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Doctrine of Sin: The Need for a Savior

June 20, 2021 Series: Great Doctrines of the Christian Faith

Scripture Reading: Romans 7


Today we are going to try and finish our discussion on the Doctrine of Sin.

Now that we have a good understanding of the first occurrence of sin in man, the nature of sin, and the path/ order of temptation.

We are going to next look at the scriptural idea of sin and how the impact it has upon the human race.

Before we continue, let’s see how the Confession tells us about sin...

WCF-06 - Of the Fall of Man, of Sin, and of the Punishment thereof

  • Article III
  • Article IV

Original Sin

There is what is called original sin and actual sin.

Original sin is so-called because:

  • it is derived from the original root of the human race.
  • it is present in the life of every individual from the time of his birth.
  • it is the inward root of all the actual sins that defile the life of man.

All men possess original sin.

  • This is not some distant thing in the past that has no bearing upon us.
  • This provides man a natural inclination - a proclivity - toward sin.
  • This causes the nature of man to be completely depraved – unable of saving himself, unable to do any spiritual good.

Original Sin: Corruption and Pollution

Original sin can be thought of as 2 parts: Corruption and Imputation

Corruption refers to that condition which is passed down to all generations from Adam into which all men are born.

  • Refers to man’s positive disposition towards sin

Many denominations and pseudo-Christian beliefs refute this.

The Arminian claims man is not entirely bad.

The Roman Catholic might say that man is basically good and work his way into forgiveness through some form of penance.

But this is opposite to Scripture Our confession reminds us that we are "utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good."

Romans 7:18              Romans 8:5-8

Original Sin: Imputation and Guilt

The second part of original sin is known as Imputation.

Imputation means that the guilt of Adam is imputed to mankind.

  • Adam was the federal head, the root, the representative of all mankind.
    • We are guilty in him.
    • We did not commit the same sin as he did.
    • We did not commit the sin with him.
      • But, as part of his family, descending by natural generation
      • his guilt is imputed to us.
    • and we are declared guilty before God.

Original Sin: Potential Confusion

Sometimes the phrase “original sin” might cause us confusion.

  • "Original" does not always refer to the instance of the sin itself.
  • It refers, rather, to the existence, the origination of sin in the progeny.
    • that it inheres in man from their origin, from their birth.
    • that it is the fount from where actual sins spring

Actual Sin

Let’s read from the Larger Catechism Question #25:

  1. Wherein consisteth the sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell?
  2. The sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell, consisteth in the guilt of Adam’s first sin, the want of original righteousness wherein he was created, and the corruption of his nature, whereby he is utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite unto all that is spiritually good, and wholly inclined to all evil, and that continually, .which is commonly called Original Sin, and from which do proceed all actual transgressions.

“Actual transgression” is what is mean when we talk about “actual sin.”

Actual sin refers to the sin that man engages in and commits.

Actual sin is typically broken out into two categories:

  • Outward
    • Murder Adultery
    • Fornication Theft
    • Lying
    • Sabbath-breaking
  • Inward
    • Pride, Envy
    • Lust Hatred
    • Covetousness
    • Idolatry

The Impact of Sin Upon Society

And we can see the impact of this sin upon society:

Romans 1:24-28 lays out the punishment of sin clearly.

  • God gave them up.
    • to uncleanness
    • to dishonor
    • to vile affections
    • to a reprobate mind

Therefore, we see society.

  • rejecting the command of God making their own rules
  • trying to change their sex, being their own creator.
  • following after false religions and false gospels.

The Impact of Sin Upon Man

All men are by nature are spiritually dead.

Genesis 2:16-17

  • Adam was warned not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil or on the threat of eating immediate and complete spiritual death. God makes it very clear that in the day they eat of they shall die.

Romans 5:12

  • Adam disobeyed and after eating forbidden fruit he brought spiritual death upon himself and upon the whole human race.

Ephesians 2:1-3

  • No question about spiritual death here.
  • Sin kills and brings death to the spiritual nature of man.
  • Man ceased to be able to live physically & continue with God in the garden.

The Impact of Sin Upon Man

Man has become and is totally depraved.

  • Being born in sin and having lost original righteousness.
  • being corrupt in his nature, whereby he is utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite unto all this spiritually good, we say that man is totally depraved.
  • These words have been misunderstood. By "totally depraved", what we mean to communicate is that he is corrupt in all his parts....

He is not absolutely depraved.

  • He is not as sinful as he can be.
  • He is not partially depraved.
  • He is not only sick unto death, but he is spiritually dead.
  • He has spiritually died in sin.

All men, by their nature, are carnal and bound in sin.

Romans 8:7-8

“Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So, then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”

This is the physical aspect of man.

  • The mind that is set on the flesh.
  • The mind is bound in sin.
  • The mind is bound to the natural essence of man.
  • This corruption cannot be at friendship with God.
  • This corruption is a hostile enemy of God.
  • Man will not submit to God's law.

All men, by their nature, are the slaves of sin.

  • They are children of the devil and under his control.
  • They are literally slaves to sin.


“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”

Ephesians 2:1–2

“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:”

All men are blind and deaf to spiritual truth.

  • Their minds are darkened by sin.
  • Their hearts are corrupt and evil.
  • Man has been so reduced in his nature to nothing more than mere sensuality.
  • Man has been reduced to the desire of pride.
  • Man has been reduced to the fulfilling of the desires of the flesh.
  • All men, by their basic nature, are corrupt.


“And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

The Need for a Savior

Man is incapable of recovering himself, and is by nature, corrupt.

  • Out of the heart of man comes these evil thoughts.
  • Out of the heart of man comes these actions (actual sins) of his life.
  • Man has been stripped of the spiritual life of Adam.
  • Man has, by generation from generation, been imputed with original sin.

Although the image in which they were created has been corrupted

  • Man is still a rational thinking being.
  • But Man has been so corrupted by sin in his very essence.
    • He will not accept the image is an ethical thing with him.
    • He will not accept the things of God.
    • Man rejects the things of God. 

Man, left in man’s own sinful nature. can do nothing to redeem himself and the effects of sin.

  • Sin hath laid hold on man.
  • Sin hath bound man into this nature of depravity.
  • Sin holds man captive.

But there is a remedy. There is a cure.

  • If they are to become God's children
  • If they are to enter his kingdom
  • they must be born again by the Spirit of God.


“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;”

John 3:5–6

“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

Jesus taught that men must be born again if they are to enter the Kingdom of God.

  • They must be renewed.
  • They must be brought out of the state of death.
  • They must be placed into the state of life.

Man must be transformed from death unto life.

For a man to be born again it must be an act of the Spirit of God not anything man can do only through what God can do.

John 1:12-13

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

  • Particularly to them who believe on His name.
  • Particularly of those who have been born again.
    • Not of law.
    • Not of blood.
    • Not of the will of man.
  • But of God.


We are dead and trespasses and sin.

  • If a man passes away we consider him to be dead physically.
  • And if he has been not regenerated he is dead also in Christ.
  • Using the analogy of this physical death and to show the depravity of man and its strength to bind man thereunto.

If one would go into that man and say to him who is laying in his casket: my friend if you will just drink of this potion that I have in the bottle, if you will just reach up and take it and drink of it, you will have life. And if you laid it beside the casket, what would be the response of a man in the casket?

  • Of course, there would be no answer.
    • The man is dead.
    • The man cannot do anything.
    • The man is bound to the nature and the state wherein he finds himself.
  • Salvation is not truly offered to the individual.

But God is much more loving than man gives him credit for

  • We who are bound to sin.
    • cannot turn to God.
    • cannot do anything that would make God love us.
    • cannot do anything to bring us to a place of redemption.
  • God comes to his elect with love to us in Christ Jesus.
    • God puts the potion to the mouth.
    • God gives it to man.
    • God calls him forth from death.
  • Man can not come to God of his own volition.
  • He is polluted and corrupted.


Only God through Christ reversed the effects of that sin.

Until we begin to rightly understand sin, its origin, consequences, and impact.

  • we will never be able to rightly respond.
  • we will never be able to understand the need for Christ.

We will continue doing “whatever is right in our own eyes”.

  • thinking we are God’s gift to everyone that they exist for us.

We must understand that the guilt of sin belongs to each one of us.

  • Completely
  • Wholly
  • Certainly

We must understand the need for repentance.

We must understand the need for our precious Savior, Jesus Christ.

We must understand the only freedom that exists is found in Christ alone.

As we close, lets remind ourselves of the 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.

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 commands.

Being part of the posterity of Adam, our natural inclination is toward evil.

We must take responsibility for our actions and behavior and seek the only name under which men might be saved – Jesus Christ.

Only by the Spirit of God can we be renewed in the inner man.

Only through the grace of Christ can we be saved.

Only through the goodness and mercy of God can we begin to enjoy our liberty – not to do what we want, but to have the liberty to obey God.

There is no other way.

Once we understand this,

  • we will no longer want to remain outside the church.
  • we will never prefer to be in the domain of the evil one instead of the domain of Christ.
  • we will never think we know better than the Scripture...than God.
  • we will strive to align our life with the Word of God as best as we are able - in all things.


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