The Doctrine of Sin Part 3 -- By: Lewis Sperry Chafer

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 092:366 (Apr 1935)
Article: The Doctrine of Sin Part 3
Author: Lewis Sperry Chafer


The Doctrine of Sin
Part 3

Lewis Sperry Chafer

[Author’s Note: This installment, the third 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 II, “The First Sin on Earth and its Effect” (Bibliotheca Sacra, January, 1935), and is to be followed by 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.]

{Editor’s note: Footnotes in the original printed edition were numbered 3–4, but in this electronic edition are numbered 1–2 respectively.}

III. Man’s Present Estate As a Sinner
Embracing (1) Imputed Sin; (2) The Sin Nature; (3) Personal Sins; (4) The State “Under Sin”; (5) The Relation of the Unregenerate to Satan.

The philosophies which man has devised and which acknowledge the existence of God are characterized in the main by their failure to recognize the normal obligation which a creature, by virtue of the fact that he is a creature, sustains to his Creator. In his position and relationships as unfallen and under those conditions which were divinely pronounced to be “very good,” man was blessed with companionship with God and with the privilege of fulfilling the most important place in the earthly plan and purpose of God. While recognizing that He is pursuing the course of His sovereign purpose, it may also be observed that the loss which the fall imposed is far more a loss to God than it is to man; for no estimation is possible as to the divine sacrifice in the fall either in the sphere of companionship or in the realization of the ideal which Adam was first created to fulfill. The race lives on apart from God, and is unconscious of ever having sustained a loss. Man now confirms the suggestion that the less he has of which to boast the more he is

consumed with pride and vainglory. In his utter corruption and emptiness, man abounds in self-satisfaction. Fallen man has no sense of the reality of God, or his obligation to Him, nor any conscious need of God’s care. This darkness of the human mind is universal and its curse extends to earth’s outmost bounds. The Apostle declares concerning the heathen world that “They are without excuse: because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; ...Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever.... They did not like to retain God in their knowledge” (Rom 1:20–2...

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