What is Sin?



What is your greatest regret?  Why do you regret it so much?  Sin is most likely at the center of that regret, regardless if it is your own sin or your experience of regret as a consequence of someone else’s sin.  Grudem is right, “Sin disrupts everything.”

Everyone is a sinner.

The Scriptures clearly present man’s entire being is affected by sin. No person is exempt from sin (Psalm 14:3).  Everyone is guilty of sin (Romans 3:23).  Anyone who says otherwise is a self-deceived liar (1 John 1:8).  Grudem defines sin as “any failure to conform to the moral law of God in act, attitude, or nature.”  This means we are skilled at sinning.  We have the disability to sin not only in action, but also in attitude.  This occurs because of our sin nature.  Beings always do that which is in accordance with their nature.  Ours is sinful. Grudem explains our sin nature “does not mean we are as bad as we could be, it does mean that we, like Adam after he sinned, are unable on our own to do anything that pleases God.”

Sinners need a Savior.

Our bleak sinful predicament leads us to look for a great rescue.  This rescue is seen throughout history and found in the pages of Scripture as God heals broken people and achieves victory over sin.  The ultimate victory was achieved by Jesus, the only sinless man, when he died and rose again.  That victory will be ultimately realized when Jesus returns.

Where did sin come from?

You cannot discuss the topic of sin without your mind quickly asking the most basic question”Where did sin come from?”  This leads to some perplexing theological dilemmas (God’s perfect character exists and yet so does sin) that should prompt humility and submission to what the Scriptures teach.  God’s character is clearly established as righteous, holy, and perfect.  In fact, it is because of who God is that sin is so hated by God.  Sin is the exact opposite of God.  There is nothing better than God so sin is fiercely (and rightly) hated by God.  Yet, the question remains, if God hates sin so much why does it exist and from where did it come?  We know sin did not originate in God.  That is theologically impossible.  It appears sin originated in Satan who then tempted Adam and Eve who willing sinned.  Adam’s sin plunged the entire human race into a sinful nature that God is redeeming him out of through Christ.  God is able to permit sin while not originating it or being guilty for it.  That sin exists does not mean God is culpable for the sin.  The Scriptures always put responsibility on the sinner.

What does a Christian do about sin?

The answer to this question is beyond the scope of a single paragraph.  Yet, we can find encouraging help as we fight against sin by remembering Jesus our great High Priest.  He lives and prays for his own (Hebrews 7:25).  We have an advocate (1 John 2:1).  Therefore, when a Christian sins his legal standing of justification is not altered.  Nevertheless, the relational aspect of his fellowship with God is affect in that he has chosen to do what grieves his heavenly Father.  The answer is to find forgiveness for the sin which God grants to all who come to him.

Keep Fighting

When you live in a broken world with a naturally corrupt nature sin can become ordinary and then accepted.  Nevertheless, for the Christian, God’s character, his great love, his grace and mercy, and the cost of redemption should promote a hatred of all that goes against God’s character.  The Christian should never stop fighting against sin.  This is an evidence that he has a new nature.  The more we start thinking like our Father the more we will hate what he hates.  May this hatred for sin increase in our lives more and more each day!

What did you learn?

What did you learn as you read and examined the Scriptures about this topic?  Encourage others in their learning by sharing in the comments below what you have learned.  “None of us is as smart as all of us.”

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