IS SIN A PROBLEM?J. Rodman Williams suggests thereare a number of approaches to sin:1. Basically there is no problem - afew defects but essentially all is fine- we don’t need to believe any darkview of human nature - if we believeit is ok it will be2. Man is on the way up - not yetas good as he should be becauseman is not yet mature - consider hisevolutionary background and this isnot surprising
3. Man is not sufficiently enlightened -ignorance is the problem, he does notyet know enough about what is good forhim and society, how to improve it all,dangers of war etc.4. The problem is man’s suppressionof his own individuality and needs - beunencumbered by authority patterns,taboos, representative guilt etc.5. The problem is negative talk orattitude to life - think, feel, actpositively in all situations and we willovercome problems - don’t talk of sin,we are going forward
A. HUMAN SPECULATION ON SINSin is a major factor in humanexperience and in the Bible’steaching.The world is not comfortabletalking about sin and oftensuggests it is simply amisconception.Gnosticism and some orientalreligions suggest sin is theopposite of what God is and isrelated to the physical (notspiritual) world.
This can lead to ideasof asceticism and denialof the body.Epicureanism advocatesindulging the bodyAll this denies sin andwhat the Bible teachesabout it.
B. THE BIBLICAL DOCTRINE OF SIN“Sin is any want of conformity tothe character of God - in act,disposition or state” ChaferSin is sin because it is against whatGod is - for example, Ex 20:3-17Sin is always against God - Ps 51:4A person who sins is unlike Godand therefore subject to judgement4 aspects of the doctrine of sin inthe Bible:
1. Personal sin, Rom 3:23,includes every aspect of daily lifethat fails to conform to thecharacter of GodIt includes the idea of rebellionand disobedience but essentiallyincludes acts of omission orcommission (committing anoffence)Man comes short or misses themark of God’s standardAt least 8 OT and 12 NT words forsin
2. The sin nature of manis revealed in the Bible -Rom 5:19Adams sin caused him tobecome a different being,degenerate anddepraved. This wasjudged by Christ on thecross Rom 6:10For the death he died hedied to sin, once for all,but the life he lives helives to God.
Total depravity - is not thatevery man is as bad as hecould be but that the wholenature of man is corruptedby sin. This includes will(Rom 1:28), intellect (2 Cor4:4), conscience (1 Tim 4:2)and heartEph 2:3 - carrying out thedesires of the body and themind, and were by naturechildren of wrath, like therest of mankind.
No child has ever beenborn sinless - apart fromChrist - we all inherit itfrom our parents (Adam) -thus men sin because theyhave a sinful nature - theonly remedy is found inChrist.
3. Sin is presented asreckoned to our account -Rom 5:12-18 - 3 imputationsA. Adam’s sin to us - the basisof original sinB. Imputing the sin of man tochrist - the basis for salvationC. Imputation of therighteousness of God to thosewho believe in Christ - thebasis for the doctrine ofjustification.
Imputation is:a. Actual, even though thishappened before God couldrightly declare the sin oursb. Judicial - a legal positionbecause of our own personalsins.On the basis of Rom 5:12Chafer states it is actual -Therefore, just as sin cameinto the world through oneman, and death through sin,and so death spread to allmen because all sinned
4. Legally we are still in sin,sinners!Rom 3:9 - What then? Are weJews any better off? No, not atall. For we have already chargedthat all, both Jews and Greeks,are under sin,Under sin means there isnothing of merit in us that mightcontribute towards salvationSuch state can only beremedied by the merit of JesusChrist.