We believe that sin is a 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 Satan (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 we we believe that man is totally depraved, and 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). 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). We 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 sees Jesus and receives a glorified body (Romans 8:23; 1 John 3:2-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51-54).