WHAT IS SIN?
Universal Sin —
Also referred to as Original Sin —
|A term used to denote the effect of Adam's sin upon
the moral life of his descendants. It is formally defined as "that
whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness, and is
of his own nature inclined to evil." The fact of sin in this
sense is plainly declared in the Scriptures. In accord
with this is the fact of the universality of sin, also
proclaimed in Scripture and borne
witness to by history and human self-consciousness.
(from The New Unger's Bible Dictionary. Originally published by
Moody Press of Chicago,
Illinois. Copyright © 1988.)
|As he begins Romans the apostle has a strong argument in which he shows that
Jews and Gentiles alike are all "under sin"; he quotes Scripture, "there
is none righteous, not even one" (Romans 3:10). The whole human race is
involved in sin. Paul does recognize that people on occasion act kindly and do
good (Romans 2:7-10,14). But that is not a problem. Sin is. And it is no minor
problem, for it covers the whole human race and has calamitous consequences for
every sinner (see Hooker).
(from Dictionary of Paul and His Letters © 1993 by
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and
death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all
And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in
which you once walked according to the course of this world,
according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now
works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once
conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the
desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature
children of wrath, just as the others.
What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have
already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all
under sin. ... Now we know that whatever the law says, it says
to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced
and the whole world held accountable to God. ... for all
have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
Everyone, without exception is
under sin's dominion.
In Scripture, light is associated with
||Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I
am the light of the world.
|The Word of God
||Your word is a lamp to my feet and a
light to my path.
||You are the light of the world. A city
that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. ... Let your light so shine
before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your
Father in heaven.
||The path of the righteous is like the
first gleam of dawn,
shining ever brighter till the full light of day.
While darkness is associated with
This explains why God
separated the light from the darkness, for the two have nothing in common. God's
people are to "walk in the light" (1 John 1:5-10), for "what communion has light
with darkness?" (2 Corinthians 6:14-16; Ephesians 5:1-14)
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood,
but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of
the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in
the heavenly places.
The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore
your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your
eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore
the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
May the day perish on which I was born, and the
night in which it was said, "A male child is conceived." May that
day be darkness; may God above not seek it, nor the light shine upon
it. May darkness and the shadow of death claim it; may a cloud
settle on it;
All things were made through Him, and without Him
nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was
the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the
darkness did not comprehend it.
||But the sons of the kingdom will be
cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of
(from The Bible Exposition Commentary: Old Testament © 2001-2004 by Warren W.
There are three steps to Universal Sin:
||The Origin Of Sin
||Believe it or not, God is the origin of
sin. He said this Himself in Isaiah 45:5-7. The reason was to offer
a choice. Humanity was His only creation that was "created in His
image" (Genesis 1:26-27). He gave us the power to choose our
destiny (Joshua 24:15; Jeremiah 21:8).
I am the LORD (Yahweh), and there is no one else; there is no God
(Elohiym) besides Me.
... That men may know from the east and the rising of the sun and from the west and
the setting of the sun that there is no God besides Me. I am the
LORD, and no one else [is He].
I form the light and create darkness, I make peace [national
well-being] and I create [physical] evil (calamity);
I am the
Lord, Who does all these things.
Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our
likeness; ... So God created man in His own
image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created
8 "Now you shall say to this people, 'Thus says the Lord: "Behold, I set
before you the way of life and the way of death."
And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves
this day whom you will serve
||The First To Sin
||This would be Satan (Lucifer) when he
mutinied against God, causing one third of the angles to choose to
go with him.
How you are fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer, son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart:
"I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north;
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High."
Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit.
||The first man to sin
||When Adam sinned in eating from the
tree that God told him not to eat from, that sin was passed along to
every human born to the human race.
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which
the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed
said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?"
And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit of the
trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the
midst of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall
you touch it, lest you die.'" ...
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for
food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make
one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her
husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were
opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig
leaves together and made themselves coverings.
And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in
the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid
themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the
garden. ... And He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you
eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not
Then the man said, "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave
me of the tree, and I ate." ...
Then to Adam He said, "Because you have heeded the
voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I
commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat of it':
"Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you
shall eat of it all the days of your life. ... In the sweat of your
face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of
it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall
Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who
had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of
Adam... by the one man's offense many died...the judgment which came
from one offense resulted in condemnation ... by the one man's
offense death reigned through the one... through one man's offense
judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation... by one man's
disobedience many were made sinners,
|1 Corinthians 15:22
... in Adam all die ...
As it is written:
"There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who
understands; there is none who seeks after God. They have all
turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none
who does good, no, not one."
This explains why we have to teach children NOT to lie.
This explains why we have to teach children NOT to cheat.
This explains why we have to teach children NOT to steal.
This explains why we have to teach children NOT to be mean to others.
This explains why we DO have to teach children to be honest.
This explains why we DO have to teach children to be kind to others.
This explains why we DO have to teach children to show respect to other
This explains why we DO have to teach children about God.
This explains why we DO have to teach children that God loves them.
This explains why we DO have to teach children how Jesus sacrificed His
life so we can all be free of sin.