Know Your Bible Course

By Gene Tope

SIN AND THE BLOOD OF CHRIST
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God"
(Romans 3:23).

Thus the Bible states man's failure and unfitness before God. Every accountable person finds himself under sin's condemnation. It behooves every thinking person to pause and ask, "What is sin?" and "How can I be made free from sin's terrible punishment?"

I. SIN

To many people, sin is nothing more than a violation of current social standards. They think of it as something "naughty" and involving a moral lapse of some kind or another. They may even call sin a "disease," implying that the individual is not responsible for what he does. Such an interpretation of sin is altogether too shallow. I John 3:4 says, "whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law." The revision says, "sin is lawlessness." Sin, then, is rebellion against God. Man says in effect, "God, you don't know what you are talking about." This is what makes sin so serious: we are not flaunting our parents, or society, but our Creator and God.

Sin may be committed in many ways; by our failures as well as our deeds. The Bible teaches that it is just as sinful to refuse to obey the commands of Christ as to commit a grave act such as murder or drunkenness. Either will cause man to go to hell. Consider 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 and I Corinthians 6:9, 10. We oftentimes think that morality is more important than obedience to God's religious commands. We think it is worse to do something wrong than to fail to do something right. All such thinking is man's frail viewpoint. Since the Bible teaches that omission is as sinful as commission and that irreligiousness will cause one to be lost as well as immorality, we must recognize this as being the true nature of sin.

Consider the first sin: Our parents, Adam and Eve, were placed in a beautiful garden surrounded by every good thing. God said, "every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Genesis 2:17, 18). Then, Satan deceived the woman and said, "Ye shall not surely die." She believed the devil rather than God, ate the fruit, then gave to Adam and he ate also. Thus sin entered into the world. Though no moral transgression had taken place, Man had nevertheless disobeyed his Maker. He had arrayed his human wisdom and will against God's. All that God commanded had been right and good, but man thought otherwise. This was sin! This was lawlessness!

The results of Adam's sin should be noted at this time. They are listed in Genesis 3.

  1. Woman would have pain in childbearing and be in subjection to her husband - vs. 16.
  2. The earth was cursed with thorns and thistles - vss. 17, 18.
  3. Man would die - vs. 19.
  4. Adam and Eve were driven out of the garden - vss. 22-24.

QUESTIONS ON SECTION I
FILL IN THE BLANKS
  1. 1 _____ 3:4 gives us a good definition of sin.
    Peter
    John
    Corinthians
    Timothy
  2. When we sin, we sin against ______.
    Nobody
    Only ourselves
    God
    Satan
  3. 2 Thessalonians 1:8 speaks of those who obey not the _____.
    law
    preacher
    denominational creed
    gospel
  4. Those who know not _____ will be punished with everlasting _____.
    God; destruction
    God; fire
    the law; destruction
    the law; fire
  5. _____ will cause one to be lost as well as immorality.
    Irreligiousness
    Sin
    Lawlessness
    Fornication
  6. Adam and Eve were not to eat of the tree of ______.
    life
    apples
    oranges
    knowledge of good and evil
  7. ______ said, "Ye shall not surely ____."
    God; lie
    Adam; die
    Satan; die
    Eve; lie
TRUE OR FALSE
  1. All have sinned.
    True
    False
  2. A person is not responsible when he sins.
    True
    False
  3. Being morally good is more important than being religiously good.
    True
    False
  4. Sins of omission are as sinful as sins of commission.
    True
    False
  5. Adam and Eve committed a moral sin.
    True
    False
  6. The devil lied to the woman.
    True
    False
  7. Adam and Eve did not understand God's command.
    True
    False

List here the results of Adam and Eve's transgression (as found in Genesis 3).

II. SIN BRINGS PUNISHMENT

One way to understand the exceeding sinfulness of sin is to recognize God's punishment of it.

SEPARATION FROM GOD

Sin separates man from sinless God. "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). This is perfectly illustrated in the case of Adam and Eve: while in the garden, God walked and talked with them; but after their transgression they were driven out and away from this intimate relationship with the Father. So it is with man today; sin deprives him of all the blessings of fellowship with God. "For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil" (I Peter 3:12).

ETERNAL SEPARATION FROM GOD

Since it is true that sin separates man from God in this life, it must follow that if man will not turn from sin he shall be eternally separated from God in the life to come. This is precisely what the Bible teaches in 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9. Those who know not God and obey not the gospel "shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power." The Bible teaches that every person will go either to heaven (I Peter 1:4), or to hell (Matthew 10:28). If we are not with God in heaven, we will surely be with Satan in hell. To the wicked, Christ shall say, "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matthew 25:41). "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal" - vs. 46. Here then is much of the terror of hell: the sinner shall be completely removed from the presence of God and His blessed influence. This world is bad enough, but suppose that all of God's blessings and goodness were suddenly taken away - No righteousness, integrity or morality - only evil continually - no hope, help or grace. And yet, hell will be filled with people who have freely chosen to disobey the commands and directions of a gracious Father. Jesus said, "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat" (Matthew 7:13).

THE ANGUISH OF SIN

Not only must man pay a penalty for sin in the next life, but sin also causes him to suffer in this one. The devil, of course, tries to hide this fact and presents sin as only harmless pleasure. Beer and liquor are advertised most attractively, magazine pictures appeal to women to wear scanty clothing "to catch that man," illicit sex in books and on the screen is portrayed as being "great fun," gambling in every form is "exciting," drugs will take you "out of this world," and behind it all is the subtle contention that "everyone is doing it" and "a little bit won't hurt you." Satan is very clever indeed!

"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Corinthians 6:9, 10).

No, sin is not pretty. Let the sinner reflect soberly upon his life and the judgment to come and he will be filled with anguish, terror, and foreboding. These are the facts of sin.

QUESTIONS ON SECTION II
UNDERLINE THE CORRECT ANSWER
  1. God will punish sinners.
    True
    False
  2. The eyes of the Lord are over _________.
    the righteous
    all men
  3. At the judgment, sinners will be ______ separated from the presence of God.
    temporarily
    eternally
  4. Jesus speaks of a broad way where _____ will be led to destruction.
    few
    many
  5. As the sinner thinks about judgment he should be filled with _______.
    terror
    delight
    indifference
FILL IN THE RIGHT WORDS
  1. "Your iniquities have _________ between you and your God, and your _______ hid his face from you, that he will not _______."
    built a wall; love; save
    separated; sins; hear
    made a covenant; sins; save
    separated; love; hear
  2. The Bible teaches that every person will go either to ________.
    heaven or purgatory
    hell or purgatory
    heaven or hell
  3. Hell has been prepared for _________.
    sinners
    the devil and his angels
    only the worst sinners
    nobody - Hell is not real
  4. The Devil presents sin as harmless ______.
    pain
    wickedness
    fun
    work
  5. "Know ye not that the _____ shall not _____ the kingdom of God."
    unregenerated; enter
    righteous; miss
    unrighteous; inherit
    righteous; enter
TRUE OR FALSE
  1. God's ears are open unto the prayers of all men.
    True
    False
  2. Hell is an everlasting punishment.
    True
    False
  3. Narrow is the way that leads to destruction.
    True
    False
  4. It is all right for me to do something if everyone else is doing it, too.
    True
    False
  5. God is too loving to punish sin.
    True
    False
III. SIN CANNOT BE INHERITED

It should be abundantly clear by now that sin is personal in its nature. It is something I do, or fail to do. No one can commit sin for me. It seems strange that some should teach differently, but they do. Many denominations teach that sin is inherited, i.e. that an infant is born with the guilt of Adam's sin upon him. Here is an example of what they say:

There are a number of Bible reasons why this doctrine of inherited sin is false. Let us note them.

  1. The definition of sin. Sin is "the transgression of the law" (I John 3:4). Now, what transgression have little babies committed? To affirm such would be foolish indeed. James teaches that there can be no sin unless it is first preceded by temptation and lust (James 1: 14,15). Is a little baby capable of either?
  2. Jesus tells us that we must become like little children in order to enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:1-4). "For of such is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 19:14). Would Jesus say this if children are little sinners?
  3. The Bible plainly tells us that one cannot inherit sin. "The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him" (Ezekiel 18:20).

QUESTIONS ON SECTION III
TRUE OR FALSE
  1. Sin is inherited.
    True
    False
  2. The Bible teaches us that an infant is born in sin.
    True
    False
  3. When lust is conceived it brings forth sin.
    True
    False
  4. Little children are not sinners because Jesus said, "for of such is the kingdom of heaven."
    True
    False
  5. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father.
    True
    False
IV. SIN AND THE BLOOD OF CHRIST

Who can deliver man from his terrible slavery to sin? One thing is abundantly clear: man cannot deliver himself. "O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps" (Jeremiah 10:23). Isaiah uses the figure of helpless sheep to picture sinful mankind as he remarks, "all we like sheep have gone astray" (Isaiah 53:6). As sheep we cannot find the way back to the fold of safety, but are subject to all the perils of the wilds. We are in danger of being devoured by our ravenous Enemy. We need a Shepherd to lead us aright. Christ is that good Shepherd who was willing to give His life for his sheep (John 10:11).

Other figures are used in the New Testament to tell us of Christ's mission. John said, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). He is pictured as a physician who has come to heal man of all his soul's diseases (Matthew 9:12). He said, "For the son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10). Even his name signified his mission: "thou shalt call his name Jesus (Savior), for he shall save his people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21).

WHAT JESUS DID FOR US

When John the Baptist said, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the World," he was revealing the very heart of God's plan for saving man. Almost from the very beginning God has commanded sacrifice. Abel's acceptable offering consisted of "the firstlings of his flock and the fat thereof" (Genesis 4). The Passover sacrifice was an unblemished lamb, a first-year male. Sacrifices, in the Old Testament era, were made daily (Hebrews 7:27). The inspired writer says, "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission" (Hebrews 9:22).

Christ was God's final sacrifice for sin. The sinless Son of God was to offer himself once, and the effectiveness of this action would be sufficient to take away the sins of the whole world, for all time to come (Hebrews 10: 12-14). For this cause it was necessary that Christ suffer on the cross. Without His sacrificial death there could be no forgiveness. What a price to be paid!

Nor must we overlook the fact that Christ suffered in our stead. He died for us; He the sinless - we the sinners. Every abuse: the mockery, spitting, slapping, whipping, the burden of the cross, the cruel biting nails into quivering flesh, the thirst, the anguish, the pain - all of this was borne on our behalf. Here is the true picture of sin! Sin was destroying mankind. God, hating sin so much and loving man so dearly, offered up His own willing Son. How we should love Christ and hate sin! We should gladly obey all that our Savior commands us to do, lest it be said that for us He died in vain.

In closing, let us note Hebrews 5:8, 9, "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all that obey him." In our next lesson we will consider the question, "What must I do to be saved?"

QUESTIONS ON SECTION IV
FILL IN THE BLANKS
  1. "O Lord, I know that the way of man is not _______."
    in the Bible
    in himself
    able to be known
    important
  2. All we like ______ have gone _____.
    sheep; astray
    cows; to eat
    the wicked; bad
    chickens; crazy
  3. Christ is the ____ Shepherd that gives His _____ for his sheep.
    Worthy; time
    Good; body
    Good; life
    Loving; life
  4. Without shedding of _____ is no remission.
    tears
    blood
    sweat
    skin
  5. Christ is the author of salvation to all who ______ Him.
    love
    believe
    follow
    obey
TRUE OR FALSE
  1. Man cannot save himself.
    True
    False
  2. The name "Jesus" means Savior.
    True
    False
  3. Christ needed to offer himself only once for man's salvation.
    True
    False
  4. Christ's cruel death shows the terribleness of sin.
    True
    False
  5. Man need not obey Christ to be saved.
    True
    False
What We Have Learned From This Lesson
  • All have sinned
  • Sin is rebellion against God
  • Sin brings punishment
  • Jesus came to save us from our sins
  • Hell is prepared for the disobedient

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Copyright (c) Know Your Bible Course 2011