The Doctrine of Sin Part 6 -- By: Lewis Sperry Chafer

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 093:370 (Apr 1936)
Article: The Doctrine of Sin Part 6
Author: Lewis Sperry Chafer


The Doctrine of Sin
Part 6

Lewis Sperry Chafer

[Author’s Note: This installment, which is the second section of the fifth and last main division 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); II, “The First Sin on Earth and its Effect” (Ibid., January, 1935); III, “Man’s Present Estate as a Sinner” (Ibid., April, 1935); IV, “The Specific Character of the Christian’s Sin” (Ibid., October, 1935). These articles aim at a practical, Biblical treatment of the Doctrine of Sin rather than its philosophical and metaphysical aspects.-L.S.C.]

V. The Divine Remedy for All Sin

[This, the final division of this discussion, is appearing in three sections-(1) The preceding article, embracing: (a) “The Divine Cure for the Sin of the Angels,” (b) “The Divine Cure for Imputed Sin,” and (c) “The Divine Cure for the Sin Nature” (Ibid., January, 1936); (2) the present article, embracing: (a) “The Divine Cure for Personal Sins,” (b) “The Divine Cure for Man’s Present Estate Under Sin,” and (c) “The Divine Cure for the Christian’s Sin”; and (3) the following article, embracing: “The Final Triumph of God Over All Sin” (Ibid., July, 1936).]

4. The Divine Cure for Personal Sin

In a previous article the specific character of personal sin has been presented, and it was there pointed out that personal sin of whatever form is only the legitimate fruitage of the sin nature. However, the divine cure for personal sin, it should be observed, is of a wholly different character than the divine cure for the sin nature. Being by birth a partaker of the sin nature, there is no personal guilt charged against the individual because of that nature; though there is condemnation on the ground of the inherent unlikeness of that nature to God. On the other hand, both guilt and condemnation are attributed to the individual because of personal sin. The divine cure for personal sin is two-fold, namely, (a) forgiveness, and (b) justification.

a. Forgiveness

Before approaching the doctrine of the forgiveness of personal sin, two erroneous impressions, quite common indeed, may well be pointed out-one of which has to do directly with this subject: (1) In their treatment of the whole doctrine of sin, theological writers have too often restricted their discussion to the one theme of personal sin, which misleading practice has imposed incalculable limitations on the doctrine as a whole. (2) It is by many assumed that the forgiveness of personal sin is the equivalent of personal salvation. To such persons, a Christian is no more than a forgiven sinner. Whereas, o...

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