August 11, 2013 Isaiah 1:4, 16-20

As much as I try to ignore or deny the existence of sin in my life, it does exist. As much as society wants us to believe sin is inconsequential, it isn’t. As much as we think that through our human efforts we can function healthily and normally in spite of sin, we can’t. As much as we would like to hide our sin from others, the One it matters to most already knows.

We, as the people of Judah the prophet Isaiah addressed, are a “sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, children who deal corruptly” (Isa. 1:4). The prophet Isaiah reminded Judah that sin is serious business with serious repercussions.

Why? Sin contaminates every human being, including the heart. Similar to a drop of dye placed in a clean glass of water, the dye’s color permeates every molecule of water. Sin contaminates our relationship with God, those we love, and our inner harmony and peace.

How can we rid our hearts of sin?

Recognize Sin for Its Destructive and Diabolical Nature (v. 20)
Sin violates the covenant relationship with God. It is disobedience against a gracious and lovingly heavenly Father. Many people never see the magnitude of their sin because the essence of sin is denial.

When one speeds on the highway, they violate traffic laws. Until they are pulled over by a police officer, they don’t stop. When one sins, they violate the covenant with God resulting in a strained relationship with God. That disobedience has damning consequences.

Sin is a fatal disease, sentencing one to a slow and painful death. Sin does to life what shears do to flowers. A cut of the stem separates flowers from the source of life. Cut flowers in a bouquet may look attractive, colorful and strong; but watch the flowers over a period of time. The leaves will wilt, and the petals will drop. No matter what you do, the flowers never will live again.

View Sin as God Views It (v. 16)
God doesn’t measure our sin against someone else’s. God sees sin as a rebellion against His authority, as despising His Person and as defiance of His law.
W.S. Plummer said, “We never see sin aright until we see it as against God…All sin is against God in this sense: that it is His law that is broken, His authority that is despised, His government that is set at naught…” It is not the size of the sin, but the majesty and holiness of God that makes our sin so grievous in His sight.

Release Sin Through the Power of Confession (v. 16)
To remove sin from our hearts, we must wash it out. This washing comes through confession. Confession is the conviction of agreeing with God. We have to agree with the Father that we have sinned.

Confession does for the soul what the mechanic does for the defective car. Confession is not begging God to forgive us, but agreeing with God about the sin defect. Confession owns up to the fact that our behavior wasn’t just the result of bad parenting, poor genes, jealous siblings or a chemical imbalance. Confession is admitting we made a choice in need of forgiveness.

Remove Sin from Our Hearts (v. 18)
We can’t remove sin from our hearts. We have neither the strength nor the moral completeness to accomplish such a monumental task. For that we have to rely on Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, bearing the sins of all creation, is the only sufficient payment and antidote so our sins will be removed from our records permanently.

The penalty for sin is death, which is one reason sin is called deadly. Someone has to die for sins—either the one who committed the sin or a reasonable substitute. We are given a choice: to allow sin to take its course, leading ultimately to death; or to trust in Jesus who died for our sins.

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