We believe that sin is failure to submit to God’s requirements by either commission or omission (James 5:17). The best Scriptural definition of sin is found in 1 John 3:4 which states that sin is a transgression of God’s law. It is also defined as missing the mark (Hamartia Romans 3:23). The Bible employs a variety of descriptions of sin, including rebellion (Isaiah 1:2), transgression or lawlessness (1 John 3:4), unfaithfulness (Proverbs 25:19), uncleanness (Romans 1:24), ungodliness (1 Timothy 1:9; Psalm 1), going astray (Isaiah 53:6), wickedness (Genesis 6:5), carnality (Romans 8:7), and iniquity (Isaiah 53:6). Sin can take the form of thoughts (Proverbs 24:9), words (Job 31:30; Psalm 39:1), and actions (1 John 5:17). Ultimately, all sin is against God and does not reflect His character (Romans 8:9; Psalm 51:4). We believe that sin originated in the fall of Lucifer (Isaiah 14:13-14; Ezekiel 28:12-19), and then in the fall of man (Genesis 2-3; Romans 5:12). In no sense is God the author of sin (Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 5:4; James 1:13). Since the fall of man, all mankind inherited a sin nature (Romans 5:12; Psalm 51:5). Therefore I believe that man is totally depraved, not in the sense that man has no ability to respond to the gospel, but that man is completely corrupted by sin and does not function according to God’s design (Romans 3:10-23). His mind is darkened (Ephesians 4:18; 2 Corinthians 4:4). His heart is deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9). He is an enemy of God (Colossians 1:21).He is dead in sins and separated from the life of God (Ephesians 2:1; 4:18). He follows the ways of the Devil (Ephesians 2:1-3). Sin was imputed to man through Adam, but righteousness is imputed to man through faith in the second Adam – Jesus Christ (Romans 4:5-8; 5:12-20). We believe in the universality of sin – all are condemned before God (Romans 3:9-23; John 3:36). Not only have all men inherited a sin nature, but all men have personally chosen to sin (Romans 3:23; Ecclesiastes 7:20; Galatians 5:19-22). The result of sin is death, which begins with spiritual death (Ephesians 2:1; Romans 6:23), leads to physical death (Hebrews 9:27), and finalizes in eternal death (Revelation 20:14-15). The remedy for sin is only in the shed blood of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 9:12-25; Romans 3:23-25). His blood released us from our debt of sin (Colossians 2:13-14) and reconciled us to God (Hebrews 10:19; 1 Timothy 2:5; 1 Peter 3:18). Although all sin deserves eternal condemnation, We believe that some sins are worse than others (Proverbs 6:16-19; John 19:11) The Old Testament makes a clear distinction between unintentional sins and defiant sins (Numbers 15:27-31). Perhaps the greatest sin is to know the truth of the gospel and still reject it (Matthew 11:20-24), and then to go and teach another gospel (James 3:1, Galatians 1:6-9). A man’s continual rejection of the Holy Spirit’s drawing him to the truth of the gospel will result in complete spiritual darkness and depravity (Romans 1:18-32). Such a person will not and cannot repent, and therefore will not be pardoned (Matthew 12:31-32).
When a believer ignores the conviction of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30; I Thessalonians 5:19), he will receive the chastening hand of God (Hebrews 12:5-11). When God’s chastening is continually ignored, in God’s time, He will take that believer home prematurely (1 John 5:16, 1 Corinthians 11:30). I believe that the gospel frees people from sin’s condemnation (Romans 8:1; John 5:25), and sin’s control (Romans 6:1-14; 2 Peter 1:3-4). All believers are dead to sin, and are therefore no longer under sin’s authority (Romans 6:1-2, 6, 11, 14; 1 Peter 2:24). Not only has a believer been separated from sin’s authority, he has been brought into union with the life of Christ (Romans 6:1-10; Colossians 3:1-5). Therefore believers are free to live in His victory (Romans 6:14; Galatians 2:20). Eventually, either at death or at his appearing, the believer will be completely free from sin’s corruption when he see Jesus and receives a glorified body (Romans 8:23; 1 John 3:2-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51-54).