*Textual Tuesdays will study an excerpt of the Bible or a biblical topic.
The following is an outline of a sermon I presented on Sunday. I hope it's uplifting and encouraging and convicting for you.
The format was actually a lot of fun. I asked our teens a question on Facebook: "What questions do you have about sin?" And they really came through! So the points of my lesson were based on their questions...
"If you sin, but fail to ask forgiveness, does God hold that against you?"
You've probably heard this question before. If I sin while dying (like curse while I wreck into a tree) will I be forgiven?
Heb. 7:26-27 tells us that Christ offered himself as a sacrifice ONCE FOR ALL.
This phrase is used five times in the book of Hebrews! We need to start believing that Christ died, and his death (once we accept it) took care of our sins! We cannot drive ourselves crazy keeping a checklist of the sins we fail to repent of.
Heb. 10:19-23 tells us that we can have "full assurance" and our hearts should be "cleansed of a guilty conscience."
You were not meant to live in guilt if you have given your life to following God.
"Does God punish other people for my sin?"
I used to wonder about this question. There are verses that talk about God punishing the sins of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation. I believe this is talking more of natural consequences than punishment. Here's why:
"Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their fathers; each is to die for his own sin." (Deut. 24:16)
Others may suffer the CONSEQUENCES of your sin (e.g. drinking and driving) but YOU are responsible to God for your own sin. PLEASE don't think that God punished someone else because of YOU!
"Is there a sin so bad that God cannot forgive it?"
Jesus says in Matt. 12:31 that "blasphemy of the Holy Spirit" is the only unforgivable sin. But even this is open for interpretation.
Does that mean you cannot get angry at God or yell at Him? (What about the Psalms?)
Does it mean that you cannot run away from God? (What about Jonah?)
Does it mean that you can't ever be against God? (What about Saul/Paul?)
I think it means a lifelong, turning your back on God, not taking any responsibility for your actions or your spirit that lives inside of you.
"Is sin treated all the same?"
At first glance, some sins seem worse than others. After all, they DO carry different consequences.
However, James 2:10 tells us that if you stumble at keeping ONE law, you have broken them all. This is because ANYTHING wrong breaks God's heart! (Lying to murder.) So, unfortunately, we have ALL been lawbreakers (and heartbreakers) at one point.
But the good news? Christ's sacrifice covers ALL sins!
"What will it take to make up for my sin?"
Unfortunately, we have this idea that WE can make our sins better. But let me try to expose a flaw...
If you lie, what can you do to make it better?
If you have premarital sex, what can you do?
In both these cases, we think we have an answer! But if we "make ourselves OK" by fixing it, then answer these questions...
If you get someone pregnant, how do you make it better?
If you murder someone, how do you fix it?
When answering these questions, there is really no way to "undo" what you have done! Does this mean these sins are beyond redemption?
Please read this carefully:
SINS CANNOT BE UNDONE, THEY CAN ONLY BE FORGIVEN!!! (Read Galatians 5:4-6)
So, what should you do to get your sins forgiven? Read Acts 2:38. Once you accept God's forgiveness, you will know the good news that God forgives and forgets!