What is Sin? (First in a Series)

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:

We live in a wicked world, and often we can’t figure it all out. We often ask questions about it. What we need to understand is that sin has boundaries. There is not anything that takes place without God’s permission. He allows many people to live in spite of their sinful behaviors. Sin is about a person doing something in his or her own way.

Sin is relevant to something that a person knows or observes. It is taking something that God created or made known, but going further than what God had intended. Satan wants mankind to sin because it is rebellion against God. It is the efforts of the demons and demonic influence of this world that promotes and encourages sin.

During this series we will be looking at the psychological effects of sin on our families, the third and fourth generations, and how many children are adversely affected by the consequences of sin. There is anger and dysfunction expressed by children who, for example, do not have fathers. The children are unable to process or understand their circumstances, and express their feelings in response to this lack of understanding.

We can only begin to see and understand the effects of sin on a person’s life, and much of it can affect a person’s mind in such a way where, over time, it can be debilitating and devastating.

There are two words that God will reflect in these consequences of sin–correction and discipline. God will provide one of these or both of these. We can’t always know what the discipline and correction is, but we know that it is usually accompanied with pain and disappointment.

God created everything…even in his creation He allows sin and sinful behaviors. He could not give us the ability to have free will without also creating the ability to reject Him and to commit sin. Note that God also provides His knowledge and wisdom through God’s Word. He is a just and righteous God who provides truth through this wisdom to make choices that lead you towards God rather than away from Him. Because of this knowledge, God has the right to punish, discipline and correct those who choose to reject Him.

Isaiah 45:7
I form light and create darkness,
I make success and create disaster;
I, Yahweh, do all these things.

Your true success in God through Jesus Christ comes from a relationship with Him. He also creates disaster (NIV), calamity (NKJV) and evil (KJV). This is the effect of sin, which robs us from our prosperity and success.

The word “disaster” means anything that happens that brings great harm or damage. The word “evil” represents causing pain or trouble. Pain or trouble is caused by sin. The word “calamity” represents deep trouble or misery–great loss or sorrow.

When we hear the saying “misery loves company,” that’s very true. Satan wants as many people as possible to accompany him into disaster when they fail to overcome their sin and their failure to acknowledge Jesus Christ as personal Savior.

As a person, you can suffer great loss from sin.

What is sin?

The definition of sin in Greek is to miss the mark. Webster’s Dictionary definition is the breaking of a religious law or moral principle.

God is a demanding God, and He will not accept our excuses for not carrying out His Word. Sin is essentially being in disagreement with God and in agreement with Satan.

! John 3:4
Everyone who commits sin also breaks the law; sin is the breaking of law.

James 4:17
So it is a sin for the person who knows to do what is good and doesn’t do it.

1 John 5:17
All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin that does not bring death.

Even though there is sin that does not lead to death, it does lead to pain and difficulty, and a separation from God.

The Origin of Sin

Sin did not begin with man and mankind.

Job 38:4-7
4 Where were you when I established the earth?
Tell Me, if you have understanding.
5 Who fixed its dimensions? Certainly you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
6 What supports its foundations?
Or who laid its cornerstone
7 while the morning stars sang together
and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

The first sin came from the angels with God before heaven and earth. The angels were with God when they saw God create the earth.

Exodus 31:17
It is a sign forever between Me and the Israelites, for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, but on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.”

Note that the book of Genesis refers to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. God was present before heaven along with the angels, who he also created. In addition, Hell was created for the devil and His angels for a final dwelling place in complete separation from God.

Luke 10:18
He said to them, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like a lightning flash.

Sin begins with Satan. He was intelligent, powerful, and influential with other angels, as well.

Ezekiel 28:17
Your heart became proud because of your beauty;
For the sake of your splendor
you corrupted your wisdom.
So I threw you down to the earth;
I made you a spectacle before kings.

The root of sin is pridefulness and selfishness. Note that King David’s pridefulness led to his sin of adultery with Bathsheba and even more sin with the deceit of the people and the murder of Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband, in an attempt to cover up his sin and the resulting shame from it.

Isaiah 14:12-14
Shining morning star,
how you have fallen from the heavens!
You destroyer of nations,
you have been cut down to the ground.
13 You said to yourself:
“I will ascend to the heavens;
I will set up my throne
above the stars of God.
I will sit on the mount of the gods’ assembly,
in the remotest parts of the North.
14 I will ascend above the highest clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.”

We can see, if you look closely at Scripture, that Satan’s rebellion must have taken place sometime during God’s six days of creating the earth. Note that the earth was void and without form in the beginning, and note that Satan was present with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Jesus was a witness to Satan’s departure from heaven himself.

In addition to Satan’s departure from heaven, here is another angel that also went against God:

Revelation 9:11
They had as their king the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek he has the name Apollyon.

Don’t believe for a moment that there will not be consequences, or even punishment, from sin.

2 Peter 2:4
For if God didn’t spare the angels who sinned but threw them down into Tartarus and delivered them to be kept in chains of darkness until judgment.

Note that the angels were witnesses to God, His splendor and creation. He judged them immediately for everything that He had done right in front of their eyes. The angels’ experiences were unlike anything man had experienced. God, in His righteousness and His justice, gives man the opportunity to recognize the need for a Savior. With all that sin does to cause damage and destruction, we definitely need His help.

Hebrews 2:16
For it is clear that He does not reach out to help angels, but to help Abraham’s offspring.

The use of definitions come from Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary. Copyright Merriam-Webster, Inc.

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