What are the sins of omission and the sins of commission?
1 John 5 AMP 16 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin that does not lead to death, he will pray and ask [on the believer’s behalf] and God will for him give life to those whose sin is not leading to death. There is a sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for this [kind of sin].17 All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death, one can repent of it and be forgiven.
Growing up we learned that sin is sin. But as we study the scriptures, God makes it a point to identify the kinds of sin that exist. Why do you think that is?
18 We know [with confidence] that anyone born of God does not habitually sin; but He (Jesus) who was born of God [carefully] keeps and protects him, and the evil one does not touch him. 19 We know [for a fact] that we are of God, and the whole world [around us] lies in the power of the evil one [opposing God and His precepts]. 20 And we [have seen and] know [by personal experience] that the Son of God has [actually] come [to this world], and has given us understanding and insight so that we may [progressively and personally] know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true—in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.
Example of Achan
Joshua 7:1 “But the children of Israel committed a trespass regarding the accursed things, for Achan the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed things; so the anger of the LORD burned against the children of Israel.”
Joshua 7:24 “Then Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, the silver, the garment, the wedge of gold, his sons, his daughters, his oxen, his donkeys, his sheep, his tent, and all that he had, and they brought them to the Valley of Achor. And Joshua said, Why have you troubled us?
Why do some think that when they commit sin, it only affects them?
The LORD will trouble you this day. So all Israel stoned him with stones; and they burned them with fire after they had stoned them with stones. Then they raised over him a great heap of stones, still there to this day. So the LORD turned from the fierceness of His anger. Therefore the name of that place has been called the Valley of Achor to this day.”
Its interesting to think that this gruesome scene was not only allowed by God but indeed commanded by God. It’s disturbing because it reminds us of how much our God hates sin.
God who loves you with all of His heart hates the sin in your life and that is why sin is so dangerous!
I. Sin is dangerous because sin is easy to commit.
Joshua 7:20-21 “And Achan answered Joshua and said, Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and this is what I have done: When I saw among the spoils a beautiful Babylonian garment, two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them.
Achan was a soldier in God’s army. He was part of that invading army that marched into Jericho after the walls had fallen.God had commanded that everything in the city be destroyed except for Rahab and her family. This was a terribly wicked city and as a result of their sin, God wanted the whole city destroyed. In fact, He said everything is to be destroyed.
Joshua 6:17-19 Now the city shall be doomed by the LORD to destruction, it and all who are in it. Only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all who are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. And you, by all means abstain from the accursed things (the set apart things, the things that were devoted unto the Lord), lest you become accursed when you take of the accursed things, and make the camp of Israel a curse and trouble it. But all the silver and gold and vessels of bronze and iron, are consecrated to the LORD; they shall come into the treasury of the LORD.
What are some examples of accursed things today?
It was easy to steal a garment (that should have been destroyed) some silver and gold! It didn’t seem like a big deal. But it was a big deal because God said not to take them! And sometimes the sin in your life and my life might not seem like a big deal to us—we may make excuses for it and we may try to justify and rationalize it and do all kinds of things that will help make it seem like not that big of a deal – sin is easy to commit.
That’s why the Bible says, 1 Corinthians 10:12 “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.”
In other words, it’s easy for us as believers to fall into deep sin. We make one little compromise after another until we find ourselves involved in deep sin.
Some of you have found yourself making one compromise after another—just one little slip after another—and this separates you from God. Its difficult to hear from him because you are hearing from the enemy.
Verse 21 Achan says I saw them, I coveted them and I took them. Just that easy! For some of you it’s as easy as clicking a website on your computer, as pushing a button on your tv remote control, picking up the phone and gossiping about someone. For some of you it’s as easy as telling a lie when you get into a difficult situation or getting into a relationship that you know is heading in the wrong direction.
Have you ever taken something that wasn’t yours? How did you justify it?
II. Sin is Dangerous because Sin is Impossible to Conceal.
Verse 21 “When I saw among the spoils a beautiful Babylonian garment, two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. And there they are, hidden in the earth in the midst of my tent, with the silver under it.”
He thought he had covered it up but Achan’s sin was always before the eyes of God! In fact the whole chapter of Joshua 7 simply recounts how God uncovered the sin that Achan had tried to conceal.
Joshua 7:2 “Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Beth Aven, on the east side of Bethel, and spoke to them, saying, Go up and spy out the country. So the men went up and spied out Ai.” 3. After they came to Jericho the next city to conquer was the city of Ai. And so Joshua sent in these spies and they came back and said, “You know Joshua we’ve just defeated Jericho—the oldest city in the entire world. A huge city with a wall all around it. Ai is going to be an easy victory. In fact, there’s no need for you to send in the whole army. Just two or three thousand men will be plenty. 4 “So about three thousand men went up there from the people, but they fled before the men of Ai. And the men of Ai struck down about thirty-six men, for they chased them from before the gate as far as Shebarim, and struck them down on the descent; therefore the hearts of the people melted and became like water.”
The men of Ai defeated the men of Israel. Thirty-six men lost their lives. Joshua became distraught he began to cry out to God. Verse 6: Then Joshua tore his clothes, and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the LORD until evening, he and the elders of Israel; and they put dust on their heads.” Joshua was heart broken because of the sin in the camp. He was heart broken because of the defeat that had come to Israel.
When was the last time you wept over your sin? When was the last time you cried out to God because of the sin in your life?
“Alas, Lord GOD, why have You brought this people over the Jordan at all—to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? Oh, that we had been content, and dwelt on the other side of the Jordan! O Lord, what shall I say when Israel turns its back before its enemies?” And then God spoke and said, Joshua get up there’s sin in the camp. And that sin that Achan had tried to conceal God began to reveal. God said, Joshua I want you to have the people of Israel come before you and I am going to show you the tribe then the clan then the family and then the man who committed this sin. 16 “So Joshua rose early in the morning and brought Israel by their tribes, and the tribe of Judah was taken (Achan was a member of the tribe of Judah) He brought the clan of Judah, and he took the family of the Zarhites; (Achan was of the family of the Zarhites) he brought the family of the Zarhites man by man, and Zabdi was taken. Then he brought his household man by man, and Achan the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken.”
Proverbs 28:13 “He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.”
When we try to cover up our sins the Bible says we will not prosper.
Sometimes we try to cover up our sins by:
1. Denying what we are doing is sin. There’s a whole lot of that going around today—trying to redefine or justify sin. And you know something sometimes as Christians we do it too!
2. Doing other good things in order that God will somehow overlook our sin. Maybe you’ve got a habitual sin in your life—something that you’ve been involved in for a long time. And you’re saying to yourself, “Well I’m in the choir or I’m a deacon—I’m faithful church member—I’m a Sunday School teacher and I’m doing all this studying of God’s Word—surely, God will overlook the sin that’s in my life.
3. Taking that sin and pushing it aside after we’ve played with it. We place it in a corner of our life and lock it up and put the key in our pocket and we try to pretend it’s not there. And every now and then when we get the urge we get that key out—unlock that box—take the sin out and play with it for a little while and then put it back as if it’s not really there.
III. Sin is dangerous because sin is certain to cost.
A. Achan lost his family
B. He lost his precious sons and his daughters
C. He lost his fortune—everything that he had
D. He lost his very life
E. He lost his reputation-because here we are 4000 yrs. later still talking about Achan’s sin.
Sin is certain to cost! Thirty-six men lost their lives because of the sin of Achan. Sin will cost you!
How has sin affected you in the past?
Christian sin will cost you:
1. Your fellowship with God-it will make God seem like He’s millions of miles away from you
2. Your job
3. Your health
4. Your relationship with your husband or wife
5. Your family—your children or someone else you love
Whatever the price might be—know for certain that sin is certain to cost—there’s a cost to be paid for sin.
Do you know what the ultimate cost for sin is? Jesus tells us in John 8:34. He says, “Whoever commits sin is a slave to sin.” Have you ever noticed that those sins that you think you have control over slowly began to take control over you? “Whoever commits sin is a slave to sin.”
When we sin we’re not going to be able to pull anything over on God. As soon as we sin, He knows. And so the question that He is asking some of you today is, “How long are you going to let sin be your master?”