What is Sin?
Scripture reveals clearly to us what sin is and explains clearly how sin entered the world. God created Adam and Eve and placed them in the garden. He explicitly commanded that they not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:16-17) This seemed an easy one to obey but Adam and Even fumbled and now we find ourselves in the mess we’re in.
When Eve succumbed to the temptation to disobey she yielded to the lust of the flesh because the fruit was “good for food” and she succumbed to the lust of the eyes because the fruit was “pleasant to the eyes.” (Gen. 3:6) Sin is simply a separation from God. I learned a more detailed definition in Bible college: Sin is a voluntary transgression of the known law of God. Adam and Eve knew what the law was but they chose to violate that law. Sin is disobedience. Sin is choosing our way over God’s way.
Salvation was certainly delayed for Adam and Eve because they failed to claim responsibility for their sin. Adam blamed it all on Eve. Eve blamed it on the Serpent. It even seems at one point that Adam is blaming it on God himself when he refers to the “woman….thou gavest me.” There is salvation available to all who have “sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”. Repentance is being accountable for our own actions and ceasing to blame God for our failures.
Along with sin come consequences. The “wages of sin is death”. Adam’s body began to deteriorate and die. His once perfect body was subject to disease and decay. His heart began to wear out and his mind weakened. Had he not sinned he would have lived forever but eventually he died. The word ‘death’ means separation. Three specific consequential deaths resulted from the sin of Adam. Physical death is the separation of man’s soul from his body. Spiritual death is the separation of man from God caused by his sin. Eternal death is the result of refusing the salvation offered by God, it is separation from God that lasts forever.
God graciously offers solutions to these sin consequences. Physical death is answer by the resurrection of Christ. We who are Christians have a hope that we will be resurrected after death. Christ made regeneration possible so that we can overcome spiritual death but eternal death is final and it can never be fixed.
All of mankind inherits the sin nature from Adam and Eve. All men have sinned because we have a sinful nature. “Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” – (Romans 5:12) Modern man likes to blame sin on the environment instead of the true nature of man. But Adam lived in a perfect environment and still sinned. Judas walked three years with the very Son of God and still sinned. Lucifer was an arch-angel in heaven and he still sinned. It is not our environment that causes sin, it’s our nature.
Jesus declared that we must all be born again and scripture teaches we can be transformed from a nature of sin to a nature of holiness and Christ-likeness by being set apart and sanctified. By his grace we can be conquerors.