Throughout the history of the Christian church, men have endeavored to record the core fundamental beliefs of their faith. Through creeds, catechisms, and other writings, they have sought to summarize and memorialize their beliefs and convictions. I am not a theologian…just a simple sinner saved by the grace of Almighty God. That said, as Christians we are all members of a royal priesthood, and I believe that it is important to know what we believe and to be able to state it clearly for others. As a father and a worker in Children’s Ministry, I have found that this is especially important in order to be able to answer questions raised by kids with clear, concise, and generally brief answers.
So, I decided a useful exercise would be to begin to record my Christian beliefs in short concise statements (I hope). I do not intend for these to represent my own personal systematic theology or to cover all aspects of the Christian faith. It is not my intent to expand on the why of my beliefs, but simply to list what my beliefs are. I also don’t have a plan for how frequently I might put one of these entries together. Instead they will represent my feeble attempt to respond to the prompting of the Holy Spirit think a little more deeply about what I believe about selected doctrines and issues. That said, I want these entries to represent what I believe and not just what “I feel.” The heart is, after all, “deceitful above all things.” So, I will endeavor to include scripture references wherever possible. I think of it as a cheat sheet for what I believe.
So, that is WHAT I am doing. The next logical question is, WHY am I recording them here on my blog. There are actually three reasons,
- Why not? I’ll already have them written down.
- I hope in some small way that they may help someone to clarify their own beliefs.
- I am hoping that the readers of this blog can help me out. I am not a trained theologian. I’ve never been to seminary. The closest I’ve ever come to a class on Systematic Theology is that I own Wayne Grudem’s book. I read my Bible, but I don’t consider myself a scholar. If I miss something or misstate something, I hope that someone will point it out!
I’ve decided to start with my beliefs on the issue of sin. There have been a lot in the news stories recently where people have been ridiculed, lambasted or otherwise ridiculed for their beliefs on particular sins (be that abortion, homosexuality, marriage, divorce, or anything else). Rather than addressing each sin individually, it seemed like a good time to step back and examine my beliefs on sin in general.
Here’s what I believe:
What is Sin?
- Sin is anything contrary to the will of God. [Joshua 1:18, Psalm 66:18, Isaiah 59:2, 1 John 5:17]
- Sin is of the Devil. [John 8:44, 1 John 3:8-9]
Where did sin come from/who sins?
- God created the world without sin. [Genesis 1:10, Genesis 1:12, Genesis 1:18, Genesis 1:21, Genesis 1:25]
- Sin entered the world through one man. [Genesis 3:6-7, Romans 5:12]
- We are conceived and born in sin. [Job 15:14, Job 25:4, Psalm 51:5, Psalm 58:3]
- Everybody sins. [1 Kings 8:46, Psalm 14:1-3, Psalm 53:1-3, Psalm 143:2, Ecclesiastes 7:20, Romans 3:9-12, Romans 3:23, James 3:2, 1 John 1:8-10]
Who do we sin against?
What is God’s response to Sin?
- God is without sin. [Deuteronomy 32:4]
- There is no sin in heaven. [Revelation 22:3-4]
- God hates sin. [Deuteronomy 25:16, Psalm 5:4-6, Psalm 11:5, Proverbs 3:32, Proverbs 6:16-19, Proverbs 11:20, Proverbs 15:26, Luke 16:15]
- Sin brings the wrath of God. [Matthew 5:27-28]
- We will be called to give an account to God of our sins. [2 Corinthians 5:10]
- God knows our sin, and it will be exposed. [Psalm 44:21, Psalm 90:8, Isaiah 29:15, Isaiah 59:6, Matthew 10:26, Luke 8:17, Luke 12:2-3, 1 Timothy 5:24, James 3:20]
- God will judge our sins. [Ecclesiastes 12:14, Romans 2:16, Revelation 2:23]
- Man cannot cleanse himself of sin. [Job 9:30-31, Proverbs 20:9, Jeremiah 2:22]
What is the outcome/penalty for Sin?
- Sin separates us from God eternally. [Matthew 7:21-23, Matthew 25:11, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Galatians 5:19-21, Ephesians 5:5, Hebrews 12:14, Revelation 21:27]
- Jesus is the only man to ever live who never sinned. [Isaiah 53:4-5, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Hebrews 4:15, Hebrews 7:26, 1 John 3:5]
- The penalty for sin is death. [Genesis 2:17, Exodus 32:33, Ezekiel 18:4, Romans 1:32, Romans 6:23, 1 Corinthians 15:56, Ephesians 2:1, James 1:15]
What is the solution to our sin problem?
- Man is incapable of fixing his own sin problem. [Job 9:30-31, Proverbs 20:9, Jeremiah 2:22]
- Only God can forgive sin. [Exodus 34:7, Daniel 9:9, Micah 7:18, Mark 2:7]
- Christ died on the cross to pay the cost of my sin. [Isaiah 1:18, Matthew 26:28, John 1:29, Romans 3:25, Ephesians 1:7, Hebrews 2:17, Hebrews 9:14, 1 Peter 2:24, 1 John 1:7, 1 John 1:9, 1 John 2:2, 1 John 3:5, 1 John 4:10]
- Man’s sin is imputed to Christ. [2 Corinthians 5:19, 1 Peter 2:24]
- God forgives our sins for his name’s sake. [1 John 2:12]
What are the characteristics of sin?
- Sin includes both actions and attitude. [Exodus 20:17, Colossians 3:5-6, Hebrews 13:5]
- Condoning sin in others is a sin. [Romans 1:32]
- Sins of omission are as bad as sins of commission. [James 4:17]
- Sin comes from the heart. [Proverbs 4:23, Jeremiah 17:9, Matthew 15:19, Luke 6:45]
- Anything that does not come from faith is sin. [Romans 14:23]
- Sin is foolish. [Proverbs 24:9]
- Sin deceives us. [Hebrews 3:13]
What are the effects of sin?
- Sin makes us slaves to sin. [John 8:34, Romans 6:12-17]
- Sin has a cumulative effect. Left unchecked it will continue to grow. [Deuteronomy 29:19, Jeremiah 9:3, Hosea 13:2, 2 Timothy 3:13]
- Sin causes suffering. [Deuteronomy 31:17-18, Psalm 38:3, James 1:14-15]
Do Christians Sin?
- Christians still sin but are no longer slaves to sin. [Romans 6:18, Romans 6:21, Romans 7:17, Romans 7:23, 1 John 3:9]
- Christians who sin damage their fellowship with God. [Ephesians 4:30, 2 Corinthians 5:10, 1 John 1:6-7]
- Part of Christian life is setting aside sin. [Hebrews 12:1]
How do we combat / react to our sin?
- Knowledge of God’s Word helps to prevent sin. [Psalm 17:4, Psalm 119:11]
- Sin must be confessed. [Psalm 32:5, Proverbs 28:3, James 5:16, 1 John 1:9-10]
- We should not deny our sin. [1 John 1:10]
- We should pray about our sin. [Job 13:23, Psalm 19:3, Psalm 51:2, Psalm 139:23-24, Matthew 6:13, Luke 11:4]