Christian Living, Doctrine, Q&A's



Question: Define the nature of sin and discuss its consequences both temporally and eternally.


When evaluating sin we must understand it in the context of our humanity. John 8:44 says “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

We can understand that by nature we are objects of God’s wrath (Ephesians 2:3) and this is so because our father is the devil until God adopts us into His family (Ephesians 1:5). We also understand that since the origin of sin is the devil and our identity is initially found in him we must strive to examine the characteristics of Satan. In the above passage (John 8:44), we can clearly see that the natural implications of our hereditary makeup in the devil is to carry out his desire and inherit his other traits (sin). With this understanding of the origins of sin we can then posit the contrary premise that if our God is our Father than we must “carry out [His] desire” and this would be the opposite of sin. Thus, sin is doing something that is contrary to God our Father’s will – in effect aligned to Satan’s desire/will.

Additionally, as we would inherit the traits of the devil (once our father) we would then inherit the traits of our new Father or specifically His Son Jesus Christ as we are to be transformed into His likeness (1 Corinthians 11:1). In short, sin becomes that which occurs when we do NOT follow God’s will – an extension of this is when we violate the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2) that is in alignment with His nature and will for us. The consequences of this sin are both immediate and eternal. We must understand this since the Father blessed His people in the Old Testament when they obeyed and disciplined when they didn’t by expelling them from the land. Thus hardship is a possible and real consequence for sin in the present day. From an eternal standpoint, although our salvation is secure as it is God’s work from beginning to end, we will still stand in front of the judgment throne of God and be accountable for all that we do. Not a fun story but a real story that exposes our true nature (Romans 3:10, 3:23).