Bible Facts about Sin

Bible Facts about Sin

The reason for death

Everyone wonders during their lifetime why it is that we die, but the answer is very simple and we are told what it is in the Bible - the cause is 'sin'.   The apostle James explained it in this way:

"Every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.   Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death" James 1:14-15

Here then is the explanation of why we die: it is because of sin, which is defined as the transgression of God's law (1 John 3:4).   All of us have a natural propensity to sin, and the consequence of sinning is death.   This is consistent with the explanation given in the Bible of how death first entered into the world.   In the second chapter of Genesis we are told of a commandment being given by God to the first man, with the warning that should he disobey, i.e.  sin, he would die. 

"And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Genesis 2:16-17

The sequel is given in chapter three.  The man did disobey God's commandment bringing this pronouncement from God:

"Cursed is the ground for thy sake...in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return" Genesis 3:17-19

So, in course of time, this man died, but his disobedience had serious repercussions for all men and women who lived after him:

"By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" Romans 5:12

A hope of life

Is there then no hope of us escaping from this law of sin and death? We are very happy to declare that there is, as is explained in the same chapter:

"For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous" Romans 5:19

This is the remarkable purpose of God.   Just as sin and death were introduced into the world by one man, so righteousness and everlasting life is to be introduced by another man, and that man is Jesus Christ.

Jesus the saviour

It is through Jesus that God has overcome the problem of sin and death.  The problem for mankind is that our natural desires lead us to sin and so we die, with none of us able to overcome sin to escape from death and the grave.   God, however, has intervened to save us.  His salvation involved causing a child to be born who would not only be his mother's son but also the Son of God.  This is what Mary was informed before the birth of Jesus (see Luke 1 v 35).  This man, Jesus, changed the situation for mankind.  Being the son of a woman he was tempted in exactly the same way as we are, but being also the Son of God he had the strength of mind to overcome his natural desires and so live a life completely free from sin:

"He was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin" Hebrews 4:15

However, although he lived a life of perfect obedience to God, he was still a possessor of our sinful nature, and so the law of sin and death still operated and he died, in the most public way, by crucifixion.  This was, however, part of God's purpose because, while in Jesus' death the law of God had been upheld, afterwards there was no hindrance to him being raised from the dead as he himself was a righteous man free from all sin.  Consequently, after three days Jesus was brought out of the grave and made to live for ever.  He had escaped from sin and death which could never again affect him:

"Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.   For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God" Romans 6:9-10

How can we be saved?

But how does all this affect us?  The answer is that it gives all of us the opportunity of experiencing the same resurrection to eternal life, provided we change our allegiance - from the first disobedient man, Adam, to the perfectly obedient man, Jesus Christ.   We must however make this change in the way laid down by God, which is by belief and baptism;

"So many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death.  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection" Romans 6:3-5

Baptism is specifically commanded by Christ (see Mark 16 v 15-16), and is complete immersion in water and represents our burial with him, and with it the end of our allegiance to Adam.  Rising from the water represents a second birth to a new life in Christ, with the promise of inheriting eternal life.

Jesus will return

God promises that one day soon his Son Jesus will return to the earth to distinguish between those He counts as being faithful followers of Jesus and those who still follow the ways of Adam.  The first class will experience a resurrection to everlasting life, while the second class will be consigned to everlasting death in the grave.  Belief and baptism is the only way to change from our natural state in Adam to being in Christ, and this is the vital factor in determining whether or not we will experience resurrection to life:

"Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.  For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.   For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.   But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming" 1 Corinthians 15:20-23

May you study the Scriptures to learn more of the purpose of God and thereby be motivated to do what He requires and finally inherit the marvellous gift of eternal life which He offers to all mankind:

"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" Romans 6:23