Read & Study the Bible Online - Bible Portal
Sin (266) (hamartia) literally conveys the idea of missing the mark as when hunting with a bow and arrow (in Homer some hundred times of a warrior hurling his spear but missing his foe). Later hamartia came to mean missing or falling short of any goal, standard, or purpose. Hamartia in the Bible signifies a departure from God's holy, perfect standard of what is right in word or deed (righteous). It pictures the idea of missing His appointed goal (His will) which results in a deviation from what is pleasing to Him. In short, sin is conceived as a missing the true end and scope of our lives, which is the Triune God Himself. As Martin Luther put it "Sin is essentially a departure from God." Ryrie adds that sin "is not only a negative idea but includes the positive idea of hitting some wrong mark." See discussion of the verb form - hamartano See discussion of "the Sin" = Sin "personified" as a principle Disclaimer - Note that SIN is a major theological teaching in the Scriptures and the present discussion is but a feeble attempt to provide the reader with a "starting point" from which one can expand their concept of sin as one reads, studies and meditates on this vitally important topic in the Scriptures. Remember that a "low view of sin" will lead to a "low view of salvation". In fact a failure to understand the true nature of sin as God sees it (and describes it in Scripture), can result in a false understanding of salvation (cp Mt 7:21-note, Mt 7:22, 23-note - Observe that they "practice [present tense = continually, as their lifestyle, as the general "direction" of their life] lawlessness" which 1Jn3:4 defines as sin!). Sinners need to be confronted boldly and head on with the sinfulness of their personal sins against the holy God, so that they might from a sense of anguish, deep despair and utter hopelessness and helplessness, be motivated (the Spirit of course "superintends" the entire process, Jn 3:5, 6, 7, 8, Jn 16:8, 1Pe 1:2-note, 2Th 2:13, Titus 3:5-note) to humble themselves and cry out to God and His Son for salvation (cp Peter when he knew he was drowning - Mt 14:30! The Philippian jailer - Acts 16:30, 31, Zaccheus - Lk 19:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Two men - one who had a true understanding of sin - Lk 18:9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. Cp OT pictures - Ps 3:7, 8, 6:4, 55:16, Jer 17:14, Naaman - 2Ki 5:10, 11, 12, 13, 14) From a Biblical perspective hamartia describes the missing of the ultimate purpose and person of our lives, that purpose being to please God Who is also the Person the sinner misses! Hamartia is a deviation from God's truth or His moral rectitude (righteousness). It is a deviation from the straight line, marked off by the "plumb line" of God's perfect, pure Word. As someone has well said ultimately sin is man's (foolish) declaration of independence of God, of the "apostasy" of the creature from his Creator! Woe! John Blanchard aptly describes sin as that which "defiles man and defies God" or as he states in another way "Sin is moral mutiny by man". The Puritan John Bunyan minced no words when he defined sin as... the dare of God's justice, the rape of His mercy, the jeer of His patience, the slight of His power and the contempt of His love. Calvin echoed Bunyan declaring that... All wickedness flows from a disregard of God. Tozer stated that... The essence of sin is rebellion against divine authority. F F Bruce described sin when he wrote that... There is something in man—even regenerate man—which objects to God and seeks to be independent of Him. John Bunyan wrote that... Sin is the dare of God's justice, the rape of His mercy, the jeer of His patience, the slight of His power and the contempt of His love. Spurgeon on sin... Sin drives men mad. Against their reason, against their best interests, they follow after that which they know will destroy them. It is not the nature of sin to remain in a fixed state. Like decaying fruit, it grows more rotten. The man who is bad today will be worse tomorrow. Sin is a thief. It will rob your soul of its life. It will rob God of his glory. Sin is a murderer. It stabbed our father Adam. It slew our purity. Sin is a traitor. It rebels against the king of heaven and earth. Hamartia is what happens when we err (err is from Latin errare = to wander!) which means to wander from the right way, to deviate from the true course or purpose and so to violate an accepted standard of conduct. Ryrie notes that... Sin may also be defined as against the character of God (from Ro 3:23, where the glory of God is the reflection of His character).... Certainly the chief characteristic of sin is that it is directed against God. (This may be expressed in relation to God’s Law as well.) Any definition that fails to reflect this is not a biblical one. The cliché that categorizes sins as against self, against others, or against God fails to emphasize the truth that all sin is ultimately against God (Ps 51:4; Ro 8:7). (Ryrie, C. C.. Basic Theology: Moody Press) Easton's Bible Dictionary says sin... is "any want of conformity unto or transgression of the law of God" (1John 3:4; Ro 4:15), in the inward state and habit of the soul, as well as in the outward conduct of the life, whether by omission or commission (Ro 6:12-17; 7:5-24). It is "not a mere violation of the law of our constitution, nor of the system of things, but an offence against a personal lawgiver and moral governor who vindicates his law with penalties. The soul that sins is always conscious that his sin is (1) intrinsically vile and polluting, and (2) that it justly deserves punishment, and calls down the righteous wrath of God. Hence sin carries with it two inalienable characters, (1) ill-desert, guilt; and (2) pollution (macula).", Hodge's Outlines. (Read Multiple Dictionary Articles on Sin) Eerdmans Dictionary says that sin is... In essence, the failure or refusal of human beings to live the life intended for them by God their creator. Sin (See Sin principle) is personified as a king, a master or monarch in Paul's writings (eg, Ro 6:12, 13, 14-note) and you can mark it down that... Sin always ruins where it reigns! Wayne Grudem defines sin as... any failure to conform to the moral law of God in act, attitude, or nature. Sin is here defined in relation to God and his moral law. Sin includes not only individual acts such as stealing or lying or committing murder, but also attitudes that are contrary to the attitudes God requires of us. (Grudem, W. A.: Systematic Theology- An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine). (Bolding added) See Twenty Reasons Not to Sin! Hamartia in the Bible means to miss God's mark as an archer misses the “bull’s eye” and ultimately to miss the true purpose and end of our lives which is God Himself. Hamartia is the word used most frequently in the NT for sin. Other Sin synonyms parakoe, anomia, paranomia, parabasis, paraptoma, agnoema and hettema. Sin is any violation of God’s righteous character. It is anything we say or do or think or imagine or plan that does not meet God’s standard of perfection. Scriptural definitions of "sin" include... 1Jn 5:17 = unrighteousness Jn 16:9 = do not believe in Jesus Jas 4:17 = knows right thing to do & does not do it 1Jn 3:4 = lawlessness Ro 3:23-note = falling short of the glory of God NIDNTT says that in classic Greek hamartia... originally meant to miss, miss the mark, lose, not share in something, be mistaken. The Greek view of a mistake is intellectually orientated -- hamartano is the result of some agnoia, ignorance. The cognate noun is hamartia (Aesch. onwards), mistake, failure to reach a goal (chiefly a spiritual one). The result of such action is hamartema, failure, mistake, offense, committed against friends, against one’s own body, etc. From these was derived (in the 5th cent. B.C.) the adjective and noun hamartolos, that thing or person that fails; in Aristoph. it occurs as a barbarism used with a deprecatory and ironic ring. hamartetikos (the better form) is also uncommon and late. The root hamart-, with its meaning of fail, produced many popular compounds, e.g. hamartinoos, madman... In the LXX two words, hamartia and adikia, represent between them almost the whole range of Heb. words for guilt and sin... The NT uses (hamartano and cognates) as the comprehensive expression of everything opposed to God. The Christian concept of sin finds its fullest expression and its deepest theological development in Paul and John... Hamartia is always used in the NT of man’s sin which is ultimately directed against God.... Jesus used the OT and Jewish concept of sin that was familiar in the world around him. This becomes clear from the fact that in the Synoptic Gospels the nouns hamartia and hamartema are found almost exclusively in the context of the forgiveness of sins. The verb is often used absolutely, i.e. in its usual and familiar sense (cf. Mt 18:15; Lk 17:3, 4.). The use of the nouns chiefly in the plural shows that the dominant idea is that of individual faults committed against the law or one’s brother... Paul almost always uses the word hamartia in the singular. Sin is almost a personal power which acts in and through man (Ro 5:12, 21; 6:6, 17; 7:9, 10, 11ff.) (See Sin "personified"). The same is also true of sarx, flesh (See Flesh "personified") (Gal. 5:19, 24), and thanatos, death (Ro 6:9b). (Brown, Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986. Zondervan or Computer version) Cremer says that hamartia... would seem to denote primarily, not sin considered as an action, but sin considered as the quality of action, that is, sin generically...Sin is not merely the quality of an action, but a principle manifesting itself in the conduct of the subject" Ralph Earle observes that... Paul prefers to use other words for sinful acts, reserving hamartia largely for the generic idea of sin as a principle, what we call the carnal nature. How-ever, in the plural, as here, it may denote sinful acts as such. Kenneth Wuest adds that... The pagan Greeks used it of a warrior who hurls his spear and fails to strike his foe. It is used of one who misses his way. Hamartia is used of a poet who selects a subject which it is impossible to treat poetically, or who seeks to attain results which lie beyond the limits of his art. The hamartia is a fearful mistake. It sometimes is employed in an ethical sense where the ideas of right and wrong are discussed, but it does not have the full significance of the biblical content of the word. In the moral sphere, it had the idea of missing the right, of going wrong. In the classics, its predominating significance was that of the failure to attain in any field of endeavor. Brought over into the NT, this idea of failing to attain an end, gives it the idea of missing the divinely appointed goal, a deviation from what is pleasing to God, doing what is opposed to God's will, perversion of what is upright, a misdeed. Thus the word hamartia means a missing of the goal conformable to and fixed by God. It is interesting to note that in Romans the word dikaiosune which means "conformity to the standard" appears as the opposite of hamartia, a missing of the standard set by God (Ro 6:16, 17, 18). (Wuest, K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans or Logos) Stahlin says that the NT uses hamartia to denote the determination of human nature in hostility to God. Thayer (abbreviated and modified)... “a failing to hit the mark”. In Greek writings first, “an error” of the understanding. Second, “a bad action, evil deed.” In the NT always in an ethical sense, and (1) Equivalent to "to hamartanein" = “a sinning,” whether it occurs by omission or commission, in thought and feeling or in speech and action: Ro 5:12, 13,20; held down in sin = Ro 3:9; Ro 6:1; Ro 6:2; Ro 7:7; 2Co 5:21; Ro 6:11; to break the power of sin, Ro 8:3; body as the instrument of sin, Ro 6:6;the craft by which sin is accustomed to deceive, He 3:13 (see discussion of The Deceitfulness of Sin); the man so possessed by sin that he seems unable to exist without it, the man utterly given up to sin, 2Th 2:3. In this sense hamartia as a power exercising dominion over men (“sin as a principle and power”) is rhetorically represented as an imperial personage (Ed: Sin is like a "King" who demands loyalty and obedience!) in the phrases Ro 5:21; Ro 6:12, Ro 6:14; Ro 7:17, Ro 7:20; Ro 6:6; Jn 8:34; Ro 6:17 The dictate of sin or an impulse proceeding from it, Ro 7:23; 8:2; 1Co 15:56; (the prosopopoeia [rhetorical device in which a speaker or writer communicates to the audience by speaking as another person or object. Literally from Greek roots = "a face, a person, to make"] occurs in Ge 4:7). Thus, hamartia in sense, but not in signification, is the source whence the several evil acts proceed. See related discussion of Sin which is "personified" as a principle or propensity inherited from Adam (2) “that which is done wrong,” committed or resultant “sin, an offence, a violation of the divine law in thought or in act” (1Jn 3:4); a. generally: Jas 1:15; Jn 8:46 (where hamartia must be taken to mean neither “error,” nor “craft” by which Jesus is corrupting the people, but “sin” viewed generally; the thought is, ‘If anyone convicts me of sin, then you may lawfully question the truth and divinity of my doctrine, for sin hinders the perception of truth’); so that he did not commit sin, He 4:15; Jn 8:34; 1Jn 3:8; 2Co 11:7; 1Pe 2:22; To have sin as though it were one’s odious private property, or to have done something needing expiation, equivalent to to have committed sin, Jn 9:41; 15:22,24; 19:11; 1Jn 1:8 (of one who has committed murder, Euripides); very often in the plural (hamartiai) (in Synoptic Gospels singular occurs but once Mt 12:31); 1Th 2:16; Jas 5:16; Re 18:4, 5, etc.; Jas 5:20; 1Pe 4:8; Jas 5:15; also in the expressions in which the word does not of itself denote the “guilt or penalty of sins,” but the sins are conceived of as removed so to speak from God’s sight, regarded by him as not having been done, and therefore are not punished. Thou wast covered all over with sins when thou wast born i.e. didst sin abundantly before thou wast born, Jn 9:34; to die loaded with evil deeds therefore unreformed, Jn 8:24; still to have one’s sins, namely, unexpiated, 1Co 15:17. b. “some particular evil deed”: Acts 7:60; Mt12:31; 1Jn 5:16 (3) collectively, “the complex or aggregate of sins committed either by a single person or by many”: Jn 1:29 Jn 8:21; He 9:28. (4) abstract for the concrete, equivalent to hamartolos Ro 7:7; 2Co 5:21 he treated him, who knew not sin, as a sinner. Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon Daniel Doriani writes that... Sin is a riddle, a mystery, a reality that eludes definition and comprehension. Perhaps we most often think of sin as wrongdoing or transgression of God's law. Sin includes a failure to do what is right. But sin also offends people; it is violence and lovelessness toward other people, and ultimately, rebellion against God. Further, the Bible teaches that sin involves a condition in which the heart is corrupted and inclined toward evil. The concept of sin is complex, and the terminology large and varied so that it may be best to look at the reality of sin in the Pentateuch first, then reflect theologically. (Click to read the full discussion of "Sin" in Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology) Webster's 1823 Dictionary has a "bibliocentric" definition of sin as... The voluntary departure of a moral agent from a known rule of rectitude or duty, prescribed by God; any voluntary transgression of the divine law, or violation of a divine command; a wicked act; iniquity. Sin is either a positive act in which a known divine law is violated, or it is the voluntary neglect to obey a positive divine command, or a rule of duty clearly implied in such command. Sin comprehends not actions only, but neglect of known duty, all evil thoughts, purposes, words and desires, whatever is contrary to God’s commands or law. Hamartia - 173x in 150v - Mt 1:21; 3:6; 9:2, 5, 6; 12.31" class="scriptRef">12:31; 26:28; Mk 1:4, 5; 2:5, 7, 9, 10; Lk 1:77; 3:3; 20-Luke.5.21" class="scriptRef">5:20, 21, 24" class="scriptRef">24" class="scriptRef">24" class="scriptRef">23, 24; 7:47, 48, 49, 11:4; 24:47; Jn 1:29; 8:21, 24, 34, 46; 9:34, 41; 15:22, 24; 16:8, 9; 19:11; 20:23; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 5:31; 7:60; 10:43; 13:38; 22:16; 26:18; Ro 3:9-note, Ro 3:20-note; Ro 4:7, 8-note; Ro 5:12-note, Ro 5:13-note, Ro 5:20, 21-note; Ro 6:1, 2-note, Ro 6:6, 7-note, Ro 6:10-note, Ro 6:11-note, Ro 6:12, 13, 14-note, 17" class="scriptRef">Ro 6:16, 17-note, Ro 6:18-note, Ro 6:20-note, Ro 6:22-note, Ro 6:23-note; Ro 7:5-note, Ro 7:7, 8, 9-note, Ro 7:11-note, Ro 7:13-note, Ro 7:14-note, Ro 7:17-note, Ro 7:20-note, Ro 7:23-note, Ro 7:25-note; Ro 8:2, 3-note, Ro 8:10-note; Ro 11:27-note; Ro 14:23-note; 1Co 15:3, 17, 56; 2Cor 5:21; 11:7; Gal 1:4; 2:17; 3:22; Ep 2:1-note; Col 1:14-note; 1Th 2:16-note; 1Ti 5:22, 24; 2Ti 3:6-note; He 1:3-note; He 2:17-note; He 3:13-note; He 4:15-note; He 5:1-note, He 5:3-note; He 7:27-note; He 8:12-note; He 9:26-note, He 9:28-note; He 10:2, 3-note, He 10:4-note, He 10:6-note, He 10:8-note, He 10:11, 12-note, He 10:17, 18-note, He 10:26-note; He 11:25-note; He 12:1-note, He 12:4-note; He 13:11-note; Jas 1:15-note; Jas 2:9; 4:17; 5:15, 16, 20; 1Pe 2:22-note, 1Pe 2:24-note; 1Pe 3:18-note; 1Pe 4:1-note, 1Pe 4:8-note; 2Pe 1:9-note; 2Pe 2:14-note; 1Jn 1:7, 8, 9; 2:2, 12; 3:4, 5, 8, 9; 4:10; 5:16, 17; Rev 1:5-note; Rev18:4-note, Rev 18:5-note. NT uses of hamartia summarized - Romans 48x = 28% (Ro 6 = 16x; Ro 7 = 15x); Hebrews 25x = 14% (He 10 = 10x); John 17x = 10% (Jn 8 = 6x); 1John 17x = 10% (1Jn 3 = 6x); Luke 11x = 6%; Acts 8x = 5%; Matthew 7x = 4%; James 7x = 4%. NAS = sin(96), sinful(2), sins(75). Hamartia - 7.13" class="scriptRef">13" class="scriptRef">13" class="scriptRef">13.9" class="scriptRef">9" class="scriptRef">9.37" class="scriptRef">37" class="scriptRef">377x in the non-apocryphal Septuagint (LXX) - 6.16" class="scriptRef">16" class="scriptRef">16" class="scriptRef">16" class="scriptRef">16.5" class="scriptRef">5.25" class="scriptRef">25.18" class="scriptRef">18" class="scriptRef">18" class="scriptRef">18" class="scriptRef">18.9" class="scriptRef">9" class="scriptRef">9.15" class="scriptRef">15.16" class="scriptRef">Ge 15:16; 12" class="scriptRef">12" class="scriptRef">12.8" class="scriptRef">8" class="scriptRef">8.20" class="scriptRef">18:20; 14" class="scriptRef">14.34" class="scriptRef">34" class="scriptRef">34" class="scriptRef">34" class="scriptRef">34" class="scriptRef">34.9" class="scriptRef">9" class="scriptRef">20:9; 41:9; 26" class="scriptRef">26" class="scriptRef">26" class="scriptRef">26.21" class="scriptRef">21" class="scriptRef">21" class="scriptRef">42:21; 19" class="scriptRef">19" class="scriptRef">19" class="scriptRef">19" class="scriptRef">19.17" class="scriptRef">17" class="scriptRef">17" class="scriptRef">50:17; 10.17" class="scriptRef">Ex 10:17; 20:5; 28" class="scriptRef">28" class="scriptRef">28" class="scriptRef">28.43" class="scriptRef">28:43; 14" class="scriptRef">14" class="scriptRef">14" class="scriptRef">29:14, 36; 30" class="scriptRef">30" class="scriptRef">30" class="scriptRef">30" class="scriptRef">30.10" class="scriptRef">30:10; 32.21" class="scriptRef">32:21, 30ff, 34; 34:7, 9; Lev 4:3, 8, 14, 20f, 23-Lev.4.35" class="scriptRef">23ff, 28f, 32ff; 5:1, 19" class="scriptRef">19" class="scriptRef">5ff, 17; 6:17, 25" class="scriptRef">25" class="scriptRef">25, 30; 7:7, 18, 37; 8:2, 14; 24" class="scriptRef">24" class="scriptRef">24" class="scriptRef">24" class="scriptRef">24" class="scriptRef">9:2f, 7f, 10, 15, 22" class="scriptRef">22" class="scriptRef">22" class="scriptRef">22" class="scriptRef">22" class="scriptRef">22" class="scriptRef">22" class="scriptRef">22" class="scriptRef">22; 10:16f, 19; 12:6, 8; 14:13, 19, 22, 31" class="scriptRef">31" class="scriptRef">31" class="scriptRef">31" class="scriptRef">31" class="scriptRef">31; 15:15, 30; 16:3, 5f, 9, 11" class="scriptRef">11" class="scriptRef">11" class="scriptRef">11, 15f, 21, 25, 27" class="scriptRef">27" class="scriptRef">27, 30, 34; 19:8, 17, 22; 20:17, 19; 22:9; 23:19; 24:15; 26:18, 21, 24, 28, 46" class="scriptRef">39ff; Nu 5:6f, 15, 31; 6:11, 14, 16; 7:16, 22, 28, 34, 40, 46, 52, 58, 64, 70, 76, 82, 87; 8:8, 12; 9:13; 12:11; 14:18f, 34; 15:24f, 27, 31; 16:26; 18:1, 9, 22, 32; 27:3; 28:15, 22, 30; 29:5, 11, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28, 31, 34, 38; 30:15; 32:23; Dt 5:9; 9:18, 21; 15:9; 19:15; 21:22; 23:21f; 24:15f; 30:3; Josh 22:20; 1Sa 2:17; 12:19; 14:38; 15:23; 1Kgs 8:34ff; 12:30; 13:34; 14:22; 15:3, 26, 30, 34; 16:13, 19, 26, 31; 22:52; 2Kgs 1:18; 3:3; 10:29, 31; 12:16; 13:2, 6, 11; 14:6, 24; 15:9, 18, 24, 28; 17:21f; 21:16f; 24:3; 1Chr 21:3; 2 Chr 6:25ff; 7:14; 25:4; 28:13; 29:21, 23f; 33:19; 36:5; Ezra 6:17; 8:35; Neh 1:6; 9:2, 37; 10:33; Job 1:5; 7:21; 10:6; 13:23, 26; 14:16; 22:5; 24:20; 31:33; 34:37; 42:9f; Ps 10:15; 19:13; 25:7, 11, 18; 32:1f, 5; 38:3, 18; 40:6; 51:2f, 5, 9; 59:3, 12; 78:38; 79:9; 85:2; 89:32; 103:10; 109:7, 14; 141:4; Pr 5:22; 10:16, 19; 12:13; 13:6, 9; 14:34; 15:27; 20:9; 21:4; 24:9; 26:11, 26; 28:2; 29:16, 22; Eccl 10:4; Isa 1:4, 14, 18; 3:9; 5:18; 6:7; 13:11; 14:21; 22:14; 27:9; 30:1, 13; 33:24; 38:17; 40:2; 43:24; 44:22; 50:1; 53:4ff, 10ff; 55:7; 57:17; 59:2f, 12; 64:7, 9; 65:2, 7; 66:4; Jer 5:25; 14:7; 15:13; 16:10, 18; 18:23; 30:14, 16; 31:30, 34; 32:18; 33:8; 36:3; 50:20; Lam 1:8; 3:39; 4:13; Ezek 3:20; 16:51f; 18:14, 24; 21:24; 23:49; 28:17f; 33:14, 16; 36:19; 39:23; 40:39; 42:13; 43:10, 19, 21f, 25; 44:29; 45:17, 22f, 25; 46:20; Da 4:22, 27, 33f; 6:4, 22; 8:12f, 23; 9:13, 16, 20, 24; 11:32; Hos 4:8; 8:11, 13; 9:9; 13:12; Amos 3:2; 5:12; Mic 1:5, 13; 3:8; 6:7, 13; 7:19; Zech 14:19 Charles Spurgeon said "Sin is the mother and nurse of all evil, the egg of all mischief, the fountain of all bitterness, the root of misery." Puritan John Bunyan (Pilgrim’s Progress), described sin like this - Sin is the dare of God’s justice, the rape of His mercy, the jeer of His patience, the slight of His power and the contempt of His love. Godly people, such as Bunyan, have always been able to articulate just how horrible and damaging sin really is. Augustine, The Confessions of Saint Augustine - Sin comes when we take a perfectly natural desire or longing or ambition and try desperately to fulfill it without God. Not only is it sin, it is a perverse distortion of the image of the Creator in us. All these good things, and all our security, are rightly found only and completely in him. Nothing seems to expose the sin nature more than two boys tugging on opposite ends of a toy fire truck, each one screaming, "Mine! Mine!!" John Blanchard -No sin is to be regarded as small, because the God who forbids all sin is so great...Sin keeps us from knowing the true nature of sin...To understand the deceitfulness of sin, compare its promises and its payments. (Source: This quote and several of the quotes in this section are from John Blanchard's book which is highly recommended as the single best compendium of Biblically sound quotations available - The Complete Gathered Gold: A Treasury of Quotations - also on Jerry Bridges asks "What is sin?" It is often described as “missing the mark”—that is, failure to live up to the rigorous standard of God’s holy law. But the Bible makes it clear that it is much more than that. In Leviticus 16:21, sin is described as transgression; literally, as rebellion against authority. In the prophet Nathan’s confrontation of David over his sins of adultery and murder, Nathan describes sin as a despising of both God’s Word and God himself (2Sa 12:9–10). And in Nu 15:30–31, Moses characterizes sinners as acting “with a high hand,” meaning defiantly. Therefore, we can conclude that sin is a rebellion against God’s sovereign authority, a despising of his Word and his person, and even a defiance of God himself. It is no wonder Paul wrote that because of our sin, we were by nature objects of God’s wrath (Eph. 2:3). We would like to think that, as believers, such descriptions of sin no longer apply to us. We look at the gross and obvious sins of society around us, and we tend to define sin in terms of those actions. We fail to see that our anxiety, our discontentment, our ingratitude toward God, our pride and selfishness, our critical and judgmental attitudes toward others, our gossip, our unkind words to or about others, our preoccupation with the things of this life, and a whole host of other subtle sins are an expression of rebellion against God and a despising of his Word and person. The truth is that even the most mature believers continue to sin in thought, word, deed, and especially in motive. We continually experience the inward spiritual guerilla warfare Paul describes when he states, “For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do” (Gal. 5:17). That is why it was necessary for the apostle Peter to exhort us to “abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul” (1 Pet. 2:11-note). This, then, is the doctrine of sin. Because of Adam’s sin as representative of the entire human race (Ed: Discussed fully in Ro 5:12-21-see notes), we are born with a sinful nature and as objects of God’s wrath. We then aggravate our condition before God with our personal sins, whether they be the gross, obvious sins, or the subtle sins we too often tolerate in ourselves and in our Christian circles. And it is in view of this truth of the doctrine of sin that we should understand Paul’s words, “Christ died for (Ed: In our place, on our behalf, as our representative, as our substitute for) our sins.” (1Cor 15:3-note) It is with this understanding of the nature and reality of sin that we should understand the words of the angel to Joseph, “You shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Mt 1:21 - Ed note - Hebrew is Yehoshua, contracted to Joshua = Yeshua = Yehowshuwa = he will save = Yahweh or Jehovah -I Am- + yasha = saves = "Jehovah saves." The Name also may be contracted simply to Yeshua, which is the Hebrew word for "salvation," frequently used in the Old Testament. It is also equivalent to "Joshua." Appropriately, Mt 1:21 is the first use of "save" in the NT.). Christ died for our sins. This phrase suggests two ideas—substitution and sacrifice. Christ died in our place as our substitute and representative. Just as God appointed Adam to act as representative of all humanity, so he appointed Jesus Christ to act on behalf of all who trust in him. (The Great Exchange- My Sin for His Righteousness- Jerry Bridges, Bob Bevington - this book is worth reading - it is heavy but needed in our day of a softening of the "Gospel Message.") "Copy and paste the address below into your web browser in order to go to the original page which will allow you to access live links related to the material on this page - these links include Scriptures (which can be read in context), Scripture pop-ups on mouse over, and a variety of related resources such as Bible dictionary articles, commentaries, sermon notes and theological journal articles related to the topic under discussion."

Be the first to react on this!

Group of Brands