Faithlife Sermons

1 John 3:4 - Outline of The Reality of Sin



As a result of sin, the world has warfare between nations, conflict between individuals and groups, fear and anxiety, illness and death, and all kinds of natural and man-made disasters.

  • Spurgeon "Sin is worse that the Devil, for sin is what made the devil the devil.  He would have been a angel if it had not been for sin."

What is Sin?

A simple definition

1John 3:4 “sin is lawlessness”

a)         The Greek construction of this phrase makes “sin” & “lawlessness” identical.

b)        Literally: “everyone doing sin is doing lawlessness

c)         Practicing sin is living as if there were no God and no law

Scripture also contains other definitions.


There are a number of Hebrew words & Greek words for sin in the Bible.

Sin is:

a)         Ungodliness and unrighteousness (1John 5:17; Romans 1:18).

b)        The failure to do good (James 4:17)

c)         Paul defines sin as a lack of faith (Rom.14:23)

d)        Unbelief, the failure to believe God (Matthew 13:58; Hebrews 3:12, 19).

e)         Missing the mark, coming short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

f)          Error, making a mistake; a wandering off of the right path (Romans 1:27; James 5:19-20).

g)        Transgression, a stepping outside the law (Romans 3:23; Hebrews 2:2).

h)         Trespassing, intruding where one should not go ( Eph.2:1).

i)          Disobedience, a refusal to listen and hear and do (Eph.2:2; Col. 3:6).

j)          Lawlessness, rebellion, a rejection of God’s will and law (1 John 3:4).

k)         Iniquity, an inward contempt that leads to the continual practice of sin (Matthew 7:23).

l)          Sin is Filthiness

(1)        2 Corinthians 7:1

(2)        Zech. 3:3 cf. Isa.30:22

All men have sinned (Romans 3:23).

111 Is there such thing as “sinless perfection” (Matt.5:48)?

a)         1John 1:8 – This epistle was written to Christians

b)        The Great saints of the Bible seemed to recognize their own sinfulness

(1)        Peter, seeing Jesus for who he was, said, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!" (Luke 5:8).

(2)        Paul wrote, “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief” (1 Timothy 1:15 cf. Eph.3:8).

(3)        Job whom God identified Himself as a righteous man (Job 1:1, 8) said after seeing, Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes." (Job 42:6 NKJV)

(4)        Isaiah, seeing God, grasped, "Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The LORD of hosts." (Isaiah 6:5 NKJV)

c)         Jesus Himself taught that human beings are:

(1)        evil (Matt.12:34)

(2)        capable of great wickedness (Mark 7:20-23)

(3)        utterly lost (Luke 19:10)

(4)        are sinners (Luke 15:10)

(5)        are in need of repentance before a holy God (Mark 1:15)

(6)        need to be born again (John 3:3, 5, 7)

d)        Jesus often spoke of sin in metaphors that illustrate the havoc sin can wreak in one’s life

(1)        blindness (Matt.23:16-26)

(2)        sickness (Matt.9:21)

(3)        being enslaved to bondage (John 8:34)

(4)        living in darkness (John 8:12; 12:35-46)

(5)        Jesus also taught that sin is universal & that all people are guilty before God (Lk.7:37-48)

e)         Jesus also taught that both inner thoughts and external acts render a person guilty (Matt.5:48)

(1)        He taught that from within the heart come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance, and foolishness (Mk.7:21-22)

(2)        He affirmed that God is fully aware of ever persons sins (Matt.22:18; Lk.6:8; Jn.4:17-19)

Where Did Sin Originate?

The Enemy: Satan Himself

His background

a)         Is he just like a Halloween costume?

(1)        Isaiah 14:12-17 & Ezekiel 28:11-19 tells us that the devil was originally called Lucifer

(a)         As a result of his sin of pride, he was throne out of heaven.

(b)        Revelation 12:3-4 says he took a third of the angels with him.

b)        Who really believes in the devil?

(1)        Jesus (Matt.4:1-11; Jn.12:31; 14:30; 16:11); Paul talked about him (1Cor.7:5); Peter (1Pet.5:8); James 4:7

His works

a)         The devil tempted Eve (Gen.3:1-6) & Christ (Matt.4:1-11)

b)        He perverts God’s Word (Matt.4:6) & opposes God’s work (Zech.3:1-2)

c)         He hinders God’s servants (1Thess.2:18) & the gospel (2Cor.4:3-4)

d)        He snares people (1Tim.3:6-7) & desires to control the nations of the earth (Rev.16:13-14)

e)         He is described as an angel of light (2Cor.11:14) & fought with Michael (Jude 9)

f)          He brought sin into the world (Gen.3:13) & now has the whole world lying in his lap (1Jn.5:18-19)

His character & methods

a)         Jesus describes his character as a murderer & a liar (Jn.8:44)

b)        He is a sinner (1Jn.3:8) a perverter (1Tim.4:1-3) & an imitator (2Cor.11:13-15 cf. Matt.7:15)

c)         Lucifer & his demons are cunning (Eph.6:11) the wiles of the devil

d)        Satan lies

(1)        To men

(a)         He prevents God’s Word from reaching the hearts of men (Luke 8:12)

(b)        He has men in pulpits who deny the authority of Scripture, the deity of Christ, salvation by grace, the second coming, judgment & sin.

(c)         He presents a life-style the damns men (Matt.7:13-14) the two gates

(2)        To Christians

(a)         Satan tries to create doubt in the minds of the believer (Gen.3:1-5)

(b)        He persecutes them (Rev.2:10) & hinders their service (1Thess.2:18)

(c)         He infiltrates the church with his tares (Matt.13:24-30, 36-43)

(d)        He tempts believers to be self-reliant, to doubt, lie, and be immoral, worldly, prideful, and discouraged.

(e)         Many people think that the longer you’re a Christian and the more mature you become, the easier life will be.

That is not true because the more you know, the more subtle the temptations become.

The Results of Sin - Consequences of Sin

What does sin do?

Sin goes from bad to worse (Rom.6:19)

a)         sin leads to more sin, it can lead to bondage in someone’s life.

b)        Sin says, ‘Well I can manage this, just one more time.

c)         It is like a match that can start a big forest fire

d)        Sin wants to come in and bring control over your life

Sin Lead’s to bondage (John 8:34)

a)         Sodom and Gomorra Genesis 19:4-11 the men are struck with blindness and grew weary trying to commit this sin.

b)        Like a rat who gets caught in a trap and while it is dying is still nibbling on the cheese.

Sin causes you to hate yourself (Luke 5:8 cf. Ezek.20:43)

Sin controls the mind, the will, the affections, and ultimately the person’s entire being (Eph.4:17-19)

5.      Sin controls not only what people think, but also what they decide to do & what they come to love. 

a)         1John 2:15-16

6.      Ephesians 2:3 are those who are controlled by the sin nature & objects of wrath (Jn.3:36; 1Cor.16:22).

Sin Has Consequences

1.      God hates sin (Hababkuk 1:13 & The Cross of Jesus)

2.      Sowing & Reaping

a)         Galatians 6:7

b)        Sin Brings Shame (Romans 6:20-21) are country has lost the ability of being shamed

c)         Sin Makes Man Unthankful

(1)        2 Timothy 3:2

(2)        Romans 1:20-21 Men become thankful in their heart

d)        Sin effects Every Person (Ps. 51:5; Romans 5:12; 3:9-12; 3:23)

3.      The result of sin is that it can damn a soul to eternal punishment and separation from God in hell.

a)         Hebrews 10:26,27,29,30

b)        Rev.20:11-15

c)         Matt.10:28

Millions of people die every year and ten’s of thousands die every day.  There are more than six billion people in the world, and they will all die sooner or later; the world’s birthrate is more than keeping up with the death rate.  So not only is every person in the world in the process of dying, but more people are being born to die all the time.  And the sad reality is that all will die in their sins unless they repent and believe the Gospel.  Hell is waiting for its victims.

The Power Over Sin

The Principles for Victory

You need to know what Scripture says.

a)         Romans 6:17

b)        Romans 6:1-7 cf. Ps.119:9

Recognize that Christ has defeated Satan

a)         1Jn.3:8 says that Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil

b)        Heb.2:14-15 says the plan was “that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver them who, through fear of death, were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”

c)         The Lord has already dealt a defeating blow!

Recognize the power of Christ in your life.

a)         The power that defeated Satan dwells in you (1Jn.4:4)

b)        When a believer is saved he receives the Spirit of God, in whom is the power that defeated Satan

Resist Satan

a)         1Pet.5:8-9 says, Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.   Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.”

b)        How do you resist him?

Don’t give Satan a place in your life

a)         Eph.4:26-27

b)        If he has a place in your life then you gave it to him, the key is your will.

(1)        do not be ignorant of his devices (2Cor.2:11)

(a)         These are his devices (1Jn.2:16)

(2)        flee temptation (2Tim.2:22)

(3)        lay aside our sin (Hebrews 12:1-2)

(4)        separate yourself from sin (Eph.5:11-14 cf. )

Let Christ control your thought life.

a)         2Cor.10:3-5

b)        We must have our minds controlled by the Word of God through the Spirit of God (Ps.119:11)

c)         There are no shortcuts to the effective victorious Christian life.

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