The Doctrine of Sin

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 (Rom. 5:12).

I believe that sin is any action, word, or thought – whether by commission or omission – that is contrary to the moral law and righteous character of God (Is. 59:7; Mt. 5:27-28; 15:9; Jam. 4:17; 1 Jn. 3:4). Sin pertains not only to specific instances of unrighteousness, but also to the general disposition of human nature (Jer. 13:22-23; Rom. 7:13-17; Eph. 2:3). All aspects of sin defy and offend God personally (Ps. 51:4; Hab. 1:13).

I believe that sin originated with Satan (1 Jn. 3:8) and entered the human race through the initial sin of Adam when he succumbed to the temptation of Satan (Rom. 5:12). Original sin and the sin nature are transferred through successive generations and are both inherited (Ps. 51:5) and imputed (Rom. 5:12, 19). Every human being – except Christ – is born with a sin nature preconditioned to sin (Gen. 6:5; Ps. 53:2-3; 58:3).

I believe that man is totally depraved in every aspect of his nature and being (Rom. 3:10-23; 7:18; Eph. 2:3). This does not mean that every man will be sinful in the greatest degree, though he certainly may, but that every man is unable to do anything that is genuinely good (Is. 64:6). Furthermore, no unregenerate man is capable of any behavior that would merit salvation and satisfy God’s justice (Rom. 8:8; Eph. 2:1).

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