part of the what is truth? series

The word “sin” in our New Testaments is translated from the Greek word “hammeria” which literally means to “miss the mark.” After understanding what sin is and what it looks like in Scripture, the more critical question about the result of sin comes to the forefront.

How Scripture answers "What is the result of sin?"

The result of sin is traced all the way back to creation1. The first sin1 introduced death8 as well as specific curses to be borne by man and woman1. While the guilt of each person’s sin is borne by that person1,7,8,15, one’s unrepentant sin4,11 and continued depravity13,14 results in spiritual death1,9,12 or separation from God2,3,10,15. Without remedy, the result of sin leads to the individual not inheriting the kingdom of God5,6,12,14 and being blotted out of God’s book of life7.

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1

And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.
God commanded Adam, telling him that he may eat of all the trees of the garden except one.  If he ate of the tree providing knowledge of good and of evil he would die.

This command by God for Adam to obey, was later disobeyed with the deception of Eve by Satan (3:1-6). Their disobedience led to both a physical death (3:19) but also a spiritual death and separation from God (3:23-24).  Further were the specific curses to both the woman (3:16) and man (3:17-18).

How does it apply here?

Sin leads to death. In this particular case, it was both physical and spiritual death (separation from God) as well as an everlasting curse on both the man (difficult labor) and the woman (pain in childbirth and strife with man who “shall rule over” her).

2

What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”

God’s temple has nothing to do with idols.  We  are God’s temple, just as He said that He would make His dwelling among us and go with us as our God and His people.  Therefore He says we must separate ourselves from idols/the world and touch nothing unclean in order that He will welcome us as a father welcomes his children.

In this his third letter (13:1), Paul has dealt with numerous issues that have sown division and discord among the Christians in Corinth. In this chapter/section he is addressing yet another problem — apparently, unbelievers have had a negative influence on the church to the extent that they were false teaching. He continues and concludes the contrasts by drawing yet another distinction between the “temple of God” and idols and further supports why they are not to do this since it is perfectly consistent with Old Testament teaching as well (vs 16-18).

The full context points to this instruction being applied to “believers” in the plural,  congregational sense.  This is the more natural application in the immediate context as well as the general tendency of application in both of the recorded letters to Corinth.

How does it apply here?

Walking in, or living a sinful life, causes one to be separated from God.

3

He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.
He [God] drove man out of the garden of Eden with its tree of life and at the east end placed an angel and a flaming sword to guard it.

In the garden of Eden when God has discovered Adam and Eve’s disobedience.  He pronounces judgment on the Tempter and shares the curses for both man and woman as a result of their disobedience.

How does it apply here?

Sin leads to separation from God.

4

All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death.
All wrongdoing is sin, but not all sin must lead to death.

John is defining one’s love of God by the obedience (doing) of His word (vs 3).  Opposed to this is “the world” which stands in the way of a “victory” made possible by Jesus Christ (vss 4ff). John wants to remind brethern to remain stong and remember to pray to God for help (vs 13-15).

How does it apply here?

Sin that is repented of, or turned away from, no longer results in death.

!! scripture-block context extra important here !!

5

Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, depravity, idolatry, sorcery, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish rivalries, dissensions, factions, envying, murder, drunkenness, carousing, and similar things. I am warning you, as I had warned you before: Those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God!

The works of the flesh include things such as sexual immorality, acts of hatred, discord, jealousy, uncontrolled anger, divisions, drunkenness, covetousness, murder, drunkenness, orgies, and the like.  I [Paul] am warning you again, as I did before, not to practice such things in order to inherit the kingdom of God.

Paul, much like he does in the letter to the Romans, is imploring and encouraging the Christians (this time in the churches of Galatia) to remain obedient in the walk of faith.  He begins the letter with strong language about resisting false teachers and begins this chapter saying, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”  He contrasts practicing the works of the flesh and its result (e.g. not inheriting the kingdom of God) with the work of the Spirit and its result (
Galatians 6:7-8
).
How does it apply here?

Practicing sin of any kind causes one not to inherit God’s kingdom.

6

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

You already know that those that do evil deeds will not enter heaven.  Don’t be deceived into thinking that they will!  This includes anyone that is sexually immoral (any sexual behavior outside of marriage), worships anything other than God, forsakes their spouse, practices homosexuality, steals, loves money, drinks excessively, gossips, or takes advantage of others will inherit heaven.

Paul is addressing the brethren of Corinth that are relatively new to the faith.  He is writing in response to several issues and challenges that have arisen in the congregation and reminds them that they have been “washed”, “sanctified” and “justified” in Jesus Christ (vs 11) and should act accordingly.
How does it apply here?

Practicing unrighteousness (e.g. sin) causes one not to inherit the kingdom of God.

7

So Moses returned to the Lord and said, Alas, this people has sinned a great sin. They have made for themselves gods of gold. But now, if you will forgive their sin—but if not, please blot me out of your book that you have written. But the Lord said to Moses, Whoever has sinned against me, I will blot out of my book.
So Moses came back to God confessing that the people had sinned gravely by making golden idols. He asked if God would forgive them, and that if He couldn’t, to also remove him from His book [of life]. But God said no, any individual that sins against Him is blotted out of His book.

Moses is on the mountain receiving the law (Ten Commandments) from God while the people have become impatient and built a golden calf to worship in Moses’ absence.  God promises that there will be a consequence for their sin (vs 34)  in the form of a plague (vs 35).

How does it apply here?

Sin results in being blotted out of God’s book (e.g. “book of life” Revelation 20:12).

8

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law.

Sin was introduced to the world through one man [Adam], and from sin came death [both physically and spiritually] which affects all men since all have sinned–sin was certainly in the world before the law [of Moses] was given, but sin is not accounted for when there is no law.

Paul is arguing for the “obedience of faith” (phrase used as bookends to his letter – 1:5 and 16:26) throughout this letter to the Romans. In the immediate context, he is speaking to the reconciliation that Christ brings and why it’s needed (because of a fallen world due to sin).

How does it apply here?

Adam introduced sin into the world, leading to spiritual death for all “because all sinned”.

9

But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

Any person is tempted when they are attracted and encouraged by their own desire.  Left unchecked, that desire turns into sin which then leads to death.

James is speaking about the “perfect law of liberty” (vs 25) – God’s word – and being doers and not just hearers of it.

How does it apply here?

Sin leads to death.

10

But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

Whoever hates [does not love] his brother is in the darkness [of sin] and is walking in sin, not knowing where he is going since the sin has blinded his sight.

The Apostle John is writing to Christians to remain steadfast.  After reminding them that they are “not of this world”, he calls to their attention those that are personally antagonistic to Jesus (“antichrist”) and His teaching.  He marks those false teachers and implores his “children” to “let what you heard from the beginning abide in you” (vs 24).

How does it apply here?

Sin, and continuing in it, can blind us from knowing the path of truth (“walking in the light” vs10).

11

No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God.
Nobody that is born of God makes a practice sinning, because God’s seed abides in him since he’s been born again, therefore he cannot continue in sin.

John is stating the case for fellow believers to continue in the love of God, here reminding them of the contrast between those that practice sin (e.g. “lawlessness” vs 4) and those that have accepted Jesus and been cleansed of their sin.

How does it apply here?

If one has truly been born again, they will not make a practice of sinning.

12

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The payment for sin is spiritual death, opposed to the free gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord offered by God.

Paul is making the broader point of the richness and fullness of God’s grace toward sinful man (chap 5) before turning to man’s response (and responsibility) for salvation.  He states the absurdity of continuing “in sin” (vs 1) because they killed off their old self through baptism (vs 3), and uses the very real master/slave (“human terms” as Paul puts it in vs 19) relationship to illustrate.
How does it apply here?

The result of sin is death, specifically, spiritual death.

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