One of my favorite things to hear is people tell of their salvation experience. I love listening to the stories of how God worked in their lives and brought them to the cross.
In fact, during this year’s anniversary Sunday for Countryside, I asked for people to share their salvation experience. Of the 10-12 people that stood up and spoke, several had long back stories of how God worked in their life for months or even years before bringing them to the moment of the realization of the need for a Saviour and the moment of saving faith. The testimonies were varied, but there was one thing mentioned by everyone besides Jesus Christ, and that was sin. Some spoke of particular sins they had committed, and others brought up the subject in a general sense, but everyone mentioned sin.
A few weeks later I was talking to a friend, and she explained to me that she wasn’t growing spiritually anymore. She complained that the sermons at her church; although they made her feel good, they did not give her any “spiritual meat” and she was stagnating in her Christian life. I explained to her that church is not the only place for a Christian to get some “spiritual food.” I stressed the importance of personal Bible study and talked about different Bible study methods.
She asked me if she should read books outside of the Bible. I told her it was a good idea, but we should weigh everything on the scale of the Word of God. The Bible is the ultimate and final authority. I suggested to her finding authors from the 1700-1800s.
She giggled at that suggestion and said, “Can we really get anything relevant for today reading things two and three hundred years old?”
“Is the Bible relevant to today?”
“Okay, I get your point.”
About a month later she calls me, tells me she has been reading her Bible every day and has been reading Spurgeon, Edwards, and Finney (preachers from the 1700 and 1800s).
“I think I’ve grown more as a Christian the last month than I have the last ten years combined.”
“I’ve made it a point to read the Bible every day without fail, and these preachers; they are amazing!”
“Why are they so amazing?”
“It seems like every sermon is filled with sin. They talk about sin, and then they explain God’s grace and mercy. There were things down in my heart I didn’t even realize that were there. Their writings have opened my eyes on my own relationship with God and have led me to confess sin, get some bad things out of my life and some good things in; I am growing as a Christian. By seeing my sin, I can see the wonderfulness of Christ even more.”
We talked awhile longer, but back to this week’s topic.
When was the last time you heard a sermon about a particular sin or sin in general?
Jesus says, “For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved” (John 3:20). Notice – no one comes to the light of God without his deeds being reproved. Jesus is making it clear – no one comes to God without acknowledging their sin.
Both the gospels of Matthew and Mark record that the major thrust of Jesus’ preaching was repentance (Matthew 4:17; Mark 1:14-15). In a conversation in Luke, Jesus repeats himself; twice in three verses He says, “I tell you, Nay: but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3-5). If Jesus put such an importance on repentance, by default He has to put an emphasis on sin. Without sin, there is nothing to repent of.
Puting it together; no one can come to God unless their deeds are reproved, and Jesus’ message was repent or perish. How important is it then for people to have an understanding of sin?
The angel told Joseph the baby Mary was expecting is the Son of God who was coming to save people from their sins (Matthew 1:20-21). Jesus did this by shedding His blood on the cross. He is the Lamb of God, the sacrifice for the sins of the world. Salvation comes when an individual places their faith in Jesus and His blood as the only thing that can save them. This saving faith will bring an attitude of repentance within one’s heart – a desire not to commit sin.
The preaching of sin, through the spoken or written word, is vital to salvation and, as my friend showed, the living and growth of the Christian life. Have you heard any preaching on sin lately?
Preacher Johnson is pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County Indiana. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.preacherjohnson.com. E-book: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TUJTV2A If you email, inform me where you have seen Preacher’s Point. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.
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