Bad Apple: Part 5: Sin’s Defeat

Bad Apple: Part 5: Sin’s Defeat

Bad Apple: Sin’s Defeat 


  1. This past week many of us turned our eyes to one of the most popular sporting events in the world: the Super Bowl.
    1. The two teams playing weren’t my favorite, but as difficult as it was I was kind of rooting for the Eagles—mainly because they were the underdog.
    2. Haven’t won a Super Bowl. Fighting against one of the longest running football dynasties.
    3. We like to root for the underdog. We revel in the little guy, through his cleverness or just grit and determination, overthrowing the oppressive power of the Patriots.
  2. Well in scripture, we are the underdog—the only problem is that, no matter how much we may root for ourselves, there is no hope of us throwing off the oppressive shackles of our enemy: sin.
    1. Sin isn’t simply a problem to overcome, but a power to overthrow.
    2. This is why Paul refers to our relationship to sin as enslavement (Rom. 6:12, 16), but one that we willingly give in to.
    3. Here’s the problem: God is Holy and we are not. God is just and must punish wickedness, and yet we can’t do enough good to make up for the evil we do (just look at how often you mess up in a single day).
    4. How can we possibly hope to defeat sin and be saved from the coming wrath of God?
  3. The message of the gospel is through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ sin is defeated (Col. 2:13-15)—but how?
  4. This is the question we want to answer in the final lesson of our series “Bad Apple” as we examine “Sin’s defeat.”

Achievements (13-14, 20)

  • Paul sets forth that “what” of the cross—that is, what actually happens to break the chains of sin:
    • Deliverance, transference (Adoption), redemption, forgiveness, and reconciliation.
    • Each of these elements come together to break the power that sin has over us—or to justify us—to make us right before Him.
  • In fact, these achievements correspond to some consequences of sin.
    • We are victims, so he delivers.
    • We are orphans, so he adopts.
    • We are slaves, so he buys.
    • We are guilty, so he forgives.
    • We are at war, so he makes peace.
  • What’s even more astounding is that he does this while we were hostile toward Him (v. 21; Rom. 5:6-8, 10).
    • Notice you were “hostile in mind, doing evil deeds.”
      • Sin enslaves us through deception, and “by nature we become children of wrath” (Eph. 2:3), hating what is good and loving what is evil.
      • So, our very life becomes hostile to God (although we don’t often like to think of ourselves in this way) and yet God comes to us with grace, delivers us from our chains, buys us back, forgives us and adopts us—we were still throwing punches and he showed us compassion. 
    • Reminds me of a video I saw of a white nationalist parade.
      • A black man was walking past the demonstration and suddenly turned to look at one of the men in the eyes.
      • He asked him simply “Why don’t you like me?” As the man yelled at him he slowly walked up him, continuing to ask the question, and the man finally responds “I don’t know.”
      • I imagine we are the same way. Our lifestyles and thoughts raging against God’s holiness, against truly abundant life, and God asks “Why are you doing this?” I imagine many of us would respond “I don’t know.”
    • Because sin has ensnared us—we have been taken captive by Satan to do his will (2 Tim. 2:26)—but the the achievement of the cross is to break His power over us through deliverance, adoption, redemption, forgiveness, and reconciliation.
    • Yet, central to understanding why the cross does this is understanding who sacrificed themselves on the cross.

Attributes (15-19)

  • Paul makes the transition from discussing the accomplishments of the cross to the attributes of the person on the cross.
    • This is important because it answers two questions:
      • Why can Jesus take my place on the cross?
      • Why can every individual benefit from the work of the cross?
    • That is, what gives Jesus the right to die for me, and how can the entire world benefit from the death of one man.
  • Of course, Paul’s answer—in one of the most astonishing descriptions of Jesus—is that He isn’t simply another man.
    • The image of God (v. 15, 18; Heb. 1:3).
    • The agency of creation (v 16).
    • Eternal (17b)
    • The sustainer of the cosmos (v. 17; Heb. 1:3).
    • Head of the church (v. 18).
  • This was accomplished “by Him” through “His cross” (v. 20)—the identity of the one on the cross matters. Why?
    • Because it isn’t simply a man hanging there—but God Himself.
      • This is the Creator dying for the creation—a creation that is actively hostile against all that He is.
      • This is absolute, unimaginable love (Rom. 5:8).
      • Because of this:
        • He can die for my sins, because he doesn’t have to be punished for his own (discuss this more in a minute).
        • Also because He is the creator of all, all that he has created can partake of the benefit of His death.
          • Notice the connection of the phrase “heaven and earth” in v. 16, 20—He was the agent of creation, therefore he can be the agency of new creation.
          • Just as when a father dies, his multiple children can receive the benefits of the inheritance (v. 12) so too, when Jesus dies, his creation can all benefit from his death.
  • Yet, what exactly had to occur in order for him to break the power of sin and provide the benefits we discussed earlier.

Agency (20-22)

  • The agency, or instrument of our salvation, and the key that breaks the power of sin, is “through the blood of His cross” and “in the body of his flesh through death.”
    • In reality it should say “through the blood of my cross” because the reality is that is where I deserve to be (James 1:14-15).
    • I sin, I should die. The demands of God’s justice must be met—but something happens.
    • This God, who is the creator of all things, the sustainer of the cosmos, who comes as a human and lives a perfect life, raises his hand and says “I will take their place.”
  • This is what we refer to as “penal substitutionary atonement” that is, Christ suffered on my behalf so that I can be saved (Rom. 610; 2 Cor. 5:21)
    • He died for us; he died for me. This wicked, rebellious, stubborn, willful, ignorant sinner. Broken and beaten into slavery to sin.
    • In this sacrifice, sin’s power is defeated because it no longer has power over us.
    • Sin had power over us because it brought us under condemnation of the law—you sinned, therefore you deserve God’s justice. Yet, the demands of the law have been met through the sacrifice of Christ—someone suffered for my sins so I don’t have to.
    • Rom. 7:24-25a; Rom. 8:1-2.


  • Why does this matter?
    • Because this entire series we’ve discussed how powerful sin is; how often we are deceived into believing its lies.
    • One of the greatest lies that sin gets us to believe is that it can’t be conquered—when the truth is that it already has.
    • Salvation isn’t a question of whether or not God can save you—the question is, will you let him?


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