The Word for Writers
The Truth About Sin
by Kevin Cook
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If you were to ask people today about sin you would probably get a whole mirage of different answers. A lot of folks know what sin is, some are not really sure about it, and many people frankly donít want to know. So what about sin? What does the Bible tell us about it? Lets explore sin shall we!
SIN - WHAT IS IT
There are several terms that explain to us what sin is, they are:1) Transgression 2) Rebellion
3) Lawlessness 4) Disobedience, Just to name a few. They give us a clear indication of what sin is, yet many in the church today have lost sight of what sin is, and so has society.
James 4:17 - Anyone, then who knows the good he ought to do and does not do it, sins.
So sin is knowing to do right and doing wrong anyway. This is a typical problem with human beings resulting from our sinful human nature; it is our natural inclination to commit sin, to be lawless. There is a big lie that has been circulated by humanists, and others that states that all people are basically good, and we know that is not true at all because GodĎs sayĎs that we are all sinners.
-- International Standard Version
1 John 3:4 Everyone who keeps living in sin also practices disobedience. In fact, sin is
-- William's NewTestament
1 John 3:4 Everyone who commits sin commits lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.
Sin is disobedience to God plain and simple. Anyone who knows right from wrong and does not do what is right has disobeyed God. Disobedience and lawlessness is the same thing.
WHERE DID SIN COME FROM?
In order to understand where sin came from, we must go to the beginning of the book, to the historical record given to us in Genesis regarding the origin of man, and his/her fall from what was a perfect environment. God created a perfect world that existed without any type of suffering, disease, or death. Man who was given a free will, and given a choice to make, made his choice and as a result introduced all of creation to sin and death.
Take a look at the Genesis record:
Genesis 2:9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
15. And Jehovah God took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
16. And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
17. but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Adam the first man and the first woman was told by his creator what not to do, and the rest of the story goes like this:
2. And the woman said unto the serpent, Of the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat:
3. but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5. for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil.
6. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat; and she gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat.
7. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig-leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
Adam and Eve disobeyed God and partook of the tree that God told then not to, so why does this effect you and me? We were not there. Let me try and explain, you see, Adam was the Father of Mankind, the first man ever created. When Adam and Eve sinned against God they plunged the whole human race, and all of creation for that matter into a state of spiritual/physical decomposition (decay). The scripture records that their eyes were opened in the sense that now knew the difference between good and evil just as God knew the difference. They realized that they were naked and needed to cover themselves. Catastrophic changes occurred worldwide, not one part of creation escaped the effects of sin and death.
Romans 5:12 Thus, then, sin came into the world through one man, and through sin came death; and so death spread to all men, because all had sinned.
WHAT AT THE RESULTS OF SIN?
Adams choice to rebel against God has caused all people from this day forward to be born separated from God by sin, in an instant human nature became contaminated by evil, Godís once perfect creation lost itĎs original purity. The curse of sin fell upon all humankind and all of creation leaving a path of death, and destruction all throughout the ages of time. We live in a cursed creation, not the pure creation God originally designed and intended for us to live in. Animals die, plants die, and people die everyday, and it is all because of the curse of sin on a fallen creation.
10. as it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one;
11. There is none that understandeth, There is none that seeketh after God;
12. They have all turned aside, they are together become unprofitable; There is none that doeth good, no, not, so much as one:
13. Their throat is an open sepulchre; With their tongues they have used deceit: The poison of asps is under their lips:
14. Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
15. Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16. Destruction and misery are in their ways;
17. And the way of peace have they not known:
18. There is no fear of God before their eyes.
When the God says in the Scripture ďall have sinned,Ē he means everyone. A little taste of our fallen nature is revealed to us in verse eleven we see that none of us on our own seek God, in fact we are all liars, thieves, and murderers. Nobody on his or her own reverences God at all, in fact men curse him, and take his name in vain all the time. We naturally go the opposite direction from God; this is the effect of the fall of mankind.
-- Weymouth's New Testament
Romans 3:23 for all alike have sinned, and all consciously come short of the glory of God,
We have all broken Godís laws.
Isaiah 24:5 The earth also is defiled under its inhabitants; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.
Romans 5:18 It follows then that just as the result of a single transgression is a condemnation which extends to the whole race, so also the result of a single decree of righteousness is a life-giving acquittal which extends to the whole race.
WHAT IS THE PENALTY OF SIN, HOW WILL GOD JUDGE SIN?
Letís go back again to the Garden of Eden and see what happened to Adam and Eve!
22. And Jehovah God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
23. therefore Jehovah God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
24. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden the Cherubim, and the flame of a sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
First God places a curse on the serpent, and then God pronounces a curse on the woman, and finally God places a curse upon the man. God then kicks them out of the garden to live their dayĎs in suffering and hardship due to their rebellion against God. There is a much greater loss that man experiences here, for in the original purity of Godís creation man walked and talked with God in the garden on a regular basis, and now he is cut off from the intimate communication he once enjoyed with the almighty.
Because of Adam and Eveís sin, we are all born into this world separated from God because of the curse of sin. We cannot have intimate communication with God in the cool of the evening as Adam and Eve once did. Generation after generation have come into this world apart from God due to sin of Adam being passed down on us all. People have within them the inner knowledge of the existence of God, yet they seek not to know him, or follow his laws. The penalty for sin is eternal separation from God in a very dark place of torment.
Why does God want to torment people? Well actually, he doesnít want to torment people in the fires of hell, he really wants all people to repent of their sin and turn to him. Many people are dead set to live their lives without God, and so they will spend eternity without him also. Christ shouldered the torment due sinful men on the cross of Calvary, but if a person will not turn and accept this then they must pay for their sin themselves for all of eternity.
God does not tolerate sin! He is Holy and cannot allow sin into his presence. One must be made perfect again to enter Godís home, as Adam and Eve were once pure, and perfect before they sinned, as Christ is perfect and sinless in the present.
Romans 6:23 for the wages paid by sin is death
The wages or payment for sin is death! That is a very sobering thought when you really stop and think about it. Of course the death that is referred to in this verse is what the Bible calls eternal death, or the second death which is eternity apart from God being tormented by fire forever. Godís law demands that a death occur to cover for a manís sin.
2 Kings 14:6. but every man shall be put to death for his own sin.
Jeremiah 31:30 But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge.
Ezekiel 18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.
God hates sin! He hates sin with a passion! He will not tolerate any sin at all in his presence. Those who persist to operate their lives apart from God, who reject the Gospel of our Lord will surely experience first hand the wrath of God for themselves.
Romans 1:18 For God's wrath is being revealed from heaven against all the ungodliness and wickedness of those who in their wickedness suppress the truth.
Ephesians 5:6 Do not let anyone deceive you with meaningless words, for it is because of these things that God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient.
Here is what God sayís about who will enter the Holy City of God!
Revelation 21:27 Nothing unclean, or anyone who does anything detestable, and no one who tells lies will ever enter it. Only those whose names are written in the lamb's Book of Life will enter it.
Godís law demands that something or someone must die to cover for our sin, a death must occur! Death being the end result of sin, and the absolute rebellion of mankind against a Holy and a Righteous God. The Jewish people had to choose a pure goat or ram and take it up to the temple to atone for their sins. The animalís neck was sliced open by the priestís and the blood was used to sprinkle the altar to purify it, and the animal was laid upon the altar and burned as a sacrifice for their sin. This was just a picture of what was to come for God gave us Christ as the ultimate sacrificial lamb, a one-time sin offering for all of mankind.
Godís final answer to sin!
It is the blood that purifies or cleanses, the death (sacrifice) that makes atonement for sin. But the Old Testament religious regulations were not enough; in fact they were just a foreshadowing of what was to come. Godís had an ultimate plan in mind, one that he had designed at the time of creation itself, for he knew that man would fall, and he planned from the beginning to send Christ to earth for a specific purpose. In Genesis we saw that an animal had to die in order for Adam and Eve to be covered, and in the old Jewish system they sacrificed goats and rams to cover their sins, but all of that was not good enough, there needed to be a permanent sacrifice that would cover mankindís sins for all time.
Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
26. For such a high priest became us, holy, guileless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
27. who needeth not daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people: for this he did once for all, when he offered up himself.
11. But Christ having come a high priest of the good things to come, through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation,
12. nor yet through the blood of goats and calves, but through his own blood, entered in once for all into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption.
13. For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling them that have been defiled, sanctify unto the cleanness of the flesh:
14. how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish unto God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
15. And for this cause he is the mediator of a new covenant, that a death having taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first covenant, they that have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
Jesus Christ, Godís only Son offered himself willingly for our sin to make us clean, pure, and acceptable to God. There is no longer a need for us to utilize a priest to make intercession on our behalf, Christ the high priest of the new covenant between God and man has more than taken care of that for us. He was the perfect Lamb of God sacrificed for you and I. It is his blood that purifyís us, it is his death on the cross that has made full atonement on our behalf, and it is his resurrection that justifies us freely in Godís eyes. Godís wrath that you and I so plainly deserve was placed on Christ on the cross as well, he even endured the awful moment when his heavenly Father turned away from him, forsaking him.
5. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
6. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
2 Corinthians 5:21 Him who knew no sin, in our behalf he has made to be sin; so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Jesus Christ was a spotless/sinless specimen given to mankind as a gift for the distinct purpose of dying a horrible death, a punishment every person clearly deserves. He never sinned! He was God whom appeared in human flesh, with all the same facilities that all men have; still he never sinned, not once.
His death on the cross was a one-time deal, it never has to be repeated, the atonement on behalf of humankind was for all time. Anyone who should think it necessary for Christ to in some way repeat his sacrifice has not paid attention to what the Scriptures declare that Christ died once and for all.
Hebrews 9:28 so also the Christ, after being once for all offered to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, without sin, to those who wait for him for salvation.
Hebrews 10:10 By his will we have been sanctified once for all through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ.
24. For Christ did not go into a sanctuary made by human hands and just a copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in God's presence on our behalf.
25. Nor did he go into heaven to sacrifice himself again and again, the way the high priest goes into the Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own.
26. Then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But now, at the end of the ages, he has appeared once for all to remove sin by his sacrifice.
27. Indeed, just as people are appointed to die once and after that to be judged,
28. so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people. And he will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to bring salvation to those who eagerly wait for him.
2 Corinthians 5:21 Him who knew no sin, in our behalf he has made to be sin; so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Jesus died for ungodly persons who hate him and everything he stands for, for those who make a practice of mocking him, even for those who drove the nails through his hands and feet. God knew way back in the beginning of time that mankind would be hopelessly lost unless he stepped in and did something on our behalf, something really big!
8. But God commendeth his own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Godís final answer to curse of sin is his Son the Lord Jesus Christ! His sacrifice bridged the gap between God and man making it possible again to have intimate communication with God the Father. What the first Adam messed up, the second Adam (Christ) fixed so that you and I could again walk and talk with God.
1 Cor. 15:22- For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
1 Corinthians 15:45 Thus it is written: The first man, Adam, became a living being (Gen. 2:7). the last Adam, a life-giving Spirit.
1 Corinthians 15:47 The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second Man is of heaven.
WHEN WILL SIN AND DEATH COME TO AN END
That is a very good question, when will finally come to an end? The answer is simple enough, when Christ comes back and puts an end to sin and death once and for all. Sin, death, and the devil all met their match at the cross where Christ won the victory over them all. The day is coming when God will pass final judgment of this earth and itís inhabitants, and the sting of death, and the evil stench of sin will be no more.
1 Corinthians 15:24. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has done away with every ruler and every authority and power.
25. For he must rule until God puts all his enemies under his feet.
26. The last enemy to be done away with is death,
1 Corinthians 15:55 Where, Death, is thy victory? Where, Death, is thy sting? (Hos. 13:14).
1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, who has given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Revelation 20:14 Then death and the underworld were hurled into the fiery lake, This is the second death -- the fiery lake.
Revelation 20:15 If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was hurled into the fiery lake.
Yes the day is coming when God will put an end to death and sin, and anyone who is still lost having rejected the way of Salvation, Jesus Christ the Son, will find themselves in a very unpleasant place for all of eternity. I have heard the expression ďEternity! Smoking? Or non-smoking?Ē, but seriously it is no laughing matter that millions of people all throughout history have found themselves in the fires of Hell, and millions more will be tossed into the lake of fire in the end. I stated this earlier in this article that if a person chooses to live their life without God, then they will get their wish is the life to come.
I wrote this article out of the realization that the Christian church has lost sight of what sin is, and how serious a matter it is. The church in many instances has lost the authoritative foundation of the Word of God, and has given way to the whims of society, instead of remaining true to the one true God, and his Holy Word.
Christians must get back to pure biblical doctrine, and the full authority of Godís inerrant/infallible Word.
Looking at the signs of the times it is clear that we do not have a lot of time left on this earth to reach the lost and dying world for Christ. We cannot adequately do this until the church comes to repentance for allowing itself to slip so far down hill. The time is NOW! The hour is late! What will you do about the sin in your own life that you have been whitewashing over? We cannot do the job God intended us to do until we take some serious actions to correct the apostasy within our churches, what will you do about it? Are you ready to confront your own sin, and then confront the corporate sin within your own local church. The time for complacency, and apathy must end now! Letís start-calling sin what it is, SIN!!
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