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Mistakers or Sinners

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Matthew 5:17ff

Sunday, September 7, 2008

From the cross the words echo through history, “Father Forgive them – for they KNOW NOT what they do…”

Sin.  It’s such a pesky word.  We don’t even use the word much anymore.  Popular preachers are beginning to announce that other words better describe our “current” situations and so the word “sin” is not relevant.  The truth is we are all like that.  We’d like to use another word than sin.  Sin makes me think of God.  Sin makes me think of Judgment.  Sin means there must be some “moral absolutes” out there – and it means I will be accountable. If I sin – I might have to BEG someone for FORGIVENESS.  Sin means I might face some punishment.

Dictionary Defines sin:

·       “Sin is a transgression of God’s law.”  If there is a Divine law then there must be some Divine person.

·       “Sin is a VIOLATION” of some religious or moral law.

Sin means I did it.  I know what I did and I’m probably going to do it again.  Sin makes me not feel very good of myself.

We like this word – “Mistake”.  We can say, “I didn’t sin, I just made a mistake. I messed up.”

Definition of a “Mistake”

·       “A mistake is an error in action, calculation, opinion or judgment caused by poor reasoning.”

If we are just “mistakers” we can say, “Oh, I just wasn’t THINKING straight.”

We can say, “I was just careless – I JUST DIDN”T KNOW ANY BETTER!”

This is a much better word because when you catch me I can say, “My bad, My MISTAKE.”

So, if you’re arguing with your wife or your kids or your parents get a little annoying about something you did – you say, “Okay, Okay, so I made a mistake - is that the end of the world?”  Or try this one, “Look, I made a mistake – nobody’s perfect…”

And here’s the deal – you can’t be too mad at me because I just made a mistake.  I didn’t KNOW any better.

The difference between mistakers and sinners is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.  It’s a whole other animal!

If I make a mistake – I can just say, “I’m sorry…let’s move on.”

Mistakers just need to break a bad habit.  Mistakers just need to “Try Harder; Do better.”  If I am a “mistaker”

If I SIN there’s not much I can do.  I know I have broken God’s law.  I have “transgressed” – stepped over the line.  If I am a sinner – then I need a Savior!

A mistaker places his life in his own hands – a sinner is at the MERCY of God.

1.Your life is WORSE than you thought…

·       You are not just a “mistaker”

·       You are a sinner.  (If you believe God’s Word!)

It’s worse than you thought.  God hates SIN so much that He voluntarily removes Himself from the presence of Sin.  God hates it.

 When we choose to sin we in essence say, “God, I know you are there – I know what you want – but I want this (sin) more than I want you.”

“Unless YOUR righteousness exceed that of the Scribes and Pharisees – you will NEVER enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”  Matt 5:20  (kept 638 laws!)

Jesus leaves us NO WIGGLE room here.  He gives a long list of examples – murder = anger.  Adultery = lust.

Love=hate enemies – Jesus: I say, Love your enemies!

According to God’s high standards – God will one day be in Heaven all alone – because no one can be that righteous!

To that Jesus says:  “That’s my point…you are not mistakers who need to do better/try harder – you are sinners and there is NO HOPE for you if it’s up to YOU.

You and I decide today – AM I SINNER or MISTAKER?

2.   Your life with Jesus is better than you could ever imagine.

When you come to a place in your life where you say, It’s worse than I thought…I’m a sinner…I am separated from God by my SIN…I need a savior.

When you open your life to that – God opens His arms to RECEIVE you, LOVE you and FORGIVE you – and take AWAY all your sins.

Most people live their entire lives hoping the “good” will outweigh the “bad” when we stand before God.

But we learn today – that won’t work – why?  Because I am worse than a mistaker – I AM A SINNER.

But the best news today is – God came to take away all our sins.  That only happens in Jesus.

Jesus cried out from the cross – “Father forgive them – for they know not what they do…”

·       Only a life with Jesus can erase your sins!

·       Only a life with Jesus can bring you NEAR to God!

·       Only a life with Jesus is acceptable to God.

What is it going to be for YOU today – your life, or His life?

Will you choose YOUR Righteousness or His sinlessness?

Conclusions…

  As long as I'm making mistakes, I can make up for them; but when it becomes sin, I know there's a debt I owe.

  Here's the great news: all have sinned, and all are made right with God freely.

 

  God's says: You owed me so much you couldn't pay it, so I had somebody else pay it ("freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus").

  We were mistakers—we were going to convince God that the good outweighed the bad—but then we realizes we were mistakers in need of a Savior.

  You become a Christian in the moment you recognize you're a sinner, and you transfer your confidence and trust from yourself to Jesus Christ as your Savior.

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