(Note: A downloadable PDF copy of this lesson is available on the last page.)
If you don’t know what sin is, you will inevitably suffer from its effects and probably wonder why!
The wages of sin is death.
Romans 6:23, NKJV
He will save His people from their sins.
Matthew 1:21, NKJV
One day I walked out to the plant with another engineer named Al. He said, “You seem to be happier lately, and you don’t enter into the gripe sessions about the boss any more. What happened?” He took me by surprise. I had no idea there was any noticeable change since I had asked Christ to take away my anger. I made a feeble effort to explain my quest for help, but as a young Christian, I didn’t understand what had happened very clearly myself.
“Can you help my wife and me? We are two miserable people,” he said.
Well, my struggle had been very personal to me. I had no interest in getting involved in other people’s lives. But his question was a challenge. Since I did research routinely as part of my work, I asked him to give me some time to study and research what had happened to me.
TELLING OTHERS ABOUT THE CHANGE IN ME
Finally, I had worked up a presentation and told him I was ready. My wife Eva and I invited Al and his wife to come to our house for one evening. When we sat down together, I reminded them that this “change” in my life only happened a few weeks ago. I had no idea how long it would last. Briefly, I told them that several years ago I had asked Jesus to come into my life and save me from my sins. Lately, I had asked Him to cleanse the anger and hate out of my heart, and as I understood it, He gave me the strength to be kind and tenderhearted on a daily basis.
I told them, “To tell the truth, I feel rather foolish telling you this. It seems as if I should be able to manage my own life, but I can’t.”
They both had tears in their eyes. They thought it was a wonderful story. I didn’t want to get sidetracked from my presentation, so I said, “Let’s look at what I have prepared.”
I started out in the Garden of Eden. I took them through Moses’ problems and the kings and the prophets (I wanted to be thorough). I touched on a few psalms. This took a couple of hours and pretty soon I moved into the New Testament and the gospel. I explained to them that Christ came into this world, and He loved the world so much that He died for us. And then I very generally asked them if they were ready to receive Christ. He said, “You know, I was ready an hour ago.”
We all prayed rather awkwardly.
I have boiled my presentation down a little bit since then, but Al and Goldie became children of God and the first people I ever introduced to Jesus. Their marriage was healed. They became active in a church and never turned back. I still see Al occasionally. Goldie and Eva are with the Lord.
This experience with Al and Goldie opened up a whole new vista of opportunity for my wife and me that we never knew existed. We developed a hunger to know the Bible and share with other people. We had been going to church regularly and went to Sunday school, but in making preparation to talk with Al, I became aware of huge gaps in my biblical knowledge. The biggest gap was that I didn’t know the meaning of sin.
My wife and I began to do research into what is the nature of sin. We found the definition of sin in the dictionary: an offense against God. But we quickly discovered the subject was broader and deeper than we ever dreamed it would be. In just five scriptures in the Bible we found over fifty sins listed. (See Appendix for a more complete list of sins and related scriptures.)