Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | July 17, 2014

In Search of Truth Part 1, the Nature of Sin, by David Bower

The Devil Made Me Do It!

The devil made me do it was a phrase popularized by Flip Wilson in the early 1970’s. It picked up perfectly on the victim mentality that has continued to serve as a fallback position on sin. There was certainly no shortage of bad things happening in the 1970’s and it seems likely that the pace of bad things, which could be classified as sin, has even increased since then; a casual examination of any of the many forms of media communication reveal a staggering amount of what may be viewed as sin.

The local evening news is referred to by my wife as the evening police report as the stories of murders, attempted murders and assorted mayhem are discussed in way too much detail. The national television news channels are filled with stories of corruption at all levels of government as well as more murders, attempted murders and more assorted mayhem; does it make you wonder where all this is taking us?

Listening to accounts of similar events happening all over the world it is easy to see that the events described in the United States are rather typical of what is happening in other nations as well; the observer may be inclined to think sin is alive and well on planet earth.

A Restraint on Sin?

In my last blog I wrote of the restraining ministry of God, the Holy Spirit; in other words, as bad as things are they could be worse. This ministry is referenced in John 16:7-11 where Jesus is speaking to His disciples:

7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. 8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.”

Please notice verse 9, “of sin, because they do not believe in Me;” doesn’t that surprise you, even a little? When thinking of sin in the world wouldn’t it be logical to think of all of the terrible things that go on each day, all of those horrible murders, attempted murders, assorted mayhem and corruption that we hear about on a daily basis?

Why then would God direct the Apostle John to write down the purpose of the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit regarding sin as He did; what is involved when believing in Jesus is the sole objective of this particular phase of the Holy Spirit’s ministry of conviction?

The Cross Changes Everything!

We know from many sections of Scripture that the Lord Jesus Christ came to earth at His First Advent to take on human form and to die on the cross as our substitute. We know He came to serve as our Kinsman Redeemer and was the only one qualified and willing to pay the price for our redemption. His authority to do this was confirmed by His rising from the dead after three days and later ascending back into heaven to serve as our intercessor.

We also know that the work He was sent to do on the cross was finished to perfection and it is this work I would like to consider next. When Christ said in John 19:30, “30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.” What was finished, what had been accomplished at that point in time?

One important fact is revealed in 1 John 2:1-2 where it is written, “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.”

That would tell us that Christ’s death on the cross paid the penalty for all of the sins in the whole world; mankind was no longer guilty before God as before the cross, the fallen nature and the ongoing presence of personal sin was no longer a barrier between God and man. The barrier of sin had been removed between mankind and God by the perfect work of Christ on the cross.  

This is why the only sin mentioned as part of the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit was the sin of not believing on Jesus Christ as Savior; all remaining sin had been paid for by the death of Christ on the cross! The only remaining sin barrier between God and man is rejection of the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and that one is unforgivable!

Next time, the mission of the church.


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