By Dr. Ronnie Wolfe
I spoke Sunday evening on the fifth lesson concerning the doctrine of sin. Everyone thinks he knows what sin is, and I am sure we all do essentially; but there is much involved in the doctrine of sin called Hamartiology--the study of sin.
In the first four lessons I tried to explain that there can be no sin without (1) God, without (2) law, without (3) conscience, and without (4) a sinner. Sunday evening I taught a lesson on sin as a religion.
First, I spoke of the existence of God and compared it with atheism, that atheism is a destructive doctrine and that it has a sad presence. Then I made the statement, "If it is foolishness NOT to believe in God, then it would be wisdom to believe in him." See Proverbs 9:10.
Sin, then, is nonconformity to divine law and is manifested in three ways shown from 1 John 2:16.
1. The lust of the flesh (sensuousness or wantonness).
2. The lust of the eyes (human weakness)
3. The pride of life (selfishness, self-centeredness).
When these three things have grown to maturity, then it brings forth death, as James tells us in James 1:15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
We are reminded of the passage in Romans 6:23, For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
In our selfishness, we desire earthly things rather than heavenly things. We are all sinners (Romans 3), and we were at one time all children of wrath (Eph. 2:3). Sin brings only death, and all of our works before regeneration are sin, for ... without faith it is impossible to please him: (Heb. 11:6).
My final statement in the message was "You sin because you love the world and worship the world and all that is in it, but true worship goes to God; and the only way to worship him is to be born again."
Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.