Beginning the Christian Life
Romans 3:9-20 (KJV)
9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;
10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
15 Their feet are swift to shed blood:
16 Destruction and misery are in their ways:
17 And the way of peace have they not known:
18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
If we are to fully appreciate the meaning of repentance, we must know that from which we are to repent. “Repentance from dead works” is the first of the “First Principles” listed to us in Hebrews 6:1,2. To go wrong here is to endanger the whole “foundation”. “Dead works” are the deeds and actions of a life that is live apart from the “living God.” They may be religious works, gross deeds, or the hypocritical actions and attitudes of the self-righteous moralist. “All acts of a man in himself, separated from God are ‘dead works”.
These acts are variously referred to in the Bible. “SIN” is the word most often used. However, there are other words to describe the different aspects of man’s sinful condition. The essential principle of sin is SELFISHNESS. It is the love of self as opposed to the love of God. This love of self may express itself in many ways, but each of these ways is “our own way”, not His way.
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to HIS OWN WAY; and the Lord hath laid on Him the INIQUITY of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6 )
“He died for all, that they which live SHOULD NOT HENCE FORTH LIVE UNTO THEMSELVES, but UNTO HIM, which died for them, and rose again.” (2 Corinthians 5:15)
What are the meanings of the words used in the Bible to describe the condition from which we must repent?
A) SIN (hamartia) - "To miss a mark; to be in error."
Matthew 1:21 – – “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus; for He shall save His people from their SINS.”
This is the most common word for sin in the New Testament. It “was not originally an ethical word at all. It was, in fact, a word from shooting; and it meant a missing of the target. Sin is the failure to hit the target.” It is failing to be what we should be; it is falling short of God’s glorious desire for us. It is “Missing the Mark, doing or going wrong.” All have sinned, and COME SHORT of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
B) EVIL (kakos) - "Bad, of a bad quality or disposition, worthless, corrupt, depraved, wicked, criminal, morally bad."
Mark 7:21 – – “for from within, out of the heart of men proceed EVIL thoughts…”
In the parable of the servants (Matthew 24:42-51), the “evil servant” (vs.48) is contrasted with the “faithful and wise servant.” (vs. 45)
C) WICKEDNESS (Poneria) - "Evil disposition of mind, mischief, malignity."
Matthew 13:49 – – “So shall it be at the end of the world; the angels shall come forth, and sever the WICKED from among the just.”
This indicates a “mental disregard for justice, righteousness, truth, honour, virtue; evil in thought and life; depravity; sinfulness; criminality.” On one occasion the Pharisees “took counsel how they might entangle Him in His talk,” and then proceeded to present to Him a “loaded question”. But Jesus perceived their WICKEDNESS, and said, “Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?” (Matthew 22:15-18)
D) TRANSGRESSION (parabasis) - "A stepping by the side, deviation, violation of law."
Galations 3:19 – – “Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of TRANSGRESSIONS…”
This word “literally means a STEPPING ACROSS.” The picture is of a man stepping across a line across which he has no right to step, of a man invading forbidden territory, and crossing the bounds of that which is right. This is the sin of deliberately crossing the fence between right and wrong.”
E) UNRIGHTEOUSNESS (adikia) - "Injustice, wrong, iniquity, falsehood, deceitfulness."
1 John 5:17 – – “ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS IS SIN (hamartia)…”
“Unrighteousness is the failure to give to God and to man what is their due. The unrighteous man fails to give God his love and obedience, and fails to give man his charity and his service.”
F) UNGODLINESS (aseboia) - "Impiety; improbity (Dishonesty), wickedness."
Romans 1:18 – – “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all UNGODLINESS.”
“Sin is godless; it is the total disregard of God; it is treating God as if He did not exist. It is not atheism, for atheism does not believe that there is a God. Godlessness know that there is a God and totally disregards Him.”
G) INIQUITY (anomia) - "Without law, not subject to law, violating law, lawless."
Matthew 7:23 – – “Depart from me, ye that work INIQUITY.”
“Nomos means law; and the sinner is the man who disobeys God’s law. This word stresses the deliberation of sin; it describes the man who well knows the right, and who yet does the wrong.”
H) DISOBEDIENCE (parakoe) - "An erroneous or imperfect hearing; disobedience; a deviation from obedience."
Romans 5:19 – – “By one man’s DISOBEDIENCE many were made sinners…”
The verb form of this word originally meant “to mishear or to fail to hear. It could be used of the man who did not catch something that someone else said, because he himself was deaf. Then it came to mean DELIBERATELY NOT TO HEAR, as it were, to close the ears to. Sin means CLOSING THE EARS TO GOD IN ORDER TO LISTEN TO ONESELF.”
I) TRESPASS (paraptoma) - "A falling aside, deviation from the right path."
Ephesians 2:1 – – “And you hath He quickened, who were dead in TRESPASSES and sing (Hamartia).”
This word “describes the slip which a man may make when he is off guard, when he is not looking where he is going, when he takes his eye off the goal. It is the failure in concentration, what failure in self-control through which a man is swept or slips into sin.”
What is the origin of sin?
Romans 5:12 – – “by one man SIN entered into the world.” (Genesis 3:3)
James 1:14,15 – – “EVERY MAN is tempted, when he is drawn away of HIS OWN LUST, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth SIN: and sin, when it is finished bringeth forth death.”
1 John 1:8-10 – -“If we say that we have not sin, we deceived ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we CONFESS our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”
How many are sinners?
- Romans 3:23 – -“ALL have sinned!”
- Romans 3:9 – – “Both JEWS and GENTILES… they are ALL under sin.”
- Romans 3:10 – -“There is NONE righteous, no, not one.”
- Romans 3:12 – -“They are ALL gone out of the way….there is NONE that doeth good, no, not one.”
- Romans 3:19 – -“ALL THE WORLD… guilty before God
- Romans 5:12 – -“ALL have sinned!”
- Galations 3:22 – -“The scripture hath concluded ALL under sin.”
What sins do the Scriptures specifically list?
These 21 lists constitute a total of 202 sins.
Some are found in more than one list, but there are 103 sins mentioned.
- Seven which come from the natural heart and defile (Matthew 15:18-20)
- Thirteen which come from the natural heart and defile (Mark 7:21-23)
- Twenty-three which bring the judgment of God. (Romans 1:29-32)
- Seven which Christians must not do. (Romans 13:13,14)
- Six with which Christians must not associate. (1 Corinthians 5:9-11)
- Ten which bar from the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9,10)
- Eleven from which Christians must turn away. (2 Corinthians 12:20,21)
- Seventeen which bar from the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)
- Nine in which the unsaved live and in which Christians must not live (Ephesians 4:17-19)
- Six which must not be named an existing among Christians. (Ephesians 5:3,4)
- Nine which Christians must put away. (Ephesians 4:25,28,29,31)
- Four which bar from the kingdom of God and of Christ and which bring the wrath of God (Ephesians 5:5,6)
- Six which Christians must mortify, and which bring the wrath of God. (Colossians 3:5,6)
- Six which Christians must put off. (Colossians 3:8,9)
- Fourteen for which the law was given. (1 Timothy 1:9,10)
- Nineteen from which Christians must turn away. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
- Nine from which Christians are saved. (Titus 3:3-5)
- Five which Christians must lay aside. (1 Peter 2:1)
- Seven sins of the flesh in which Christians used to live. (1 Peter 4:2-4)
- Eight which condemn to the lake of fire. (Revelations 21:8)
- Six which bar from the tree of life and the holy city. (Revelations 22:140)
What has God done with our sins?
A) NO RETURN
Psalm 103:12 – – “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.
B) NO REMEMBRANCE
Isaiah 38:17 – – “…for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.”
C) NO RECOVERY
Micah 7:19 – – “He will turn again, He will have compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.”