How Sin Affects Us
The Effects of Sin
Man was created sinless. But evil entered him when Adam and Eve yielded to Satan's temptations. Thus their nature became sinful. This sinful nature has been inherited by all their descendants. So, sin and death became the fate of all humans.
Satan is the original source of sin. He constantly rebels against the authority of God. We must choose between the rule of Satan or God.
Effects of Sin
Corrupted by sin, man also became rebellious toward God. In character and conduct, all humanity stands guilty before God. Humanity's disposition toward evil is universal, therefore, guilt and shame is common to all.
Sinfulness is evident in the breakdown of family structures and violations of God's divine order. In a world controlled by satanic influence, sin is spread by disobedience and rebellion.
Creation shows God's glory and nature to all people, therefore we should honor and glorify Him. Each of us are accountable to God.
With the fall of man into sin, the image of God man was created in, became seriously flawed, but not totally lost. In spite of our tendency toward evil, a remnant of God's likeness still remains. Nevertheless, only by God's grace can man receive God's gift of salvation
Effects of Sin
What if someone were to ask you what the worst thing in the world today is, and what answer would you expect to receive? Perhaps some would say cancer, others might say the AIDS crisis. There is a host of answers one might receive, but the correct answer, more than likely is far down the list.
Few stop to think about the real issue behind sickness, famine, war, and everything else that brings suffering and sorrow. That would be sin. Sin has made our world one of suffering, chaos and hatred. It has broken homes, friendships, and fellowships since it's entry into our world. It has the power to take hold of our lives and, once established, it's difficult to break.
We who believe the Bible know "where sin abounded, grace did much more abound." We know Christ is able to save even the worst of sinners. What many Christians don't understand is, sin continues to stalk us even after we have been saved. We must never drop our defenses waiting for Satan to attack.
Origin of Sin
Where did sin begin? To answer that we need to understand and believe the Bible's account in the book of Genesis. We know sin is unique to man, so we must determine where man came from. A proper biblical conviction about where man came from is important to your faith.
Don't let science influence your decision about a biblical stand on creation. Scientists can't prove even one theory on the origin of man. That's why their ideas are still referred to as a “theory.” A theory is an unproven belief. Therefore all scientific sentiments against the Genesis account are only theories.
There are basically two scientific theories. One is called "spontaneous generation." It means life sprang up through some unknown explosion of matter, sometimes referred to as the "big bang theory."
The second is the "theory of natural development," or the theory of evolution. This idea basically argues man began millions of years ago as a very basic one celled creature. It doesn't offer an explanation as to where this one celled organism came from.
Supposedly these one celled creatures, over the course of millions of years, evolved into modern man. The problems with this theory are vast leaving many questions unanswered. There are gaps between fish, fowl, and animal tissue that can't be explained. There is a division between the species that can't be explained. No one can explain why, since man's recorded history, there is no record of even one event concerning evolution.
There's no evidence of anything evolving into a higher form. If evolution was the explanation for life on Earth, it would have to be a continuing process. It takes greater faith to believe this account than what the Bible records in the book of Genesis. The only logical idea about man's origin is found in the Bible.
"And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul" (Genesis 3:1-7).
This account of creation gives a logical basis for understanding what sin is and how it began. The Bible not only tells us how man was created, but also his original condition at creation. Genesis 1:26-27 teaches man was created in the "image of God." Man was created in the fashion of God, according to the likeness of God.
Man was created material and immaterial. What does this mean? As a material being, man was given a body. This body was created perfect in its original condition. As an immaterial being, man was given an immortal soul and spirit. This is something God didn't give to any other part of His creation.
"And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Genesis 2:7).
For a while man stayed in this state of perfection. But something happened to change that. God created man with a free will. This is what eventually opened the door for sin to enter the world.
In Genesis 3:1-7 we learn what sin is and where it came from. First, sin is a catastrophe. Next, man brought sin into the world by his own choice. From this, six spiraling downward steps can be clearly seen in the Genesis account:
Genesis 3:1. We find Eve listened to the devil. The first step is to avoid listening to Satan's enticements.
Genesis 3:2. Eve lingered too long in the place of temptation, even carrying on a conversation with Satan.
Genesis 3:4-5. She allowed the devil to pervert God's word, and listened as he renounced the honesty of God.
Genesis 3:6. Eve fell into the trap of allowing what she saw with lustful eyes to convince her of Satan's lies.
Genesis 3:6. We also see in the last half of this verse, she crossed the line of temptation and actually disobeyed God.
Genesis 3:6-7. She included Adam in her sin as they both tried to hide what they had done from God. This is where sin began.
"He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy" (Proverbs 28:13).
Many don't understand what sin is. When asked to describe it they will usually name a list of such things as murder, envy, adultery, or stealing. Some may try to define it as an "act of willful rebellion against God."
Sin is a deliberate decision to violate God's laws. Sin is not only doing wrong, but also refusal to do right.
"Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin" (James 4:17).
For their actions Adam and Eve faced immediate consequences. To Eve came sorrow, suffering and submission. To Adam came sadness, separation and sweat.
Sin had universal consequences to mankind. It brought sickness, pain, aging, suffering and ultimately death. It's the scourge of society, separating man from God as it did Adam and Eve. However, God has a cure. When man could do no more than hide, God came looking for them and provided a covering for their shame.
The cure is God's saving grace, provided through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost" (Titus 3:5).
Our own good works can't bring us to God. It takes God's mercy to bring us back into fellowship with God.
You Can't Hide
Most today are still repeating what Adam and Eve did. They are trying to keep it all hidden away. According to God this is impossible. Many live under the false assumption no one will ever know unless someone tattles on them.
However, sin reveals itself in obvious and various ways:
In your conscience.
By sleep deprivation.
In your character.
In your actions.
According to the Bible, when you "sow to the flesh" you will reap the corruption of the flesh. This is evident in today's society. We know alcoholism leads to violence and a weakened heart and liver. Smoking leads to respiratory ailments. Drug users risk a host of physical problems. And with the threat of AIDS, an immoral lifestyle is a great physical risk, not to mention a spiritual one.
This principle is illustrated in the life of King David. Most know the story, but few people know how sin affected his flesh.
"For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me. For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin" (Psalm 38:17-18).
David knew he needed to repent. Physical suffering and weakness only served to remind him. This principle is also taught in 1 Corinthians 3:16-17. In this passage Paul warns that defiling the temple of God, which is the body, will lead to its destruction.
While on the other hand, walking in God's Word will help avoid sin others become entangled in. Avoiding sin will lead to lengthened days as shown in Proverbs Chapter 3.
"My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee" (Proverbs 3:1-2).
Sin sometimes reveals itself in the lives of our children. This principle is not mentioned often, but nonetheless very true. That does not necessarily mean God will make children pay or be accountable for the sins of their parents. But, sin is often passed on to our children as they observe our behavior. The lesson is very easy to see. Children don't always do as they are told. They most often follow in the steps of those who have influenced them.
Even if your sin is never revealed while you live on the earth, it will most certainly be on the day of judgment. There is nothing God will miss, neither the good or bad.
"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27).
Sin is a Thief
Undoubtedly there is pleasure in sin. If there weren't, we wouldn't have a problem with it. Pleasure is the bait Satan uses to enslave us. It robs our life of many good things. Let's consider a few:
A peaceful mind.
Steals your happiness. Satan wants us to believe happiness can only be found in the accumulation of material goods.
Steals the testimony of the Christian. A testimony that has taken many years to build can be broken and destroyed in a matter of moments.
Steal your good home and marriage. It's the number one home wrecker at work in our society.
What Can We Do?
Believers must recognize temptation is something leading to sin. All temptation comes from Satan. God doesn't tempt His children. We must first learn to deal with temptation and we can do that by resisting him the moment he tempts us.
God doesn't want His children to sin, but when they do He doesn't want them to have to carry a heavy burden. Therefore, He teaches us in the Bible what to do.
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).
1 John 2:1 tells us God's desire is for us not to sin. This means God is most pleased when we learn to resist Satan and flee from temptation.