Is Anything Done in Moderation Not a Sin?

Text: Romans 6:8-15


I.         I was asked recently what I thought about the argument that gambling once in a while (two or three times a week) wasn’t sinful because “anything done in moderation is not a sin.”

            A.        We could address the issue of gambling from a number of viewpoints to show that it is sinful.

                        1.         It is based on covetousness or greed because gambling is the taking of another person’s possessions without fair or just compensation.

                        2.         If you argue “it’s just a game,” then why not play without the involvement of money. Saying that money gives it more excitement is to say that it is not the game that matters but the opportunity to win money.

                        3.         Gambling is an attempt to profit without effort, but God tells us to profit by:

                                    a.         Labor - Ephesians 4:28; II Thessalonians 3:10-12

                                    b.         Exchange or bartering - Acts 5:3-4

                                    c.         Investing - Matthew 25:14-30

                                    d.         Giving - Acts 20:35; Ephesians 4:28

                        4.         Gambling is an act of selfishness. A giver is happy to help another person. But a gambler is unhappy if another takes his money.

            B.        But the issue of something being wrong only if it is done to excess is what caught my attention.

II.        Can anything be done in moderation without it being a sin?

            A.        Let’s take a look at a list of sins - Revelation 21:8

                        1.         Can these be done in moderation?

                        2.         Some would argue so, but what about murder?

            B.        The argument is that anything can be done moderately, so could a person commit murder moderately?

                        1.         If a person only committed a murder every ten years or so, would that be moderate?

                        2.         The fact is that God states murder is wrong. Period - Genesis 9:5-6

                        3.         Quantity is not a factor

            C.        Perhaps the argument is that we can moderate the quality.

                        1.         So what if a person just almost commits a murder, is that moderate?

                        2.         No, we recognize that it is assault

                        3.         God actually takes it further - I John 3:15

                        4.         Therefore, quality is not a factor

III.       The true problem is that the definition of sin is being ignored

            A.        Sin is the breaking of law - I John 3:4

                        1.         It is not how often it is broken

                        2.         It is not how well it is broken

            B.        Laws exist for our good - Deuteronomy 6:4

                        1.         Thus breaking laws is bad for us.

            C.        Law breaking can’t be reduced, only engaged in or eliminated

                        1.         Does God ever teach that we ought to only reduce the amount of sin we commit? Only if the reduction is to zero.

                        2.         Consider these verses from Romans 6 - Romans 6:1-2, 6, 11-13, 15

IV.      What we really have is an advocation of situational ethics

            A.        Situation ethics is a denial that there is a strict concept of right and wrong. There is no absolutes.

            B.        When the appeal is made to moderation, consider who is the judge of what is moderate?

                        1.         It is an individual’s judgment based on his own personal feelings

                        2.         This is anarchy of the worse sort - Judges 21:25

                        3.         Man is not able to make such decisions - Jeremiah 10:23

V.        Instead of excusing sin, we need to face the fact that we are not here on this world to please ourselves

            A.        Ecclesiastes 12:13 - Our whole duty is to please God

            B.        What God requires - Micah 6:8

            C.        We belong to God - I Corinthians 6:20

            D.        Our aim is to please God - II Corinthians 5:9

            E.        If you want life, keep God’s commandments - Matthew 19:17

            F.        Jesus saves those who obey - Hebrews 5:9


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