How a person views and deals with sin determines whether they are wise or they are foolish. Here we have Solomon teaching us the important lesson that how a man views the whole concept and reality of sin is vitally important. If we miss this - and decide how a person sees sin is not really important to us - we will find ourselves in the company of those who are fools. We will find ourselves allowing those who think sin does not even exist - be those who counsel us as to how we should have a sound mind.
The fact that we are bypassing this issue - especially when it comes to our worldview - is wreaking havoc on the church. Let me explain for a moment, because this issue is absolutely vital to us today. How a man views sin will ultimately either bless or corrupt everything he does. Most philosophies actually reject the idea of sin. They see our problem as a lack of education - or a lack of opportunity for people. Some even see the problem as believing that there is truth upon which we define and state whether actions and choices are sinful or not. They reject the very idea of sin - and consider guilt as a root problem for all people. The way they deal with this is to make truth an issue of individuality. Your truth is your truth - and you are free to live however you want based on what you consider to be true. Thus, if your truth states that there is no sin - that guilt is a bad thing - then that is true for you. This denial of sin goes further because it asserts that no one has the right to call your truth falsehood. You can imagine the problems this makes for a society in which everyone is a free agent, determining what is right or wrong for themselves. Actually it is not much different from the book of Judges where there was no God and every man did what was right in his own eyes. In this kind of society rules are constantly shifting like blowing sand. The end of this is a state in which a growing ungodliness and lawlessness begins to take root. By the way - this eventually leads to a culture of corruption and violence that is out of control. The people begin calling for someone to rise up and restore order - which in turn gives rise to a dictator who then re-establishes "order" according to "his rules." If you would like to know when this has happened in history, take a look at the Weimar Republic - which gave rise to Hitler's Germany. It has also happened in numerous examples of dictatorships of every stripe.
Mankind is best ruled by God's law established in their hearts by the work of His grace. But until men come to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ - it is so necessary for a Law to be established because of the wickedness of man's fallen heart. Here we see why it is so important to define sin - and define it according to God's Word. If God has revealed Himself in the Bible, then we know how to define righteousness - truth - and what is and what is not sin. This becomes the bedrock of laws that are established in a nation. But the best thing - which our founders realized - is that men's hearts be ruled according to God's law. Our founders knew this - and thus were pinning their hopes on a heart initially ruled by God's 10 commandments. This set of God's laws would restrain so much sin and ungodly behavior - that then a society could be ruled by fewer laws. But where there is no law - there is no sin. Since our nation has rejected the 10 commandments as an illegal document by which to rule our nation, then we are left to the shifting sands of public opinion and man's evil heart to govern us. Is it any wonder that our laws continue to degrade - allowing just about any conduct to be considered legal - but not just legal - acceptable. In the end the Bible tells us where this will go - as men call good evil and evil good. Watch closely, dear saints, as more and more Biblical positions will be considered illegal by those who mock at sin. But there is even a greater evil that is foisted upon us by mocking at sin.
When sin is mocked - when the whole idea of guilt is abandoned - then there is no real reason for a Savior. The second half of this proverb states that among the upright there is "good will." The word used here for "good will" means "the favor of God." When the concept of sin is rejected by the philosophies of this present world - then there is no need for any kind of redemption from it. If we are not guilty of anything before God, then it seems pretty arrogant of God to call for the death of His only Son to pay for . . . "nothing." Follow where your philosophy ultimately leads you. If you mock at and deny guilt and sin - and this is where it leads. That is why we have modern day preachers in the church calling the death of Christ, "divine child abuse."
Without sin and guilt - there is actually no wrong behavior. But a corollary to this doctrine is that without wrong behavior - neither is there any real "upright" behavior either. All things become neutral - and the matter of individual hearts. You have no business in that society stating your view on anything. To do so is to risk the danger of being called "judgmental." The problem is that there IS WRONG BEHAVIOR! We all know it in our conscience. The only way to rid ourselves of this is to sear our conscience as with a hot iron.
The fact is that there is sin - whether men mock it or not. There is a guilt that comes with breaking God's Law. That guilt and that offense is real - and it poses a serious problem. According to God's Word, sin and guilt require accountability and punishment. There is an earthly punishment meted out by men in the governmental sphere (Romans 13) - but the real problem is the divine retribution for rebellion and sin. The good will - i.e. grace - that the upright know is one given not by works, but by grace through faith. God has provided the way through Jesus Christ - His death, burial, and resurrection. That is given as a gift to those who respond when God grants knowledge and conviction of sin, repentance, and faith to the sinner through the gospel. When we look at the amazing thing God has done for us - and His infinite mercy in granting it to us - we have to come to the same conclusion that our proverb states to us today. Only a fool would disdain this grace . . . only a fool would disregard the wonderful work of God's conviction by the Spirit . . . and mock sin. By doing so, he also mocks the grace that is freely given to those made upright by it. He mocks the gospel.