IS DOING NOTHING SINFUL?


  1. INTRODUCTION:

    1. SCRIPTURE READING: James 4:17 "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin."

    2. THE KEY TO ANSWER THIS QUESTION LIES WITHIN JAMES 4:17:
      1. The phrase "knoweth to do good" is the key:
        1. "Knoweth" The individual knows the good and therefore must avoid the wrong.
        2. "Doeth" The is the application of the knowledge obtained from God"s Word.
      2. The verse show that those who were given to arrogant expressions of sinless living, while yet fully informed in what was right merely compounded their guilt in their refusal to "do good".
      3. The knowledge of knowing what is right, and then failing to do it, makes the failure to do good worse.
      • John 9:41 "Jesus said unto them (Pharisees), if ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, we see; therefore your sin remaineth."

      • Luke 12:47-48 "And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whosoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more."
      • John 15:22 "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin."

      • John 13:17 "If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them."

      1. Thus, the answer to the question "IS DOING NOTHING SINFUL?" Depends on the knowledge one has and the application of that knowledge.
        1. It is our obligation (responsibility) to do that which we know is good and avoid the wrong.
        2. It is our obligation (responsibility) when we know that which is wrong to refrain from doing it and do good.
        3. The knowledge of what is right makes us obligated to do those duties.
        4. Doubt, or the absence of knowledge, whether something, or some act, is right or wrong (good or bad) necessitates our abstinence from doing it.

    3. LET US NEVER FORGET THAT THERE ARE SINS OF OMISSION AS WELL AS SINS OF COMMISSION.
      1. Never assume you are good, simply because you are not bad.
      2. Remember the barren fig tree!
        1. Matthew 21:19 "And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, let no fruit grow on thee henceforward forever. And presently the fig tree withered away."
        2. The assumption was that fruit was on the tree since it had leaves.

    Note: In Palestine the figs come before the leaves.

        1. Let not our outward pretense, or show, give the incorrect idea of being fruitful, when it is in reality hypocrisy -- When the Lord looks at us may He find abundant fruits of righteousness.

  2. DISCUSSION:
  3. To lead each of us to correctly answer the question "IS DOING NOTHING SINFUL?" These lessons taught by Christ will help:

    1. THE GOOD SAMARITAN (Luke 10:25-37).
      1. The Sin of the priest and that of the Levite was one of "not doing", passing by on the other side.
      2. The Samaritan "did good", showing compassion and kindness – This was love in action. Jesus asked the lawyer what the law said in Luke 10:26 and his reply was in Luke 10:27 "…Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself."

    2. THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS (Luke 16:19-31).
      1. The fault of the rich man was a failure to "do good" unto Lazarus who had been "laid at his gate"
        (Luke 16:20).
      2. It was well within the power of the rich man to have Lazarus "…to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: …" (Luke 16:21).

    3. THE TEN VIRGINS (Matthew 25:1-13).
      1. Five of these were foolish in that they "did not good" in being prepared "…took no oil with them: " (Matthew 25:3).
      2. Five of these were wise As they came well prepared: "…took oil in their vessels with their lamps." (Matthew 25:4).

      Comment: We should be well prepared in our heart and our lives burning brightly for Christ. II Peter 3:14 "Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless."

    4. THE TALENTS (Matthew 25:14-30).
      1. The servant with one talent "did nothing".
      2. The other two servants (One with two talents, and the other with five) "did good" and put their talents to use.
      3. Each one was given talents according to their ability: "And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; …" (Matthew 25:15)

  4. CONCLUSION:

    1. THE ANSWER WE GIVE TO THE QUESTION "IS DOING NOTHING SINFUL?"
      WILL DETERMINE WHERE WE WILL SPEND ETERNITY.

    2. THE SHEEP AND THE GOATS (Matthew 25:31-46).
      1. The people (goats) on the left because they had not "done good" , heard the Lord say to them,
        (Matthew 25:41) "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels;"  (Matthew 25:46) "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment:…".
      2. The people (sheep) on the right had "done good" and heard the Lord say unto them, (Matthew 25:34) "…Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:"; (Matthew 25:46) "…the righteous into life eternal." .
      3. Let none of us entertain the thought that the Lord will bless, or save one, merely because he does no evil.

    3. GIVE CAREFUL THOUGHT TO THESE TWO PASSAGES IN CLOSING:
    • Luke 6:46-49 "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock;: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great."
    • Matthew 7:21 "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."

 

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