Systematic Theology: The Doctrine of God[1] Lecture Notes[2] Chapter 24: Sin-Part 2

The Doctrine of God[1]

Lecture Notes[2] Chapter 24: Sin-Part 2

17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Psalm 51:17 (ESV)

  1. The Definition of Sin
  2. The Origin of Sin
  3. Inherited Sin.
  4. Actual Sins in our Lives

Last week, we had some good questions and great discussion concerning whether God ordained sin or didn’t want it but it happened anyway.  We looked at the subject of the actual SINS in our lives.  We said all people were sinful before God.

Matt. 5:48-Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Ephesians 2:1And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,

We then moved into that tough, emotional arena of whether or not infants and those who are mentally disabled are sinners and therefore guilty before God.  The answer to that is yes.  That is because we are all born with a sin nature. If they are not sinners, how can my 5 month old Grandson get angry?  Of course, I can answer that.  It’s because he’s just like his Grandmother!  I personally believe that God has chosen them.  But we wrapped that up with the realization that we really don’t know God’s way in that, but whatever it is, we must leave that matter to Him and firmly believe that He is both just and merciful.

  1. Are There Degrees of Sin? 
  2. Legal Standing

One sin; ANY SIN; ALL SIN; makes us guilty before God.  On the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus equated hate with murder; lust with adultery.  It is all the same.

Romans 5:16 (ESV)
16 And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification.

Galatians 3:10 (ESV)
10 For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.”

James 2:10 (ESV)
10 For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.

 

That’s why it’s a farce for people to say “Well, I’m not as bad as my neighbor or my spouse or parents or children or anybody!!  NO ONE can say that my sins aren’t as bad as so-and-so because it only takes one sin to suffer God’s wrath.

  1. Relational Standing

Some sins are worse than others.  Some have harsher consequences.  Some are far more destructive than others.  I believe some sins rile God’s displeasure up more than others.  We can detail through Scripture all that He says about the sin of pride.

John 19:11 (ESV)
11 Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”

Matthew 5:19 (ESV)
19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus here indicates that there are greater and lesser commandments.

For example, a new Christian sins by getting angry with someone, yet if I as a Pastor get angry with someone, that would be more serious.

Yet all sin is forgiven when one comes to Christ genuinely seeking forgiveness.  There is one sin, however, that will never be forgiven.

  1. What is the Unpardonable Sin?

Matthew 12:31-32 (ESV)
31 Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.
32 And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

(Mark 3 as well)

So many believe this is the sin of unbelief; just not “accepting” Jesus that is carried through until they die.  Well, that statement is true, but that is not THE specific sin Jesus is talking about here.

Matthew 12:32 (ESV)
32 And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

The Unpardonable Sin is a malicious, willful rejection/denial AND slander against the Holy Spirit’s work attesting to Christ, and attributing that work to Satan. 

Matthew 12:24 (ESV)
24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.”

The Pharisees had seen Jesus work NUMEROUS life-changing, creation-altering miracles.  They had a clear knowledge of who He was.

 

 

 

  1. How do we know that they had a clear knowledge of who He was?
  2. They had a hatred for Him and a desire to kill Him to shut Him up.
  3. John 3:1-2 (ESV) (Nicodemus)

1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.
2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.”

Louis Berkhof writes that this sin is, “against evidence and CONVICTION.  In committing that sin man willfully, maliciously, and intentionally attributes what is CLEARLY recognized as the work of God to the influence and operation of Satan.”  He states that it is “not doubting the truth, nor a sinful denial of it but a contradiction of it that goes contrary to the conviction of the mind, to the illumination of the conscience, and even to the verdict of the heart.” 

Hebrews 6:4-6 (ESV)
4 For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit,
5 and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come,
6 and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.

The Pharisees were angry and jealous because they were losing their control and they wanted those people back to stroke their own egos.  The willful, arrogant slandering of the Holy Spirit’s work through Jesus WILL NOT be tolerated!!  Now, I don’t think we’ve seen that a lot in our day, but I believe we will see it soon as we move into the final days.  But with this sin, the normal way of Christ bringing someone to Himself has ALREADY been WILLFULLY rejected, but even that rejection isn’t enough.  They then declare war on Christ!!

  1. Who else could we say was guilty of the unpardonable sin besides the Pharisees?
  2. Pharaoh
  3. What happens when a Christian sins?

It does not change our standing or our position before God, but it does GREATLY affect our fellowship, our witness, and our ministry.  Because of that, we MUST increase our hatred for sin.

Isaiah 59:2 (ESV)
2 but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.

Psalm 51:17 (ESV)
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

  1. Have Christians lost the hatred for sin?

Unfortunately, we’ve gotten used to sin.  Part of the reason for that is because of God’s great patience.  We don’t see His wrath against sin on a regular basis.

2 Peter 3:3-9 (ESV)
3 knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires.
4 They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.”
5 For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God,
6 and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.
7 But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
8 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

Don’t ever get used to sin!

  1. Have unbelievers lost the hatred for sin?

 

 

[1] Based on and various Quotes from Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology, Zondervan

[2] All Scripture from ESV Bible, Crossway

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