The Sinfulness of Man – Part 1
Read and Discuss:
All people have sinned. All have rebelled against God and His commands.
The problem of sin does not start in people’s actions, but in their heart. God sees the heart is wicked. Even if people can control their actions, their thoughts and desires condemn them.
The sinful desires of people start early in life. It is not something people have to learn to do; though know it naturally.
Even when people do “good” things, they are doing it while they are in rebellion to God, so He still sees it as evil. It is like an army general who rebelled against a good king and proclaimed himself king in the province he managed. Though he helps the poor and does good things to people, he is still in rebellion to the rightful king. The situation is the same for people who are living life for themselves, not for God; even when they do good, they are still treasonous rebels.
John 3:19-20, Romans 8:5-7, Romans 3:11
People are sinners, not because they have to sin, but because they love to sin. They cannot stop sinning only because they do not want to stop sinning.
Summary: All men have sinned. They have committed sin because their hearts are sinful. This sinfulness did not need to be learned, they knew if from birth. Because they are rebels at heart, even the good things they do are unacceptable to God. People cannot obey God only because they do not want to obey God.
Discussion: Can you see this problem in humanity? Can you recognize it in yourself?
The Holiness of God – Part 2
Read and Discuss:
The reason human sinfulness is a problem is because God is holy. When we realize how holy God is, we see how evil sin is. Sin is evil because it is agianst a good God.
In the same way man naturally loves evil, God hates it. He hates evil and will not allow it to dwell in His presence. God is good, so he hates evil.
God does not just hate evil, he will take action to destroy and punish evil.
2 Thessalonians 1:5-9
God’s hatred for evil is so great He will destroy it with eternal punishment because He is infinitely good. Sin is evil primarily because of Who we sin against, namely God. Consider this example: though stealing is always wrong, it is more evil to steal from our mother who has taken care of us our whole lives than it is to steal from a thief. The greatness of the sin depends on the honor and gratitude that is due to the person which we sin against. Because our mother is more worthy than a common thief, stealing from her is a more evil crime. God is infinitely worthy of our honor, gratitude and obedience, but we have sinned against Him every day of our lives in thought, word and deed; the punishment for such wickedness is rightfully eternal punishment. Since God is infinitely good, hell lasts forever.
Psalm 24:3-4, Mathew 5:8, Hebrews 12:14
God’s holy character requires that only those who have been purified and cleansed from sin can enter into His presence. But like Isaiah we know that our hands and hearts are not pure, so we are under God’s judgment. We need God to do for us what He did for Isaiah, we need Him to cleanse us from our sins and purify our hearts.
Summary: Our biggest problem is that God is holy and good; this is a problem since we are sinful and evil. God hates evil deeply; His whole nature is against it. God is not passive in His anger towards sin, but He will actively punish it. Since God is infinitely good, His punishment on sin will last forever. We have unclean hearts and need God to cleanse us so that we don’t perish.
Discussion: Did you ever realize that man’s greatest problem is the goodness of God? Were you aware that God hates sin so much He created an eternal lake of fire to punish it forever? Do you recognize that you need God to purify your heart and cleanse you from your sins?