What is Sin?


Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world ... all sinned-...
For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners ....
(Rom 5:12-19)

God’s word says: “There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one”; “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:10-12, 23).

Aren’t there people who do good? Why does God’s word say none is righteous? Could the Bible be wrong? No! Every word of the Bible is God-breathed and absolutely true. In God’s eyes, we are sinners because we were conceived in sin and brought forth in iniquity (Ps 51:5). One is a sinner not because he sins and does evil; even if he does good, he is still a sinner. To understand this, we must go back to the origin of man’s fall.


Man is created by God

Mankind’s ancestor Adam was created by God (Gen 1:26-27). He was perfect when created and could have fellowship with God freely. Moreover, he did not have to die, for he could have lived forever by eating the fruit of the tree of life.


God put Adam in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. He made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen 2:8-9). He commanded man: “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (v.16-17).


The origin of man’s sin

Unfortunately, Adam was tempted by the serpent, did not obey God, made the wrong choice and ate the fruit that he should not (Gen 3:1-6). Concerning this, Paul said: “through one man sin entered the world” (Rom 5:12). In other words, through eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, Adam became a sinner. We all, his descendants, were also made sinners (v.19). Therefore, both good and evil are present within us. However, though sin was in the world then, it was not imputed until the law was given (Rom 5:13).


Development after the Fall

The development of human history also testifies that sin comprises both aspects of good and evil. After sin had entered into man, his destiny changed and he was under the curse. God said: “The man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever” (Gen 3:22). So God sent him out of Eden, away from Him. Because of sin, the earth was cursed and brought forth thorns and thistles. From then, man had to eat bread in the sweat of his face (v.19).


From Genesis chapters four to six, we see the manifestation of man’s good and evil aspects: There were offerings to God (4:3-4), procreation and toil (4:17-20, 25-26; 5:29), building (4:17), agriculture (4:20), music (4:21) and ironmongery (4:22); at the same time, there were murder (4:8), the flesh (6:3), wickedness and evil (6:5). So God destroyed that age with the Flood and saved only Noah’s household.


We are also living in the two realms of good and evil today, eg, there are religion, recreation, education, sports and charity, as well as jealousy, strife, gambling, sexual immorality and murder. No matter how developed the world is or what the moral standards are, the Lord will burn up this world on the last day (2 Pet 3:10). This is the result of sin.


What should man do?

The whole world lies in the hands of the devil (1 John 5:19). Men have become slaves of sin and are without God. How can a man be saved? There is no other way except through the Lord Jesus Christ: “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Tim 1:15). “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous” (Rom 5:19).



God set forth Jesus as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the Justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith (Rom 3:25-27). Amen!

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