The Doctrine of Sin Part 2 -- By: Lewis Sperry Chafer

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 092:365 (Jan 1935)
Article: The Doctrine of Sin Part 2
Author: Lewis Sperry Chafer


The Doctrine of Sin
Part 2

Lewis Sperry Chafer

[Author’s Note: This installment, the second of a series of discussions on the Doctrine of Sin, has been preceded by I, “The First Sin in Heaven and its Effect” (Bibliotheca Sacra, October, 1934), and is to be followed by III, “Man’s Present Estate as a Sinner”; IV, “The Specific Character of the Christian’s Sin”; and V, “The Divine Remedy for All Sin.”
These articles aim at a practical, Biblical treatment of the Doctrine of Sin rather than its philosophical and metaphysical aspects-L.S.C.]

II. The First Sin on Earth and its Effect
Embracing (1) The Origin of Human Sin; (2) The Beginning, Constitution, and Character of the First Human Sinner; (3) The Scope and Nature of the First Human Sin; (4) The Effect of the First Human Sin upon the One Who Sinned; and (5) The Effect of the First Human Sin upon the Race.

Should an error be adopted as the major premise in a sequence of closely related themes, there is little hope that the entire succession of thought would not be characterized by deviation from, if not contradiction of, the truth. There is scarcely another phase of divine revelation which is more germane to the right understanding of all doctrine than that of Sin. Practically all heretical systems of thought base themselves upon misconceptions of sin, and these must, therefore, of necessity be saturated with error. An attempt to enumerate in full these misconceptions would be inconsistent with the purpose of this thesis. However, in this connection it may be observed that to underestimate the true character of sin is (1) to disregard the explicit terms employed in the Bible to set forth the exceeding sinfulness of sin, thus causing God to seem to be untruthful; (2) to contradict, to a greater or less degree, the holy character of God; (3) to

vitiate even the right conception of human guilt; (4) to disregard the sanctity and authority of the Word of God; (5) to cause the unavoidable divine reprobation of sin to seem to be an extreme and unwarrantable judgment; (6) to render the great facts of redemption, reconciliation, and propitiation to appear to be uncalled for; and (7) to dismiss from consideration the only sufficient reason for the death of Christ.

It is true, as before stated, that sin is sinful because of the fact that it is unlike to God, and that a thing which is evil will be demonstrated to be such when compared with the holy character of God. It is equally true that sin calls for judgment because it is an outrage against the Person and law of God; and, since God is infinite and His goodness unbounded, sin is infinite and its evil character is beyond all human computation. Sin inflicts ...

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