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This is the third chapter from the book

By George Otis Jr


Every one who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.

I John 3:4 (NASB)

The wrongness of the sinful act lies not merely in its nonconformity, or its departure from the accepted, appropriate way of behavior, but in an implicitly aggressive quality-a ruthlessness, a hurting, a breaking away from God and from the rest of humanity ... alienation or (an) act of rebellion.

Dr. Karl Menninger

The Earth is also polluted by its inhabitants, for they transgressed laws, violated statutes (and) broke the everlasting covenant.

Isaiah 24:5 (NASB)

In his definition of the nature of sin, Dr. Menninger goes on to say:

Sin has a willful, defiant, or disloyal quality; someone is defied or offended or hurt. The willful disregard or sacrifice of the welfare of others for the welfare or satisfaction of the self is an essential quality of the concept of sin.'

That's a fine definition, even coming from a man who makes no profession of faith in Jesus Christ. Even Webster's Dictionary gives a better definition of sin than do most "born again' Christians:

Sin is transgression of the law of God; disobedience of the divine will, moral failure. Sin is failure to realize in conduct and character the moral ideal, at least as fully as possible under existing circumstances; failure to do as one ought toward one's fellow man.

Sin has lost its prominence and most certainly its popularity as a sermon theme for clergymen searching for a word to pass onto their congregations. It isn't so much that preaching on sin and guilt has lost its effectiveness as it is a matter of contemporary pastoral preference. In the foreboding and depressing atmosphere of our troubled times, a man of the cloth, if he is to enjoy success, must give attention to inspirational themes. Topics revolving around love, unity and grace are "hot" sermons and very much in demand by religious constituencies; while messages having to do with sin, guilt and repentance are currently experiencing a steady decline. The popularity of the new "freedom messages" is indicative of the direction of the church. 'Inner Healing," a la Ruth Carter Stapleton, and the PMA (positive mental attitude) seminars are prime examples of the trend away from piercing sermons on guilt and sin.

We have witnessed the arrival of the day when the church has begun to place more emphasis on the results of sin than on sin itself. We have observed the shocking metamorphosis of sin as it discards its old cocoon of personal, moral responsibility to take on the form of a sickness. It seemed strange to begin this chapter with a definition of sin. Yet today it seems there are more views on sin than there are flavors of ice cream. People embrace doctrines like they do almost everything else in our society, donning whatever is in fashion, and thus the need for definition. It is reminiscent of the day on Mount Sinai when God, as a result of the lost relationship, had to write down man's moral obligations.

About a decade ago prominent psychiatrist Dr. Karl Menninger lectured a group of young seminarians at Princeton Theological Seminary. It was here that he first began to sense, as he put it, the 'anxious and unsettled feelings" within the clergy. After several more years of evaluating the problem, he stated "they have become shaken reeds, smoking lamps, earthen vessels'. . . spent arrows. They have lost heart.' The intoxication of success combined with the fear of failure has affected far too many ministers of the gospel. The net result is a series of sermons tailored (often subconsciously) to suit the people.

And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness.

Ezekiel 33:31

My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them. Therefore ye shepherds; hear the word of the Lord; .... Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them.

Ezekiel 34:6-7,10


Famous attorney Clarence Darrow delivered the following address to the prisoners in the Cook County Jail:

There is no such thing as a crime as the word is generally understood. I do not believe there is any sort of distinction between the real moral conditions of the people in and out of jail. One is just as good as the other. The people here can no more help being here than the people outside can avoid being outside. I do not believe people are in jail because they deserve to be. They are in jail simply because they cannot avoid it on account of circumstances which are entirely beyond their control and for which they are in no way responsible ... There are a great many people here who have done some of these things (murder, theft, etc.) who really do not know themselves why they did them. It looked to you at the time as if you had a chance to do them or not, as you saw fit; but still, after all you had no choice ... If you look at the questions deeply enough and carefully enough you will see that there were circumstances that drove you to do exactly the thing which you did. You could not help it....2

This address is supportive of the doctrine of causation, determinism or inevitability. During our investigation into the five major theological-philosophical errors concerning the nature of sin, notice how this concept of causation and inevitability plays a prominent role.


False Concept 1

This is precisely what we are currently hearing from all quarters. Psychologists, criminologists, lawyers, and sociologists are singing in unison for the rehabilitation of the unfortunate, sick element in our society. Punishment is out of the question because it is applicable only when an individual is responsible for what he does. We are living in an age when criminals possess more rights than victims; an era when a tolerant lawyer will enlist the expertise of a humanitarian psychologist to prove to an unbiased and just court that to prosecute constitutes cruel and unusual treatment.

Once again, Dr. Menninger asks:

Is no one any longer guilty of anything? Is it only that someone may be stupid or sick ... ? Is no one responsible, no one answerable for these acts? Anxiety and depression we all acknowledge, and even vague guilt feelings; but has no one committed any sin?3

The thing we ought to find most frightening of all, however, is the fact that more and more Christians are jumping on this bandwagon. One prominent Christian author refers to the 'sin infection,"contending that when Adam sinned 'that one sin infected the whole human race, still in his loins, with the sickness of sin and death. Since then, all men are born sinners with the sentence of death upon them. It's a fatal disease with only one known cure."4 The implications of this mentality are given in verse in

Anna Russel's "Psychiatric Folksong."At three I had a feeling ofAmbivalence toward my brothers,And so it follows naturallyI poisoned all my lovers.But now I'm happy; I have learnedThe lesson this has taught;That everything I do that's wrongIs someone else's fault.5

In a world of lenience, tolerance and rationalization of sin, will even the church of Jesus Christ fail to call sin what it is? Will we join the ranks of those who would make people pathetic rather than guilty? Where in scripture is sin spoken of as a sickness or disease? Where no choice is involved neither can there be accountability. This is certainly basic, elementary reasoning and only those seeking sanctuary from personal responsibility and accountability could possibly find issue.


False Concept 2

A revolutionary concept, as far as then-young Christendom was concerned, was conceived in the mind of a budding theologian by the name of Augustine. After an immoral and unstructured past that included many years studying the philosophy of Manes, Augustine turned to the teachings of Christ under Ambrose, a leading scholar of that day.

Most likely searching for an explanation of his former conduct and help in understanding his present shortcomings, Augustine began to formulate the doctrine of original sin and what is commonly known today as the Federal Headship Theory. Briefly, the Federal Headship Theory states that when Adam sinned he did so in proxy for the entire world. All men born thereafter entered the world replete with a sinful nature which was and is the causative source of their sins. Thus Adam's original sin was passed, on from generation to generation -- from parent to child.

Augustine, however well-intentioned he may have been, began what would become centuries of confusion and misunderstanding over the concept of sin. He taught that sin was fundamentally a physical rather than a moral problem. He even theorized that children were born in Satan's power because:

They are born of the union of the sexes which cannot even accomplish its own honorable function without the incidence of shameful lust.'

Again, it is highly probable that Augustine's tarnished past had a strong bearing on his teaching. Today we refer to this type of person as a reactionary. Although Augustine undoubtedly reacted in the right direction to begin with, his extremes would later cause him (and the church) grave problems. He went on to teach that sexual intercourse was a venial sin (unless the motive was procreation) and the act was always shameful since it was always tinged with passion. Only Christ was born pure since conception took place apart from intercourse. 7 Augustine's teaching provided the ground from which the Puritan movement would later grow.

When we analyze the situation in the Garden of Eden we see that when Adam sinned he became depraved in two ways:

1) Morally-his soul disobeyed God

2) Physically-his body began to fail

Augustine and subsequent theologians have, in their expounding of the doctrine of total depravity, failed to distinguish between these two types of failure.

Physical (metaphysical) depravity-This gives man the bias or the bent toward being sinful, but is not in itself sinful. In other words it is an influence to, but not a cause of sin. This depravity comes by inheritance not choice.

Spiritual (moral) depravity-This is what we do with our situation. It involves unintelligent responses to influences and suggestions. This is sin, but it is not inherited-it comes by choice, it is created.

Men today for the most part acknowledge that it is sin when they make wrong choices. The snag is that they attribute these wrong choices to a 'sinful nature" which they receive physically at birth. It is a basic fact that everything in the universe is inherently matter or inherently moral. According to the theory that subsequent to Adam's fall, sin has inevitably been transmitted from parent to child, sin is evidently matter or substance-a physical factor. With this in mind, let's consider the following argument:

If I have inherited this sinful nature from Adam, how is this sinful nature passed on to me? In which part of me is this sinful nature passed on? It must be passed on in the physical body somehow since moral character cannot be passed on. 'Moral" has to do with choice and a choice cannot be inherited (only the results of a choice).

If a choice can be passed on, here is a question that must be answered: If two Christians have a baby, is their choice to be passed on to the baby? They are much closer to the baby genealogically than Adam and their characteristics would be the more dominant or stronger.

Many have said in desperation that sin is passed on in the blood. If this were the case, it might prove interesting to isolate some sin in a test tube. We may ask, in addition, what happens to the Christian who is involved in a serious accident and receives blood given by someone who is not a Christian? If this sinful nature is present in the donor's blood, does the Christian who receives it take on a sinful disposition again? This theory also makes evangelism much easier. All that would be required to convert a sinner would be a simple blood transfusion, using of course the blood of a Christian. One solution might be to close down our churches and open up Christian hospitals. (Incidentally, did you ever wonder why Jehovah's Witnesses don't allow blood transfusions?)

Lewis Sperry Chafer, the founder and first president of Dallas Theological Seminary, tells us, "Men do not now fall by their first sin; they are born fallen sons of Adam."' It is only fitting that this statement should be followed by a graduate of this same school of thought commenting on the sin of Adam and Eve: 'They actually had something added to them-a sin nature. And that made them sinners. Since that awful day of infamy, all men have been born with that same, sinful nature, and that is the source of our sins."'

As mentioned earlier in this chapter, the concept of causation glares at almost every turn. We must keep in mind that which is caused cannot be free, nor can it be accountable or responsible. Here again we have man in a pitiable situation deserving sympathy rather than judgment. Isaiah Berlin, in his book Historical Inevitability, concludes that Determinism means the elimination of individual responsibility:

Nobody denies that it would be stupid as well as cruel to blame me for not being taller than I am, or to regard the color of my hair or the qualities of my intellect ... as being due principally to my own free choice; these attributes are as they are through no decision of mine. If I extend this category without unit, then whatever is -- is inevitable ... to blame and praise ... becomes an absurd activity. If I were convinced that although choices did affect what occurred, yet they were themselves wholly determined by factors not within the individual's control, I should certainly not regard him as morally praiseworthy or blameworthy.

How could we have stooped and acquiesced to these theological and philosophical absurdities which have crept into the Church? The Word of God is to be presented in such a way that 'every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God" (Romans 3:19). If I am born with an inability to obey God, then can you conceive of a better excuse for not obeying Him? If I can't obey God, then why should I be disturbed that I'm not obeying Him? Yet the Word of God declares emphatically that all men are without excuse! This indicates that all men are responsible for their own choices, which implies they are free to make their own choices.

If I was born with an inability to do what God says, how can we justify eternal punishment with the love of God?'

This dilemma is readily discerned by some, but the great majority try to ease the pressure and present God's justice by viewing His intention in sending Christ to let all 'off the hook' who would respond to His call. The flaw in this argument is that it destroys the aspect of grace (getting something we don't deserve) in Christ's advent by virtue of the fact that, according to this position, God was under obligation to send Christ to assure all men a 'fair shake.'

The Federal Headship Theory, which we have briefly discussed, is an extremely widespread doctrine which is difficult to explain logically. The important factor, however, is whether or not the Bible will allow the representational theory of transmission of sin. Let's look.

Then the word of the Lord came to me saying,

"What do you mean by using this proverb concerning the land of Israel saying, 'The fathers eat the sour grapes, but the children's teeth are set on edge'?

"As I live," declares the Lord God, you are surely not going to use this proverb in Israel any more.

"Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine. The soul who sins will die.

"But if a man is righteous, and practices justice and righteousness ... if he walks in My statutes and My ordinances so as to deal faithfully he is righteous and will surely live,' declares the Lord God.

"Then he may have a violent son who sheds blood ... he will surely be put to death; his blood will be on his own head.

"Now behold, he has a son who has observed all his father's sins which he committed, and observing does not do likewise ... he keeps his hand from the poor, does not take interest or increase, but executes My ordinances, and walks in My statutes; he will not die for his father's iniquity, he will surely live.

"As for his father, because he practiced extortion, robbed his brother, and did what was not good among his people, behold, he will die for his iniquity.

"Yet you say, 'Why should the son not bear the punishment for the father's iniquity?' When the son has practiced justice and righteousness, and has observed all My statutes and done them, he shall surely live.

"The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father's iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son's iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself.'

Ezekiel 18:1-5,9-10,13-14,17-20 (NASB)

The various biblical words used to describe human sin leave absolutely no doubt whatsoever as to sin's true nature. We search in vain for any evidence that would indicate that sin is a substance or anything other than a wrong moral choice. We will further pursue the matter of biblical vocabulary later in this chapter.


False Concept 3

There are a great many evangelists, Sunday school teachers and pastors who convey an almost accidental picture when they describe the tragedy of Adam and Eve's disobedience in the Garden of Eden. The way the story is often told, we find a couple walking in tender loving fellowship with God, and then, all of a sudden falling into sin. This is certainly a misleading word. I personally cannot recall having ever purposely fallen. The implications of the term "the fall" are certainly less arresting than would be the case with, say, 'the rebellion.'The idea that it is possible to simply slip and fall into sin must be dispensed with all rapidity lest we find ourselves clouded by its influence.

It is important to refresh our memories as to the difference between what transpired in the Garden and a legitimate mistake. We determined earlier that an individual's intentions were examined by the courts in order to ascertain whether or not his actions were willed. If the action was not willed, then the individual is not dangerous to society. Thus the consequences connected with a murder conviction are far more severe than with a manslaughter conviction because, in the former, there is a premeditated, injurious design involved. Adam and Eve's sin can never be referred to as a slip or ignorant mistake. God gave ample instruction concerning what they were to do and not to do in Eden and included sanctions or consequences to support His words. We read that 'the woman being deceived was in the transgression . . ." (I Tim. 2:14). We are not dealing with a woman who in her naivete had no understanding of what she was doing, but rather we see a transgressor, one who was voluntarily deceived, breaking and violating known laws. Then, too, Adam voluntarily transgressed with his wife. I'm persuaded that it would be far more accurate and descriptive if we would refer to the incident in the Garden of Eden as "The Jump" As Floyd McClung has said, 'Every mistake is not a sin, but every sin is a mistake."


False Concept 4

Temptation is a universal problem. It is not confined to continents, races or economic classes. Temptation has many faces. It spans the scale from the subtle to the blatant, and seems to have an uncanny knowledge of our susceptibilities. Biblical accounts of temptation range from the well-known flight of Joseph from the seductive advances of Potiphar's wife to the crashing downfall of David with Bathsheba. Compare these to the person who says, "I never have a problem with temptation-I just always give in"!

There are a great number of people who assume that the battery of temptations entering their minds are solicitations of the devil, and their desire to comply emanates from their "sinful nature." This is a common but serious error. God designed human beings replete with many astonishing endowments. Some of these attributes, our emotions, enable us to sense, feel and respond to the thoughts in our mind. Eve's desire for the fruit which her mind perceived as being "a delight" was not a product of any sinful nature. Nor was her desire for further knowledge wrong in itself. There is no necessity of a sinful nature in order to be subject to temptation.

Gordon Olson has given what I consider to be one of the finest definitions of sin:

Sin is an unintelligent abuse of God-given endowments of personality."

With this definition in mind, let us remember that it is God who has made us the way we are. It is God who has created appetites and desires within us. It is God who formed our emotions to respond to what our minds contemplate. There is no sin in desiring to fulfill or gratify a God-given appetite. Sin enters the picture when we abuse our endowments by trying to gratify ourselves in an illegal manner or proportion.

Thoughts should not be classified as sin either. It was necessary for Jesus to have comprehended the words of the devil in order for it to have been a legitimate temptation.

Again, things cannot be evil and sinful for they are the product of God.

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

John 1:3

If we respond to temptation by treating it as though it were sin or indicative of sin, then we are forced into the uncomfortable position of considering Jesus an ally in sin since He too was subject to temptation. A suggestion or temptation is not in itself sinful. Things in themselves are not sinful, for sin manifests itself in unintelligent abuse of an otherwise good thing.

This is especially critical for those who have been suffering under an unnecessary load of condemnation because they have been tempted. When confronted with a strong desire, it is essential to take hold of the thought and give it a long, analytical look. Then ask yourself if it is possible to wisely gratify that desire. Remember, God does not disapprove of pleasure associated with gratification, but He does mind an unintelligent quest for pleasure in order to gratify yourself at the expense of others. It's probably worth mentioning that all so-called 'secret sin' is ultimately at someone else's expense. When we realize that God wants us to be happy and fulfilled, then we will recognize His restraints as blessings designed to increase our enjoyment of life.


False Concept 5

In a book on major biblical themes, Lewis Sperry Chafer reveals the following thought:

... every child of Adam is born with the Adamic nature, (and) is ever and always prone to sin, and ... it remains a vitally active force in every Christian's life. It is never said to be removed or eradicated in this life....12

How interesting that the nation's number one purveyor of stylized selfishness, Robert Ringer, should say a similar thing....

You will always act selfishly, no matter how vehemently you resist or protest to the contrary, because such action is automatic. You have no choice in the matter.13

I remember getting into my car after work and discovering a note taped to my steering wheel. It was an apology from one of the secretaries who'd had a rough day and had made some rather terse remarks. It read in part: "I'm sorry for having snapped at you-please forgive me for being human. "

Have you ever heard someone say after they did something wrong, 'Well, I'm only human"? We are told today that sin is 'only human." Sin is kind of a natural thing by implication. "It's just my nature.' I'm sure you have noticed Christians wearing buttons on their lapels or bumper stickers on their automobiles with slogans like "Christians aren't perfect-just forgiven"!

This was the attitude that former President Carter displayed in his Playboy interview. Commenting on adultery, he stated: "I've committed adultery in my heart many times... this is something which God realizes I will do... and He forgives me for it.'

Several years ago I was speaking at a youth missionary retreat in the mountains of southern California. I was talking with a camper who had several questions concerning sin. We were sitting on the bunks reading from I John when another young man entered the cabin to hear these words: "Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not. . . ." (I John 3:6) With red-faced indignation, he proceeded to tell me that it was impossible to live without sin, that even Christians expect to sin every day in word, thought and deed. I paused for a moment and asked this young man if he believed sin was the most powerful force in the universe. He didn't think so. What was the purpose of Christ's mission? Was it not to set the captives free, to seek and to save that which was lost? Isn't the message of the gospel, the good news, that Jesus has come to transform us by the renewing of our minds? He came not just to save us from hell, the penalty of sin, but from that which actually binds us-our sin itself!

Why do we preach a message of defeat? Why do we declare a doctrine of continuing bondage? The Bible states:

Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin....

1 John 3:9

That ye may approve things that are excellent, that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ.

Philippians 1:10

And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

I John 2:3

Whosoever abideth in him (Christ) sinneth not....

1 John 3:6

Where do we get the idea that sin is only natural and human? Whenever a polygraph test registers a lie, it proclaims that sin is not natural! Whenever one feels remorse, sorrow, or guilt it tells us with eloquence that sin is not natural! To those who are of the opinion that the only thing that separates a Christian from the world is forgiveness, I can only surmise they have little time for the Word of God.

The arrogant slogan 'Christians aren't perfect-just forgiven' brazenly flaunted in the face of the world, is more accurately read, 'My conduct is similar to yours-only I'm forgiven and you're not!' What joy do you think God derives out of a 'relationship' of that sort? Has He expressed in your relationship, or through His Word, that sin is the status quo for a Christian? What is the blood of Jesus Christ worth? Where is the power in the blood? Is it possible that we have actually accepted the fact that the love of God displayed on Calvary is an anemic force compared to the mighty power of sin?


In order to effectively deal with an enemy, it is of utmost importance to be thoroughly and accurately briefed on the qualities and characteristics of the foe. That sin is the deadliest of all foes need hardly be debated. With the defeat and elimination of sin, the cessation of war, crime and cruelty would necessarily follow.

Christianity now has to preach the diagnosis, in itself very bad news, before it can win a hearing for the cure, . . . a recovery of the old sense of sin is essential.14

As long as sin remains an elusive, undefined phantom it is no surprise that its victories over humanity continue to escalate.


Sin is a transgression of God's moral law, the intent to live supremely for oneself at whatever the cost. It is a premeditated, calculated choice to live in a manner contrary to your original design. There is absolutely no ignorance involved in sin.

Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

John 9:41

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

James 4:17

If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin; but now they have no cloak for their sin .... If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.

John 15:22,24

It is most enlightening to look at the various scriptural words used to describe sin. When the root words are analyzed in the original biblical languages (Greek-N.T.; Hebrew-O.T.), the overwhelming evidence is that man is a rebel choosing to violate known requisites. Here is a sampling:

* To act perversely, to twist and distort* To be stubbornly disobedient* To refuse to serve God* To act treacherously or deceitfully* To be rebellious* To be lawless, to refuse to conform* To be obstinate or uncompliant* To deviate from the right* To be ungodly, to act impiously* To be unjust, to refuse to do right.

Does the Word of God describe sin as a weakness or as rebellion? There are many Christians who derive a certain amount of satisfaction from their sin. Their conscience, of course, refuses to grant peace when they are living in this abnormal condition. The solution to this situation has been a gross rationalization of their conduct and adherence to the soothing concept that they are unable to obey God! This is but a calculated act of treachery and deceit in the continuing insurrection against God's standard and authority.


The ruthless, defiant, aggressive characteristics of sin that are the headlines of our race will undoubtedly become our epitaph unless the world we live in can be revived. To the ears of the celestial Listener, earth cries ... and before the eyes of her Maker ... earth bleeds.

The cruel nature of sin is nowhere depicted more graphically than in the treacherous dealings of King David toward Uriah, the husband of Bathsheba. It wasn't enough for the king to have taken Uriah's wife to satisfy his lust. David, caught in his own web as a result of Bathsheba's pregnancy, sent for Uriah, who had been away fighting for Israel. The idea was to use Uriah's expression of love for his wife to cover up the king's sin. Uriah's integrity, however, was not a factor that David had reckoned with. The loyal soldier slept with the servants at the door of the palace rather than enjoy what his comrades on the battlefront could not.

When David's desperate attempts to urge Uriah to move home with his wife failed (in spite of David's success in making him drunk), the king, driven to cover his sin, finally settled on a surefire plan. The following morning David sent Uriah off carrying his own death warrant. The king's instructions were immediately understood by his military captain, Joab, and the cruel scheme unfolded. Uriah was placed on the front lines of the battle.

The loyal Uriah probably never noticed his own army quietly retreating behind him as he fought with renewed vitality and determination after his privileged audience with the king. Left exposed and alone, Uriah became the target of the enemy. The king, receiving the news of Uriah's death and heaving a sigh of relief, 'graciously" allowed Bathsheba time to mourn her dead husband before making her his own property.

After hearing a story like this one, it doesn't require much effort to become incensed and indignant over man's inhumanity to man. If Uriah had deserved such treatment, the Bible account would not have stirred such pathos. We tend to see sin as a cruel and reprehensible phenomenon in proportion to the goodness and innocence of the victim. In light of this, don't you find it mystifying that people, at least Christian people, are not revolted over what sin has done to God?

He came unto His own and His own received Him not.

John 1:11

... They have forsaken me the fountain of living waters....

Jeremiah 2:13

I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded.

Proverbs 1:24

0 my people, what have I done unto thee? and wherein have I wearied thee? testify against me.

Micah 6:3

And when he was come near, he beheld the city and wept over it.

Luke 19:41

Often I have pictured God, the Mighty Ruler of the universe, sitting on His throne with His face buried in His hands, weeping. Sitting on that throne is all the incomprehensible power of the universe under absolute control. Yet the adulterous behavior of His beloved touches the heart and feelings of this mighty yet gentle Being and the response causes the hosts of heaven to marvel.

Where is there a more poignant sound than that of Jehovah sobbing? Who will stand by God in His hour of grief?


Unfortunately the parade of depravity continues to march down the corridors of human history without fatigue. It is but a brief respite when God leaves His weeping over Adam's race to rejoice over an obedient saint. He made them right but they've all gone wrong. The planet is in the hands of a race of rebels who have defiantly snatched their lives away from God. They demand liberation from God's "celestial colonialism."

In the case of the individual who has chosen to live a life of selfishness, no decision or activity subordinate to this wrong motive of heart may be considered other than 'filthy rags." No matter how "good" our deeds may seem on a human level, as long as our supreme purpose in life remains unchanged "all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6).

Sin is a choice to seek and maintain our happiness supremely in an unintelligent supposition that this is of paramount importance. This state of sin and rebellion persists until exposed in an encounter with the cross of Jesus Christ.


Sin is a moral cancer and it tends to spread once it starts. It must be recognized as an extremely dangerous, highly active corrosive that eats away at the human personality. The longer sin continues, the less actual control we have over our lives.

The year 1973 was an especially exciting one for me, as I spent the early months with Youth With A Mission in Switzerland. I have fond memories of the impromptu sledding "expeditions" after evening lectures. After bundling up, several fellows would trudge about half a mile to a local slope puffing their sleds behind them. Even though the slope provided an adequate angle for the average sledder to get a full quota of excitement, the winter sky continually covered the hills with extra coats of snow. As a result, the first few trips down the slope were somewhat less than exhilarating. Each successive run, however, compressed the newly fallen snow eventually carving out a "slide" that gradually gained our respect. In time, the slope became so slick and treacherous that nobody could manage to remain connected to his sled. It was then that our tired but happy group knew it was time to turn in. This is precisely the manner in which sin, persisted in, manifests itself. In the end it becomes extremely difficult to slow down the train of accumulated indulgences.


As sin carves its moral slide, each time down becomes easier and easier. We find ourselves inundated by habits.

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

Ephesians 2:1-3 (NASB)

Thayer's Greek Lexicon tells us that 'nature" in verse 3 is the result of habit. God has admonished us to allow our minds to dwell upon only that which is wholesome (Philippians 4:8), because as a man "thinketh ... so is he' (Proverbs 23:7). In other words:

* Our thoughts and choices become actions

* Our actions become habits

* Our habits become our nature and character

* Our character becomes our destiny

The great danger of sin is that we become slaves to appetites and desires without even noticing what is happening.

Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

Romans 6:16

A sinful nature develops in our lives through habitual self-indulgence and subsequently affects everything we do. Paul mentions this situation and the impossibility of fighting it in our own strength in the seventh chapter of Romans. Thus we concur that though a sinful nature is present, it originates by choice. For example, the junkie bound by heroin addiction cannot help but crave drugs now, but the origin of the addiction began with his choices.

We have discovered that there are certain emotional gratifications in life that are pleasurable. However, since emotions cannot be experienced directly but rather respond to what the mind thinks upon, the mind therefore is harnessed to produce thoughts that will result in emotional gratification.

Emotions can be a hard taskmaster, resulting in an abnormal imbalance, and a chaos of personality. This is slavery. This is captivity. The freedom that the world proclaims only leads to bondage. There is no reason to secretly envy the men and women of the world.

But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.

Isaiah 57:20-21

... the way of transgressors is hard.

Proverbs 13:15


In this day no one is left without a cause to champion. Everyone has a matter in need of attention and justice. The world offers plenty of exploitation, deprivation, unhappiness and brutality to go around. But who is responsible for the groanings of the planet? Is it politicians, corporate executives, scientists? Is it a nation, a race, a society?

Here is an interesting adaptation of a parable from the gospel of Matthew:

And then the servants counseled together saying, It would be much better to pull out those weeds right now rather than wait, but we must obey the master even when he is wrong. In the meantime, let us look about for the enemy who would do this evil thing to our master, who is kind to everyone and doesn't deserve this treatment.' So they quietly inquired and made search in all the region round about, but they could find no one. But one of the servants came privily to the chief steward at night saying, "Sir, forgive me, but I can no longer bear to conceal my secret. I know the enemy who sowed the tares. I saw him do it.' At this the chief steward was astonished and full of anger. But before punishing him, he demanded of the servant why he had not come forward sooner. 'I dared not.' cried the servant. 'I scarcely dared to come and tell you this even now. I was awake the night the weeds were sown. I saw the man who did it; he walked past me, seemingly awake and yet asleep, and he did not appear to recognize me. But I recognized him." 'And who was he, indeed?' asked the chief steward in great excitement. -Tell me, so that he can be punished." The servant hung his head. Finally, in a low voice he replied. 'It was the master himself." And the two agreed to say nothing of this to any man.15

It is the Church, those who profess the name of Christ, who must hold forth light or the world will surely perish on the rocks of sin. They will be crushed by the tide of their own folly and neglect if the light of the gospel does not penetrate their clouded minds. The sinner must realize and confess that it is he himself who is fully to blame. Dr. Menninger declares, 'If the concept of personal responsibility and answerability for ourselves and for others were to return to common acceptance, hope would return to the world with it!"16

There are those who declare their belief in God and faith in His doctrines and standards, yet live as though He doesn't exist! Those living under great light who refuse to conform their lives to the truth are only sowing their own destruction. If you do not mean to live a holy life, then God's house is the last place you should be!

America's greatest revivalist, Charles G. Finney, once uttered these piercing words:

Men really intend to secure both this world and salvation. They never suppose it wise to lose their own soul. Nor do they think to gain anything by running the risk of losing it. Indeed, they do not mean to run any great risks-only a little, the least they can conveniently make it, and yet gain a large measure of earthly good. But in attempting to get the world, they lose their own souls. God told them they would, but they did not believe him. Rushing on the fearful venture and assuming to be wiser than God, they grasped the world to get it first, thinking to get heaven afterwards; thus they tempted the spirit ... lost their day of salvation and ... lost the world besides. 17

I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts.

Isaiah 65:2

They did not see fit to acknowledge God or approve Him or consider Him worth knowing....

Romans 1:28 (Amp)



* Karl Menninger, Whatever Became of Sin (Hawthorn), P. 19. 1. Ibid., p. 19.

2. Gerald Dworkin, Determinism, Free Will and Moral Responsibility (Prentice-Hall), p. 1.

3. Karl Menninger, Whatever Became of Sin (Hawthorn), p. 13.

4. Hal Lindsay, The Liberation of Planet Earth (Zondervan), pp. 63,67.

5. Anna Russell quoted in The Crisis in Psychiatry and Religion (Von Nostrand), p. 49.

6. Augustine, Marriage and Concupiscence 2.15.

7. Ibid., 1.5,1.9,1.24,2.37,16,17 & On Original Sin 2.42.

8. Lewis Sperry Chafer, Major Bible Themes (Dunham Publishers), p. 136.

9. Hal Lindsay, The Liberation of Planet Earth (Zondervan), p. 49.

10. Gordon C. Olson, Sharing Your Faith (Bible Research Fellowship, Inc.).

11. Ibid., chap. 3, p. 4.

12. Lewis Sperry Chafer, Major Bible Themes (Dunham Publishers), p. 141.

13. Robert J. Ringer, Looking Out for #1 (Fawcett Crest), p. 46.

14. C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain (Macmillan), pp. 55,57.

15. Original author of adaptation unknown. Quoted in Whatever Became of Sin (Hawthorn), pp. 11,12.

16. Ibid., p. 188.

17. Charles G. Finney, The Guilt of Sin (Kregel), p. 77.

 2005/2/24 5:22

Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK


freecd writes:
Sin has a willful, defiant, or disloyal quality; someone is defied or offended or hurt. The willful disregard or sacrifice of the welfare of others for the welfare or satisfaction of the self is an essential quality of the concept of sin.'

That's a fine definition, even coming from a man who makes no profession of faith in Jesus Christ. Even Webster's Dictionary gives a better definition of sin than do most "born again' Christians:

Sin is transgression of the law of God; disobedience of the divine will, moral failure. Sin is failure to realize in conduct and character the moral ideal, at least as fully as possible under existing circumstances; failure to do as one ought toward one's fellow man.

The first definition would serve as a working definition of Sin as the inward dynamic and set of the mind against God which 'entered' the human race with Adam's disobedience. "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." (Rom 8:7 KJV)

The second definition would serve as a working definition of 'sins'; which are transgressions of known law. "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." (Jam 4:17 KJV)

The writer quoting these definitions is making the same error I addressed previously, namely failing to distinguish between 'Sin the nature' and 'sins the event'.

Have you thought through the implications of your position. If a person's single act of sin constitutes them a rebel and sinner where does that leave the regenerate man who may sin subsequent to his regeneration. Does each individual sin of an individual reconstitute the 'old man'? Is he 'crucified' with Christ only to be resurrected again at the next infringment of God's known will?

Ron Bailey

 2005/2/24 5:51Profile

 Did adam and Eve have a "sin nature" before they sinned?

What about a sin nature?

A sin nature is NOT a requirement for sin or holiness to exist. Lucifer was the chief angel. He had no sin nature, yet he rebelled against God. Adam and Eve both had no sin nature when they sinned. Before a sin nature can exist, sin has to take place. Also 1/3 of the angels rebelled against God having no sin nature.

The sin nature was a creation and the result of sin

 2005/2/24 12:16

Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re: Did adam and Eve have a "sin nature" before they sinned?

A sin nature is NOT a requirement for sin or holiness to exist.

I don't know anyone who said it was.

Lucifer was the chief angel. He had no sin nature, yet he rebelled against God. Adam and Eve both had no sin nature when they sinned. Before a sin nature can exist, sin has to take place. Also 1/3 of the angels rebelled against God having no sin nature.

The sin nature was a creation and the result of sin

The physical creation is different to that of angels. They are not in Satan as the human race is in Adam. In Adam all die... The angel creation does not have the same corporate nature as the human race. There are no relationships, no fathers, mothers, sons... They are not 'in Satan'.

The fall of the angelic race is only vaguely referred to in our revelation and we need caution in transposing their experience into ours. Apparantly they have no facility for repentance. It is said of Jezebel in Rev 2 that God gave her 'time to repent of her fornication.' It may be that 'time' is necessary to repentance and that angels being spirits have neither.

You have still not explained to me whether the 'old Adam' is recreated in a regenerate person's sin. Why does my sin not have the devastating result on the creation that Adam's did?

Before a sin nature can exist, sin has to take place.

The Bible says differently. Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned--
(Rom 5:12 NASB)

Ron Bailey

 2005/2/24 13:15Profile

Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri


Have you thought through the implications of your position. If a person's single act of sin constitutes them a rebel and sinner where does that leave the regenerate man who may sin subsequent to his regeneration. Does each individual sin of an individual reconstitute the 'old man'? Is he 'crucified' with Christ only to be resurrected again at the next infringment of God's known will?

This is where Finney and I part company in theology. I simply cannot believe that a believer who sins is immediately on the same grounds with God as is an impenitent sinner. The whole message of grace is missed in that view. It is also a view that has driven people insane as I have witnessed it first hand. One sin does not make a child of God a child of the devil once again.

All this talk about the Sin Nature takes me back a bit. Galatians says that the works of the flesh are obvious. I have some writings on this that I could present; but I will yield the time for Bro. Ron to lay out his arguments on "The Sin" and it entering the human race. It is an interesting topic and one we sould well consider.

God Bless,


Robert Wurtz II

 2005/2/24 13:38Profile

 Re: If Adam's sin made everyone sinners then Christ's obediencemade everyone righteous.

Romans 5:12-18 "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, has abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life."

Romans 5:19-21 "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin has reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord."

Romans 5:19 is a parallelism. If Adam's sin made everyone sinners then Christ's obedience made everyone righteous. The result of this would be that every single person would automatically go to heaven based not on their own choices, but Christ's obedience. The Bible definitely does not teach that everyone will get to heaven. Adam's sin was not the cause for any person's future sin but only an occasion or opportunity for sin. Christ's obedience was also not the cause of any person's personal obedience, but only an occasion or opportunity for redemption by grace through faith. No person can become a Christian or sinner without using his own free will.

 2005/2/25 10:45

 Re: Psalm 51: In Sin Did My Mother Conceive Me

Psalm 51 - In Sin Did My Mother Conceive Me

Pastor Richard Owen

Psalm 51, begin reading in verse number one "Have mercy upon me, oh God, according to thy loving kindness: according to the multitude of thy mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judges!. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom."

Let's pray. "Father, in Jesus name, I want to thank you Lord for your precious Word, I want to thank you for the time that we have, the privilege that we have to preach the Word, and I thank you Lord for the understanding you give us, realizing Lord, that we don't know the way and without you Lord, we will be confused and will not have the answers. But, I know that Lord, your able to give us understanding, to give us wisdom, to show us the height and the depth and the ways of God, and I thank you Lord. I stand. Lord, believing in your Word and your ways and your guidance, you promised to guide us into all truth, and so I'm looking to you this morning for wisdom again to preach your Word. Have your way in this message this morning , in Jesus name. Amen and Amen."

When I started this Psalm out I fully intended to deal with the entire Psalm. Actually, I was uncertain just which way I'd go at times and I figured, just as I read the Psalm, as I studied the Psalm, God was going to give me understanding and I'd look to the truth and trust Him to guide me into all truth. When I started this Psalm, if you'll remember back it's been almost a month ago, I think, when I started this study. I was determined to do every verse of this Psalm, and to ask God to give us the understanding, to make it fit, and harmonize and deal with the theme. The subject of this Psalm, the subject, the theme of this Psalm, is David's repentance, his contrition over his sin. If you get the setting, the setting of this Psalm is when Nathan said to David "Thou art the man," and God revealed to him that his sin was open before him, and that He had seen his sin, and that David was guilty. And so this is David's confession, this is David's brokenness, this is David's repentance, and it's still the theme all the way through this chapter. It doesn't change, it doesn't altar, and it doesn't vary. It deals with David. Can I say to you, I believe, that this is one of the best chapters in the Bible to use to show a man how to deal with sin in his life? This is one of the best. This shows David, dealing with every part of his life. This shows David, in a broken and a contrite heart. It gets down to the end of it and he says that's what it takes to have a right relationship with God, for God to forgive him of his sin. So David here is dealing with this. This is theme - this is the subject. It doesn't get off that subject. It doesn't build other doctrines into here. This deals with David's repentance, brokenness - he's crushed over his sin.

Now I've studied and meditated, and meditated on this chapter. There have been so many times that I've begun to look at this chapter, I'd write lots of notes on this chapter, and then I'd put them aside. I'd say, "No, I don't feel comfortable with it". Then I'd come back and I just felt liberty. It's one of the first times I felt in twenty-six years the liberty to go on and just deal with this chapter, and deal with the verses I'm going to deal with this morning. These two verses this morning are the most controversial verses, no doubt, in the book of Psalms. I hope that you'll take notes, I hope you'll study with me. I hope you'll write down references that I'll give you, and study on your own. I want you to do that.

I've looked at scores of thoughts of this. I've looked at almost every commentary I could find. I've searched the internet far and wide, asking for views of this particular chapter, and sought out men from every comer of the globe as far as from every different view, from every different type of religious beliefs and backgrounds that you could imagine. Trying to find just what the truth is of this passage of Scripture. I've read where some have distorted this, and twisted it to mean some things, and some other things. I read one man, where it says in here, "in sin did my mother conceive me", he said it speaks of how that David's mother had an illicit affair. And I said "what a perversion of the Scriptures!" Because you've got to remember this, there are some things that you keep in the back of your mind. You've got to take the whole Bible into view. You can never interpret a Scripture to make it contrary to other Scriptures. You must stay in context, you must not make one verse say something that another verse totally contradicts. You must keep the author in agreement with himself and what he's doing, or you contradict the Scriptures. There are laws and rules of interpretation of the Bible that you cannot violate. You must not make a man inconsistent with himself. You have to make sense with the Bible and not nonsense. And so, there are rules and laws of interpretation.

And so, I'm looking at the passage of Scripture, I've studied, and studied and studied. I want to just take you through slowly through verse number five, and if the Lord enables us, verse number six, this morning. But as I said, this is a continuation of David's contrition, it's a continuation of his describing the consequences and the weight of his sin. He's dealing with this, and David is not looking, if you'll approach this verse realizing, he is not looking for a cause and effect. David's not looking for a reason why he sinned. He's not looking for a cause, if you'll remember that. Because the first four verses, he tells you that he is personally responsible for his sin. He takes full responsibility. He is saying, "…of my own free will and volition," - that is what he's saying. In verse number four he says, "…have I sinned". He didn't say, "I was caused to sin, this is the reason I've sinned". He takes full responsibility, he's not looking for an escape route. He's not looking to be a victim of some kind because of an effect upon his life, he's taking full responsibility for his actions and full account. He's saying, "It's my sin." You'll see it over and over again, verse one, "my transgression." Verse number two, "mine iniquity." Verse number two, "my sin." Verse number three, "my transgression." Verse number three, "my sin." Verse number four, "have I sinned," and so, he takes full responsibility for his sin. He doesn't blame it on anybody else. He's not looking for a cause, or purpose or reason why he sinned. "It's my sin, I have sinned."

David is not looking for someone to blame it on. He's not looking for an excuse, he's not looking for a cause that made him sin. David is looking for a cure. He's not looking a cause, he's looking for a cure! He's looking for deliverance! He's looking for God to heal him, to cleanse him, to sanctify him, to justify him, to purify his life. He feels defiled, he feels unclean, he feels wicked in the sight of God. He wants to be washed whiter than snow. He's looking for deliverance, he's not looking for a reason for the state he's in, he's not looking for a cause. He's looking for deliverance. If you'll approach this verse as you come down through to verse number five, you must realize that David is not seeking a cause or a reason why he sinned. He's really accepted his own responsibility for his sin over and over again. Six times I believe it is here, that he makes it clear that it's his, "it's mine, it's my transgression, my sin, mine iniquity."

And so David is taking responsibility of that. He doesn't say "it's because of this... because of somebody else... because somebody made me do it..." You remember. Eve tried to blame Adam, and Adam tried to blame Eve, and they both tried to blame the serpent, and everything else? David's not doing that, he's not trying to pass the buck, he's not trying to get out from under it to try to find relief, and try to find an excuse.

Listen to me carefully, and look at me. You interpret the Bible - I hope you get this little point - you will interpret the Bible according to what your looking for in the Bible. Now if you really have a predetermined view that you desire to get out of the Bible. If you're already set in your mind, and you're determined that you're going to find something in the Bible, you can take the Scriptures and wrest them, and twist them to your own destruction. Every cult in this world has done exactly that. They've sought, they've went to the Scriptures looking to justify - looking to find scriptural backing for their own views and ideas. And believe me, if you want to do that, you can take the Scriptures I am using this morning and wrest and twist and distort them to conform to your own opinions, or to get an agreement to what you already believe, if you want to do that. But if you're going to allow the Scriptures to flow in harmony, the Scriptures have a unity, they have a harmony that has to be recognized. The Scriptures don't have contradictions and confusion. The Scripture has a beautiful harmony to it, and a unity that the Scriptures just flow through. Nor are the Scriptures complicated. God didn't make them confusing and complicated so that you couldn't understand them. He merely expects you to look to Him and to trust Him and to seek His will for His Word. He expects you to obey it.

If you are not going to obey it, - you get this down if I don't get any farther this morning, you get this down clear, - He will not reveal the Word of God to you! He will not open the Scriptures to you. He will not teach the Word of God to you! It will be a dead book! It will be a book that will be closed to you unless you have a heart with a desire to obey what He teaches you. If you're going to question, and I've seen times that I've laid before God, and wept before God, and asked God to reveal the Word of God to me, and I've been challenged with that thought in the forefront of my mind. Are you going to proclaim it? Will you believe it? Will you walk in it? Will you teach it? Will you question what I show you? And over and over again I've had that challenge in my heart. If you're not willing to obey it, if you're not willing to accept it, if you'll not accept it by faith without reservation, if you're going to question God and question the Holy Spirit of God, mark it down, listen to me carefully, and look at me, you will get nothing from God!

"He that doubteth is like a wave tossed in the sea." I'm saying, you seek wisdom, this is the Wisdom Book, this is the Wisdom Book. And if you doubt, if you're going to enter into this Book with doubts and questions about what God reveals to you - forget it! You'll get nothing from God! Nothing! Can I say to you that there are many portions of Scripture similar to this one that you're going to have to wait on the Lord for. I remember an old preacher preaching one time down at Sammy's camp meeting and I never forgot the thought that he give, and it just really impressed me. I was a young preacher, I was looking up to this man. He was an eloquent preacher, and I remember a statement he made, and it just stuck with me. He said, "Never try to force the interpretation of the Scripture." Do not try to pressure that into a mold, do not try and force that Scripture to where you understand it. This was an old man - been preaching probably 35-40 years at the time. He stood in the pulpit and he said " I've got many verses that I've underlined and looked at and studied and meditated on, and had to back away from them and just say, 'I'll wait until God opens that one up to me, I don't understand that one.'" He said, "Some of them have taken ten, twelve, fifteen, some of them have taken many years, twenty, thirty years."

I've read my Bible, come across that verse, still couldn't get it. Go back the next year, read that verse of Scripture, still couldn't get it. Go back and read that verse of Scripture again, still couldn't get it. And can I say to you, listen to me carefully, understanding the Bible depends on your growth and maturity and obedience. You can't give strong meat to babies. Just as you don't set your little child down and give them a steak, the little baby that doesn't have any teeth, so it is that you must mature in your own spiritual life. You must develop a level of Christianity where you mature in the Lord and you begin to get understanding of the concepts and the understanding of what God is like. Until you begin to have a true picture of God in your mind and your heart, - a concept of His holiness, His righteousness, His judgment, and His truth! And when you begin to understand God, you begin to understand the Word of God and the Spirit of God begins to open slowly to you here a little, there a little. Line upon line, precept upon precept. This Bible isn't automatically opened to you as soon as you look at it. You're not going to understand it for years, some of it you will never understand. As I said this morning it will take time. But if you'll wait on the Lord, patiently wait on Him, I believe God will open the truth to your mind.

David is seeking here, if you'll keep this in mind, David wants to be clean. He wants to be pure, "wash me". He's wanting to be cleansed, "wash me thoroughly, cleanse me from my sin", he says in verse number two. He wants his sins blotted out, as I said in verse number one. He wants these sins removed. He is not seeking to find out how he can reason about these sins and how he can reconcile about these sins, but he wants rid of them. He wants them out of his life. He doesn't want to understand them, he wants rid of them. He's not looking for a cause and effect. Can I say also, that David is agonizing under his consequences of his sin. His sin has brought shame. His sin has brought reproach upon his life. His sin has brought guilt upon him. His sin has broken him down in contrition. His sin has brought him to where he's brought into the very presence of God. David realizes that he didn't do this sin in the dark so that God didn't know it. He said in verse number four, he talks about how that God has seen that sin, and this evil. "And done this evil in thy sight." God saw him commit that sin!

And so, David is dealing with this brokenness, David is dealing with this nakedness. He feels naked before God. He feels open and exposed before God. He feels wicked in the sight of God. He feels defiled in the sight of God. I'm saying, David is broken, he's in contrition. He's bowed down over the weight of his sin. He's telling us the way of the transgressor is hard. He's telling us how that the way of the transgressor is one that God knows exactly what he's doing and God can see his ways. And David feels this defilement, he feels this wickedness in the sight of God. And so, you come to this verse, number five, with those thoughts in mind. He's not seeking for a cause - he is seeking for deliverance. He is realizing the consequences of his sin. The only way that you will ever deal thoroughly with sin is to realize what it is costing you - what it has done to your life. The old songwriter says, " I'm tired of sin and straying Lord," and then it deals with I'm sick of my sin. Can I say to you, until you get sick of it, until you get tired of it, until you realize what it's done to you, you will not deal with it thoroughly. The prodigal son realized how foolish he was and how the sin had brought him down to the very depths of degradation. And there in the hog pen, eating hog slop and realizing what sin did to his life, he said, "I will return to my father's house."

And so, David is beginning to deal with the brokenness, the weight of sin, the consequences that sin has brought upon his life. And as he approaches this verse, number five, he sees himself in this state. Now, David comes to this verse and notice what he says here. "Behold I was shapen in iniquity." Now this verse does not step out and deal with something else, it doesn't run a rabbit trail. It's still uniformly, it's still in harmonious accord with what David is speaking about. He's dealing with his sin. He's dealing with the consequences of his sin. He's dealing with the results of his sin. He's dealing with what he's reaping because of his sin. His sin made him feel defiled, he wanted to be clean. His sin has brought him before God, he feels guilty before God. He sees himself as God has seen him, he's naked before God.

Now he comes into verse number five, and he begins to address this brokenness and what he is suffering because of his sin. The key word, the key word, in interpreting this verse, is the word shapen, the word shapen. "Behold," notice what he said, "I was shapen in iniquity." For years I've studied and would meditate on this Scripture. I had no problem with the remainder of the verse. The remainder of the verse is easy to interpret, it's just open. Can I say to you, when people put a different twist, when man puts his doctrinal twist on a verse, you have a hard time undoing that twist. When man has twisted the Scriptures, for you to put it back right, it just complicates it, because you're just constantly fighting what's already been said. Before your mind has always been this thought of that's the way everybody views it. And so, your going to have a hard time interpreting this verse without the influence of man's doctrines and what has already been said.

Now the key to this verse is the word "shapen." It depends how you look at this word shapen. Now the word shapen here does not mean "to form or design". That's the first thought in your mind, to shape something, to mold something, to create something, to form something. But that's not what the word means. You'd think that's what it means. Now I'm going to give you references, I'm going to give you cross-references, I'm going to take you through the Bible. Now remember, David's not looking for a cause. David's not looking for an excuse. David has already admitted his guilt, "my sin, my iniquity, I have committed". It's David openly confessing his sin, broken over his sin. He has given the consequences of his sin, and now he's going to deal with the suffering and the pain that sin has caused him. Can I say to you, the word shapen here, if you want to have a number, I'll give you some numbers here to go by. This number, the Strong's number if you want it, is 2342. You might write that down, and if you've got a Strong's concordance, you go back and search this out.

Now listen to me carefully, the word shapen here means, "to wither in pain". The word shapen actually means "to twist, and to wither in pain". It's the folding and the withering in pain, is what the word shapen means. Albert Barnes, the notable Presbyterian preacher of old, agrees with the thought, and then the Scripture does. Now can I say to you, I'm going to show you in Scripture, how the Scripture is interpreted here. Albert Barnes is an imminent writer of commentaries. If you go into any book store, you'll see a list of commentaries that you can buy. One of the most prominent and notable commentaries, is Barnes Notes. Albert Barnes was back in the 1800's a notable Presbyterian preacher, and he said, he agreed that this word, because it's simply interpretation of what the word means, it means "to twist", it means "to wither". It means "to just wither in pain". And this deals, if you'll take your Bible and you'll follow with me, this deals with how the pain that sin causes you relates in comparison to the travail that your mother goes through at birth. Now that's what this verse is talking about, and I'm going to show it to you.

This "withering in pain". You remember David, if you went back to II Samuel 12:15-16, right after Nathan said, "thou art the man." Right after Nathan said that to David, you'll find the next two verses, verses 15-16, deal with the baby being born, and David on his face. If you remember, he was fasting and on his face, he would not get off the ground. He was praying for the sickly child, the child born of this fornication, of this adultery. And David was mourning, and weeping and travailing for that child. And if you remember, the child died. Now David has suffered much. Sin has cost him, he's in travail in his soul. He's broken, he's been hurt and he's suffered much, and he's taking you to the depths of suffering that sin will take you!

Can I say to you, if you live in sin, you will suffer much! You will travail in pain at times because of your sin, and the Scripture repeatedly speaks of this! Watch with me as we go through the Bible. Notice in Psalms, and please take these reference verses. Psalms 55:4, the Bible says, "My heart is sore pained," that word pained right there is the exact same Hebrew word as shapen. "My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me." Write that Scripture down. It is the same exact word, you can search it out in your Strong's Exhaustive Concordance. It is the same exact word in the Hebrew as the word shapen.

Look over with me to Isaiah, I've got to move fast. I want you to see this comparison all through your Bible. Isaiah 26:16, "Lord, in trouble have they visited thee, they poured out a prayer when thy chastening ..." When thy chastening was upon them, here's what it's like: "Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been in thy sight, 0 Lord." What did verse number four say? It brought you before the very presence of God. God hath seen this sin. God hath broken me. God hath branded me. God hath dealt with me over my sin. God showed me my sin, and now here in Isaiah, you'll see the same comparison of the pains of conviction, the pains of the chastening over your sin is likened under and compared to the travail of the soul in the deliverance of a child. Can I say to you, it's brought into the same likeness. "Like as a woman..." Notice verse sixteen says, " ...when thy chastening was upon them." "Like as a woman with child that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been in thy sight, 0 Lord."

Look with me to Isaiah 13, Isaiah 13:8. "And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain..." now watch the comparison, "…they shall be in pain as...", or in comparison like, " a woman that travailed: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames." This is exactly what David is saying in Psalms 51:5, just like my mother was in pains when she bare me in the penalty of sin; so I'm going to show you that in a few moments. The exact same comparison! Look at Jeremiah 30:23. Notice this same connotation of the twisting and withering in pain, "Behold, the whirlwind of the Lord goeth forth with fury, a continuing whirlwind: it shall fall with pain upon...", that word pain is the same word as shapen in Psalms 51:5, ".. .it shall fall with pain upon the head of the wicked."

Turn to Micah. Micah is after Jonah - Amos, Jonah, Micah. Micah 4:10: "Be in pain, and labour to bring forth, 0 daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail: for not shalt thou go forth out of the city, and thou shalt dwell in the field, and thou shalt go even to Babylon; there shalt thou be delivered; there the Lord shall redeem thee from the hand of thine enemies." Be in pain! And this is exactly what the Psalmist is saying back in Psalms 51, he's saying that he is withering in the pains, notice what it says, if you'll read it like it is, the Bible says, "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity;" In my sin, in my iniquity, I withered and wept, and twisted in pain. It's in the comparison, just like it is in the remainder of the verse. Through your Bible, it makes the comparison of the pains of this convicting contrition breaking down, makes the comparison of childbirth.

Please look with me back to Psalms 51:5. Notice it says here, "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me." Now remember, Jesus is in the lineage of David. Jesus born as a human - human AND divine, but he was all man, and he was born after the seed of David. David was not born in fornication, nor was he born in sin. If you'll study this out - My!, the Bible is so careful, it's so perfect, it's so perfect! The word sin here, again I'm going to give you reference verses, the word sin in verse number 2-3, now look at verse 2-3: ".. .cleanse me from my sin.", verse number three, ".. .and my sin is ever before me." Did you notice that sin, and sin? Check your Bible, check your Strong's concordance, and you'll find that is reference 2403 in your Strong's concordance, 2403 means, "on occasion, an offender and sinfulness." Now this is important that you study this. I want you to study this out. Those two words, sin, are different than when it said, " sin did my mother conceive me." You need to study your Bible, that is all you need to do, just study your Bible. ".. .in sin did my mother conceive me." is a different word altogether than those two words. Study it out. The word "in sin did my mother conceive me" is number 2399. Did you notice the difference? The first two sins it is 2403, ".. .in sin did my mother conceive me.", is reference number 2399 in your Strong's concordance.

Now what does that mean? Notice what it says, " sin did my mother conceive me." Oh, Preacher, was she in sin? Who was in sin? What sin did they commit? I've never had a problem with this part of this verse. The first part of the verse, it took me years of study, and honestly, before the Lord, do you know where I got the first part of this verse? Yesterday, up there splitting wood. I got up early and studied, and studied and studied, and meditated and meditated. It still didn't come. I have studied for years on this verse. I have put this verse aside, come back and studied it, put this verse aside, and studied. I was out there, and the only way I can split wood without hurting my back is get on my knees, and then I can run the splitter, and then I can bring the wood in beside me and I can split it. That way I don't have to stand up and bend over to put the wood under the splitter. But, I was on my knees there splitting wood and I was meditating on this verse, I just was overwhelmed with it. And when I was out there at that splitter yesterday morning, God opened this verse to me and revealed it to me. I began to write notes, I'd stop the splitter, I'd sit there and write notes, and write notes. I'd start splitting again, and more would come, and I'd write some more notes. I'd go back and study. But this second part of this verse has never been a problem. Honestly, before the Lord, a simple study of your Bible will show you that the first two times the word "sin" is mentioned in Psalms 51, it deals with a transgressor's sinfulness. It deals with sinfulness.

The next time, in verse number five, when it says ".. .in sin did my mother conceive me" -please listen to me - it speaks of the penalty of sin. Go search it out. Go look in your Strong's concordance. It speaks of the penalty of sin. This is dealing with David's mother, suffering, withering, just like he is making his comparison, that I am withering under the consequences of my iniquity (the first part of the verse), just like, in comparison of the penalty of sin that my mother withered in, in having me, in labor. Look with me to Genesis, chapter 3, Notice in Genesis 3:16, you need to study this out, "Unto the woman He said, ...", now here's the curse that's on the woman, "Unto the woman He said, I will greatly...", that means, I will multiply, upon multiply, upon multiply, "...I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; " "in sin did my mother conceive me" "...I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow..." - in sorrow, in sorrow, " sorrow thou shall bring forth children;"

And the second part of that curse was, "and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee." Two curses put on a woman because Eve sinned. One was, labor pains. Am I in your Bible? Are you reading your Bible right? Can all women that have had a baby bear witness to this? Did it hurt? Did you travail? Were you in great pain and sorrow? The word sorrow there, means painful labor, grievous pain, sorrow in toil. Just study your Bible that's all you've got to do. It means grievous pain. It means sorrow and toil.

Now, back in Psalms 51:5, ".. .in sin did my mother conceive me." The penalty of this pain and sorrow in labor did mama bear me. Picture Psalm 51:5. David comes to this verse, broken over his sin. Showing the consequences of his sin. This is what sin has cost me, this is what sin will cost you. If you haven't seen people broken and in pain over their sin, you've not seen people under deep conviction, and you've not seen God deal with them. God brings a painful, a sorrowful, godly sorrow that will pain you, as it did David! David compares the turmoil of his pain, "I was shapen, I was withering in my iniquity, in the pain of my iniquity", "my iniquity caused me great pain and sorrow, just like my mother when she had me." In conception, in the sorrow of my conception, in the time of my birth, when mama travailed and brought me into this world, so sin has cost me travail and pain.

Can I say to you. Let me just say one little thought here, I'll interject this, to say that man is born a sinner, to say that man is born of a sinful nature, is to blame God for his sinfulness. Now how Preacher? Well, man sinned and he brought it upon himself. Well, God created man in his image, but did not God also set up, did not God also design - look at me and listen, you've got to think a little bit - did God design procreation? Who is responsible for procreation? What is procreation? That means you having kids. Who designed procreation? Who set up procreation? Who is responsible for setting up procreation? Is it not God? Did God design that? Did God make a way for you to have children to replenish the earth? And so God knew just what would come out of his creation. And so to say that man is born with a sinful nature is to say that God designed man's sinfulness.

Now listen to me carefully. God is not only involved - now I want you to listen to me, I'm going to give you a bunch of verses here - God was not only involved in the creation of Adam and Eve, He was involved in your creation. Why do you have a different lip print than your mom and dad and anybody else in the world? Why do you have different fingerprints than anybody else in the world? Why? Your mama didn't give you your fingerprints. Your daddy didn't give you your fingerprints. Why do you have a different DNA? It'd be nice if we had someone else's DNA, wouldn't it? Why do you have a different DNA than anybody else in the world? And they can track you down. Why are you different from other people? If you've got a pencil and paper, you can write down a bunch of these verses. "Thy hands have made me and fashioned me:" Psalms 119:73, "Thy hands have made me and fashioned me:" This is not Adam speaking. This is the Psalmist speaking. "Thy hands have made me and fashioned me:" What a blasphemous thing to say that God made me a sinner. Malachi 2:10, "Have we not all one Father? Hath not one God created us?" Malachi 2:10. Psalms 100:3 "Know ye the Lord that He is God: it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves;" "And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness:" "So God created man in His own image, and in the image of God created He him; and male and female created He them." Genesis 1:26-27 . Genesis 9:6 ".. .for in the image of God made He man." I Corinthians 11:7 Man ".. .is the image and glory of God:" That's a far cry from Adam on that I Corinthians, isn't it? Men are made after the similitude of God, James 3:9: "The Lord formeth the spirit of man within him." Calvinism teaches that his spirit is dead. Zechariah 12:1 says the Lord formeth the spirit of a man within him. "The spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life." Job 33:4. Acts 17:25 "...He giveth to all life and breath, and all things;". Does the Bible teach us that our breath is in His hand? ".. .He giveth to all life and breath, and all things;". We are the offspring of God, Acts 17:29. Revelation 22:16 "...I am the root and the offspring of David...". Who is speaking that? Who is saying that? "I am the root and the offspring of David", Who would say that of this sinful man? The one that wrote that was the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ! "I am the root and the offspring of David" Revelation 22:16: "Lo this only have I found that God made man upright, but they have sought out many inventions."

Let me say to you this, and my time is gone, but I just want to look at it just for a moment. Please look at Psalms 51:6: "Behold, thou desirest...", Desirest what? "...TRUTH in the..." Where? "..inward parts:" Now, can I say to you, if you interpret verse number five to make man have a sinful nature, where he has inherited being sinful - with no cure. There isn't any atonement in Heaven or earth that can atone for a sinful nature. There's not one verse in the Bible that deals with a sinful nature's cure. If you have a sinful nature, it's inevitably something that you'll carry with you to your grave. There's no cure. There's no atonement for it. There's no deliverance for it.

Can I say to you, you will be habitually sinful if you have a sinful nature. You will continue in sin. Now, you'll have a corruptness about you that you won't be able to do right, you won't be able to respond. I mean, if you'll listen to most of the doctrines of our day, you cannot respond, there's nothing good within you. You cannot answer God, you cannot speak the truth, you cannot do right! You're a sinner! Just like everybody else is a sinner! And you'll always be a sinner! And you can't do right! Except for the grace of God, you'll always do wrong!

Well, David came to this verse and he said, "I know what you're looking for and you require and demand of man, and that is, the Truth." Now listen to me carefully, when you come to verse number six, you've got a real problem if you have an inherently sinful man, because God is looking for truth in that man. You say, "wait a minute Preacher, wait a minute, how can a sinner be truthful?" Well, let me ask you a question, and I want you to meditate on this thought. I hope you listen on purpose this morning, and you study these thoughts out. Do you really believe that God is going to do business with a dishonest person? Do you believe that we can come to God deceitful in heart? Dishonest, with no sincerity? No honesty, no truthfulness? And we can come to God, and get God to do things and deal business with Him and God will forgive us and we don't even mean what we say? We have no intentions of carrying out what we say? We have no truth within us, we're dishonest with fact? We're just flat out lying to Him, but He's going to believe it?

Do you remember the verse I read when I opened the service up? Listen to me carefully, here's what it says, ''The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth. Psalms 145:18" To all that call upon Him in truth. Can I say to you, yes a sinner is wicked. I have no problem understanding that a sinner is wicked. His deeds are wicked. But when he comes to God, he's going to have to come with a good and an honest heart. He's going to have to mean what he says. He's going to have to be truthful with God. How can you say, Lord, I give you my heart, I'm sorry for my sin, when you don't mean it? You say God's going to forgive a man, when he says, "I don't mean it"? "I'm going to go back to it, I'm going to return to my sin, I just want you to forgive me in my sin, and have a tolerance toward my sin. I have no intentions of quitting my sin." Will he find forgiveness? Does the Bible say that the person that finds mercy is the person that confesses his sin and "fosaketh" it? HE shall find mercy.

Do you remember the two men that went up to the temple to pray? One was a Pharisee, one was a publican. One of them went home justified, one of them went home a sinner. Now what made the difference? Both of them prayed unto the Lord. One of them was just honest, and the other was a hypocrite, or just totally dishonest. I'm saying to you, you've got to be truthful with God. God's looking for sincerity. God's looking for honesty, and I'm saying to you, that you cannot, you cannot, you cannot come to God with a deceitful heart, with no intentions of carrying out, or living up to, or doing what you're saying to Him.

"Lord, I give you my life, I give you my all, I'm selling out, I realize the cost, I realize that I'm going to look to you eternally. I'm not going to turn back, I'm going to look to you, I'm going to stay with you, I'm going to walk with you. I'm going to love you, I'm going to obey you, I'm going walk with you...maybe...if I can." Do you believe that we have to be truthful? This truth, this inner parts, God is looking for truth in the inner parts. That is the very... it's called the reins of a man. That means the very soul and heart and spirit, the very fiber on the inside of a man that controls the man. This is the reins of a man, what leads a man, and controls a man in his volition. This is his inner reins, and there is where God looks for truth. He looks for honesty. He's looking for somebody that is sincere. He's looking for somebody that says "Yes! and I mean it! And Amen! and I'll do it!" I'm saying to you that in order to have this relationship, in order to come... David says, I know what you're looking for, and I know what you desire, I know what you require. I can't come to you phony and saying, 'Well, if I'm not overpowered, if I can't help it...'."

I remember one old preacher telling this story to illustrate the shallow repentance that you hear in our day. This wife came to her husband, and she said, "Husband, I'm going down to the bowling alley with some of the ladies and I'll be back later on." He says, "But Wife, there are men down there that are wicked and they will try to take advantage of you when you're out there alone" "Oh, Husband, you know I love you. And if by chance I am overcome, when I get back, I'll ask you to forgive me."

That's kind of the spurious, deceitful type repentance that's going on in our day. God's looking for truth on the inward parts of man. He expects it. He demands it. He desires truth. You can't do business with God if you're not honest. You can't do business with God if you're insincere. You can't come to God and try to reason with God and justify a sin you're living in. No! No! No! No! When you come to God in repentance, you've got to be willing, to not only acknowledge your sin, and desire for God to forgive you of your sin, but you have to come with an honest heart. "Lord, I'm going to stop, I'm going to quit that sin, I'm going to leave that sin. I hate that sin, I'm not going to commit that sin anymore. I realize what that sin has done to my life." God is looking for truth.

Dr. Luke wrote, in the parable of the sower, that's it's the person that comes to Him that has the good and honest heart. Notice what he says in the parable of the sower. He said of those that were truly saved, they… "having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience." I'm saying to you, if a person is going to do business with God; if they're going to have a relationship with God, they've just got to be honest with God - they've got to be truthful with God. And if I have an inherited, sinful, nature, there's no way I can be honest with God. If the inside of me is just totally corrupt, rotten to the core, nothing good within me, my heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, how can I be honest with God? Now men that live in open sin, their heart is deceitful and desperately wicked. But would you answer me a question? What does the Bible say in the book of Romans about the way you come to the Lord Jesus Christ? It says something about, if a man believeth with his... heart. Isn't that the way you come to Christ? If a man believeth with his… heart. In the book of Proverbs He says, " son, give me thine heart" "give me your heart" If you're going to do business with God, you're going to have to be honest with Him. Truthful! You're going to have to be open. You're going to have to be willing to do exactly what you say, and what you tell God. Don't make a vow to God and not keep it. When you tell God something, keep it. Keep it! Do it! It's the doers of the Word, the people that say, "I'm going to, and I will." What is that song? I have decided to follow Jesus, I'll not turn back, I'll not turn back. Let's stand!

The Sunday school lesson and the message, I hope you will receive it. I hope you will search it out. Go home, study it, study it. If you have any questions, come back and bring them to me. I'd love to answer them. I've meditated and studied for years on these thoughts, I'd love to talk to you about them. I'd love to bring to you the facts about what sin is, and show that sin can't be a substance. Sin can't be a substance. Sin can't be physical. Sin can't be physical, in the sense that you pass sin on to another person, physically. You can't do that!

One of the most obnoxious things to the sound mind is that you be charged for another person's crime. Would that bother you, being charged for someone else's crime? That is just totally against your reasoning in your mind for you to be charged with another man's crime. Sin is not transferable. I can't put my sin over on you, and you can't put your sin on me, and have God charge me for your sin. He would not be a just God. I didn't cause you to do it, and I didn't make you. And God can't charge me for your sin. Whatever sin you commit, you commit of your own free will and volition. Sin is not a substance, sin is an act. The transgression of the law is sin. It's an act of the will. It's something you do, it's not something you are! It is something you do! So you can't transfer sin. Sin is not a substance that's tangible, or something physical. Sin is an act of the will - of your own will against God. It's a transgression against God. "I was shapen in iniquity: in sin did my mother conceive me." "Behold, thou desirest truth on the inward parts."

Father thank you for the time together this morning. I pray Lord, that this message, I pray Lord, they will search this out. I've labored, I've tried to be faithful to you. I believe you gave me these thoughts, and I pray Lord, they'll search these things whether they be so. I pray Father, you'd help us, not to follow man, but to follow God. Not try to look for an excuse for sin, but to look for a cure for it. For a deliverance, for a cleansing, for a washing, to be clean, to be pure, to have a clean heart, and a clean mind. I ask in Jesus name, Lord guide us into all truth. Bless this message, I pray, and work in the lives of these people to your glory. In Jesus name we pray. Amen and Amen.

 2005/2/25 10:53

Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri


Before beginning I want to say that I likewise hold a version of Christian Perfection. Yet, I want to do justice to what we know as true both in the Scriptures and in reality. i have shifted a bit in some of these views over time; but these foundational things I still believe.


Well, I don't see Bro. Ron around, so I guess I'll begin to make my case for my version of what he terms as "congenital sin" or what is commonly known as Original Sin. I propose to show that man is born both with (internally) and under (the headship as it were) of the sinful nature. In this argument I propose to show:

I. That the future reality of death proves the present presence of Sin even for those who did not sin after the similitude of Adam and were under no law by which sin could be imputed (such as the law of Moses) other than the conscience.

II. That if man were free from the corruption of sin from birth their had been no need for Christ to have been born of a Virgin; therefor righteousness could have come by the Law (this is Pelagianism).

I. That the future reality of death proves the present presence of sin.

A. If men were free from sin men would be glorified with the glory wherewith Adam was glorified before the fall. In that state, there had been no need for man to suffer the pains of death and receive a 'glorified' body. Nor, would men had needed to have been born again. Men are by nature the children of wrath. Yet we know of assurity that there is somewhat of a corruption that touched soul, spirit, and body. Moreover we know that the flesh and the mind have lusts that are tainted with sin. Men that are in Adam are bent towards rebellion against God. Men that are in Christ are bent towards obedience. In as much as the one is bent to sin he/she can obey; and in as much as the born again are bent towards God they may sin.

B. The law of sin is the law that governs the sin nature. It is in our members (Romans 7:23). The law of God is the law that governs the born again nature and it is resident in our “inward man” (Romans 7:22). The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2). The law of sin is a mechanism that causes one who is of their father the devil to desire to rebel against EVERYTHING God says. This is why simply being “under the law” can only serve as a school master to teach us our need for Christ (Galatians 3:24). The law is good if it is used lawfully and that is for the purpose of concerting the soul (Psalm 19).

Paul said he was alive once until the commandment came, but when the commandment came sin revived and he died (Romans 7:5-11). What did he mean? He performed in compliance with God well until God gave Him a commandment and then that law of sin within him revived and he “died.” The law brought lust to the surface. Therefor, the laws of God give an impenitent sinner something to rebel against; while at the same time exposing him/her in their condition. It exposes the fact that Original Sin is present.

For example; If God were to tell a person to rest all day on Saturday, even though most humans are LAZY by nature they would and have rebelled against such a rule. Why? Because they are governed by the law of sin. The Law of Moses is holy and just and good, but it has no power to save, it can only reveal the sin nature (law of sin) that is over and resident in all the unregenerate and is yet is somewhat present until physical death in the redeemed. This is a great mystery; but we are certain that had we been fully completed in all that we be in the finality of our salvation- we had been both glorified and immortal from the born again experience. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. Till then we groan and trevail longing to be clothed upon with our glorified bodies.

Part II to follow.

God Bless,


Robert Wurtz II

 2005/2/25 11:20Profile

Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK


Adam's sin was not the cause for any person's future sin but only an occasion or opportunity for sin.

There is still no evidence here that you diffentiate between Sin -the dynamic, and sins - the action. Perhaps you don't? Let's take a step backwards. Please tell me how you see Adam's disobedience as being different, if at all, from any individual act of sin that I might commit. I am struggling to see why if there is no constitutional (that's the other term for this topic; constitutional sin) link between Adam and the race I can't just stroll back into Eden, when my sin is forgiven. Why did Adam's disobedience cause so many consequences? Do you believe death came into the world as a result of Adam's sin? If so, why? How was he different? Did the 'Fall' touch all of creation because of Adam's disobedience? If so, why? Why is Adam's disobedience singled out for such attention in the scripture rather than Eve's? Was her sin different to his? How was it different? What happened at the point of Adam's sin that is different to what happens at the point of my sin? Is their really no qualitative difference between Adam's sin and every other sin?

Ron Bailey

 2005/2/25 11:50Profile

 Responsibility for sin.

Responsibility for sin.

No one can truly repent if they do not believe that they are responsible for their sin. As long as a person blames his parents, Adam, his physical condition, God, the devil, or whatever, he will never truly repent. A person must see and realize that his sin truly is his own creation. The sinner must realize that he has chosen to rebel and refused God's righteous authority over him. He has willingly set his heart against God to live entirely and only for himself. This is the true condition of the sinner. He is not a victim born in a sinful state in which he has absolutely no control over sin. Sinners do not deserve any pity or sympathy at all! They are chosen criminals fighting against God. Would God punish sinners for something that really was not their own fault?

 2005/2/25 12:37

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