A great misunderstanding I have found in the church concerns sin. Many churches do in fact teach on sin but few if any ever fully describe the three types. Do you know that all sickness and disease is caused by sin? Do you realize that every time your tires wear out on your car or your refrigerator stops working that sin is to blame? No, these things are not related to the sins we commit, yet they are in fact caused by sin. Sin has three types:
The first type is acts of sin that we commit and is the most notorious as it is mentioned from pulpits every Sunday. Unfortunately, this type is misunderstood. Acts of sin affect us in this life by preventing us from achieving prosperity, but they will not affect us in eternity. Do you know someone that lies or curses profusely? He or she tries to stop but cannot. This is because the act is a manifestation of an inner problem known as the sin nature that he or she refuses to address. Our only solution for this type of sin is this:
- If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:9-10)
The second type of sin is the sin that dwells within every one of us. It is usually referred to as the sin nature and was given to each one of us at birth. The first man, Adam, sinned, and since every child we produce is a copy of the parents (it is called genetics), everyone is born in sin.
- Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (Romans 5:12)
Have you ever wondered why babies lie to and fight each other? The answer to this question is no one (Note: read my article on Original Sin), for they are merely acting out of their nature. Here is how one person stated it:
- For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. (Romans 7:15-20)