Lesson 8 - The Sin Problem


In the beginning...

God created man in the image of God. In many important ways, we beat the likeness of our Father Creator.

God is a Trinity, or three-part being. He has revealed Himself to us as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

These three parts of the Godhead are all one, and cc-exist in perfect unity: Man also is a Trinity of sorts - he is made up of body, soul and spirit. The spirit of man is eternal, just as God is eternal. The man's spirit lives on even after the body is destroyed. None of the animals that God made have this spirit dimension. They are not eternal creatures.

God represents the supreme level of intelligence and creativity, as we can see clearly from the universe that He created. Man is also an intelligent and creative being, unlike any of the animals God made.

Man was created to have fellowship with his Creator. This is the entire reason for our existence. God intended to love and cherish us forever, and desired for us to love and honor Him completely. He created within us a deep longing for Him that nothing else can ever satisfy. Even today, we search far and wide trying to fill the strange emptiness that remains in our innermost being. Until we finally fulfill the reason for our existence, we never have real peace.

  The deceiver

God also created many other types of eternal beings that exist in the spiritual realm. Angles are one such type of being. They exist all around us, yet are unseen most of the time, and are recognized almost none of the time.

Long ago one of the most beautiful and powerful angels rebelled against his Creator, God. Lucifer was this angel, and he wanted to be like God who made him. In the blindness of his pride he imagined that he could actually be greater than God Almighty. God judged this rebel for his high treason, and sentenced him to an eternity in a lake of fire. His sentence begins when time as we know it has finally come to an end. Until then, this deceiver spends his remaining time trying to lead mankind away from God and into his own damnation. We know this fallen angel as Satan, or the devil. Satan hates God and everything about God. He especially despises us because of the fact that God loves us dearly, and because of the fact that we are created in the image of God.

The fall of man

When God created Adam & Eve, they lived in His presence and had intimate fellowship with Him. They lived in a beautiful garden named Eden where there was no sickness, no pain, and no death. There were two unique trees in the middle of the garden, different from all the others. One was the tree of life, from which they could freely eat. The other tree was the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God told Adam and Eve never to eat the fruit of that tree. The knowledge of good and evil would cause them to die!

Disguised as a serpent, Satan tempted Eve to disobey God. Satan told her that if she would eat of the forbidden tree she would be just like God, knowing good and evil. The desire to be like God had caused Satan's own fail and it was the same desire that Satan used to tempt Adam and Eve. The story of the fall of man is in Genesis chapter 3.  You can read about it on your own if you would like.

The effects of sin:

Sin causes separation from God. When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, they did indeed learn the difference between good and evil, as they experienced evil for the first time. Buy now it was too late. They could never go back to the time before they knew the difference. Because of their sin, they now experienced horrible guilt, shame and fear before God. The beautiful fellowship was forever broken.

     “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate    

      wrong ..."       (Habakkuk 1: 13)

Because God is absolute perfection, He cannot allow anything impure to touch His flawless being. He is a HOLY GOD, and no sin can ever dwell in His glorious presence. After Adam and Eve sinned against God by disobeying

Him, they could never again come into His presence.

Sin causes slavery

"I tell you truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin." -Jesus (John 8: 34)

Once sin dwells in us, we become its servants. We do not control it, it controls us. We are the servants of the one we yield ourselves to obey. If we decided tomorrow that we would no longe; sin, we still could not stop ourselves from sinning by our own power. We are not strong enough in ourselves to break the chains that bind us. We remain slaves of sin.

Sin brings death

...Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned... (Romans 5: 12)

Sin is like an infectious disease that has affected all mankind since Adam and Eve, and today our sin also separates us from God. The penalty for our sin is death. The perfect justice of God requires this payment for sin. There is no

exception. The imminent death that we all face today is the result of our sin, which separates us from the life-giving God.

Sin brings judgment

...The devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulphur... If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20: 10a, 15)

After the physical death of our bodies, our etemal spirits must also be destined for the place God made for sin and for the author of sin, Satan. This place is the lake of fire. Hellwas not created for man, but in mankind's decision to

follow the rebellious leading of Satan instead of obeying God we ourselves have chosen this destiny.

What is sin?

Read the following verses and write down their definitions of sin.

    Psalm 51: 4a

    James 4: 17

    1 John 3: 4

In the last verses, we see that sin is the breaking of God's law, either by doing what is evil to God, or by not doing the good that we are commanded to do. What exactly is God's law? Although we will not talk extensively about it here, we can see the whole spirit of the law in the following verse:

    Read Mark 12: 28-31. What are the most important commandments that

    God has given us?

Who is guilty of sin?

    Read Romans 3: 23. Who has sinned?

    Read Romans 3:10. Who is righteous?

A victory for the devil?

At first, it would appear that Satan had succeeded in his evil quest. He had successfully led all of God's children away from their Father,into the slavery of sin, and doomed them to death and eternal judgment. But there was something Satan did not know - Even before the creation of the world, God had put in motion a plan that would defeat Satan once and for all! Now the time had come for the ultimate victory. And the one who came to our rescue was the Mighty Son of God,

The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work.

                 (1 John 3: 8b)

The Good News!

All of us are guilty of sin and deserving of God's judgment, and there is no one of us righteous according to God's standard of perfection. We were all lost, without any hope in the world, and no way to get back to God. Buy God, in His great love and mercy toward us, made a way for us to be forgiven and once again have fellowship with Him! God's plan of salvation is called the Gospel, which means Good News. There are a few points that are important in understanding the Gospel:

Jesus Christ was God in the flesh

If you have any question about this, please refer back to chapter one.

Jesus Christ was without sin

...(He was) tempted in every way, just as we are - yet was without sin. (Hebrews 4: 15b)

..He appeared so that He might take away our sins. And in Him is no sin. (1 John 3: 5)

Since Jesus was God, He couldn't sin, because God is perfect righteousness and holiness. As we learned in the beginning of this lesson, God cannot condone sin in any form.

Death is the penalty we all must pay for our sins. Because Jesus never sinned, He didn't have to pay the penalty. Jesus did not have to die! Yet that is exactly why He came to earth.

Why did Jesus come to die?

    Read Mark 10: 45. What did Jesus say was the reason that He came to give

    His life?

    Read Matthew 26: 26-28. Here Jesus is talking His disciples right before His      

    death. What is the reason He gave that His blood must be shed?

The sacrifice for sin

    Read 2 Corinthians 5: 21. What did Jesus become for us?

What can we become IN HIM as a result of this?

This is the miracle of our salvation! The Son of God traded His perfect righteousness to bear all of our sins Himself in His death. God the Father accepted this perfect sacrifice as payment in full for every sin ever committed, once and for all. We have been redeemed by the blood of God's precious Son, which covers all of our sins. In God's sight, we are now righteous. God actually credits the righteousness of Jesus to everyone that puts their trust in Him. Through Jesus Christ we can once again come into fellowship with our Heavenly Father. The separation caused by sin is destroyed.

For Christ died for sins once and for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body, but made alive in the Spirit. (1 Peter 3: 18)

... You were redeemed ... with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through Him you believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and glorified Him... (1 Peter 1: 18b -21 a)

The victory over death

Jesus not only took on our sins in His death, but He actually conquered death itself! The Creator of all life could never be bound by physical death. (If you would like, you can refer back to our fist lesson where we learned about Jesus' resurrection from the dead.)

  · Read Hebrews 2: 14-15. Why are we told Jesus died as a man?

  · Read John 14: 19. What does it mean to us that Jesus is alive today?

  · Read John 11: 25-26. What does Jesus promise us here?

We will study about what it means to believe in Jesus in the next chapter.

Tomorrow we start on our five daily devos!