SIN IS THE GREATEST PROBLEM FACING HUMANITY
Sin has caused wars between nations, conflict between individuals and groups, fear and anxiety, illness and death, and all kinds of natural and human-influenced disasters.
In the Bible, the beginning chapters of the book of Genesis report that the curse of sin after the Fall of Adam and Eve disrupted three basic relationships. First, men and women were separated from God when they became subject to spiritual death (Genesis 3:6-13). Second, they became at odds with nature. From then on it would resist their efforts to cultivate and control it (Genesis 3:17-19). Third, people were separated from each other as sin brought envy and conflict into the world.
Everyone who dies, no matter from what cause, dies as a victim of sin. Romans 6:23 says, "The wages of sin is death." Every human being is subject to the fearful power of sin.
THE DEFINITION AND CHARACTERISTICS OF SIN
The definition of sin is simple: "sin is lawlessness"
(1 John 3:4). Practicing sin is living as if there were no God and no law. It is arrogantly living on one's own terms, not being bound by God's standards. Sin is not only open disregard of God's Law, but also a defiling or polluting of the divine standard. Sin makes a person's soul stained with guilt and unrighteousness.
Sin is rebellion against God. Scripture describes those who rebel as people who walk contrary to God and defy Him (Leviticus 26:27). If sinners had their way, they would go as far as overthrowing God, which is what Satan attempted to do (Isaiah 14:12-21).
Sin causes multitudes of people to live each day in absolute ingratitude, despite the fact that God created them to praise and glorify Him forever--a loftier purpose than they could ever imagine on their own. All people owe their very existence and all that they have to God. Acts 17:28 says, "For 'In him we live and move and have our being' . . . 'For we are indeed his offspring.'"
THE EXTENT OF SIN
The book of Romans clearly states that sin's extent is universal: "'None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside, together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one'" (Romans 3:10-12).
When we enter this world, we are already sinners. Sin is in our natures, woven into the fabric of our lives. That's because we are all descendants of Adam, and as such, we all bear his corruption.
As if it weren't bad enough that humanity's fall into sin subjected the whole creation to many miseries and hardships (Genesis 3:8-24; Romans 8:18-22), the most devastating result of sin is that it has the power to condemn the soul to eternal punishment and separation from God in hell.
With sin, humanity has a horrible, pervasive, incurable spiritual disease that cannot be defeated by human means (Jeremiah 13:23). Men and women in their own strength cannot cure the sin that is within them because their minds and consciences are defiled and depraved. There is simply no human remedy for the problem of sin. It will not be cured by any acts of human will, any programs of moral reformation or educational renewal, no pieces of legislation, no efforts of man-made counseling and consultation, nor any deeds of self-righteousness.
GOOD NEWS: THE SOLUTION
But if humans can't cure themselves of sin, what can they do about it? The answer is found in Romans 6:23: "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
The apostle Paul expresses two absolute truths in that verse. First, he reminds us that spiritual death results from sin. It is the rightful destiny of every life that is lived apart from God. Second, the verse tells in one concise statement the remedy for sin's effects-- salvation freely granted through Jesus Christ. Paul writes in the book of Ephesians: "For by grace you have been saved through faith.