I. The sinner must see his sin
A. A need for restoration (Galatians 6:1; James 5:19-20)
B. Reactions to sin (Jeremiah 2:23, 26)
C. Often prevented by pride, such as in the case of the Pharisees (Matthew 9:10-13)
D. Modern day examples
1. Fornication (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
2. Abortion (Proverbs 6:17)
3. Denominationalism (1 Corinthians 1:10)
II. The sinner must be convinced he is lost because of sin
A. Many never know the truth (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9)
B. Christians have a responsibility to teach (Ezekiel 3:18-19; Matthew 28:19-20)
III. The sinner must be convinced of God’s displeasure with sin
A. The need for repentance (Isaiah 59:1-2)
B. Unrepented sin leads to eternal death (Romans 6:23a; Ephesians 2:12)
IV. The sinner must know that God provides deliverance
A. Ephesians 2:13
B. False gods cannot deliver man (Jeremiah 2:28)
C. Only Jesus Christ provides salvation (Romans 6:23b; James 4:7-10)
I. The temptation (Genesis 3:1-5)
A. Focuses on the negative
B. Suggests we can interpret what God says however we please
C. Creates a false distance between man and his Lord
D. Even Eve adds her own prohibition – “nor shall you touch it” (cf. Genesis 2:16-17)
II. The sin (Genesis 3:6)
A. Eve was deceived (John 8:44; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; 15:33; Galatians 6:7-8; James 1:12-17)
B. Adam was not innocent – he was “with her”
III. Who is to blame? (Genesis 3:8-13)
A. Adam blamed both God and Eve (James 1:13)
B. Eve blamed Satan (1 Corinthians 10:13)
For an excellent in-depth study of the book of Genesis, I highly recommend Michael Whitworth’s The Epic of God. Purchase at this link.
An All-Star second baseman, seemingly on the path to baseball immortality in Cooperstown’s Hall of Fame, was handed an 80-day suspension for using performance enhancing substances. However, it was not a performance enhancer that showed up in his drug tests, but a diuretic commonly used as a masking agent. In other words, the player was trying to hide what he was really doing.
Are we guilty of masking or hiding things in a spiritual sense? We may attend church services regularly, participate in Bible classes, lead in worship…but are we hiding something from our brethren?
Paul encouraged the brethren at Philippi to do the right thing, whether he was aware of their behavior or not. He wrote, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). We should always strive to be holy, even if no one on this earth sees us.
We can be sure of one thing: even if we are “successful” in hiding sinful behaviors from others in the church, we cannot hide from God. Paul assures us of this fact. “Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust we are well known in your consciences” (2 Corinthians 5:9-11).
Let us not mask or hide our weaknesses, temptations, and sins from each other, but lean on each other for spiritual support and strength. “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16).