Summary: Gain a better understanding of the "remainder of iniquity" that is left within in us after justification, prior to complete sanctification by Christ.
The Old Man - The Remainder Of Iniquity
by Rev. Oneal Stover
SCRIPTURE: I Corinthians 3:1-3
There is a universal consciousness of something of a troublesome and afflicting nature left in a regenerated heart.
This is something many have agreed to call "inbred" or "in-being" sin. Others call it the "remains of sin." This last expression, if not explained, is apt to be misleading. The idea naturally conveyed by such a term is that regeneration destroyed the greater part of the sinful nature of the individual, but left various scraps, tendencies, and things of that kind.
It sounds as if an animal had been killed and taken away, with the exception of his horns, hoofs, and some pieces of skin and hair.
The expression "remains of sin," unless explained, is apt to convey the idea of a partial regeneration, when Scripture and experience both agree as to a complete regeneration.
I. THE QUESTION ARISES IN THE MIND "WHY?"
A. FIRST: WHY SHOULD THERE BE "REMAINS" LEFT IN THIS WORK?
If some engine or agent of power can destroy the bones, muscles, and viscera of an ox, why not the horns, hoofs, and hair?
B. SECOND: IF REGENERATION CHANGES ME... why should a sinful nature which is called the remains of sin be left in us?
If we are careful to teach two kinds of Sin, the one personal and the other inherited, a wickedness acquired and a depravity received at birth, light will begin to dawn upon the mind.
C. THIRD: JUSTIFICATION AND REGENERATION DEAL WITH PERSONAL SIN AND GUILT, AND SANCTIFICATION WITH INHERITED DEPRAVITY.
Of course the objection will be raised as to what regeneration does, if the carnal mind is left.
The answer is that regeneration, according to the meaning of the word, is life implanted in a dead soul; this life may be planted in the face of something else, as a rose can grow in the same clod with a weed.
The blunder made by the objector is in making regeneration mean purity, when it really means life.
II. ANOTHER OBJECTION URGED IS THAT IF WE ARE BORN OF THE SPIRIT... then we are spiritual, and how can we carnal?
A. FIRST: THE SCRIPTURE ANSWERS THIS BY PLAINLY TEACHING THAT IN THE REGENERATED LIFE WE ARE BOTH CARNAL AND SPIRITUAL.
(1) This was said of the Galatian church which had the "flesh" (carnal mind) and "Spirit" lusting against each other in their hearts.
(2) The same thing is stated in regard to the Corinthians whom Paul designates as "babes in Christ," hence born of God, but adds, "ye are carnal."
B. SECOND: THIS DARK, TROUBLING, SOMETHING WITHIN US IS NOT THE REMAINS OF OUR ACTUAL SINS AND PERSONAL GUILT, BUT THE INHERITED BIAS TO SIN OR EVIL NATURE WITH WHICH WE BEGAN LIFE.
It is something that cannot be pardoned, hence is not susceptible to regeneration.
(1) It is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be, and so awaits not an impartation of life, but a movement of destruction and death.
(2) For lack of a better name, the Church calls it inbred sin.
In the caption of this sermon we call it the "Remainder of Iniquity," which is the true translation of (James 1: 21), rendered by the King James translation as "superfluity of naughtiness."
III. INBRED SIN IS IN US ALL AT BIRTH.
A. FIRST: WE ARE NOT TO BE CONDEMNED FOR THIS. AND WE ARE NOT.
It is not our fault, our misfortune, that we enter life with original sin or a bent to evil in us.
(1) According to Paul, in Romans, justification unto life is brought to the race through Christ.
If we, coming from childhood into years of accountability realize condemnation, it is not for inbred sin, but for our actual transgressions.
(2) Every child, then, is born in a justified relation to God, but enters the world with inbred sin. If the child dies in early life. the one work of the Spirit is to sanctify it, or destroy inbred sin, as the child has done nothing to need pardon.
(3) If the child lives to years of accountability, according to all human observation and experience, two things happen: one is that actual or personal sin is committed, and the other that an acquired wickedness is added to the inherited depravity.
No one who observes and thinks for a moment will deny this. We, by our sinful courses, deepen the malady within, give additional twists to the crooked nature, and by a series of misdoings, add to the dark stock of trade in the soul.
B. SECOND: THIS LAST IS AN ACQUIRED WICKNESS OR EVIL BENT.
For this last we are alone accountable.
With the burden of actual transgressions and acquired evil we come to God with repentance and faith in Christ, asking for pardon and salvation.