Nature of Sin

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What is there that we can know about the nature of sin?


The question is often asked: Why is it that every person that ever lived since Adam,

must suffer the penalty for his transgression?


This might seem at first to be a very reasonable question to ask; but the idea that many have regarding the nature of sin is that they think that God is punishing everyone on earth for something that someone else did. But this is not true, and the suggestion greatly disparages the Holy Name of God, which is exactly what the enemy of souls would have.

The Origin of sin:

nature of sin“It is impossible to explain the origin of sin so as to give a reason for its existence. Yet enough may be understood concerning both the origin and the final disposition of sin to make fully manifest the justice and benevolence of God in all His dealings with evil. Nothing is more plainly taught in Scripture than that God was in no wise responsible for the entrance of sin; that there was no arbitrary withdrawal of divine grace, no deficiency in the divine government, that gave occasion for the uprising of rebellion. Sin is an intruder, for whose presence no reason can be given. It is mysterious, unaccountable; to excuse it is to defend it. Could excuse for it be found, or cause be shown for its existence, it would cease to be sin. Our only definition of sin is that given in the word of God; it is “the transgression of the law;” it is the outworking of a principle at war with the great law of love which is the foundation of the divine government.” {GC 492.2}


The Nature of Sin

The problem with sin is that it has the characteristic of a disease; its nature is to spread and increase, and when Adam was found in transgression of the Holy Law of God he became a law unto himself; the consequences of which was that he became a slave to sin.

“For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.” Romans 6:20
“Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.” John 8:34

Sin therefore became Adam’s nature, and as such, his posterity would receive the same.

This is the characteristic of sin, it is not the character of God; it was Adam’s transgression that caused the blight of death to come upon the human race.

Adam’s descendants could therefore never inherit from him something that he did not possess, for the sinful nature had taken the place of the righteous nature which he had received from God at creation.

This sinful and rebellious human nature characterizes every person that is naturally born on this planet. And this is why all Adam’s children would naturally inherit his fallen nature, and what has separated the entire race from God, to be reconciled only by the death of Christ.

The Solution for Sin

As a consequence of this all his descendants are born with inherent propensities to disobedience, and his posterity became depraved. For “by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners.” Romans 5:19

Therefore the whole family of Adam must die, because we are now under bondage to the Law because of  his transgression.

Fortunately for us

As by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men to condemnation…

even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.”

Romans 5:12, 18


If the sin of one man can bring all to condemnation, so also might the righteousness of one man bring justification to all who will believe.

Heretofore the death of Christ was required to atone for the sins of the whole world as it impossible for any man to do so.

Born of the Father

It was Christ alone who could pay the penalty for sin. For two reasons primarily: firstly, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” [Romans 3:23] and because the debt could only be paid by someone who was not born with Adam’s nature. And as Jesus was born of the Holy Spirit, and in the whole universe Jesus is the only one who was born of the Holy Spirit, it goes without saying that He is the only one who ever could redeem the fallen race.

“I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.” Psalm 2:7
“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise… she [Mary] was found with child of the Holy Ghost… for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.” Matthew 1:18, 20

And we must always be mindful that Jesus was tempted in all ways just as we are.

“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15


Here are a few quick studies for those who would like to investigate this matter a little further.


  1. Man is unable to save himself from sin and death. Psalm 89:48; 22:29; I Kings 8:46; Proverbs 20:9; Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 8:7; Jeremiah 13:23,34


  1. A new nature must be imparted to man. John 3:3, 5, 6; II Peter 1:3, 4; Galatians 6:15; John 10:10.


  1. There is only one Savior. Isaiah 43:11; 45:21, 22; Acts 4:10-12.


  1. Jesus Christ is an all-sufficient Savior. Matthew 1:21; Luke 2:11; Acts 13:23; John 4:42; I Timothy 1:15; I John 4:14; Hebrews 7:25.


  1. The provision made for salvation avails for those only who personally, accept Christ, by believing on him. Mark 16:16; John 3:18, 5:24; 1:12; I John 5:13; Acts 10:43; 13:39; Romans 1:16; 3:26; I John 5:5.

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