The Sinfulness of Sin

Ligonier Ministries | 5/14/2019 | Staff
Night987 (Posted by) Level 3
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“Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.”

The Apostle Paul utters a scathing indictment of humanity in Romans 1:18–3:20, telling us that we are so radically corrupt that sin affects not only our behaviors but also our very thinking. It is not that we are sinners because we sin—we do not start life as basically neutral or basically good and then through a series of bad choices and misdeeds make ourselves corrupt. Instead, we sin because we are sinners—our corruption precedes our actions. Since the fall of Adam, all people born in Adam are born guilty of his sin and with a nature inclined to disobedience to the Lord (Rom. 5:12–21). As a result, sin is a “normal” part of human life apart from God’s saving grace. All people break the law of God in some capacity, and even at our best, apart from grace all we are capable of is external conformity to the Lord’s commands. Apart from grace, we are never motivated to do what is right out of love for God and a desire to please Him.

Paul - Speaks - Sins - Gentiles - Romans

When Paul speaks of the sins of the gentiles in Romans 1:18–32 (note that in Romans 2, he says Jews are guilty of the same evils), he gives a rather full list, including heinous transgressions such as murder, malice, and hatred of our Creator (1:29–31). As bad as these sins are, Paul does not show the true depth of human depravity until verse 32, when he tells us that although we all know that those who engage in sin impenitently deserve...
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