Vol.XV No.V Pg.6
July 1978

The Sin Of Unbelief

Robert F. Turner

"I am continually amazed by the number of brethren who assert that the only thing of which one out of Christ is guilty is what they call the "sin of unbelief." By this they mean that they are sinners because they do not believe on Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and are not baptized. This is unfounded assumption.

A major passage used, that is supposed to teach the above idea, is Jn. 16:8-9. "And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not on me..." So it is said that the only sin of which the world is guilty is that of not believing on Jesus, and that the Holy Spirit was to reprove the world of this only. Well, we will notice how the Holy Spirit carried this out....

In Acts 10:34-35 Peter said, "Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons; but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him." Then in vs. 42-43 he further said, "And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins." Notice: righteousness, judgment and sins — plural. Turning next to Acts 17:30-31, we find Paul saying to the Athenians, "And the times of this ignorance God winked at, but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent; because he hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness..." Note here that there is judgment, righteousness, and repentance from idolatry. Then in Acts 24:25, "As he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled and answered, Go thy way for this time..." Note that here is righteousness, temperance, and judgment. We have found that in three instances of the preaching of the Holy Spirit, he has convicted men of sins, idolatry, and intemperance, as well as concerns righteousness and judgment. These then must point out the fulfillment of John 16:8-9.

Further proof is found in Eph. 5:113, a portion of which we present here. "For this we know that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience... And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." Here are things of which those in darkness, those out of Christ, are guilty. It is BECAUSE OF THESE THINGS that God's wrath comes upon them... Notice also that we are to reprove them. This is the same word of Jn. 16:8-9 that tells us that the Holy Spirit will REPROVE the world because of sin. The only conclusion then is that the people of the world are guilty of far more than just not believing Christ to be the Son of God." By Maurice Barnett


Digested from a Borger, TX. bulletin of several years past. We regret having to shorten such fine material.