Faith Column: Being sinful
January 2, 2015
Timothy 1:15 (NASB), "It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners…"
The most popular Christmas song and the most famous one is White Christmas. White Christmas was written by Irving Berlin and was recorded by Bing Crosby and released in 1942. White Christmas is the best-selling single of all-time selling 50 million copies worldwide. Other versions along with Bing Crosby's version have sold over 100 million copies.
One of the reasons that the song had such instant and continued success was because of the popularity among the armed forces. In 1942, when the song was first released the United States was in the midst of World War II and many young men were overseas, most in tropical climates where there was virtually no chance of a White Christmas. The song touches a melancholy chord with lines like "Just like the ones we used to know" and "where the treetops glisten" resonated strongly with World War II listeners. Armed Forces Radio was flooded with requests for the song. You see those men were seeing not only the ugliness of Christmas, but the ugliness of humanity and the wretchedness and sinfulness of mankind.
At Christmas most of us only think of the beauty of this time of the year. We are surrounded by beautiful gifts, decorations, trees, bright lights, tasty treats, and the warmth of our families. But lurking behind all of that is the reality of Christmas, which is that we desperately need a savior. This is what Christmas is really about: the ugliness of mankind, the wretchedness of our sin, and God's love and mercy in sending His one and only son.
Why do we need a savior? We need a savior because we are sinners and our sin has separated us from God. Romans 3:23 says, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…"
There are four questions that we must face about sin. The first question is: What is sin? The best definition of sin is found in 1 John 3:4, "Sin is lawlessness." Sin is the breaking of God's law, any violation of God's law. It is living as if there were no God and no law, no authority, no standard, just like many people live today and have always wanted to live. It denies the reality of God's law. It says that God is not in charge and cannot put on me any binding rule. Years ago a very wise man told me: "Sin is man's desire to be his own god."
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The second question is: What is the nature of sin? First of all sin is defiling. 1 Kings 8:38 says that the sin of a man's heart is like oozing sores or a deadly plague. Sin pollutes and defiles everything that it touches and sin touches everything. Sin is also defiant; in Leviticus 26:27 it says, "You do not obey Me, but act with hostility against Me." It is defying God. Sin says, "I will do what I will do. I don't care what your claims are of who You are."
Sin is also incurable; there is no human cure for sin. Christmas is this: Jesus came into the world to save sinners. There is no other way, there is no other cure. Sin is the disease cured by only one thing, and that is the blood of Jesus Christ, the divine physician himself.
The next question is: How many does sin affect? The answer is found in Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." In Romans 3:10 it says, "there is none righteous, not even one." Sin entered the world through one man, Adam. And by Adam then came a whole civilization of sinners. Like produces like.
The final question then is: What are the results of sin? Sin overpowers us, it brings us under the dominance of Satan, it makes us the object of God's wrath, and it damns people to hell.
Charles Spurgeon said, "Man is hanging over the mouth of hell by a solitary plank and the plank is rotten." Now why all of this? Because this is why we need a Savior. The beauty of Christmas is that Christ came into the world to save sinners.
Joseph Hart who was an 18th Century English pastor wrote the following:
"Come ye sinners, poor and needy, weak and wounded, sick and sore. Jesus ready stands to save you, full of pity, love and power. He is able. He is able. He is willing. Doubt no more. He is able. He is able. He is willing. Doubt no more. Come ye weary heavy laden, bruised and mangled by the Fall. If you tarry till you're better you will never come at all. Not the righteous, not the righteous, sinners Jesus came to call. Not the righteous, not the righteous, sinners, Jesus came to call."
Tim Adams is the pastor Calvary Baptist Church in Craig.