Sin and its effects span every barrier of race, age, language, economic status, nationality and gender. ALL people EVERYWHERE, of EVERY time in history, are sinners (Rom 3:23). The Word of God declares this to be true, and it can be easily observed by – and in- any one of us.
It is absolutely essential that we understand that God is not the originator of sin in our universe (Jas 1:13). He is the Creator of all things created (Rev 4:11), but He is NOT the author of sin and evil. The Bible makes very clear that it is not possible for God to have created sin (Deut 25:16; 32:4; Job 34:10; Ps 92:15 ; Isa 6:3; Zech 8:17; Jas 1:13; Rev 4:8; 15:4). Scripture records that it was Satan (Lucifer) who first rebelled against God in his pride and selfish ambition (Isa 14:12-14; Ezek 28:12-17), thus bringing sin into the universe.
God, by creating humanity in His own image, gave humans the ability to make choices. God knew that it would be possible for mankind to either choose to love and walk with Him – or choose to sin and rebel against Him. This did not make sin a necessity, only a possibility.
God created mankind perfect and placed him in a perfect environment. God gave Adam and Eve everything they needed – and only the simplest of commands to obey (Gen 2: 16, 17).
God, in His righteousness and goodness, did not permit Satan to force Adam and Eve to sin. Nor does God permit Satan to force any born-again Christian to sin today. Satan cannot force us to sin against our will (1 Cor 10:17). Satan did, however, tempt Adam and Eve by using deception and twisting the truth to lead them astray.
Adam and Eve chose to disobey God and yield to temptation. This process of (1) temptation and (2) willful choice to give in to temptation, is still how sin is brought about today. “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death” (Jas 1:14,15). Satan can be blamed for tempting Adam and Eve; but they were responsible for their own choices to yield to Satan’s temptation. The same is true for us today when we face temptation. God will hold each of us responsible for the choices we make. No one else is responsible for our sinful choices (Rom 14:12; Heb 4:13). Temptation alone is not sin; but it can lead to sin and therefore must be resisted (Rom 6: 12,14;13:14) through the power of the Holy Spirit.
The nature of sin is best described as anything that offends, violates or contradicts God’s character, or holiness. Sin is willful rebellion against God and His just and righteous commands. The Bible says this about sin: “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin” (Jas 4: 17). Sin is more than just a single wrong act; it is the natural disposition of the sinner (Gen 6:5; Matt 7:17,18; Rom 1:18-32). Therefore, man must be “born again”, and given a new nature (John 3:7; 2 Cor 5:17).
- The penalty for sin is death (Rom 6:23). This means three kinds of death:
Being spiritually dead while still physically alive (Eph 2: 1-5);
- A literal, physical death and then the judgment (Heb 9:27);
- Eternal death, the separation of the human spirit from God for This last death is called the “second death” (Rev 21:8; read Matthew 25:41).
As already mentioned, sin is universal to all mankind (Ps 143:2; Isa 53:6; Rom 3:10-12; 1 John 1:8). “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). But God, in His great mercy, is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet 3:9). Therefore, He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, Who “died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died.for them and rose again” (2 Cor 5:15).