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The Gospel and Sin

The Gospel and the Teenage Life  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction: Review previous messages
It’s All About Our Values
The Gospel and the Church
Now, as in everyone’s Christian life, there comes a point when we must turn to the Bible in order to shape the way we think about sin. Jaquelle opens up her discussion on sin by giving examples of teens she knows who struggle with sin.
Jake is seventeen and loves Jesus more than anything. Last year he started a Bible study at his school, but lately he’s started to have doubts. When he was saved, he was assured that the gospel would transform him. But Jake still sees sin invading his life and has started to believe that real Christians don’t struggle as much as he does. Maybe, he wonders, I’m not even saved.
Alyssa has the night all planned out. She and her best friend will borrow her parents’ car (with their permission, of course), go for pizza, and then attend the movie they’ve wanted to see forever. But today at church her mom informs her of different plans. A missionary couple is spending one night with them, and she wants Alyssa at home to help serve. Stung with a rush of frustration, Alyssa lashes out at her mother before spinning on her heels and storming off.
Crowe, Jaquelle. This Changes Everything: How the Gospel Transforms the Teen Years (p. 63). Crossway. Kindle Edition.
Bianca’s dad is a pastor, and she loves God. Two months ago, a friend from school showed her some inappropriate pictures on her phone. Bianca liked what she saw, but she tried to suppress the feeling and never told her parents. Pornography is only a sin for guys, right? She still didn’t tell her parents when she started looking up the pictures herself. Now she’s paralyzed by shame but is convinced her parents would never understand.
How many of us here tonight would say that you have been frustrated by sin in your life? Paul writes this in .
Crowe, Jaquelle. This Changes Everything: How the Gospel Transforms the Teen Years (p. 63). Crossway. Kindle Edition.
Crowe, Jaquelle. This Changes Everything: How the Gospel Transforms the Teen Years (pp. 63-64). Crossway. Kindle Edition.
Romans 7:22–24 NKJV
For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
Crowe, Jaquelle. This Changes Everything: How the Gospel Transforms the Teen Years (p. 64). Crossway. Kindle Edition.
As Christians, everything in our lives changed in that moment of salvation, and this includes the way we view sin. We no longer love sin; instead we hate it and fight against it.
Romans 8:13 NKJV
For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
It is often easy to hate sin when we see it’s violent effects on the news. However, we also have a responsibility to hate what we think of as the “smaller sins.” Jerry Bridges refers to them as “respectable sins” in his book Respectable Sins. Sins that we have come expect from ourselves and others. Sins such as being ashamed to share the gospel, gossiping with friends, exaggerating the truth to make ourselves look good, being insecure, being ungrateful, or worry.
Although the respectable sins are often viewed as ordinary, they are in fact threatening to the life of the Christian. If allowed to grow unchecked in our hearts, sin, no matter what sin it is, will have poisonous effects on the life of any Christian. So, since we all struggle with remaining sin how do we think about sin and how do we go about destroying it in our lives.

How Should I Think About Sin?

Thankfully, when thinking about sin, there is first some good news.


Because of Christ, Christians have been justified. This is what theologians refer to as the great exchange. When we chose to identify ourselves with Christ, because of the victory of Christ over sin on the cross, God exchanged our sin for Christ’s righteousness, and we were purchased from the tyranny of sin to redemption in Christ Jesus.
Romans 3:24 NKJV
being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
There are then two results of justification.

There is Now No Condemnation

Before salvation you were condemned, destined to die and sentenced to hell. This is what our sin deserved and the wages we earned. Now, because of Christ, our condemnation has been removed.
Romans 8:1 NKJV
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

There is No More Guilt

I do not know about you guys, but I am on of those people who hold on to guilt longer than I should. Guilt is actually a gift that should cause us to humble ourselves and drive us to repentance. However, once repentance has taken place, guilt no longer serves a purpose. Guilt, if we hold on to it after repentance, can then be used as a tool to debilitate us. When we hold on to guilt we minimize the value of Christ on the cross and we preach to ourselves the false gospel that we need to Christ + guilt in order to receive justification. The reality is, Christ, who knew no sin, was to made to be sin for us so that we could have righteousness and be free from the debilitating guilt that sin brings.
2 Corinthians 5:21 NKJV
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
This does not mean that we shouldn’t feel shame for our sin.
Matthew 5:4 NKJV
Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.
Since our sin has been dealt with, once we confess and forsake our sin, we are forgiven. Lasting guilt and the shame sin produces is no longer the state of a Christian’s life.

How Do I Go About Destroying Sin?

Although we are justified, we still wrestle with sin, and that is why the promise of sanctification is so encouraging.


Sanctification refers to the process of Christians becoming more and more like Jesus as the Spirit and Word of God works in their hearts. Sanctification is different from justification in that while you had nothing to do with your justification it is your privilege as a Christian to contribute towards your sanctification.
Now, God is the one who works on our hearts to transform us in to the image of Christ,
Philippians 1:6 NKJV
being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
but it is also our responsibility to pursue holiness.
Romans 8:13 NKJV
For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
So, how do I go about doing my part in being transformed into the image of Christ?

Intentional Exposure to the Word of God

John 17:17 NKJV
Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.
We cannot have an accurate understanding of what sin is unless we intentionally expose ourselves to the way God thinks.
1 Corinthians 2:16 NKJV
For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

A Hatred for Sin

While we find it easy to hate sin in others, we often seek to minimize our own sin. It is easy for us to see the disgusting nature of other’s sin, while we are blind to the root of our own. Sin of any kind is rebellion against God.
We shrug our shoulders at our parents because we do not trust God’s design.
We gossip because we do not believe others deserve the love of God.
We are proud because we reject the glory (weight/value) of God.
Not only is our sin rebellion against God, but it also has disastrous consequences for us and others. Our relationships suffer. We worry more. We pray and read God’s Word less. We find church boring. God becomes distant. Sin ruins us, and so we should hate it.

Regular Repentance

The first step in repentance is identifying our sin.
Example: My lack of willingness to lead in high school.
Psalm 26:2–5 NKJV
Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; Try my mind and my heart. For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, And I have walked in Your truth. I have not sat with idolatrous mortals, Nor will I go in with hypocrites. I have hated the assembly of evildoers, And will not sit with the wicked.
Psalm 19:12 NKJV
Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults.
The next step in repentance is the pursuit of right living.
James 1:21–22 NKJV
Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
James 1:

Seek Accountability


Humility is surrendering the daily acts of pride in our lives to God because we realize that He is more glorious than we are.
2 Corinthians 12:10 NKJV
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
How do I know if I am humble? Look at the results of your life. Humility always results in gratitude. We thank God because He has given so much to people who deserve so little. Following Jesus means that you step out of the spotlight of your life and redirect it on the One who deserves it.
Conclusion: Jaquelle concludes her discussion on sin this way:
Yet even as we pursue holiness, teenagers who follow Jesus can still feel like they’re battling alone. We still fight against sin every day. It’s tempting to feel isolated and lonely, like we’re the only Christian teenagers in the whole world trying to obey him. But there is a truth bursting with hope for us today: God is with us and His church is with us.
The Holy Spirit dwells inside us and is the One who changes our hearts, making us desire to feed on God’s Word more, hate sin more, repent more, be held accountable more, and grow humbler. As we pursue holiness, the Spirit is the one who grants us that holiness. It comes little by little, day by day, and it can sometimes feel like slow going— but take heart, it is going.
Crowe, Jaquelle. This Changes Everything: How the Gospel Transforms the Teen Years (p. 76). Crossway. Kindle Edition.
Crowe, Jaquelle. This Changes Everything: How the Gospel Transforms the Teen Years (p. 76). Crossway. Kindle Edition.
Crowe, Jaquelle. This Changes Everything: How the Gospel Transforms the Teen Years (pp. 76-77). Crossway. Kindle Edition.
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