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                 The Gospel's Answer To The "Love" Of Sin
                             (Faith In Jesus)

1. In the previous lesson, we introduced "How The Gospel Addresses The
   Problem Of Sin"

2. In this lesson we focus our attention to that part of the problem
   which is the "love" of sin...
   a. We saw that sin does have its pleasurable side - He 11:24-25
   b. This pleasure makes it easy for men to love sin...
      1) Such love often blinds men to the truth - Jn 3:19
      2) Such love definitely alienates one from the love of the Father
         - 1 Jn 2:15

3. The gospel of Jesus Christ answers the problem of the "love" of sin
   by commanding us to have "faith," in particular, to "believe in
   a. E.g., notice Mk 16:15-16
   b. Faith can be defined as "a strong conviction, assurance"
   c. When we come to have the right kind of faith, we will come to no
      longer love sin, but even to hate it!
   d. As the Psalmist expressed in Psa 119:104

4. In this study, I want to do two things:
   a. Define the kind of faith the gospel requires to really hate sin
   b. Briefly consider the evidence the gospel presents to create that
      kind of faith


      1. That the gospel requires such faith is clear - Jn 20:30-31;
         1 Jn 5:13
      2. I.e., a strong conviction that Jesus of Nazareth, son of Mary,
         was indeed:
         a. The Messiah foretold by the Jewish prophets - Ac 2:36
         b. More than just a good man, but the only begotten Son of God
            - Jn 1:14

      1. Believing that Jesus died for our sins is a necessary part of
         the gospel - 1 Co 15:1-3
      2. Understand...Jesus died for OUR sins!
         a. Just as the Scriptures foretold He would - Isa 53:4-6
         b. Why, because God loves us! - Jn 3:16; Ro 5:8

      1. This fact is also an important part of the gospel
      2. Consider 1 Co 15:3-4; Ro 10:9

      1. If we are strongly convicted that...
         a. Jesus was truly the beloved Son of God
         b. He was really the Christ, the promised Messiah
         c. God loved us so much (and hated sin so much) that He sent
            His Son to die for us
         d. God raised Him from the dead to prove to us that His death
            was an acceptable sacrifice for sin
         ...then how can we not hate sin?
      2. With such faith, we now hold sin responsible for...
         a. Making the death of Christ necessary in the first place!
         b. The anguish God must have felt when He:
            1) Saw the separation between Him and us!
            2) Deemed it necessary to have His Son die for us!
         c. The pain and agony suffered by Jesus!
            1) In the garden of Gethsemane - Mt 26:39
            2) On the cross of Calvary - Mt 27:46
      3. When we understand and really believe these things, then we
         will say with the Psalmist: "Through your precepts I get
         understanding; therefore I HATE every false way." - Psa 119:104

[This is the kind of faith called for in obedience to the gospel, and
the kind of faith which effectively deals with the love of sin! But how
does one gain this kind of faith?

Faith comes from the Word of God (Ro 10:17).  Indeed, as the apostles of
Christ proclaimed the gospel, they presented evidence designed to
create faith in the hearts of their listeners...]


      1. An important foundation upon which faith in Christ was based!
         a. Jesus knew this was how people would come to believe on Him
            - cf. Jn 17:20
         b. Therefore, in their preaching and teaching, the apostles
            appealed to this line of evidence...
            1) Peter - Ac 2:32; 3:14-15; 4:33; 10:39-41
            2) John - Jn 20:30-31; 1 Jn 1:1-3
            3) Paul - 1 Co 15:3-8
      2. How strong is this evidence?  Consider...
         a. The number of witnesses
            1) This affects the strength or weakness of any testimony
            2) E.g., the OT required at least two or three - Deu 17:6
            -- In this regard, the strength is very strong - 1 Co 15:5-8
               (over 500 people!)
         b. The character of these witnesses
            1) Some had not believed in Christ prior to His resurrection
               a) Like His brothers in the flesh - Jn 7:3-5; Mk 3:21
               b) But after the resurrection, they too became disciples!
                  - Ac 1:14
            2) Some were disciples who had been skeptical after His
               a) E.g., Thomas - Jn 20:24-25
               b) Only after hard, empirical evidence did he believe
                  - Jn 20:26-28
            3) Some were former enemies who had violently opposed Christ
               (e.g., Paul)
            -- They were not gullible people willing to believe
         c. The nature of their testimony
            1) Hard, empirical evidence - Jn 20:25; Ac 10:40-41; 1 Jn
            2) Objective, not subjective evidence
            -- Testimony that cannot be attributed to hallucinations,
               dreams, etc.
         d. The transformation which took place
            1) Prior to the resurrection, they were cowards who had lost
               a) They fled at His arrest - Mk 14:50
               b) Peter denied Him
               c) They hid for fear of the Jews - Jn 20:19
            2) Yet, after the resurrection, they were praising God and
               proclaiming Christ boldly as having been raised from the
               a) Praising God in the temple - Lk 24:52-53
               b) Proclaiming Christ, despite persecution - Ac 5:28-32,
            3) Even an honest Orthodox Jew admits that the
               transformation in their lives is strong evidence for
               their testimony:
               a) "If the disciples were totally disappointed and on the
                  verge of desperate flight because of the very real
                  reason of the crucifixion, it took another very real
                  reason in order to transform them from a band of
                  disheartened and dejected Jews into the most self-
                  confident missionary society in world history."
                  (PINCHAS LAPIDE, former chairman of the Applied
                  Linguistics Department at Israel's Bar-Iland
               b) Lapide concluded that a bodily resurrection could have
                  possibly been that reason! (TIME, May 7, 1979)
            -- The change in the apostles gives strength to their
         e. The high moral standard they taught and lived
            1) Exhorted the disciples to live holy lives - 1 Th 4:1-7
            2) Lived their own lives in an unimpeachable way - 1 Th 2:
            -- Does this sound like people who would propagate a lie if
               they knew better?
         f. The sacrifices they paid in life and death
            1) They endured much hardship because of their testimony
               - 1 Co 4:9-13
            2) All but one of the apostles died violent deaths because
               of their testimony of the resurrection
            3) Even James, Jesus' brother, was thrown off the temple and
               clubbed to death for his refusal to recant his eyewitness
               testimony of the resurrection of Jesus!
      3. Deny the resurrection of Jesus, and you impugn the honesty and
         integrity of these witnesses!
         a. They would have had to been rank liars and frauds, out to
            deceive the world!
         b. Yet, these are the very ones...
            1) Who tell us what we know of Jesus, whose life and
               teachings has transformed the history of the world and
               the lives of millions!
            2) Who gave us the New Testament, containing the highest
               standard of morality
               the world has ever known!
      -- Does it make sense to call such men liars and frauds?

   [To accept their testimony and the fact of the resurrection is not
   only rational, it is the beginning of the kind of faith which will
   come to hate sin!  But there is even more evidence which creates this
   kind of faith...]

      1. This was also an important foundation upon which faith in
         Christ was based
         a. Jesus used this to strengthen the faith of His disciples
            1) The two disciples on the road to Emmaus - Lk 24:25-27
            2) The apostles - Lk 24:44-47
         b. In their own teaching and preaching, the apostles appealed
            to fulfilled prophecy
            1) Peter - Ac 2:29-31; 3:18,24
            2) Philip - Ac 8:35
            3) Paul - Ac 17:2,3
      2. How strong is this evidence?  Consider...
         a. There are at least 330 prophecies in the OT fulfilled in
            Jesus Christ!
            1) Twenty-nine (29) were fulfilled in one day!
            2) Such prophecies were spoken at various times by many
               different people during the ten centuries from 1500 B.C.
               to 500 B.C.
         b. The science of probabilities demonstrates that it is nigh to
            impossible Jesus fulfilled these prophecies by coincidence
            1) In one study (by Peter Stoner), eight (8) prophecies were
               a) The likelihood of anyone fulfilling just these eight
                  by chance was calculated to be 1 in 10 to the 17th
               b) This would be like finding on the first try, while
                  blindfolded, a marked silver dollar in a pile of
                  silver dollars two-feet high covering the entire state
                  of Texas!
            2) In another study (also by Peter Stoner), forty-eight (48)
               prophecies were considered:
               a) The likelihood of a coincidence was 1 in 10 to the
                  157th power!
               b) How big a number is 10 to the 157th power?
                  1] Counting at the rate of 250 a minute...
                  2] It would take you 19 million times 19 million times
                     19 million years to count such a number!
               c) Remember, that is just calculating the chance of any
                  one man coincidentally fulfilling 48 prophecies -
                  Jesus fulfilled 330!
         c. Look at it another way...
            1) Your chances of surviving a fall from 10,000 feet without
               a parachute is 1 in 10 million - would you "willingly"
               jump and take such a chance?
            2) Yet to reject Jesus because one thinks fulfilling 330
               prophecies was coincidental is infinitely more risky than
               jumping out of an airplane at 10,000 feet without a
            3) We would say that anyone who jumped out of an airplane
               with such odds against survival is either stupid, crazy
               or ignorant of the risks
            4) What about someone who takes the chance of rejecting
               Christ in view of the overwhelming odds he is wrong about


1. This is the kind of evidence in the Word of God to create faith in
   Jesus as the Son of God:
   a. Eyewitness testimony of the resurrection of Jesus by numerous,
      reliable witnesses
   b. Fulfilled messianic prophecy that overwhelmingly convinces any
      informed, rational and objective person!
   -- Yes, "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God."
      - Ro 10:17

2. What kind of faith?
   a. A faith that hates sin...
      1) For what it did (separated us from God)
      2) For what it cost (the death of God's only begotten Son)
      3) For what it can do when engaged in by the unrepentant Christian
         (crucify again the Son afresh - He 6:4-6)
   b. A faith that loves God...
      1) For what He has done
      2) For what He is doing
      3) For what He will do
   c. A faith that will...
      1) Do whatever God desires me to do, to rid my life of the guilt
         of sin (e.g., faith, repentance, and baptism)
      2) Utilize whatever blessing God offers to overcome the problem of
         sin (e.g., remission of sins, gift of the Holy Spirit, the
         promise of eternal life)

Do you have that kind of faith which the gospel both gives and
requires...a loving and obedient faith?

          "If you love Me, keep My commandments."  (Jn 14:15)
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