Prov. 28:13. Whosoever confesseth his sin and forsaketh them, shall have mercy.
Rom. 5:12. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for all have sinned. Read also 13,14.
Rom. 5:18 By the offence of one, judgement came upon all men to condemnation.
You have heard the saying: "We are not sinners because we sin. We sin because we are sinners" ? Once the truth of those two sentences is understood you will realize the principal of sin. 1 Cor.15:56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.
You and I are sinners because we are descendants of Adam. When Adam sinned he broke a direct command of God and the penalty for that is death. Gen.2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Nevertheless it says in Rom.5:14 death reigned from Adam to Moses. Death came upon those who had not sinned like Adam did. They still died also. Why, because we inherited the sin nature from Adam which puts us in the same class as Adam. We are sinners. The principal of sin may be explained by the comparison of a watchmaker and his clock. I am thinking of old fashioned Alarm Clocks.
The clock is the creation of its maker, and in itself it is a useless piece of metal. Neither can it do anything for itself. An Alarm-clock needs outside help to do its proper function. Unless you wind it up it is of no use or value. God made man like a clock. God made man to be dependent on his creator. Man independent of his maker is like an alarm-clock that is not wound up. Man independent of his maker is Sin. Adam, in that sense was like a clock that was wound up till the day he sinned, the spring busted and all the inner workings came to a full stop. Man in his unregenerate state is like a clock that hasn’t been wound up. Not until he is born again, then he is regenerated by the Holy Spirit. He is wound up again so to speak, and he is being kept wound up. That we should not trust, should not depend in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead. 2Cor.1:9.
The man in the likeness of Adam is called the Old Man. Rom.6:6 Knowing this, that our Old Man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. Eph.4:22 speaks of the Old Man, "That ye put off concerning the former manner of life, the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts. Coll.3:9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the Old Man with his deeds. The man or woman in the likeness of Adam is called the Old Man. That is everyone’s position before he is saved. He or she is a sinner by nature, and because you are a sinner by nature when temptation offers to do evil or just to live without God seems to be just what I want. When sin presents itself there is no resistance. He can not help himself. Not until he is awakened by the Holy Spirit, do we see sin for what it really is. The Holy Spirit has come to reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgement. John 16:8. Better still, when we are saved, we receive a New Nature, one that is without sin. This new nature the Bible calls the New Man. Eph.4:24 that ye put on the New Man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Col.3:10 And have put on the New Man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him. You see that - not in the likeness of Adam - no, in the IMAGE OF GOD.
And this is where all the confusion starts. What people and Christians alike don’t realize is that the Saved Man has Two Natures. The old one is according to the flesh, and the new one is by the Holy Spirit. The two natures fight each other. There is a war going on between the two. Gal. 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. A Christian may stumble and fall, but he will still go to heaven. but the unsaved, he too stumbles and will fall, yet he will fall straight into the pit. We are exhorted to put on the New Man, that the unsaved may see the difference, and that we may bring honour to our Saviour.
So we are born into this world as sinners by nature, and because we are sinners by nature, the sin principal works in us to do our own thing, independent, without God. That is why we are without hope and without God in this world before we are saved. As we read in Romans 5:18 As by the offence of one judgement came upon all men to condemnation, even so by the righteousness of one, (ONE ACT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS ON THE CROSS) the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
In the whole of Romans chapter 5 which deals with the sin principal it always calls it sin. As for by one man sin entered into the world..... notice there is a difference between Sin as a principal and Sins which speak of personal transgression or breaking of the law.
When looking at Sins, personal sins, there is something else to take into account. Take Achan as an example. Joshua 6:19 God’s command. Josh.7:1. The anger of the Lord - against who ? Achan - no, all of Israel. The result of Achan’s sin in relation to Israel - verse 5. The men of Ai smote them. It affected the whole nation. The result of his sin for himself for stealing from God 7:11, was that he was stoned and burned, and his sons and daughters, and his oxen, and asses, sheep, tent all he had. I wonder if you have ever considered what effect your personal sins have to your local church. When you compare Achan with Israel and you with your local church. The New Test. command is, let him that stole, steal no more, --- money, time, remember he that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. As for a New Testament example in line with Achen for the Old we may check with Annanias and Saphira also what God thinks of personal sins. All of you would probably agree with me that Annanias and Saphira were bad guys, and that is why they died instantly. But that is not true. Annanias was not a bad man, he was a good man. In his enthusiasm and zeal he sold his land and property that he might give to the common cause and fund. But the suggestion came to use some for his own use, nothing wrong with that either, Peter says so, it was his to dispose of however he wished. He acted as if he had given all to, the Lot, to the common fund and so did his wife. Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. There would be few people found these days that would compare with the zeal and unselfishness of Annanias and his wife. The moral in Annanias’s story is not the wickedness of man but the holiness and severity of God and the subtlety of temptation. If God would deal with us like that today we would have trouble to bury so many people. Yet believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes, both of men and women. Yes, the Annaniases and Saphiras are still in the churches today and most of times are held in high esteem.
Today when god deals with the sins of a Christian he first deals with him as a Father would with his son. Heb.12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons. Therefore we read in 1John1:9 If we confess our sins, (personal ) he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1John2:12 "I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.
To get it all into perspective look to the Saviour when He made Atonement for sin on the cross, - then you will know the awfulness and consequence that sin brings forth.