In order to understand anything else in the Bible we must first understand sin. We cannot grasp why there is so much hardship in this world and our life unless we understand sin. We cannot appreciate our need for a Savior unless we understand sin. The portions of Scripture used in this Bible study are the ones that deal most directly with this issue. As we look at these passages, we are going to try to answer the following questions:
• Where did sin originate?
• What exactly is “sin”?
• Who is guilty of sin?
• What does sin do to us?
WHERE DID SIN ORIGINATE?
Please read the following passages and then answer the corresponding questions.
Genesis 1:31 – God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.
2 Peter 2:4 – God did not spare the angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell.
Genesis 3:4-6 – “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
1 John 3:8 – He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning.
John 8:44 – [Jesus said,] “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. 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.”
James 1:13 – When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone.
According to the underlined portions of those passages, who is the ultimate author of sin?
Satan is the ultimate author of sin.
According to the italicized portions of those passages, who else deserves the blame for the presence of sin in the world?
Adam and Eve also deserve blame for the presence of sin in the world.
Who IS NOT to blame for sin being in the world?
God is not to blame for sin being in the world.
In the following space, please summarize what you have learned from those passages that help you answer the question, “WHERE DID SIN ORIGINATE?”
在下面的空白处，运用你从上述经文中所学的，概括回答该问题，“罪是从哪里起源的?”Sin originated with Satan, the angel who decided on his own to rebel against God. Satan tempted Eve, who decided to sin against God and invited her husband to join her. Adam also agreed to sin against God.
WHAT EXACTLY IS “SIN”?
Please read the following passages and then answer the corresponding questions.
Psalm 51:5 – Surely I have been a sinner from birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Genesis 8:21 – Every inclination of [man’s] heart is evil from childhood.
According to the underlined portions of those passages, when was I first guilty of sin in God’s eyes.
I was first guilty of sin at the time I was conceived in my mother’s womb .
Genesis 5:3 – Adam had a son in his own likeness, in his own image.
John 3:6 – Flesh gives birth to flesh.
After looking at John 3:6 and Genesis 5:3, can you explain how this is possible?
This sinful condition was passed on from parents to children throughout the history of the world.
Romans 7:18 – I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.
Romans 8:7 – The sinful mind is hostile to God, it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.
Ephesians 2:3 – Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.
According to Romans 7:18, what could you call this sin that we are born with?
This sin is a hostile, rebellious, unwilling mindset against God.
According to the italicized portions of those passages, what does this do to me?
This inherited sinful condition is part of my nature. It makes me a target for God’s just, punishing anger.
That “sinful nature” that we inherit from our parents impacts our life in a negative way. Please read the following passages and then answer the corresponding questions.
Matthew 15:19 – Out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.
Genesis 6:5 – The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.
Matthew 5:28 – But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
1 John 3:15 – Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.
According to the italicized portions of those passages, where do my sins originate?
My sins originate in my sinful heart.
According to those passages, does God judge us on just our actions, or does he also judge the thoughts behind those actions.
God not only judges our actions, He also judges the thoughts and motives behind those actions.
1 John 5:3 – This is love for God: to obey his commands.
1 John 3:4 – Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.
Leviticus 5:17 – “If a person sins and does what is forbidden in any of the LORD’s commands, even though he does not know it, he is guilty and will be held responsible.”
According to those passages, what is the way we show love for God?
We show our love for God by obeying His commandments.
Therefore, how is sin defined?
We commit sin when we break God’s Law___________, whether that be by committing sinful actions or by thinking sinful thoughts.
We generally speak of two different categories of sin and give them the following definitions. These definitions can serve as the answer to our question, “WHAT IS ‘SIN’?”
“ORIGINAL SIN” – The sinfulness that is handed down from parents to children. (This is therefore sometimes also referred to as “inherited sin.”)
“ACTUAL SIN” – The sins in thought, word, and action that an individual commits on their own.
Both types of sin are deserving of God’s punishment. We’ll look at that in more depth later.
WHO IS GUILTY OF SIN?
Who is guilty of sin? If you’re speaking about “original sin,” you obviously have to answer “everyone.” Original sin is handed down from parents to children at the moment of conception. So let’s focus in on “actual sin.” Please read the following passages and then answer the corresponding questions.
Leviticus 19:2 – Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy. (“Holy” can be defined as “perfect” or “righteous” or “without sin.”)
Matthew 5:48 – Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
James 2:10 – Whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.
According to those passages, how does God want us to keep his law in our thoughts, in our speech, and in our actions?
God wants us to keep His law perfectly in our thoughts, speech and actions without ever committing even one sin.
What about just one slip? Wouldn’t God let that slide? (Look at James 2:10.)
God expects 100% obedience to His law. Just one sin makes us a sinner. He will not ignore even one sin.
On the basis of those passages, what would you guess is the answer to the question, “WHO IS GUILTY OF SIN?”
All people are guilty of both original sin and actual sin.
Romans 3:23 – All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Psalm 53:3 – Everyone has turned away, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.
Do these passages support what you wrote in the box above?
Yes, they do.
If you wanted to diagram this, you could do it in the following way. What God demands in his Law is that we live a holy, perfect life… a life that has NO sin. However, what he sees is a life that is tainted by sin, and therefore falls short of the perfection he demands.
You see how in that diagram one adds up to life and the other to death. Let’s look at this more closely.
WHAT DOES SIN DO TO US?
Genesis 2:16-17 – And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
Ezekiel 18:4 – The soul who sins is the one who will die.
Romans 6:23 – The wages of sin is death.
Romans 5:12 – …sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men…
According to those passages, what is one consequence of sin?
Sin brings death, separation from God and His blessings.
How can you understand that “death came to all men” as the result of Adam and Eve’s sin in the Garden of Eden? (Hint – Think about what we said concerning original sin.)
Death is the consequence of sin. Our inherited condition of original sin has us starting life in a position of being dead to God (separated from Him).
Isaiah 59:2 – But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.
2 Peter 2:4 – God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in the gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment.
Matthew 10:28 – …be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
What is the ultimate consequence of sin?
The ultimate consequence of sin is eternal separation from God and eternal torments in hell.
Ephesians 2:1 – As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins.
What power do we have to take care of sin on our own? (Hint – Think of how much power a corpse has to take care of itself.)
We have no power to overcome of problem of sin.
Sin ruins me. It brings me death and separation from God.
Every single person is lost in their sin. But does that mean that we will experience the punishment of hell? That’s the main focus of the second key concept – GRACE.
Ephesians 2:4-5 – But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – IT IS BY GRACE YOU HAVE BEEN SAVED.
TAKING IT DEEPER…
A. Agree or Disagree – God is not angry if we sin accidentally.
同意与否－－如果我们意外地犯罪，上帝不会生气。 Disagree. Sin is still sin.
B. Agree or Disagree – Although children learn bad habits from others, basically they are good and want to do right.
同意与否－－尽管孩子们从别人哪里学到了不好的习惯，但是基本上他们是良善的而且想做好。 Disagree. Children are born with original sin and sin on their own initiative.
C. Agree or Disagree – God must not hold infants and young children accountable for their sins, because they are too young to know what they are doing.
同意与否－－上帝必不会要求婴儿和小孩子对他们的罪负责，因为他们太小了不知道他们在做什么。 Disagree. God does not make exceptions to His law demands. Ignorance is not innocence.
D. Agree or Disagree - Some people are able to live a life that conforms perfectly to God’s Law.
同意与否－－有些人活着能完美地遵守上帝的律法。 Disagree. All are sinful and all commit sins. Some people are outwardly better morally than others, but all sin.
E. Agree or Disagree – The Bible tells us that God is loving. Therefore God wouldn’t actually send anyone to hell.
同意与否－－圣经告诉我们上帝是慈爱的。因此上帝事实上不会让任何人下地狱。 Disagree. God is loving and wants to help and deliver people from sin. However, God is also just and must punish sin.
F. Agree or Disagree – Sinful actions (such as killing someone or stealing) are worse than sinful speech (such as lying or cursing). And sinful speech is worse than sinful thoughts (such as lust or hatred).
同意与否－－有罪的行为（比如杀人或者偷窃）比有罪的言语（比如说谎或者诅咒）要坏。有罪的言语比有罪的思想（比如性欲或者憎恨）要坏。 Agree. In human thinking some sins are more damaging than others and should be punished accordingly. Disagree. Sin is sin. Every sin is an offense against the infinite love and justice of God and deserving of death.
G. Agree or Disagree – No one has ever lived their entire life without committing a sin.
同意与否－－没有人活了一辈子没有犯罪的。 Disagree. Jesus Christ has. We might also say that a baby that dies before birth has not committed an actual sin, but that baby still has original, inherited sin with its hostile, rebellious attitude toward God and His law.
H. What do you think? If people are basically good, is it fair that God still punishes them for the very few sins that they do commit?
你怎么认为？如果人基本上是良善的，上帝仍然惩罚他们所犯下很少的罪，这是公平的吗？ Yes, it is fair for God to punish a person for their sins. He will punish people justly in accordance with their guilt.