You may think you are not so bad, better than most. But that's not the point, for not one of us has come anywhere near God's perfect standard - Jesus Christ. We can't even come up to our own standards. We may not have done anything especially wicked. We are sinners because we are just not good enough.

I sin when I do what I want. The Bible says, 'Each of us has turned to his own way' (Isaiah 53:6).

Doing what I want: this is the cause of our trouble, unhappiness and quarrels.

Sin is not just killing, stealing or telling lies. I sin when I live to please myself rather than God.

I sin when I can't be bothered with God or with other people; when I say 'I'm my own boss; it's my life; I can do what I like with it' - this is SIN - I in the middle - me first.

I sin when I do not love God with all my heart. Jesus said, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment' (Matthew 22:37-38).

Not one of us has loved God like this. We have all broken the great commandment. We are all self-centred rather than God-centred.

What sin does

Sin spoils

Sin is like an ugly blot on a clean page. Being selfish, lazy, thoughtless, telling lies and dirty stories ruins your character. Sin destroys the happiness of a home and friendship.

Sin spreads

Sin is like weeds in a garden; if not rooted out, they will soon overrun it. Little acts of dishonesty and disobedience soon become habits we cannot break.

Sin separates

Sin is like a thick cloud which blots out the sun. That is why God seems miles away. He is pure and holy. He hates sin. He cannot and will not look at sin. It blocks the way to him. Sin cuts you off from God in this life and in the life to come. Be quite clear about this; hell is a grim and dreadful reality for all who reject Jesus Christ in this life.

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