Friday, October 30, 2015

Good Shepherd Church Seminary Module 29/ What is Sin?



Paradise Lost - The Fall

Objectives; By the end of this Module you should;
  • Have an understanding of what sin is
  • Know the spiritual history of original sin and The Fall
  • Know who is the origin of sin in our universe
  • Understand the actions GOD has taken to deal with human sin
  • Know the role of Jesus Christ in atoning for the sin of humanity
  • Have knowledge of Biblical references to sin

1. The origin of sin
2. What is sin?
3. Original sin
4. Sin as explained in the Bible
5. Sin explained in the New Testament
6. Consequences of sin
7. Jesus Christ saved us from the consequences of sin
8. What do we need to do in order to be freed from sin?

1. The origin of sin
  The origin of sin in spiritual history stretches back to the dim mists of time, when humanity first evolved on earth.
  God created humanity - man and woman - for abundance. Evolution carried out its creative work, and God breathed the first soul into man; and then into woman. [Genesis 2;7 and 2;22].
  God had placed man into Eden - paradise - where Adam was joined by woman, Eve.
  There was no sin in the beginning of humanity. Indeed, humanity had been created by God and chosen for great destiny as His children.
  However, early humanity turned away from God and chose their own path; with drastic consequences. Sin cost humanity more than they ever expected.
  When sin entered the world of humanity, instead of being raised up to be as God, the floodgate had opened to sickness, aging, death and loss of eternal greatness in Heaven.
  The occurrence where humanity turned away from God and became affected by Original Sin is known as 'The Fall'.
2. What is sin?
  Sin is an action that violates God's law; and is a condition in any person that is contrary to God's character.
  Sin can be seen as threefold;
Sin is an act; the violation of obedience to the revealed Will of God.
  Sin is a state; the absence of righteousness.
And Sin is a nature; enmity towards God.
  The origin of sin in the universe cannot be linked to God for two reasons;
Because God is Light, He cannot be associated with sin which is the work of darkness [1 John 1;5-7]
  The attitude of God shows that He is not the author of sin.
Proverbs 6;16-19 tells us of the six things the LORD our GOD hates;
haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush to evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.
  The origin of sin in the universe must be linked with satan [also known as lucifer, or devil].
  The biblical writers confirm that satan led the sinning angels into sin [2 Pet 2;4].
  God's reaction to sin was cataclysmic; He banished satan and his followers from Heaven. He further banished our ancestors from paradise.
  Sin caused a grievous breach in relationship between God and ourselves.
  Without Divine intervention, we would have been condemned to live a half life of sorrows without hope; and face an eternity of banishment from Him Who is both our Father and our Glory.
3. Original Sin 
  The original sin of humanity includes both guilt and corruption. Such is the cumulative moral effect of the sin of Adam on each of us that we have been marred with the sinful nature from conception.
  Our struggle with the effects of our sinful natures is evident throughout life.
  Original sin is a state or condition of humanity at conception - which manifests from birth onwards - that is the source of sinful acts of humanity throughout life.
  The effects of original sin can apparently include effects on human intelligence and memory.
  The human body has been affected for the worse by original sin. Disease, aging and death - apparently previously unknown - now affects all.
 Original sin causes our emotions to lead us to prefer evil [Proverbs 9;17].
4. Sin as explained in the Bible
  Paul explains in the Letter to the Romans that sin is any thought, word or action that falls short of God's standard of holiness or perfection [3;23].
  Sin is a domineering power. Furthermore, sin is wickedness personified - so powerful, as to be a slavery; as attested to in Romans 6;6.
  Sin is not only doing what is wrong, but the failure to do what we know to be right.
  The Bible has a variety of terms for moral evil which tells us of its nature;
  Crookedness; perverseness; to miss the way [like a traveller off the right track], and to be found wanting when weighted in God's balances.
  The sinner misses the mark - like an arrow misses the mark, the sinner cannot achieve wholeness and holiness; which is the true aim of morally sound existence.
  Evil conveys the thought of violence; the sinner is one who 'breaks' or does violence to God's Law.
5. Sin explained in the New Testament
  Sin is seen as a debt [Matthew 6;12]. Humanity owes to God the keeping of His commandments; every sin is considered as the contracting of a debt.
  Humanity is unable to pay the debt; the only hope is for a pardon, or remission of the debt.
  Hence the requirement of Jesus Christ that we forgive others their debt to us, as we receive forgiveness of our debt from God Himself.
  Sin is also understood as lawlessness. Sin is the transgression of the law [1 John 3;4].
  The sinner is a rebel who deliberately breaks a commandment in choosing his or her own will rather than that of God.
  Sin is disobedience [Romans 5;19]. Sin is ungodliness and wickedness, without worship or reverence [Romans 1;18].
  Sin can be committed through thoughtlessness or ignorance.
6. Consequences of sin
  Sin is an action that violates God's law; a condition in any person that is contrary to God's character.
  One may commit a sinful activity as a group; however, the suffering of the consequences will be experienced individually.
  The consequences of sin include guilt; social punishment; the destruction of others' lives through our sinful actions; disease; death.
  Our conscience is our judge; we need to listen to our inner voice as to what is right.
  However, we need an informed conscience - a conscience that has been well trained in moral values, in what is right, and in the Biblical values.
  It is a biblical truth that the wages of sin are death [separation from God].
  It is also biblically true that the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus.
7. Jesus Christ saved us from the consequences of sin
  Jesus Christ - through His Suffering and Death - atoned for our universal sin as humanity. He has paid our sin-price.
  Jesus released us from the slavery of sin by giving us Sacraments.
Baptism gives the divine gift of grace to all who seek it.
  Confirmation gives the divine gift of the Holy Spirit to each seeker of the sacrament.
  Eucharist allows us to partake in the divine life of Jesus Christ in a mysterious and inclusive way.
8.  What do we need to do in order to be freed from sin?
  We need to accept Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Saviour.
We should seek Baptism, become devout worshippers at a Church of integrity and holiness.
  We need to learn about the faith handed down to us through the Holy Bible.
  We need to pray; reflect; and allow God to work in our souls.
We need to seek the Will of God in our lives.
  We need to avoid sin. We need to train ourselves with [prudent] prayer and fasting. [Fasting can mean taking less food; it can also mean fasting from a particular sin we might have.
  We can fast from unkind words; cruel actions; harsh looks; or placing others in Coventry. Fasting thus can be of the spirit as well as of the body].
  Above all, let us trust in the LORD our GOD. The work which He has begun in us will not be left untended.
  Let us become who we were meant to be; other Christs.
Look at the gospels; Jesus did not kill. He did not swear. He did not harm the weak and vulnerable. He went about doing good. He prayed. He followed the Commandments.
  Let us follow His example; and we cannot go wrong.
Rev Catherine

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