The Specific Character of the Christian’s Sin -- By: Lewis Sperry Chafer

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 150:599 (Jul 1993)
Article: The Specific Character of the Christian’s Sin
Author: Lewis Sperry Chafer


The Specific Character of the Christian’s Sin

Lewis Sperry Chafer

[This article, written by the seventh editor of Bibliotheca Sacra, was published in October 1935. Lewis Sperry Chafer was the founder and first president of Dallas Theological Seminary and was editor of Bibliotheca Sacra from 1940 to 1952. This article is reproduced here without editing in recognition of Bibliotheca Sacras sesquicentennial anniversary.]

No division of the Biblical Doctrine of Sin is more extensive or vitally important than that which contemplates the Christian’s sin; yet, it will be observed, Systematic Theology, as set forth in its written standard works and as taught in seminaries generally, does not recognize this feature of the doctrine. The loss to the theological student is beyond calculation, for when graduated and ordained to the ministry of God’s Word he is at once constituted a doctor of souls and the majority of those to whom he ministers will be Christians who are suffering from some spiritual injury which sin has inflicted upon them. Indeed, what Christian, waging, as all Christians do, a simultaneous battle on three fronts—the world, the flesh, and the devil—is not often, if not almost constantly, in a state of spiritual injury? The soul doctor himself does not escape this conflict and sad indeed is his plight if he is so ignorant of the essential truths regarding the Christian’s sin and its divinely provided cure that he cannot diagnose even his own case or apply the healing to his own stricken heart! Though the pastor is a doctor of souls, his first responsibility to others is so to teach the members of his flock with regard to the whole subject of sin as related to the Christian that they may themselves be able to diagnose their own troubles and apply intelligently to their own hearts the divine cure. The Bible proposes no intermeddling human priest or Romish confessional for the child of God. It does propose an instructed pastor and teacher and a worthy ministry on his part in that field of truth which concerns the spiritual progress, power, prayer, and potency of those of God’s redeemed ones who are committed to his spiritual care. The blight

of sin upon Christian experience and service is tragic indeed; but how much more so when pastor and people alike are ignorant as to the most elementary features of the well-defined and divinely revealed steps to be taken in its cure by the Christians who are injured by sin.

1. The Christian’s Sin.

Because of its unlikeness to God, sin is always equally sinful and condemnable whether it be committed by the saved or the unsaved; nor is there aught provided in either case for its cure other than...

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