foolish.

That’s why one of the most common names for sin in the Scripture is folly and one of the most common names for the sinner is fool. Every time we break God’s law and every time we fail to do what God desires, we are doing something fundamentally foolish. Whether it is a wrong thought, a wrong word, a wrong action, sin is not only disobedience, sin is dumb.

* Sin hurts.

Sin as Charles Spurgeon used to say, is the world’s worst tyrant.

If someone sat down and wrote the story of all the suffering that people have experienced at the hands of dictators and tyrants throughout the history of the world, it would be too terrible to read but even all the suffering inflicted by evil tyrants could never compare to the suffering men have experienced as a result of their own sin.

Sin does not want to lift us up. Sin wants to bring us down. Sin does not want to help us. Sin wants to destroy us. Sin is warring against us.

The Bible tells us many of the ways sin does that.

It can make a person physically sick.
It brings shame.
It hinders prayer.
It squelches a believer’s desire for the Word.
It hurts the people around us.
It has no mercy, sin. It laughs at our pain and delights in our misery. Sin makes Hitler look good.

* Sin kills.

When sin goes to pick up its paycheck, that paycheck is death. When sin has a baby, the baby is death. Want proof? Look at what sin has done to the world around you.

* Sin produces guilt.

I am not simply talking about feelings of guilt. But, actual guilt.

Legal guilt.

What happens when you break a law?

You are guilty. You are guilty of a crime.

This same principle holds true in God’s world. You break God’s law and you incur guilt. You are under God’s condemnation. There’s a judgment for that. Galatians 3:10 puts it like this, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law.” James explains, “Whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it. For he who said, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ said also, ‘Do not kill.’ If you do not commit adultery but do kill, you have become a transgressor of the law.” (James 2:10-11)

This is why the Bible talks about us being children of wrath. Sin has made us guilty and put us in a place where what we deserve is punishment.

* Sin offends.

Sin is more than doing what we want. It is doing the very opposite of what God wants. It is doing that which God hates. That is why it is so often called an abomination to God. Sin is disgusting to God. To take it a step further, when we sin we are doing what the devil desires God hates sin, Satan loves it. So by sinning we are doing what God hates and what Satan loves.

* Sin attempts to degod God.

If you really want to understand what makes sin so bad, you don’t just look at the action or the attitude, you look at what is underneath the action or attitude. And if you look at what is underneath the sinful action or attitude, you’ll see that it is an attempt or belief by a human being to be their own god.

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