Foundation Truth ~ Hamartiology ~ Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~ www.ephraimbible.org
“He that wishes to attain right views about Christian holiness must begin by examining the vast and solemn subject of sin. He must dig down very low if he would build high... Dim or indistinct views of sin are the origin of most of the errors, heresies and false doctrines of the present day. If a man does not realize the dangerous nature of his soul's disease, you cannot wonder if he is content with false or imperfect remedies.” J.C.Ryle, Holiness, p.1 (1879)
“My memory is nearly gone; but I remember two things; That I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Saviour.” John Newton (1725-1807)
I. Definition of Sin: any failure to conform to the moral law of God in act, attitude or nature
1 John 3:4 sin [amartia hamartia] is lawlessness [anomia anomia]
Romans 2:11-16 law given to Jews or written on conscience of Gentiles
A. Sin includes Attitudes as well as Actions:
Exodus 20:17 'you shall not covet' (desire); Matthew 5:22, 28 anger, lust; Galatians 5:19-21 jealousy, anger, envy
Mark 12:29-31 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
B. Sin includes Ignorant as well as Willful Violations:
Leviticus 5:17,19 “If anyone sins, doing any of the things that by the LORD’s commandments ought not to be done, though he did not know it, then realizes his guilt, he shall bear his iniquity...he has indeed incurred guilt before the LORD.” (also Leviticus 4; Numbers 15:22-29)
Luke 12:48 But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.
C. Sin includes Omission as well as Commission:
Matthew 25:41-43 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’
James 4:17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
D. Sin as High Treason:
Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 1:21-23, 25 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
...because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
Romans 3:10-11 as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God.
E. Sin as Unbelief:
John 16:9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me;
Romans 14:23 For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.
F. Our very Nature is inherently Sinful:
Ephesians 2:3 all mankind 'by nature children of wrath'
II. Anatomy of Sin; Genesis 3:1-9
What is true? Doubted truthfulness of God;
What is right? Did not allow God to define right and wrong;
Who am I? Rejected status as creatures dependent on and subordinate to creator.
Incredulity (unbelief); unthankfulness; discontent; pride; disobedience; curiosity; wantonness; sacrilege; murder; presumption
III. The Gravity of Sin:
Ezekiel 18:4 ...the soul who sins shall die.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death,
Matthew 13:49-50 So it will be at the close of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous 50 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Matthew 25:41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
1Peter 2:24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
'O man, consider the greatness of thy sin, by the greatness of the price paid for sin.’’ Augustine (quoted by Thomas Watson, A Body of Divinity, sec.5)
IV. Origin of Sin
A. God did not sin, nor is God to blame for sin
Genesis 18:25 “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?”
Deuteronomy 32:4 “The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.
Job 34:10 far be it from God that he should do wickedness, and from the Almighty that he should do wrong.
James 1:13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.
Psalm 5:4 For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you.
B. Sin and Evil are not Eternal (Dualism):
Deuteronomy 32:39 “‘See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.
Isaiah 45:5, 7 I am the LORD, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; ... I form light and create darkness, I make well–being and create calamity, I am the LORD, who does all these things.
Job 2:10 Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
C. God ordained that sin would come into the world through the voluntary choices of moral creatures:
Ezekiel 28:15 You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, till unrighteousness was found in you.
Ecclesiastes 7:29 See, this alone I found, that God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes.
V. Inherited Sin (Original Sin)
A. Inherited Guilt – we are counted guilty because of Adam's sin
Romans 5:12-21 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned–– for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. If, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
B. Inherited Corruption – we inherit a sinful nature from Adam
Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Psalm 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray from birth, speaking lies.
Ephesians 2:1-3 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience–– among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
C. Inherent lack of spiritual good before God
Romans 7:18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.
Titus 1:15-16 To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
Ephesians 4:18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.
D. Inability to do spiritual good before God
Romans 8:8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
John 15:5 apart from me you can do nothing.
Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
John 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. (5:40)
John 8:34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. :
Isaiah 64:6 We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
I Corinthians 2:14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
VI. Pervasive Personal Sin
Psalm 14:3 They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.
Psalm 143:2 Enter not into judgment with your servant, for no one living is righteous before you.
I Kings 8:46 “If they sin against you––for there is no one who does not sin––
Proverbs 20:9 Who can say, “I have made my heart pure; I am clean from my sin”?
James 3:2 For we all stumble in many ways, and if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.
I John 1:8-10 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
Matthew 5:48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
James 2:10-11 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.