The Doctrine of Sin Part 1 -- By: Lewis Sperry Chafer

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 091:364 (Oct 1934)
Article: The Doctrine of Sin Part 1
Author: Lewis Sperry Chafer


The Doctrine of Sin
Part 1

Lewis Sperry Chafer

[Author’s Note: This installment, the first of a series of discussions on the general theme of Sin, is to be followed in this quarterly by subsequent articles, namely: (II) The First Sin on Earth and its Effect; (III) Man’s Present Estate as a Sinner; (IV) The Specific Character of the Christian’s Sin; (V) The Divine Remedy for all Sin.
Since much of what has been written on this subject by others has followed the philosophical and metaphysical aspects of the theme, this presentation aims to be a simplified, practical, and Biblical treatment of the doctrine itself.-L.S.C.]

I.
Embracing (1) The Essential Nature of Sin; (2) The Origin of Sin; (3) The Divine Permission of Sin; (4) The First Sin in Heaven.

How vast is the sum total of the spiritual shadows of this universe-those in heaven and those on earth! The extent and character of the shadows will be computed only when He whose standards and valuations are infinite shall have completed all that He has decreed. These issues are immeasurable-immeasurable as to quantity indeed, but even more immeasurable as to their hideous character; for sin is credited with having caused infinite tragedy both in heaven and on earth. But, beyond all this, sin must be identified as that which occasioned the greatest divine sacrifice and necessitated the payment of a ransom on no less terms than the lifeblood of the Son of God. Any human attempts to contemplate a theme so boundless will be restricted, on the one hand, to the only source of authoritative information-the Word of God-; and expanded, on the other hand, by so much as it may please God to enlighten the mind. At best man will but feebly react to the divine estimation of sin, and yet more hopeless must he be in

his appreciation of the problem of its presence in the universe, which universe is designed, created, executed, and consummated according to the free and sovereign will of the One who acts ever and only in the sphere of that which is infinitely holy.

At the opening of his treatise on the Christian Doctrine of Sin, Dr. Julius Müller writes the following (as translated from the German by William Urwick) on the dark character of sin in this human sphere and the importance of knowing the revelation God has made: “It requires no special profundity of reflection but only a moderate degree of moral earnestness to prompt us thoughtfully to pause before ONE GREAT PHENOMENON of human life, and ever and anon to turn towards it a scrutinizing look. I refer to the phenomenon of EVIL; the presence of an element of disturbance and discord in a sphere where the demand for harmony and unity is felt with peculiar emphasIsa It meets us a...

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