Scripture: Romans 5
Last week we ended our teaching of man being created in the image of God.
We’ve learned that being created in the image of God carries with it responsibilities and understanding that many professing Christians and non-Christians alike do not fully understand.
For example, being created in the image of God carries with it:
- Moral obligations to God – in all things, not some things.
- Responsibility to God – in all things.
- The knowledge of right and wrong in innate within man.
- That man is the pinnacle of God’s creation and is above the animals.
- Man, in essence, holds the truth of God in unrigtheousness...but he holds it
Man, being created in the image of God:
- Is a rational and moral being endued with knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness.
- Man has a complete and utter responsibility to “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.”
- There is no excuse.
- There is no bargaining or explaining away the commands of God.
Being created in the image of God removes all excuses and arguments.
Man is bound, required, and expected to glorify and to honor God in all things.
There is only a responsibility and an accountability. In all things pertaining to life and godliness…. for every single created human. Without exception.
Today we are going to start talking about sin.
- It’s origin and it’s occasion,
- it’s nature, and
- it’s result, consequence, and effect upon mankind.
The subject of sin is an often neglected, misunderstood, and misapplied subject.
We’ll take our time through this and look at many Scripture verses to make sure we are looking at what the Bible teaches and now what popular culture teaches or what we want it to teach.
With that, let us first turn to our confession and see what is has for us.
Westminster Confession of Faith: Chapter 6: Articles 1-6.
This problem of sin has plagued the world and has often taken center stage in philosophy and theology to try and understand, and is some in case, explain away.
The problem of sin is universal and affects almost every aspect of our lives.
Before we continue, we a solid and complete definition of sin: WLC # Q. 24.
What is sin?
Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, any law of God, given as a rule to the reasonable creature.
Notice the phrases:
- ANY want of conformity. God does not conform to us; we conform to Him.
- ANY transgression of ANY law of God – not some, but ALL
Keep this in mind as it will help keep us centered as we continue our discussion.
Historical View Respecting the Origin of Sin
In getting our feet wet, let’s review some existing theories of the origin of sin.
- Gnosticism – attributes sin to the material world, being inherent in matter, which corrupts the human soul when they come into contact. This explains why there is a push to “throw off this mortal coil”, “become one with the universe”, or “transcend into the spiritual realm.” This is prevalent in trichotomy in which favor is shown to the spiritual side of things and leaving the body behind.
- Pre-existentialism – pre-existence of souls, sin and suffering exist because of the soul’s previous existence.
- Pelagianism / Semi-Pelagianism – attempts to sever all connections between the sin of Adam and current man such that man is inherently good, able to determine their own destiny, and in some cases, effect their own salvation.
- Evolutionism – the existence of sin is tied to the lower, sensuous nature of man that can eventually be remedied as man continues to evolve and achieve higher states of consciousness.
Contrast those with...
- Scriptural Conception of Sin – the moral evil, the sin that exists in the world does so because of a transgression against the law of God. Particularly, the introduction of sin in the world is attributed to the transgression of Adam.
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 5:13
In most of these, there is an attempt to explain away sin and remove the responsibility and accountability away from man.... but this, I believe, stems from a lack of a proper understanding of the origin and the nature of sin.
So, we are going to start our study...with an introduction to sin -> origin of sin.
The Origin of Sin in the Angelic World
While the most common place to begin this discussion is by looking at the fall of Adam as described in Scripture, sin first raises its head in the Angelic realm.
We are told the angels were created sometime in the period of Genesis 1.
They might have been created sometime before the 3rd or 4th Day of Creation:
- Colossians 1:16 -> tells us angels were created by God
- Job 38:1-7 -> the angels rejoiced at the creation of the earth (Day 3)
The precise nature of the fall is not clearly explained but we can look at:
- John 8:44, 1 John 3:8 -> “a murderer from the beginning”
- Jude 6 -> not content with their estate...
- They were created with a free will to choose sin (Isaiah 14:12-14) and some chose to be “like God” ...to ascend into heaven…leaving their first estate.
The Origin of Sin
Here we can see the sin of pride –
- Not being content to remain within the full sovereignty of God.
- Not being content to simply obey God in all things.
- But desiring to set their own rules, limitations, and interpretations.
Pride is still a large problem in God’s people today...and we’ll see the origination and continuation of this as a controlling influence.
Sin is the root of all evil in the world.
- Lies in the first sin of Adam.
- Lies in the natural and the representative head of the human race.
Reformed theology strives to prevent this sin from consuming our lives.
For example, we hold to:
- The sufficiency and supremacy of Scripture as the literal Word of God
- The regulatory principle as we seek to worship God as He commands
- The sovereignty of God over man in all aspects
- Salvation not in man but in Faith alone, Grace alone, by Christ alone.
But until we begin to rightly understand sin, it’s origin, consequences, and the impact upon our lives, we will never be able to rightly respond.
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