The Doctrine of Sin Part 4 -- By: Lewis Sperry Chafer

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 092:368 (Oct 1935)
Article: The Doctrine of Sin Part 4
Author: Lewis Sperry Chafer

The Doctrine of Sin
Part 4

Lewis Sperry Chafer

[Author’s Note: This installment, the fourth 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), and is to be followed by 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.]

The Specific Character of the Christian’s Sin Embracing (1) The Christian’s Sin; (2) The Nature of the conflict; (3) The Three-fold Prevention; and (4) The Two Spheres of Effect of the Christian’s Sin.

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 feature...

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