“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

1.5 We Are All Sinners

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned. – Romans 5:12

For All Have Sinned. We read that it was by the disobedience of Eve, and then Adam, that sin entered the world, and through sin death. The Bible tells us that the penalty of sin is death, which is separation from God. Unless corrected, this state of spiritual death will last eternally, for your soul/spirit (again, I’m using those words interchangeably herein) will live on forever. Life can only be found in the presence of God – for it is only God who gives and sustains life.

Therefore, realize that you’re a sinner and it is this sin which separates you from God. It is exactly at this point that many will ask: “Hey, why am I being held responsible for the choices [sin] of Adam and Even? I wasn’t even alive then!” We aren’t; Scripture is clear that we are each responsible for our own choices, actions and sins after we reach the age of accountability.

Now even after noting the above, the next thing many will ask/wonder (as I did at first) is: “Hey, I don’t think I’m a sinner! I’m a pretty good person!” But I ask you to honestly evaluate your own life and actions. Have you ever in your entire life even once: lied, cheated, stolen, deceived someone, hurt someone, even killed someone, etc.? Those are examples of sins of commission. But there are also sins of omission (see James 4:17), which are things you didn’t do but should have, such as: helping the needy or poor, standing up for the afflicted, speaking truth in witnessing, etc. These are all acts of a sinner, yes? Furthermore, did Adam make you do any of those things? No, I didn’t think so.

And if you’re like me, I bet you can tell very quickly when someone sins against you, yes? And they can tell when you’ve sinned against them. And if you’re truly honest with yourself, you cannot claim that you’ve never ever in your entire life sinned against someone, can you? And if you can’t even declare that you are sinless in front of man, how much more will you be unable to claim that you are sinless before a Holy God, the Almighty Lord, who knows all things, even the hidden things unseen and unsaid!

Please also do not make the fatal mistake of thinking that, well, “it’s just a little tiny unimportant or harmless sin, so this can’t separate me from God and keep me from heaven, right?” What we see as sin is not what God sees as sin: We grossly underestimate the seriousness and severity of even the smallest, tiniest sin when compared to an unimaginably holy and just God. What we think is the severity of sin, is not what God says is the severity of sin. What we think should be the punishment for our sin(s) is not what God says is the punishment for sin(s). It is only from what is written in the Word of God that we must come to an understanding about sin. What we think doesn’t really even matter on the subject; what God says on the subject is all that matters. I hope that makes sense to you.

Wayne Jackson writes: [1]

The Bible clearly teaches that God is an absolutely holy Being (Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8)—i.e., he is utterly separate from evil. His holiness is demonstrated in numerous narratives in the Scriptures. At Sinai, the chasm between God and sinful Israel was underscored vividly (Exodus 19:12-25). The tabernacle arrangement, with its holy place and most holy place (the abode of God [Exodus 25:22]) certainly was designed to instruct the Hebrews relative to Jehovah’s holy nature (Exodus 26:33).

The Lord’s holiness not only suggests that he cannot commit sin personally (James 1:13), it also means that he cannot ignore rebellion as if it had never happened. The prophet Habakkuk declared to Jehovah: “Your eyes are too pure to look upon evil [i.e., favorably]; you cannot tolerate wrong” (1:13, NIV). God takes no pleasure in wickedness (Psalm 5:4), and those who indulge themselves therein will be recipients of his vengeance (11:6-7). The Bible affirms that the outpouring of divine wrath on the ungodly is, in fact, a “revelation of the righteous judgment of God” (Romans 2:5; emphasis added).

Sin Separates from God

When humanity chose to sin, it made the decision to be separated from the holy Creator. The prophet clearly stated: “[Y]our iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you” (Isaiah 59:2). In biblical parlance, “death” generally denotes a separation of some sort. When the spirit departs the body, the body is dead (James 2:26). Similarly, when a person enters a state of sinfulness, he becomes spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1), for, by that act, he has determined to separate himself from God. Remember, the initiation of this estrangement was not forced on us by our Maker; it is totally human responsibility.

We simply cannot fully comprehend the true nature and severity of our sin in this fallen world, but one day, we will see all sin for the true abomination and horror that it really is. The true weight of sin will then be realized and understood by all, even those who claim they don’t need or believe in God. Once again, please realize that it is not shameful to admit that you are a sinner before God; remember, He already knows that – He knows all things! It actually takes strength of character and courage and humbleness of heart to confess that you’re a sinner. What truly is shameful is remaining in your sins, which is almost always due to stubbornness and pride.

It’s also vital at this point to address one popular false teaching called “original sin.” This false teaching claims we are born in sin as babies. However, Scripture is clear that we are not born in “original sin,” and that babies are not born sinners. This false teaching comes about (primarily) from a misinterpretation of several Bible verses, including Psalm 58. This false teaching is covered in more detail in the Beware the Wolves chapter; please read it now if it is a sticking point for you in proceeding. The reason this “original sin” false teaching is so important to address is that many will use the excuse of: “Hey, if I was born a sinner then I’m not responsible for what I do!” What they are actually saying is: “Since God made me as a sinner, I’m not responsible!” But be not deceived, the “original sin” teaching is not true, and this false teaching can lead you to eternal death!

We also do not “inherit” sin from our parents, neither father nor mother. Scripture is very clear that we are each responsible for our own actions, and sins which we decide to do after we reach what the Bible calls the “age of accountability.” This age isn’t precisely defined in Scripture, although the age that God used when leading the ancient Hebrews out of Egypt and through the wilderness into the promised land of Canaan was twenty (20) years old. Those over the age of 20 were to die in the wilderness due to their unbelief; those under that age were spared and continued on to go into the Promised Land (see Numbers 14). I’m not dogmatic about this particular age, and from what I can find, read and study on the matter, neither is anyone. Suffice it to say, at some point in our life, we all reach the age where we know right from wrong, yes? So, after that age, all of us are responsible for our own sins.

So, continuing on, please be honest with yourself; it’s not Adam who is to blame for your sins, is it? – you chose to do them (as did I). I hope that you see that you are a sinner, as am I, yes? This is a vitally important step before proceeding. A failure to admit (or accept) that you are indeed a sinner stems from pride; and pride leads to death. It’s no shame to admit that you’re a sinner; we all are! All of us in this fallen world have an unclean heart, unclean thoughts, unclean lips and unclean actions. The Bible tells us “There is none righteous, not even one.” Every one of us who has ever lived is a sinner – except one Man, the Son of God.

The Bible also tells us that God will put an end to sin once and for all; He will not let man continue in a state of rebellion forever. While God is Holy and loving beyond measure, He is also just, and all sin will be judged. He will eradicate sin forever and once again restore His creation to a “very good” (i.e., perfect) state of paradise – where there is no more sin, suffering and death. This brings us to the coming Great Day of Judgment, discussed in the next chapter.

FALSE TEACHING(S) YOU WILL ENCOUNTER:

  • The Doctrine of “Original Sin”
  • Satan (the Devil) is Just a Myth
  • Annihilation After Death
  • “Soul Sleeping”

RELATED SCRIPTURE:

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned. – Romans 5:12

For the wages [penalty] of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 6:23

…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. – Romans 3:23

As it is written,

“There is none righteous, not even one;
There is none who understands,
There is none who seeks for God;
All have turned aside, together they have become useless;
There is none who does good,
There is not even one.”
“Their throat is an open grave,
With their tongues they keep deceiving,”
“The poison of asps is under their lips”;
“Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness”;
“Their feet are swift to shed blood,
Destruction and misery are in their paths,
And the path of peace they have not known.”
“There is no fear of God before their eyes.” – Romans 3:10-18

For all of us have become like one who is unclean,
And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment;
And all of us wither like a leaf,
And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. – Isaiah 64:6

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. – Romans 1:20-21

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. – Ephesians 2:1-2

“The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?” – Jeremiah 17:9

Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin. – James 4:17

Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before stumbling. – Proverbs 16:18

There is a way which seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death. – Proverbs 14:12

Why do you boast in evil, O mighty man?
The lovingkindness of God endures all day long.
Your tongue devises destruction,
Like a sharp razor, O worker of deceit.
You love evil more than good,
Falsehood more than speaking what is right.   Selah.
You love all words that devour,
O deceitful tongue.

But God will break you down forever;
He will snatch you up and tear you away from your tent,
And uproot you from the land of the living. – Psalm 52:1-5

The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds;
There is no one who does good.
The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men
To see if there are any who understand,
Who seek after God.
They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt;
There is no one who does good, not even one. – Psalm 14:1-3

I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed and said,

“Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, we have sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly and rebelled, even turning aside from Your commandments and ordinances. Moreover, we have not listened to Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings, our princes, our fathers and all the people of the land.” – Daniel 9:4-6

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. – Galatians 6:7-8

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” – Matthew 7:13-14

Why should any living mortal, or any man,
Offer complaint in view of his sins?
Let us examine and probe our ways,
And let us return to the Lord.
We lift up our heart and hands
Toward God in heaven. – Lamentations 3:39-41

The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I have hope in Him.”
The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the person who seeks Him.
It is good that he waits silently
For the salvation of the Lord. – Lamentations 3:22-26

Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness;
According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity
And cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
And my sin is ever before me.
Against You, You only, I have sinned
And done what is evil in Your sight,
So that You are justified when You speak
And blameless when You judge. – Psalm 51:1-4

[1] Jackson, Wayne. “Why Would a Loving God Send Us to Hell?” ChristianCourier.com. Access date: March 9, 2019.  https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/1563-why-would-a-loving-god-send-us-to-hell

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“You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” – John 8:32

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