Scripture taken from the New King James Version of the Bible.
Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

The Reality Of Sin

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep" (Genesis 1: 1, 2). We read of God's creative work in the first two chapters of Genesis. God took this creation, which was without form, and He molded and shaped it. It was void and He filled it. There was darkness and He brought light. It was lifeless and He made living plants, animals and creatures. It is evident, from the record in Genesis, that God had a purpose in His work of creating. This purpose involved the goal of creating everything necessary to sustain the life of mankind. God even made a special place for the man and woman (Adam and Eve) to live called the Garden of Eden.

In Genesis Chapter 3, the Bible describes how Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the garden of Eden. He had given them special instructions concerning one tree from which they could not eat. Their disobedience resulted in the loss of man's special place (the garden of Eden) in the world and it also resulted in the loss of an intimate relationship with God. This separation between God and man occurred as a result of sinfulness. The deceitfulness of sin is so alluring that all of mankind is affected by it.  Paul declares in Romans 3: 23, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." James reminds us that sin is the result of our own choice, "But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin..." (James 1: 14, 15a).

There is a price, or penalty, which is required of everyone that sins. Paul states in Romans 6: 23, "For the wages of sin is death..." James agrees that sin causes death when he writes, "...and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death" (James 1: 15b). Sin, in the garden of Eden, initially caused physical death for human beings. When Adam and Eve sinned, they were no longer allowed access to the tree of life (Genesis Chapter 3).  From that day on, mankind has had to experience aging and then at some point death.  But sin has caused more than just physical death.  It has also caused spiritual death. This type death involves our soul suffering the punishment of our sinfulness for all eternity.

What was God's reaction to the sinfulness of man? The Bible tells us His nature requires Him to be righteous and just, but we are also told of His love and mercy. These characteristics led Him to envision and execute a plan which would allow for justice to be served and at the same time allow Him to be loving and merciful to all of mankind (Romans 3: 25, 26). One of the most startling facts revealed to us in the Bible is God's knowing that man would sin against Him (1 Peter 1: 17 - 21). Yet, God was still willing to create us, even though our sinfulness would cost Him a tremendous price.

God's plan required that He send His Son to this world. Jesus experienced all of life, including its temptations and burdens (Hebrews 4: 15). He then suffered crucifixion on the cross so that He could become the sacrifice for the whole world. Jesus not only provided the sacrifice necessary to destroy our record of sinfulness, but He has also shown to us the results of obeying God. If we are willing to obey God, just as Jesus did, we will one day rise from the grave and live eternally in heaven, just as He does now.

On the Day of Pentecost, following Jesus' death, Peter addressed a large group of people gathered together in Jerusalem (Acts 2: 14 - 41). He reminded them of Godís approval of Jesus and His message through the working of miracles, wonders and signs. Peter then declared their guilt of having crucified Jesus, even though He had been sent by God. Would we have crucified Jesus today? Yes, we would have!

During His life on earth, Jesus kept God's law perfectly. In so doing, He made evident to everyone His belief that God's law was right and true. We reject God's law daily when we sin. Our sin shows we do not believe God's law is right and true. Sin is the reason Jesus came and died on the cross. He shed His blood for our sins, as much as, He died for the sins of those people on the Day of Pentecost. Therefore, we are as guilty of putting Jesus on the cross as those who actually cried out for Him to be crucified.

Peter testified to them of God's raising Jesus from the dead, just as had been prophesied through David. Peter assured them that God had made Jesus both Lord and Christ. Upon hearing this Gospel message, those listening to Peter became aware of their sinful actions. They confessed their sinfulness and their belief in Peter's message by asking, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" (Acts 2: 37). Peter instructed them to, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins" (Acts 2: 38). When we continue to read, we discover that "...those who gladly received his word were baptized" (Acts 2: 41). They understood their need for cleansing and purification from what they had done.

Examples Of Repentant People

You have to agree that God has done far more than we would have done. Most of us would not be willing to allow our only son to die for someone else. We especially would not be willing to show this type of love to people who have rejected and disobeyed us. Yet, God did it for us! We are the ones who rebelled against Him and disobeyed His law. We are the ones who left His side and sold ourselves in slavery to sin. We are the ones who got ourselves into this horrible mess. Why should He come to our aid and provide a way of escape? Why should He pay the ultimate price, the death of His precious Son, to redeem us?

Each one of us must come to the realization that we are guilty of Christ's suffering and death. Once our heart is convicted of this truth, it will cause us to ask the same question they asked. What shall we do? Peter commanded them to do two things. The first was they had to repent. Repentance involved the regretting of their life of rebellion against God, deciding they wanted to change their life in order to be pleasing to God and then acting upon that decision by actually making the necessary changes. A person's sorrow for sinfulness leads to a decision to change which then leads to the outward expression of that decision.

Secondly, Peter tells them to be baptized. Baptism is not just the taking of a bath. Baptism now saves us because it is the answer of a good conscience toward God (1 Peter 3: 21),it is a participation in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus (Romans 6: 3 - 4) and it is the way we are able to wash away our sins (Acts 22: 16). Many people argue about the need for baptism or they try to come up with reasons why baptism is not necessary. If we are trying to be like Jesus, should we not want to follow His example? Jesus convinced John the Baptist to baptize Him in order to "...fulfill all righteousness" (Matthew 3: 15). Therefore, if we want to be like Him, we will desire to be baptized to fulfill all righteousness, as well.

Please take the time to prayerfully consider what you should do to be saved. Throughout the book of Acts, people ask what they should or must do. In each of the instances they are told to do something [i.e. Acts 2: 36 - 41; Acts 16: 23 - 34; Acts 22: 6 - 16]. The person who wants to please God must follow His instructions. They must do His will. Your choice could mean the difference between life and death -- eternally. If you have questions, please send an E-Mail! I believe it is that important!

The following Quiz has been developed to help you review some of the information you have studied.
If you have any questions or suggestions, there is a form following this final lesson and quiz for you to contact us
, or you can send an e-mail.
Otherwise, thank you for having taken the time to study through this lesson.

Lesson 10 Quiz

By: Bryan Naugle

Please answer the following questions which cover this lesson.  You will be able to see your results as soon as you finish the quiz.  Words of warning:  1.     Single answer questions require a ONE WORD answer, and make sure you have the SPELLING correct!    (You may want to highlight the answer in the above text, copy it and then paste it into the answer box)  2.    Even though a dot may appear beside the right answer, you must go ahead and click on it for the software to recognize it.

1. Who created the heavens and the earth?

2. What did God have in His work of creating?

a lot of time
a scheme
a helper
a purpose

3. What was the name of the special place God made for them to live?

Garden of Eden

4. What did Adam and Eve do to God?

killed Him
listened to Him
disobeyed Him
fooled Him

5. What occurred between God and man as a result of sinfulness?

a separation
a close relationship
a common bond
a secret

6. We are tempted when we are drawn away by what?

our own devil
our own determination
our own decisions
our own desires

7. What did sin initially cause?

physical relations
physical death
physical illness
physical possession

8. What has sin also caused?

spiritual possession
spiritual life
spiritual death
spiritual disease

9. God knew that man would do what against Him?

10. What did Jesus suffer on the cross?

11. On what day did Peter address a large crowd of people?

Day of Passover
Day of Atonement
Day of Exile
Day of Pentecost

12. What did Jesus keep perfectly?

God's time
God's secret
God's law
God's people

13. What do we do to God's law daily?

keep it
ignore it
love it
reject it

14. What did God make Jesus?

a special supper
Lord and Christ
the scapegoat
a helpmate

15. When asked what they should do, Peter replied by saying what?

You cannot earn your salvation
Pray and believe your saved
Send money
Repent and be baptized

16. What have we sold ourselves into?

slavery to sin
slavery to man
slavery to self
slavery to Satan

17. What did God pay with the death of His Son?

the ultimate penalty
the ultimate price
the ultimate scandal
the ultimate sub

18. A person's what leads to a decision to change?

sorrow for getting caught
sorrow for not listening
sorrow for sinfulness
sorrow for others

19. What should we want to follow if we are trying to be like Jesus?

His footsteps
His followers
His anger
His example

20. What must the person who wants to please God do?

follow His star
follow His instructions
find his own way
listen to his friends

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