THE DOCTRINE OF SIN
(Lesson 08 on Bible Doctrines)
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).
"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Romans 5:12).
"The soul that sinneth, it shall die" (Ezekiel 18:4b).
"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23).
- WHAT IS SIN?
- "While various sins are defined in the Word of God, we conclude from the teaching of the Scriptures that sin is any want of conformity to the character of God, whether it be in act, disposition, or state" – Lewis Sperry Chafer, Major Bible Themes.
- "Sin may be defined ultimately as anything in the creature which does not express, or which is contrary to, the holy character of the Creator" – James Oliver Buswell, Jr., A Systematic Theology of the Christian Religion.
- Sin is missing the mark, rebellion, iniquity, wickedness, lawlessness, transgression, and ignorance of God’s law. All sin is ultimately against God (Gen.39:9; Ps.51:4; Rom.8:7). We need to understand God’s holiness (Ps.145:17; Isa.6; Hab.1:13), what sin is (Rom.14:23b; James 2:10; I John 3:4; 5:17,19), and that all have sinned against God (Jer.17:9; Rom.3:9-23).
- "The literal meanings of the Hebrew and Greek words variously rendered ‘sin,’ ‘sinner,’ etc., disclose the true nature of sin in its manifold manifestations. Sin is transgression, an overstepping of the law, the divine boundary between good and evil (Ps.51:1; Luke 15:29); iniquity, an act inherently wrong, whether expressly forbidden or not; error, a departure from right (Ps.51:9; Rom.3:23); missing the mark, a failure to meet the divine standard; trespass, the intrusion of self-will into the sphere of divine authority (Eph.2:1); lawlessness, or spiritual anarchy (I Tim.1:9); unbelief, or an insult to the divine veracity (John 16:9). Sin originated with Satan (Isa.14:12-14); entered the world through Adam (Rom.5:12); was, and is, universal, Christ alone excepted (Rom.3:23; I Peter 2:22); incurs the penalties of spiritual and physical death (Gen.2:17; 3:19; Ezek.18:4,20; Rom.6:23); and has no remedy but in the sacrificial death of Christ (Heb.9:26; Acts 4:12) availed of by faith (Acts 13:38,39). Sin may be summarized as threefold: An act, the violation of, or want of obedience to the revealed will of God; a state, absence of righteousness; a nature, enmity toward God" – Scofield Study Bible, p. 1194.
- THE ORIGIN OF SIN
- Sin originated when Lucifer, "the anointed cherub," rebelled against God (Isa.14:12-17; Ezek.28:12-19).
- The Lord Jesus Christ acknowledged Satan as the ruler of this world (John 12:31), the head of his own kingdom (Matt.12:26), the father of hard-hearted and stiff-necked liars, murderers, and all unbelievers (John 8:44), "the wicked one" who opposes the Gospel (Matt.13:39), the enemy who sows tares among the wheat (Matt.13:39), and the one who causes people to do wrong.
- THE EFFECTS OF SIN
- Sin destroys lives (Gen.3:7-19; John 3:18-20; Rom.6:23; James 1:13-16).
- One of Satan’s names is "Abaddon" ("Apollyon"), which means "Destroyer" (Rev.9:11; cf. John 10:10; I Peter 5:8).
- Sin brings both physical and spiritual death (Rom.6:23; Rev.20:14,15).
- THE PERVASIVENESS OF SIN
- Our Lord said "out of the heart of men proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man" (Mark 7:21-23).
- Man is sinful from the crown of his head to the bottom of his feet (Isa.1:5,6; Rom.3:10-18).
- THE DECEITFULNESS OF SIN
- Sin hardens people (Heb.3:13; Pro.29:1; I Tim.4:2).
- We are easily deceived, and even deceive ourselves (Gal.6:3; James 1:22-27).
- The Scriptures often warn: "Be not deceived" (I Cor.6:9; 15:33; Gal.6:7,8).
- THE CONTRAST BETWEEN THE SINS OF BELIEVERS AND UNBELIEVERS
- Unsaved people die in their sins (John 8:24; I Tim.5:24), hate the Lord Jesus Christ because of their sins (John 15:22-25), and have to face the penalty of their sins (Rev.20:11-15; 21:8).
- Those who have repented of their sin and have trusted Christ as their Saviour, have had their sins forgiven (Col.2:13).
- Christ paid the penalty for our sins (Isa.53:6).
- Christ died as a Substitute for sinners (II Cor.5:21; I Peter 2:24; 3:18).
- Christ "Himself purged our sins" (Heb.1:3).
- Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29).
- His blood has washed away our sins (Eph.1:7; Col.1:14; I John 1:7—2:2; Rev.1:5).
- "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us" (Ps.103:12).
- God has blotted out our sins and will not remember them (Isa.43:25; 44:22; Heb.10:17). He has cast them all behind His back (Isa.38:17).
- God will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea (Micah 7:19). In the new earth there will be "no more sea" (Rev.21:1).
Pastor James Barker