Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 22, 1966

The Nature Of Sin

Clint Springer

With the transgression of God's law by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, both physical and spiritual death came upon mankind. From that time forth God began to reveal His plan whereby man could be redeemed by His eternal grace a way by which man could have all his sins forgiven, blotted out, never to be remembered against him again. Even though there were those down through the years who were called God's people, there was still something lacking; the ultimate of their redemption could not be found under the law that Moses gave. (Heb.10:3,4) When the fullness of time was come, God sent His own Son to become the perfect mediator and Saviour of the world. (Heb. 9:15) His was an atonement for all eternity.

All of this took place because of sin. ''The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Rom.6:23) Sin is that which separates, and "all have sinned," Paul states. (Rom. 3:23) It is doubtful that the human mind can comprehend the degenerate and derogative characteristics of sin, Senator McClelland was quoted, in effect, as having said that the crime rate in this nation will plunge us into oblivion unless it is checked. (TV News, 11-11-65) The wise man said, "Righteousness exalteth a nation; but sin is a reproach to any people" (Pro.14:34). Unfortunately, however, sin is not confined to the people of this world; all too many times it is found among God's own. "Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear." (Isaiah 59:1,2)

Sin Defined

Sin is Biblically described as transgression of the law. In I John 3:4 we read that "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law; for sin is the transgression of the law". (doeth also lawlessness; ASV) Notwithstanding, it is further disclosed that "until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law." (Rom. 5:13; cf Rom. 4: 15 & Acts 17:30) The word itself is taken from that which describes the bowman's arrow that "misses the mark". Our mark today is Jesus Christ. He is the perfect example. With these thoughts in mind we simply conclude that sin is unrighteousness, ungodliness, wrongdoing, evil, and everything contrary to the way of life manifested in Jesus Christ. But we should realize too, however, that all sin is not confined to an immoral life: James tells us that even neglecting to do good falls within this category! (James 4:17)

Origin And Universality

As was noted in the introduction, sin came with the transgression of God's law in the Garden of Eden (Gen.3). The tempter came in the personality of the serpent and the personification of Satan. In I John 3:8 we read that the devil "sinneth from the beginning" and in John 8:44 we are told that he is the father of all lies. From this time forth, even until the sacrifice made by Christ, sin reigned. (context, Rom. 5) "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." (Isa. 53:6) Then again from the Psalms we read: "Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one," (Ps. 53:3) John tells us that to claim sinlessness is to lie! (I John 1:8-10) And again from the Roman letter we read that "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." The universality of sin cannot be successfully denied.