Friday, January 4, 2008

Ordination #2, Art. 5c: The Effects of Sin

Because of sin man is lost. Sin is universally extensive (all people sin), but it is also deeply intensive, happening at a deeper level than actions. It is an act of the entire person, total depravity. This doesn’t mean that man is as bad as he could be, or that he does every wicked thing possible, but that every part of one’s person is tainted by sin. The body is damaged by sin (Rom. 6.12); it is an issue of the heart (Jer. 17.9; Mt. 15.18-19); the mind and reason are part of the problem (Gen. 6.5; Prov. 15.26; 2 Cor. 3.14-15); emotions are corrupted (Rom. 1.26-27; Gal. 5.24); and, finally, the will is corrupted as we are slaves to sin (Rom. 6.17; 2 Tim. 2.25-26).

The effects of sin are devastating. Man’s relationship with God suffers just as it did with the first couple (Gen. 3.9-19). We are now objects of His wrath (Ex. 32.10-11; Rom. 1.18). We are objectively guilty of rejecting God’s design for us as His stewards (Gen. 1.28) by being unfaithful stewards (Gen. 3), ungrateful (Rom. 1.21), and lawbreakers (Rom. 1-2). Our lostness includes death – physical (Heb. 9.27; Rom. 5.12), spiritual – alienation from God (Gen. 3; Rom. 6.23), and eternal for those whose names are not found in the Book of Life (Rev. 20.13-14). The individual also suffers within themselves due to sin by increasingly becoming slaves to sin (Rom. 6.17), failure to take responsibility for one’s own sin (Gen. 3.12-13), self-deception (Jer. 17.9), and a hardening of conscience (1 Tim. 4.2). Sin also harms interpersonal relationships (James 4.1-2) and a lack of servanthood and humility that Jesus and Paul must instruct against (Mk. 10.45; Phil. 2.3-5). There is also a sense in which creation bears the weight of man’s sinful choices (Gen. 3; Rom. 8.18-25).

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