The Nature of SIN – Elder Michael Gowens

Scanned and Digitized from The Christian Pathway publication.

Scripture employs several pictures to illustrate the nature of sin.

First, sin is a departure (Isaiah 53:6). The word hamartia means literally “to miss the mark.” Like an arrow that strays from the bulls-eye, the man who sins is “off-target” from God’s revealed will for his life (Romans 3:23).

Second, sin is a disease (1 Kings 8:38; Pslams 38:5; Isaiah 1:5). Like leprosy, it is an infectious, debilitating, painful, polarizing, and incurable disease. Only the Great Physician can cure the soul of this dread malady.

Third, sin is defilement (Isaiah 64:6; Pslams 14:3). When Isaiah said, “I am a man of unclean lips”, he made reference to common dirt (Isaiah 6:5). Like dirt soils the garment, so sin pollutes and contaminates the soul. Only the blood of Christ can cleanse the guilty sinner’s stain (Zechariah 13:1; 1 John 1:7).

Fourth, sin is a deformity of character. The word “iniquity” refers to the inner twistedness of man’s character. By nature man is so twisted that he worships the creature instead of the Creator, and “calls good evil and evil good, puts light for darkness and darkness for light, and bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter” (Isaiah 5:20). So convoluted and hideous is his heart that only God can make him whole.

Finally, sin is a debt (Matthew 6:12; cf. Matthew 18:21-35). By his sin, man has sold himself into slavery (Romans 7:14). The accrued sin debt of every man is great, yet none have even “a farthing to pay.” Only Christ can make satisfaction for the debt. Only His precious blood can effect redemption (Ephesians1:7; Hebrew 9:12).

– Elder Michael Gowens (excerpt from Elder Gowens’ book, Basic Bible Doctrines)