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The Doctrine of Christ

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    LESSON ELEVEN The Origin, Nature, and Result of Sin

    1. Sin originated with Satan. 1 John 3:8; John 8:44; Ezekiel 28:14-17; Genesis 3:1-7; Revelation 12:7-9.TDOC 29.1

    2. Sin is disloyalty to God, rebellion claims his government and a disregard of the law of the kingdom. Daniel 9:5, 7-9; 1 Samuel 12:14, 15; Isaiah 1:2; 1 John 3:4, ARV.TDOC 29.2

    3. Sin means the exaltation of self, the dethronement of God and Christ, and putting self in the place of God. Isaiah 14:12-14; Daniel 5:22, 23; 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4; Matthew 23:12.TDOC 29.3

    4. Sin separates from God, and such separation means death. Isaiah 59:1, 2; Proverbs 8:35, 36; Ezekiel 18:4, 20; Romans 6:23; 8:6; James 1:15; 1 Corinthians 15:56.TDOC 29.4

    5. Sin brought a curse upon the earth. Genesis 3:17, 18; Romans 8:22.TDOC 29.5

    6. The whole human family was involved in the sin of Adam. Romans 5:12. 1 Corinthians 15:21, 22.TDOC 29.6

    NOTES: Sin originated with Lucifer

    “Sin originated with him who, next to Christ, had been most honored of God, and who stood highest in power and glory among the inhabitants of heaven. Before his fall, Lucifer was first of the covering cherubs, holy and undefiled.”-The Great Controversy, 493, 494.TDOC 29.7

    “According to Scripture, sin first made its appearance in the angelic race, though nothing more is recorded than the simple fact that the angels sinned (2 Peter 2:4) and kept not their first estate (or principality), but left their own (or proper) habitation (Jude 6), their motive or reason for doing so being passed over in silence. The obvious deduction is that the sin of these fallen spirits was a free act on their part, dictated by dissatisfaction with the place which had been assigned to them in the hierarchy of heaven, and by ambition to secure for themselves a loftier station than that in which they had been placed.”TDOC 29.8

    No excuse for 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 with the great law of love which is the foundation of a principle at war of the divine government.”-The Great Controversy, 492-493.TDOC 29.9

    The Meaning of sin

    “Its [sin] very essence is self-will; a nature, in its deepest powers, torn away from its true center and orbit; a life out of harmony with God and at war with itself.”TDOC 30.1

    “There is but one sin in the world, properly speaking, and that is the sin of not loving God. The sins that we commonly speak of are but different manifestations of this one sin-different in degree, diverse in various respects, diverse in enormity; but the enormity is chiefly to be determined by the measure of the revelation made of the character of God unto us.”TDOC 30.2

    “Sin is a terrific fact in the human world, and not simply an idle fancy; the soul’s intolerable burden, and not merely a sort of horrid nightmare from which a sense of relief comes with the morning light.”TDOC 30.3

    “Christ is the supreme revelation of God; and the most fearful and fatal form of sin is a persistent and blasphemous rejection of the truth when it comes with the clearest conviction of the Spirit to one’s heart.”TDOC 30.4

    The horror of Sin

    “We should beware of treating sin as a light thing. Terrible is its power over the wrong-doer. His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be held with the cords of his sins.”-Education, 291.TDOC 30.5

    “Sin is not the rough path to good, but its frightful overthrow; not the elevation but degradation of man.”TDOC 30.6

    “The Biblical conception of sin may be fairly summed up in the words of the Westminster Confession: ‘Sin is any want of conformity unto or transgression of the law of God.”TDOC 30.7

    The horror of sin is that it wrenched the, race from God. It dashed God from his throne and placed self thereupon. It reversed the relationship of man and God. Its blight and its passion have alienated mankind, enslaved it, condemned it, doomed it to death, exposed it to wrath. The sacrifice of the cross is the explanation of the enormity of sin, and the measure of the love of the redeeming Trinity.”TDOC 30.8

    Modern ideas of sin are unscriptural

    “Modern ideas about sin receive no countenance from Scripture, which never speaks about sin as ‘good in the making,’ as ‘the shadow cast by man’s immaturity,’ as a necessity determined by heredity and environment,’ as ‘a stage in the upward development of a finite being,’ as ‘a taint adhering to man’s corporeal frame,’ as ‘a physical disease,’ ‘a mental infirmity,’ ‘a constitutional weakness,’ and least of all as ‘a figment of the imperfectly enlightened, or theologically perverted, imagination,’ but always as the free act of an intelligent, moral, and responsible being asserting himself against the will of his Maker, the Supreme Ruler of the universe.”TDOC 31.1

    The result of sin

    “By sin man was shut out from God. Except for the plan of redemption, eternal separation from God, the darkness of unending night, would have been his.”-Education, 28.TDOC 31.2

    Sin is rebellion

    “In this all-inclusive sin, this root of sin, which carries in itself that which is the very damning essence of all sin (the rebellion, namely, of self and its will. against God and his will, the absolute defiance of God when so ever his will crosses any form of self-will, or contradicts any gratification on which self-will may be set), there is further inherent a special jealousy and envy, a special conscious rejection, of that royal heir ship and present eternal sovereignty over the whole realm of created existence which belongs inherently, by right of his first-born Sonship, to the Only Begotten. Hence arises an essential antagonism, absolute and irreconcilable, so long as the counter claim of rival sovereignty is maintained against him by the author of evil.”TDOC 31.3

    “The inherent and essential evil of sin, which the Son of God came from heaven as the Son of man to undo, and so to destroy the works of the devil, is its being defiance of God, mistrust of God, separation from God, opposition to God. Sin means war against God; war against his law and will, in obedience to which the creature’s happiness and perfection must necessarily consist. It involves a perversion on the part of man of all the elements of his nature into instruments of this opposition. All the minor forces, agencies, and circumstances, intended to be subservient to the glory of God and the happiness of man, to which man’s will and man’s influence can reach, are degraded and abused by sin.”TDOC 31.4

    The power of sin

    “No thoughtful mail but has felt himself encompassed by sin, not merely as a temptation, but much more as an overpowering force, silent, passive, closing in upon him on all sides, a constant pressure from which there is no escape. The sin and misery of the world has staggered reason, and left men utterly powerless to resist or to alleviate the infinite evil. Faith alone surmounts these preliminary difficulties of the Christian life. Faith delivers us from grossness of spirit, from lethargy, earthliness, stupor. Faith will also lift us above the terrible pressure of the world’s sin.”TDOC 31.5

    An enormous evil

    “Hell enters at the smallest breach of God’s law, and the smallest sin is thus an enormous evil.”TDOC 32.1

    Works do not take away sin

    “To cover the sin which lies on the conscience with a layer of earnest efforts to do right, will not take the sin away; the underlying sin will assimilate all the dead works that may be heaped upon it, and the result will be a greater mass of sin.”TDOC 32.2

    The work of grace

    “God does not annul his laws. He does not work contrary to them. The work of sin he does not undo. But he transforms. Through his grace the curse works out blessing.”-Education, 148.TDOC 32.3

    “He gives men the consciousness that they are known; he begets the consciousness that it is not with sin in the abstract he takes to do, but with sinners he can name, and whose weaknesses are known to him.”TDOC 32.4

    Sin and nature

    “The Bible gives no support to the theory that matter itself is evil. God created all things, land God saw everything that he had made; and, behold, ‘it was very good.’ When, therefore, we read in the Bible that the earth is cursed, we read that it is cursed for man’s sake; when we read of its desolation, it is as the effect of man’s crime. The flood, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the plagues of Egypt, and other great physical catastrophes happened because men’ were stubborn or men were foul. We cannot help noticing, however, that matter was thus convulsed or destroyed, not only for the purpose of punishing the moral agent, but because of some poison which had passed from him into the unconscious instruments, stage, and circumstance of his crime.TDOC 32.5

    “According to the Bible, there would appear to be some mysterious sympathy between man and nature. Man not only governs nature; he infects and informs her. As the moral life of the soul expresses itself in the physical life of the body for the latter’s health or corruption, so the conduct of the human race affects the physical life of the universe, to its farthest limits in space. When man is reconciled to God the wilderness blossoms like a rose; but the guilt of man sullies, infects, and corrupts the place he inhabits and the articles he employs; and their destruction becomes necessary, not for his punishment so much as because of the infection and pollution that is in them.”TDOC 32.6

    An organic ruin

    “In that sublime ordeal, but terrific catastrophe, Adam stood not alone. He was the first man, not individually simply, but the first comprehensively. We stood with him, because we were in him. He was, in its deepest and widest sense, the representative man; not a man merely, but emphatically the man: the race generically; humanity, in its widest expansion in space, in its longest possible duration in time, across all the centuries, and with its strangest diversities. At that initial point, then, he was the bearer of more than a single individual life; he was mankind in its grand totality; and, therefore, was the ruin effected in and by him a truly-organic ruin.”TDOC 32.7

    An organic redemption

    “This idea of the race, a vast, comprehensive organism standing originally in the same generic headship, is essential to a right understanding, both of the terrific ruin in which it was involved by the sin of the first Adam, and of the full redemption brought in by the spotless life of the last Adam, himself thoroughly human yet thoroughly divine.”TDOC 33.1

    Sin entered through disobedience

    Some of the inspired penmen make it clear that the entrance of sin into this world was effected through the disobedience of the first man who stood and acted as the representative and surety of his whole natural posterity (Romans 5:12), and that the first man’s fall was brought about by temptation from without, by the seductive influence of Satan, the lord of the fallen spirits already mentioned, the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience.”TDOC 33.2

    The lesson of Satan’s rebellion

    “Satan’s rebellion was to be a lesson to the universe through all coining ages, a perpetual testimony to the nature and terrible results of sin. The working out of Satan’s rule, its effects upon both men and angels, would show what must be the fruit of setting aside the divine authority. It would testify that with the existence of God’s government and his law is bound up the well-being of all the creatures he has made. Thus the history of this terrible experiment of rebellion was to be a perpetual safeguard to all holy intelligences, to prevent them from being deceived as to the nature of transgression, to save them from committing sin and suffering its punishment.”-The Great Controversy, 499.TDOC 33.3

    Read Patriarchs and Prophets, 29-31.TDOC 33.4

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