Summary: Our deadly fall into sin-with all its consequences, is counteracted by the sacrifice of Christ which brought forgiveness.
Grace And Forgiveness
I. God’s Forgiveness of Sin Through Christ
A. The Universality of Sin (v. 23)
1. Paul’s idea about sin is made quite plain in this verse: all have sinned.
2. It is the human tendency not only to excuse our sin but also to compare and classify it.
3. We are quite content to place the blame on someone or something for our sin. We have invented or rather displayed many defense mechanisms to excuse our behavior.
4. In our mind, murder is a greater sin than hatred and adultery is much worse than gossip.
5. Admittedly, the temporal consequences of some sins are greater than others, but God does not measure sin in degrees but rather in what it is-a transgression against his holy nature, an offense and a missing of his mark.
6. The consequences of David’s sin with Bathsheba ran deeper than Abraham’s when he lied about his wife being his sister. Nevertheless, apart from God’s forgiveness, either sin-even the sin of gossip, would be all it took to consign them both to hell.
7. Additionally, breaking one of God’s laws makes us guilty of breaking them all. (James 2:10)
8. The fact that we sin-whether we label it “little” or “big” makes us a sinner.
9. Committing only “little” sins does not make us worthy of eternal life at the expense of someone who is a dastardly sinner.
10. All sin separates us from God and must be forgiven to avoid its ultimate consequences-eternal separation from him.
B. What is the origination of our sin?
1. If we are all sinners, it behooves us to investigate why and how?
2. Consider the following statements: “I am a sinner because I sin,” or “I sin because I am a sinner.”
3. The first leaves open the possibility a person could live without sinning. If this is so, it is possible not to need the sacrifice of Christ.
4. The second statement proposes the reality that all will sin and have no choice in the matter (but at the same time are not robots). No one will ever enter heaven on their own merit. Our nature is infected.
5. We are not born good and then corrupted by our environment. If this was so, it would again leave open the possibility of one somehow living a life free of sin-even though those who propose this scenario would readily admit it would never happen.
6. It is hard for us to look at a newborn baby or consider a small child and think they have a sinful nature, yet they do, and time will bear this out.
7. We are born “bad” and our propensity toward sin will become evident as we move toward that age when we can make choices between right and wrong.
8. Theories concerning how the sin nature is transferred will be reserved for our discussion in chapter five when Paul deals with the sin of Adam being transferred to his descendants.
9. Suffice it to say at this point that the Bible is clear all are sinners and as such are responsible to God and dependant on him to rectify our horrible condition.
C. Our Sin Causes Us To Miss God’s Glorious Standard