Sin is Short

But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. ~ Isaiah 59:2

But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. ~ Isaiah 59:2

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. ~ Romans 3:23

Sin is a popular and pervasive practice, but it is not considered to be the appropriate topic of polite conversation. The world views sin subjectively and relatively. Scarcely can we find two agreed on what it is. Many believe the whole notion to be antiquated and irrelevant. This is why we do not hear of thoughts, words, or actions in terms of right or wrong, but rather appropriate or inappropriate. Everything is relative and who is really to say what is right or wrong?

God defines sin precisely and absolutely in His Word. He is the judge and it is His word that matters. Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden for ultimately wanting the right to define sin for themselves. Defining sin is God’s right alone and He will not share it with any other being. He defines and describes sin in numerous ways in the Scripture.

  • All unrighteousness is sin ~ 1 John 5:7
  • Whatsoever is not of faith is sin ~ Romans 14:23
  • To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin ~ James 4:17
  • An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin ~ Proverbs 21:4
  • The thought of foolishness is sin ~ Proverbs 24:9

Romans 3:23 gives us a meaningful view of sin—it is falling short of God’s glory. God has a high mark and all sin always comes short of it. God measures all sin against the standard of His glorious, righteous, holiness, and all sin is short. God speaks to all men in Belshazzar: “TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting” (Daniel 5:27).

Men fall short in three key areas in all their thoughts, words, and actions.

  1. They fail to do all they do to the glory of God. “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
  2. They fail to love God whole-heartedly. “And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might” (Deuteronomy 6:5). “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matthew 22:37).
  3. They fail to believe God. “He that believeth on him is not condemned; but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18).

Sin is short—short of God’s glory, short of God’s love, and short of faith. Man’s best works come up short. Whether it is deemed polite or appropriate, we must faithfully preach against sin. If we do not preach against sin, we are trying to do something Christ never did—call the righteous to repentance (Luke 5:32).

What is Biblical Preaching?

And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women ~ Nehemiah 8:2

And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women ~ Nehemiah 8:2

Preaching is prominent in the Scriptures.

  1. In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea ~ Matthew 3:1
  2. From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. ~ Matthew 4:17
  3. And they went out, and preached that men should repent. ~ Mark 6:12
  4. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. ~ Acts 20:28
  5. Feed the flock of God, which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind ~ 1 Peter 5:2
  6. Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. ~ 2 Timothy 4:2
  7. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. ~ 1 Timothy 4:13

Preaching should likewise be prominent in our lives. We are fed by preaching, nourished by preaching, instructed by preaching, reproved by preaching. What is biblical preaching? How are we to know if we are under a biblical ministry? Nehemiah 8:1-12 addresses this question, showing four characteristics of biblical preaching.

  1. Biblical preaching must originate and continue in the Word of God. God’s Word is mentioned seven times in Nehemiah 8:1-9 as being the subject and object.
  2. Biblical preaching must expound God’s Word. Ezra “gave the sense” of the text he read (Nehemiah 8:8). Exposition is explaining the meaning and intent of a passage in light of context, grammar, and the totality of Scripture.
  3. Biblical preaching must be for understanding not deception nor obfuscation. The people left Ezra with understanding of what he taught (Nehemiah 8:12).
  4. Biblical preaching must be for the joy of the people. Ezra exhorted the people to joy after they had wept at the words of the Law (Nehemiah 8:9-12). The preacher should cherish the glory of Christ in his preaching and yearn to see his people glad in God.

Three Reasons to Study Bible Doctrine

Study to Show Thyself Approved

Study to Show Thyself Approved

1. Learning the truth, we grow in faith, obedience, and righteousness.

  • Doctrine is the real foundation of good works (1 Timothy 6:3; Titus 1:1; Titus 2:11-14; 2 Peter 1:3-7)

2. Using the milk of the Word and growing to the meat, we increase in discernment (Hebrews 5:11-14).

  • Wisdom and discernment is what is needed in a thousand questions of everyday life
  • It betrays immaturity when people only want the short, quick answers

3. Doctrinal study gives clarity, focus, and ultimate meaning to our lives.

  • Without it we do not know who we are, where we are, nor where we are going, and we certainly don’t know much of who God is. This leaves us open and vulnerable to deception (Ephesians 4:4)
    • One example is the insecurity and lack of assurance of many professed Christians
      • John wrote that we may know (1 John 5:3)

The question is: Are you studying? (2 Timothy 2:15)

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