The Corrosive Nature of Sin

James 4:17

17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.

From the Book of James so far, here is the good you ought to do:

  1. Trust God for wisdom for our trials and rejoice
  2. Don’t allow money to affect the way you value others or yourself.
  3. Take responsibility for your weaknesses, temptation is about you, not your circumstances.
  4. Honor all people as created in God’s image.
  5. Do not show favoritism.
  6. Have your actions match you professed faith.
  7. Control your speech.
  8. Walk humbly with God, not being selfish or competitive.
  9. Don’t slander others.
  10. Make God’s will your priority.

Obviously, we are not going to do these things perfectly. We might struggle to do them even once in awhile. That’s one of the problems with sin, it causes us to lose our perspective!


  1. What is Sin?
  2. A failure to live as God desires for us to live

Adam and Eve in the Garden:

  1. God speaks His Word
  2. God’s word expresses His desire
  3. God is God, we are not

When we do not follow God’s intent for us, we are sinning. This is         one reason knowing what the Bible says is important!


  1. A failure to treat God as our God

        We replace God’s Word for our lives with something else.

It could be a person’s opinion: Satan

It could be our own desires: Eve

It could be our own fear: Aaron and the Golden Calf, Saul and his         kingship.

Let God be God in your life and let the chips fall where they may.         I’m sure that God thinks He is there and can manage your life if         you will submit to Him!


  1. A failure to do what is good

        Romans 3:22c-24 There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

Hamartia: To miss the target

We don’t live as we are meant to live a human beings. We don’t manage creation well. We don’t manage relationships well. We don’t have the marriages, families, job situations etc. that God intends for us to have. Why? Because we set different values than the values that God has for our lives.

  1. Trust God for wisdom for our trials and rejoice
  2. Don’t allow money to affect the way you value others or yourself.
  3. Take responsibility for your weaknesses
  4. Honor all people as created in God’s image.
  5. Do not show favoritism
  6. Have your actions match you professed faith
  7. Control your speech
  8. Walk humbly with God, not being selfish or competitive
  9. Don’t slander others
  10. Make God’s will your priority

Jesus had a revealing conversation with the Pharisees when they accused Him of doing an evil thing by healing a man on the Sabbath:

Mark 3: 1Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.”

Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent.

He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.



  1. The Trouble with Sin

Genesis 4:

Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

  1. Acting sinfully sacrifices freedom


Difficult habits

Reflexive responses that are not chosen. Unchosen fear,      unchosen desire, hidden motivations etc.

  1. Acting sinfully blinds us to what is good

Mark 4:

24 “Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more. 25 Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.”

Truth will build up in your life. So will deception!

Romans 1:

18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.

29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.


  1. Acting sinfully exchanges heaven for hell

Sin did this in the past: Garden of Eden to the Flood

Sin works this way now: In your own life, sin steals your life!

Sin works this way in the future: Jesus died so we could live   with God forever at His House! But there is the Lake of Fire as   another alternative!

At some point God decides that His creation is no longer         salvageable and He destroys it. The destruction is       complete!

Genesis 15: 13 Then the Lord said to him, “Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there. 14 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. 15 You, however, will go to your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age. 16 In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.”

Joshua 10: Then the five kings of the Amorites—the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon—joined forces. They moved up with all their troops and took up positions against Gibeon and attacked it.

The Gibeonites then sent word to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal: “Do not abandon your servants. Come up to us quickly and save us! Help us, because all the Amorite kings from the hill country have joined forces against us.”

So Joshua marched up from Gilgal with his entire army, including all the best fighting men. The Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you.”

After an all-night march from Gilgal, Joshua took them by surprise. 10 The Lord threw them into confusion before Israel, so Joshua and the Israelites defeated them completely at Gibeon. Israel pursued them along the road going up to Beth Horon and cut them down all the way to Azekah and Makkedah. 11 As they fled before Israel on the road down from Beth Horon to Azekah, the Lord hurled large hailstones down on them, and more of them died from the hail than were killed by the swords of the Israelites.

12 On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel:

“Sun, stand still over Gibeon,
and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.”
13 So the sun stood still,
and the moon stopped,
till the nation avenged itself on[b] its enemies,

as it is written in the Book of Jashar.

The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. 14 There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a human being. Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel!

Matthew 10: 28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.