Sin, Law and Gospel
1 Jn 3:4 Everyone who breaks…
1 Jn 3:8 He who does what…
Rm 5:12 Sin entered…
Eph 2:3 Like the rest…
James 4:17 Anyone, then, who
Col 1:13-14 He has rescued…
Thank you for
teaching us in your
1. Chief of sinners though I be,
Jesus shed His blood for me;
Died that I might live on high,
Lived that I might never die,
As the branch is to the vine,
I am His, and He is mine.
2. Oh, the height of Jesus' love!
Higher than the heavens above,
Deeper than the depths of sea,
Lasting as eternity.
Love that found me--wondrous thought!--
Found me when I sought Him not.
3. Jesus only can impart
Balm to heal the smitten heart;
Peace that flows from sin forgiven,
Joy that lifts the soul to heaven;
Faith and hope to walk with God
In the way that Enoch trod.
4. Chief of sinner though I be,
Christ is All in all to me;
All my wants to Him are known,
All my sorrows are His own.
Safe with Him from earthly strife,
He sustains the hidden life.
5. O my Savior, help afford
By Thy Spirit and Thy Word!
When my wayward heart would stray,
Keep me in the narrow way;
Grace in time of need supply
While I live and when I die.
God would not demand of us anything that we would be
unable to do on our own strength
Pelagius, 4th cent.
Three-quarters of adults (74%) agree that, "when
people are born they are neither good nor evil -
they make a choice between the two as they
mature." In other words, the concept of original
sin is rejected by most Americans in favor of a
rational choice approach to human nature.
At least seven out of ten members of every
demographic segment examined accepts the
notion of choice over that of original sin.
Unexpectedly, the survey data reveal that a slight
majority of evangelicals (52%) also buy this
For just as through the disobedience of
the one man the many were made sinners,
so also through the obedience of the one
man the many will be made righteous
Disobedience parakoh/:A disaffection and
stubbornness to do the work of God.
Sinners a(martwlo/v: Pre-eminently wicked, devoted
Obedience u(pakoh/ : Submissive to the Will of God
Righteous diðkaiov: Declared guiltless, rendering
and creative a heart that serves God in uprightness
As for you, you were dead in your
transgressions and sins, 2 in which you
used to live when you followed the ways of
this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of
the air, the spirit who is now at work in
those who are disobedient.
Trespasses para/ptwma: To trip and fall, a misstep
Sins a(martiða: Missing the mark, not be in the
Followed peripateÑw: the definition of our lives
Disobedience a)peiðqeia: Complete obstinancy and
Man “inherits” a concupiscence (sinful desire) that
permeates the ENTIRETY of an individual (body and
This inheritance is not genetic, but metaphysical
Fallen world combined with fallen desires of soul and
Contrasted to the “highest good” (God) with a declarative
guilt that is non-contingent on feelings or
Man, therefore, is thoroughly corrupt.
Not only does he naturally desire, but also commits evil
No one does good, has right motivation, or seeks after
God on their own accord.
The language of scripture is NOT hyperbolic or
symbolic, but an accurate description of the whole of
Two views of man arises from the scriptural portrait:
1. Creationism: Man begets the physical body of his
son, God creates the soul separate and the two are
2. Traducianism: Man begets both the physical and the
spiritual nature of the son. God’s providence and
creation is direct through the natural begetting of
Luther was a Traducian, most other protestants are
Creationism holds major difficulties in God’s
culpability regarding original sin, and the
compatibility of the two doctrines
How is Christ born sinless?
The miracle of Christ’s bodily creation is symbolized
through the virgin birth (entering of the messiah by the
spirit, not by human means).
Christ’s conception is the beginning of His redemptive
God, the Son, is entering human “flesh” (body and soul)
but conquering sin and concupiscence so as to take on the
burden of sin for the world.
Christ is the mediator for God’s declarative judgement
We are judged by who we are, apart from what we think
Christ redeems us and declares us righteous, apart from
what we think, and transforms us through the proclamation
of the word (spoken, lived, and sacramental)
Scripture defines the natural man as:
Dead (Rom. 5:12)
Rebellious (Rom. 3)
Blind/Deaf (ps. 51)
Diseased (Mat. 15:19)
Wicked (Rom. 1)
What is the solution? In Christ we are:
Resurrected (Col. 1:13)
Obedient (2 Cor. 10:5)
Hearers of the word (James 1:19)
New Flesh (Eph. 4:22)
Righteous (Rom. 5:12)
We believe sin is every thought,
desire, word, and deed which is
contrary to God’s Law. The devil
brought sin into the world by
tempting Adam and Eve, who of their
own free will yielded to the
Other names: disobedience Rom 5:19;
debts Mt 6:12; wickedness, rebellion Ex
34:7; fault Mt 18:15; trespass Rom 5:17;
wickedness Rom 6:13; wrong Col 3:25;
1 John 3:4 Everyone who sins breaks the
law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.
1 John 3:8 He who does what is sinful is of
the devil, because the devil has been sinning
from the beginning.
Rom. 5:12 Sin entered the world through one
The fall of humanity (Gen. 3:1-7).
Pray: Dear Lord Jesus Christ, I feel
my sins. They bite and gnaw and
terrify me. Where shall I go? I look
to You, Lord Jesus, and believe in
You. Although my faith is weak, I
cling to You and am made sure, for
You have promised, “He who believes
in Me shall have everlasting life.”
Even if my conscience is burdened
and my sins frighten me and make
me tremble, You have still said, “My
son, be of good cheer; your sins are
forgiven you. I will raise you up on
the Last Day, and you will have
eternal life.” I cannot help myself by
my own strength. I come to You for
help. Amen. (Luther).
We believe there are two kinds of sin:
original sin and actual sin. Original sin is
that total corruption of our whole human
nature which we have inherited from Adam
through our parents.
We believe original sin has brought guilt and
condemnation to all people and has left
everyone without true fear and love of God,
that is, spiritually blind, dead, and enemies of
God, and causes everyone to commit all kinds
of actual sins.
Ps. 51:5 I was sinful at birth, sinful from the
time my mother conceived me.
John 3:6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the
Spirit gives birth to spirit.
Rom. 5:12 Sin entered the world through one
man, and death through sin, and in this way
death came to all men, because all sinned.
Eph. 4:22 Put off, concerning your former
conduct, the old man which grows corrupt
according to the deceitful lusts (NKJV).
Rom. 5:19 Through the disobedience of the one
man the many were made sinners.
Eph. 2:3 Like the rest, we were by nature
objects of wrath.
Gen. 8:21 Every inclination of his [man's] heart
is evil from childhood.
1 Cor. 2:14 The man without the Spirit does not
accept the things that come from the Spirit of
God, for they are foolishness to him, and he
cannot understand them, because they are
Eph. 2:1 As for you, you were dead in your
transgressions and sins.
Rom. 8:7 The sinful mind is hostile to God. It
does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so.
Matt. 7:17 Every good tree bears good fruit, but
a bad tree bears bad fruit.
Gal. 5:19 The acts of the sinful nature are
obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and
debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred,
discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition,
dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness,
orgies, and the like.
Pray: Dear Lord God, I am
truly a sinner before You.
This is as certain as my
conception, my birth, my
nature, together with my
thoughts, words, works, and
my entire sinful being are
sinful. I am a corrupt tree
and by nature a child of sin
and wrath. As long as this
nature remains with us we
are sinners and must say,
“Forgive us our debts.” So I
confess what You command
in order that You may be
just when You judge. Lord,
I am an evildoer and a
sinner against Your divine
commandment. Help me,
for I am helpless. Lord,
teach me to pray: Our
Father who art in
My God, I know that from a
child I am evil and full of
sin. Wash me of all my sins
by the blood which Your
dear Son has shed for me,
and grant me Your good
Spirit, that He may teach
me, while I dwell here on
earth, to live according to
Your holy will in my own
sphere and calling. Amen.
We believe actual sin is every act
against a commandment of God in
thoughts, desire, words, or deeds.
Matt. 15:19 Out of the heart come evil
thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual
immorality, theft, false testimony,
James 1:15 After desire has
conceived, it gives birth to sin. (Sins of
James 4:17 Anyone, then, who knows
the good he ought to do and doesn't do
it, sins. (Sins of omission)
Pray: Deliver all who are in trouble,
for You are our God, who sets the
captives free; who gives hope to the
hopeless, and help to the helpless;
who lifts up the fallen; and who is
the haven of the shipwrecked. Give
Your pity, pardon, and refreshment
to every Christian soul, whether in
affliction or error. Preserve us, in
our pilgrimage through this life,
from hurt and danger, and grant
that we may end our lives as
Christians, well-pleasing to You and
free from sin, and that we may have
our portion and lot with all Your
saints. Amen. (Liturgy of St. Mark,
c. 4th c).
We believe God offers the forgiveness
of sins only in the Gospel, the good
news that we are freed from the guilt,
the punishment, and the power of sin,
and are saved eternally because of
Christ’s keeping the Law and His
suffering and death for us.
John 3:16 God so loved the world that
He gave His one and only Son, that
whoever believes in Him shall not perish
but have eternal life.
Rom. 1:16 1 am not ashamed of the
gospel, because it is the power of God for
the salvation of everyone who believes.
Rom. 10:4 Christ is the end of the law so
that there may be righteousness for
everyone who believes.
Gal. 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the
curse of the law by becoming a curse for
us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone
who is hung on a tree.“
Col. 1:13-14 He has rescued us from the
dominion of darkness and brought us into
the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom
we have redemption,the forgiveness of
Pray: Dear Lord, a robe was given to
You in that most dreadful story, that I
in robes might be arrayed with
righteous and glory. In God the
Father’s holy sight these robes alone
enfold me, His Word has told me: the
Accuser’s spite cannot prevail.
Guiltless, God’s eyes behold me. Jesus,
Your goodness I confess: O let Your
grace preserve me. Clothed in Your
robe of righteousness, in faith and love
You serve me. Amen. (Hallgrim
A. The Law teaches what we are to do and
not to do; the Gospel teaches what God has
done, and still does, for our salvation
B. The Law shows us our sin and the
wrath of God; the Gospel shows us our
Savior and the grace of God.
C. The Law must be proclaimed to all
people, but especially to impenitent
sinners; the Gospel must be proclaimed to
sinners who are troubled in their minds
because of their sins.
Deuteronomy 32:39 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.
John 1:17 For the law was given through
Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus
2 Corinthians 3:6 who has made us
competent to be ministers of a new covenant,
not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter
kills, but the Spirit gives life.
Acts 13:39 and by him everyone who
believes is freed from everything from which
you could not be freed by the law of Moses.
Pray: Heavenly Father, illumine me with
Your Holy Spirit for Christ’s sake that in
the bright mirror of the Law I may rightly
see my manifold, great and grievous sins
and truly realize how terrible is Your
wrath because of sin, and how awfully You
will punish all the impenitent for their
transgressions. From the Gospel, however,
let me also learn to know Your kind
fatherly heart, which through Christ is
opened unto me, so that with a broken
spirit and a contrite heart, but
nevertheless not despairing, on the
contrary, firmly trusting Your grace, I may
come to confession, where You will surely
deal with me according to Your fatherly
goodness, and will forgive me all my sins.
•What is sin?
•Who brought sin into the world?
•What is original sin?
•What has original sin done to human nature?
•What is actual sin?
•Where alone does God offer the forgiveness of
•What is the difference between Law and Gospel?
•Sin is every thought, desire, word, and deed
which is contrary to God’s Law. The devil
brought sin into the world by tempting Adam
and Eve, who of their own free will yielded to
•There are two kinds of sin: original sin and
actual sin. Original sin is that total corruption
of our whole human nature which we have
inherited from Adam through our parents.
•Original sin has brought guilt and
condemnation to all people and has left
everyone without true fear and love of God, that
is, spiritually blind, dead, and enemies of God,
and causes everyone to commit all kinds of
•Actual sin is every act against a commandment
of God in thoughts, desire, words, or deeds.
•God offers the forgiveness of sins only in the
Gospel, the good news that we are freed from
the guilt, the punishment, and the power of sin,
and are saved eternally because of Christ’s
keeping the Law and His suffering and death
•A. The Law teaches what we are to do and not
to do; the Gospel teaches what God has done,
and still does, for our salvation
•B. The Law shows us our sin and the wrath of
God; the Gospel shows us our Savior and the
grace of God.
•C. The Law must be proclaimed to all people,
but especially to impenitent sinners; the Gospel
must be proclaimed to sinners who are troubled
in their minds because of their sins.