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THEOLOGY > Sin > The Character of Sin 


Everything is not right in the world; this is obvious. And from the Christian viewpoint that which is not right is sin. But this raises a crucial question: What is sin? Can it be described in terms of substance; or is it conceptual; or must it be understood in terms of conduct; or, in the words of Augustine, is it merely a privation, a negation of the good? What is the character of sin? Is it essentially a combination of these things?

A proper grasp of the nature of sin is dependent upon an understanding of the relationship between God and man, that is, sin must be considered in terms of the character of God and the disposition and actions of man in relationship to Him. In order to comprehend sin a valid concept of both God and man must be maintained, with the righteousness of God and the responsibility of man being the concepts that are essential to a proper interpretation of sin. Apart from God the sin of man cannot be fathomed.

To fail to interpret everything at every moment and in every way from the perspective of Truth—from the perspective of God, His Word, and His Son—is to be guilty of the most despicable wickedness. Really, thinking that is without Truth at its center is doomed and damned; there is no value in such thinking, not for one moment, not for one thought (Col. 2:3).

The essence of man’s sin is not outward but inward, for sin is a matter of the heart, the mind, that is, the reasoning and thinking individual. There are outward manifestations of the root of evil and these manifestations are sin, but it is in the mind that the germination takes place.

Consideration will be give to the following topics:

        Erroneous Interpretations

        The Christian Interpretation

        Sinful State and Sinful Acts

        No Fear of God

        Hatred of God

        Violation of the Law 

        Elevation of Self

        Rejection of Creatureliness


        Out of the Heart

        No Goodness

        Prevasiveness of Sin

        Unknown Wickedness

        Perverted Thinking

        Loss of Freedom


        Slaves to Sin

        Incurs Judgment

        Facts about Sin

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