Copyright Rev. Stanley L. Derickson Ph.D. 1992



PERSONAL SIN - or should I say your sin? I don't sin - RIGHT? WRONG! We all, regrettably, sin.

We want to study the sin of man as he as a person relates to what he is doing - not your, or my personal sin - even though we are studying just that.

We need to understand that sin always has an effect. That effect may become visible to others, or may just become a part of our inner life. Let us consider the personal sin's of some people and consider the effects of that sin.

a. Adam Death, sin nature etc.

b. Cain Abel died

c. Acan Israel defeated

d. Hitler Nations disturbed - many died

e. A pastor Reflects on the church - may hurt the family

f. Parishioner May reflect on the church - may affect the family

What is meant by "personal sin"? Sin committed by a person. Simple isn't it!

When we confess our personal sin, is that all that is in view? Personal sin quite often is the fruit of a larger root of trouble. If you find you are confessing more and more, you should probably think deeper and find out why you are sinning more and more. Obviously you aren't as close to the Lord as you should be. Why?


There are some theories of the origin of sin that we need to mention.

Theory of necessity: This theory would suggest that because of man's being created "inferior," he by necessity of that inferiority, will sin. God has no authority over the situation. He only created man and the inferior being sinned.

Hodge quotes Leibnitz, "these are the two points to be established. First, sin is unavoidable; and secondly, that it is not due to the agency of God. It is unavoidable, because it arises out of the necessary limitation of the creature. The creature cannot be absolutely perfect." (Hodge, Charles; Gross, Edward N. Ed.; "SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY"; Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1988, p 134-135)

Theory of the Manichaean philosophy of duality: A man by the name of Mani was born around AD 215. He believed in two deities - one good guy and one bad guy. He divided everything into this dualism.

LIGHT                DARK
SOUL                 BODY
GOOD                 EVIL


There is definitely no foundation for this theory in the Scriptures.

Theory that God is the author of sin: Since He is a holy God, this line of thinking is undesirable, and illogical.

Theory of sin arising from misuse of moral freedom: The sin of Adam arose out of his free choice. He was free to do as he pleased and he abused that freedom. Likewise Satan abused his freedom to choose.

In short, man was given free choice in his living. He chose to abuse that freedom and thus sinned. God did not author it, nor did He create it - He only allowed it.

Do Christians ever misuse their moral freedoms? Obviously. We all sin. We all misuse what God has allowed us. WE ARE FREE TO LIE, OR TELL THE TRUTH. WE ARE FREE TO CHEAT, OR NOT TO CHEAT. WE ARE FREE TO SPEED, OR NOT TO SPEED. WE ARE FREE TO COMMIT ADULTERY, OR NOT COMMIT ADULTERY.

Why do we as Christians misuse our moral freedoms at times? Did the devil make me do it? Do we do it because we want to?

Some might suggest that we can't, not sin, due to the old nature. We will consider the old nature in further studies, but let is suffice at this point to say that God has provided all that is needed for us NOT TO SIN. We do not have to sin, we do it because we choose to. We do it because we mentally make a choice to disobey.

Andy Rooney on one of his commentaries gave a perfect report on this in 1987. He related how the criminal isn't at fault - that the environment is the cause of all the troubles. He spent quite a length of time passing the buck - no one is responsible for anything in our society today. He ended with - some won't like what I've said today but that's all right - it's not my fault - the devil made me do it! (A ruff quote.)

When we sin, at times we are in times of great pressure. It may be very hard to say no, but that is just what God asks that we do. SAY NO TO THE TEMPTATION!

When in television repair work I made a change in circuitry on a television set at the customers request. I had missed one wire that I could not see - The mistake ruined the picture tube. I told the boss of my goof. He said call the customer and tell him that we were hung up on parts and that it would be a few days. That way we could get a new picture tube and put it in and not tell the customer what had happened. I had just cost my boss $150 and he asked me to lie to a customer. BELIEVE ME I WAS TEMPTED TO TELL THAT LITTLE SMALL ITSE BITSE TEENY WEENY ALMOST NOT A LIE, LIE.

I with much fear ask the boss if it might not be better to tell the customer the truth - that I had goofed and that we wanted to make it right. He agreed, so I called the customer. The customer was very appreciative of our honesty.

God is not the author of sin, nor is He the creator of sin. He allowed sin to come along, and He now allows sin to continue. He will, however see to it that sin stops, and that evil is finally and eternally contained in the lake of fire!

Chafer goes on to suggest three distinct beginnings of sin. I will list them for your further thought. Eternal anticipation in the foreknowledge of God. Its concrete enactment in heaven by an unfallen angel. Its concrete enactment on earth by an unfallen human being.

He also goes on to state that God foreknew sin and that by the creation of angels and men He allowed the possibility of it to come into existence. This is a valid concept, based on Rev. 13:8. The verse mentions, "And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." To plan from the foundation of the world for redemption, God had to have had foreknowledge of the need for redemption, thus He had to have foreknown evil and sin.

Does sin hurt God? Certainly. It is a disregard for His rights to rule and expect obedience. It is the breaking of His law, which is an afront to Him. It also caused damage to His property, the creation.

If Satan sinned first, and set his own fate, what was Satan's purpose in tempting Adam and Eve? Along with the fact that he was rejecting God and His authority over him, he was attempting to begin to set up his "world system." He could not do this until Adam and Eve fell, for he desired to control the world, and God told Adam that he would have dominion over it.

Chafer mentions three major proofs of the awful sinfulness of PERSONAL sin. More to the point these show the awful penalty for that sinfulness.

a. ANGELIC PROOF: Jude six mentions the fallen angels and their wait for final judgment. This judgment speaks to the sin of their past. Rev. 12:9 mentions that the fallen angelic host was cast out with the Devil due to their sin.

b. HUMAN PROOF: Rom. 5:12 depicts Adams sin being passed on to all of mankind. His one personal sin had far reaching ramifications for everyone. Rom. 5:19 is the good news - Christ will set things right. "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous."

c. DIVINE PROOF: God's estimation is that sin is terrible. It caused man's fall, and caused the death of His Son. Rom. 5:15,19 mention that by one we are dead and that one being Adam, and by one we are made alive and that one being Christ. The result of Adam's one sin was the total depravity of all of mankind. The reason for that one sin was to be independent of God, or to act independently. His sin was an act of the will, as is every single one of our own sins. We consider and chose to do those things that we ought not do.

By allowing the Spirit to control our lives we need not consider these wrong things for we will be considering God's "right" things.

We talk of the sin nature, that nature of man that moves him toward evil. It is always evil, whether it is active or not. It is always sinful. It is by nature sinful.

Any personal sin affects God in two ways. It is a sin against Him personally, and it is a sin against His commands. It is bad enough that we disobey what He says, but to cause offense to Him personally is much worse.

When I was a teenager, I received a traffic ticket or two. Breaking the law was breaking my father's wishes, for he was the County Treasurer, and he had to keep a good image before the community. When I broke the speed limit, I knew I was going against what he wanted. When I was caught, I still wasn't too concerned about the fact that I had broken his wishes. When he found out about what I had done - THAT WAS VERY HURTFUL TO ME, FOR I KNEW THAT I HAD HURT HIM DEEPLY.

May we consider our own personal sin? Breaking that little tenny weenny speed limit doesn't bother you, EXCEPT THAT IT BOTHERS YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER!

Sin always has a price. That price costs us, and it costs God. The price of salvation and forgiveness was very great for God. It was the price of sending His Son to the cross. The price had to be met, because if God had overlooked sin, He would have been disregarding His own holy character.


Sin will be judged according to His holy character. No matter how small, no matter how innocent, no matter how insignificant the sin, it will be set beside His Holy Character for comparison, and if it does not compare, AND NOT ONE WILL, it will be judged.

Judgment in reference to the lost: They will receive a variety of punishment, yet it is all torment, and separation for eternity from God based on their life.

Judgment in reference to the saved: They will receive, or not receive reward, based on their life and works. Sin will not be an issue for the redeemed, for Christ has cared for all of our sins. There is the possibility that we will be held accountable for those sins that we have not confessed. In the person that has not been walking with the Lord, there would be a large backlog of sin that would need to be considered. Just how this is cared for we aren't told.


1. God uses the term, "I will" in relation to his promises to man in the Scripture. It should be of significance to us to consider the statements of Lucifer when he decided to take a dive into sin. (Isa 14:12ff)

"I will ascend into heaven."

"I will exalt my throne above the stars of God"

"I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation"

"I will ascend above the heights of the clouds"

"I will be like the most high"

Are there any areas of your own life in which the "I will's" are coming from your direction rather than God's? I trust that the only "I will"s" that are in your life are those you read in God's promises to you, and your response to them!

2. Do you see the minimizing of sin in our own day? HOW? Do you hear things like: We all sin. We all have our problems. If you feel it is okay then you can do it. Well if he does it now and then, it must be okay.

The ease of I Jn. 1:9 tends to minimize our view of sin! The context of this verse is five chapters of HOLY living! When you tumble into one sin then I Jn. 1:9 is an easy step back to the Lord. In a society that does not consider HOLY LIVING as a high priority, we need to get serious before looking to the promise of I Jn. 1:9

With our lowered view of sin it is not surprising that we see Christian business men living by the ethics of the world in their businesses.

We need God's view of sin! When we sin we are an afront to God! WE BECOME TOTALLY UNLIKE HIM! How does that relate to our being conformed to the image of Christ? In essence when we sin we are shaking our fist in His face and telling Him to get lost!

It is only grace that moves Him to continue to put up with our ungodly cycle of, sin - I Jn 1:9 - sin - I Jn 1:9 - sin - I Jn 1:9 - sin.

3. I trust that you will consider your own lifestyle of HOLINESS VS. SIN, and go before the Lord to see if there are any changes that you need to make.

4. Consider the terms that the Word uses for sin, and see if you don't obtain a better picture of what it really is. Trespass, transgression, evil, defeat, ignorance, lawlessness, disobedience, ungodliness, unrighteousness.

5. I read something once concerning sin, and I would like to adapt the thought for our conclusion. Concerning sin:

We call it an accident - He calls it an abomination.

We call it a blunder - He calls it blindness.

We call it a chance - He calls it a choice.

We call it a defect - He calls it a disease.

We call it an error - He calls it enmity.

We call it fascination - He calls it fatality.

We call it luxury - He calls it leprosy.

We call it liberty - He calls it lawlessness.

We call it a trifle - He calls it tragedy.

We call it a mistake - He calls it madness.

We call it a weakness - He calls it willfulness.