Jesus came to redeem us from the consequences of the fall – part 5
What has Christ done for sin? Cont’
Satan introduced sin when he beguiled Eve, but the Bible does not teach that sin had its origin with him either. Sin’s origin is to be found in humanity’s rebellious nature. Since Adam and Eve rebelled against the clear command of God, sin has infected humanity like a dread malignancy.
Some passages such as Ps. 51:5 and Eph. 2:3 could be interpreted to mean that this sinful nature is inherited. Other passages seem to affirm that sin is due to human choice (Ezek. 18:4,19-20; Rom. 1:18-20; 5:12). Humanity both inherits a sinful nature and every person is indeed responsible for his/her choice of sin.
Another possibility for understanding how sin has infected all of humanity may be found in the biblical understanding of the solidarity of the human race. This understanding of the human situation would say that when Adam rebelled against God, he incorporated all of his descendants in his action (Heb. 7:9-10 for a similar analogy). This view certainly does not eliminate the necessity for each individual to accept full responsibility for sinful acts.
Adam and Eve introduced sin into human history by their rebellious actions. The Bible affirms that every person who has lived since has followed their example. Whatever else one may say about sin’s origin, this much is surely affirmed throughout the Bible.
The Bible Views Sin from Various Perspectives. One concept of sin in the OT is that of transgression of the law. God established the law as a standard of righteousness; any violation of this standard is defined as sin. Deuteronomy 6:24-25 is a statement of this principle from the perspective that a person who keeps the law is righteous. The implication is that the person who does not keep the law is not righteous, that is, is sinful.
Another concept of sin in the OT is as breach of the covenant. God made a covenant with the nation of Israel; they were bound by this covenant as a people (Exod. 19; 24; Josh. 24). Each year on the Day of Atonement, the nation went through a covenant renewal. When the high priest consecrated the people by sprinkling them with the blood of the atoning sacrifice, they renewed their vows to the Lord to be a covenant-keeping people. Any breach of this covenant was viewed as sin (Deut. 29: 19-21.)
The OT also pictures sin as a violation of the righteous nature of God. As the righteous and holy God, He sets forth as a criterion for His people a righteousness like His own (Lev. 11:45). Any deviation from God’s own righteousness is viewed as sin.
The OT has a rich vocabulary for sin. Chata’ means “to miss the mark,” as does the Greek hamartia. The word could be used to describe a person shooting a bow and arrow and missing the target with the arrow. When it is used to describe sin, it means that the person has missed the mark that God has established for the person’s life.
Aven describes the crooked or perverse spirit associated with sin. Sinful persons have perverted their spirits and become crooked rather than straight. Ra’ describes the violence associated with sin. It also has the connotation of the breaking out of evil. Sin is the opposite of righteousness or moral straightness in the OT.
The New Testament Perspective of Sin. The NT picture is much like that of the OT. Several of the words used for sin in the NT have almost the same meaning as some of the Hebrew words used in the OT.
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