Sadly, in our culture today sin is not taken seriously by those in the world and also, unfortunately, by some in the Lord’s church. The Bible describes sin in three primary ways. First, it describes sin as the transgression of God’s law (1 Jno. 3:4). To transgress God’s law is a sin of commission. One may also commit sins of omission, (Jas. 4:17) and one may sin by violating his conscience (Rom. 14:23). Sin is universal (Rom. 3:23) and carries with it grave and eternal consequences (Rom. 6:23). One gains a great appreciation for the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ upon learning that it is able to save man from sin and all of its associated problems. (Rom. 1:16).
Sin may be examined by considering the different ways it presents problems for mankind. The first problem of sin is the LOVE OF SIN. There can be no doubt that much of the appeal of sin has to do with its pleasures. By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; (Hebrews 11:24-25, KJV) It is the pleasures of sin that so easily entangles men to the point of being hardened and blinded (Jno. 3:19).
There is also the PRACTICE OF SIN. The seriousness of sin is reflected in its universality. All have sinned, there are no exceptions. As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: (Romans 3:10, KJV cf. 3:23, 1 Jno. 1:8-10).
After one has committed sin, he is then confronted with the problem of his STATE IN SIN. Those who both love and practice sin are said to be dead in sin. And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; (Ephesians 2:1 KJV) We are dead because we are separated from God, who is the source of our spiritual life. 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, KJV).
When one sins, he then bears the GUILT OF SIN. This is legal guilt, not necessarily emotional guilt. A sinner is guilty whether he “feels” guilty or not. Many try to suppress, deny or explain away their guilt, but our Holy God still declares the sinner guilty before Him (Rom. 3:19).
A fifth way in which sin is a problem for mankind is seen in the POWER OF SIN. The draw of sin is so powerful that even those who want to do good, still find themselves falling short on a consistent basis. Sin is pervasive. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. (Romans 7:18-19, KJV)
Sixth, and finally, there is the problem of the END RESULT or CONSEQUENCES of sin. Paul says For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23 KJV) Sin causes much pain and suffering in this life, but ultimately the great tragedy of sin is that it damns man’s soul to eternal separation from God in a fiery devil’s hell. John describes this as the second death wherein there is a lake that burns with fire and brimstone (Rev. 21:8).
These thoughts should give us a better understanding of man’s grave sin problem and also give him a greater appreciation of the power of the Gospel (Rom. 1:16). As we will observe in subsequent articles, the Gospel addresses these problems in three primary ways. First, there are facts to be believed, next there are commands to be obeyed, and finally, there are promises to be embraced (Acts 2:36-38).