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Difference Between Sins & Sinfulness

The present analysis is really a cross section of anthropology and psychology. According to a biblical anthropology we are conceived in sinfulness, that is, from conception we have a sinful, innate nature. And according to a biblical psychology we are, as a result, dead in sins and transgressions. One might wonder why then God finds fault with us, but a criminal, like for instance a pederast, who tells a judge that he could not help it, since he was born with a criminal nature, will be condemned out of court. And so we all stand guilty in front of an absolutely holy God.

"Guard your heart more than anything that is to be watched over, for from it are the sources of life."

"Not my will be done..."

"...but Your will be done."

Literal or physical aspect

Intellectual aspect

Emotional aspect

Spiritual aspect

"And Joseph did not know his wife Mary, till Jesus was born." A chaste body

"Be renewed in the spirit of your mind." "Darkened of mind." An enlightened mind

"And he (Jesus) was subject to them (his parents)." An obedient soul

"For the Father also seeks those that worship Him. God is a spirit and those that worship Him, must do so in Spirit and truth." A worshipping spirit


Bent for mysticism


Involved in the occult

Stubbornness, disobedience, rebellion

Wickedness, divination, idolatry

Possessed by demons

As to sinfulness (the nature; also called 'original sin'), we are all equally corrupt. But as to sins (the deeds), there is a question of degrees. This is clearly seen in the Sermon on the Mount, where the Lord gives examples of increasing severity as to anger and name calling. The following schema may serve to show the progressive seriousness of attitudes and conditions we humans may find ourselves in.











The prophet Samuel reproved king Saul with the words: Behold, obedience is better than sacrifice and listening than the fat of rams. For disobedience is like the sin of divination and stubbornness is as wickedness and idolatry. This shows that occult practices and witchcraft are just as bad as a disobedient attitude. Rebellion, in its very character, is satanic. Is it not therefore that the Lord upbraided the Pharisees with the judgment that their father was not Abraham, but the devil!

The paradox is that when you are a slave of Christ, you are free indeed. The truth will set you free. And ultimately the Lord Himself is the truth. To learn the truth and to fight for spiritual freedom, takes a lot of listening and obedience. The Scriptures stand at the center of this. And prayer opens and confirms the Bible and helps you to live it all. But overaccentuating prayer leads to fanaticism and overaccentuating the reading of the Bible leads to Pharisaism. It is a question of balance, as ever.

The sinful and innate nature we are born with, which predisposes us to evil, is so corrupt that God does not fix it, does not make it new or transforms it in any way. Paul: I know that in me, that is in my flesh, there is no good. Therefore the Lord tells Nicodemus that we must be born again. Our uncircumcised hearts must be circumcised. (This was already true in the times of the O.T.) Our stone heart must be exchanged for a heart of flesh. Our filthy rags must be exchanged for clothes no fuller can whiten. When Paul says that there is no good in us, I think he must mean the old Adam in us, that original sinful nature we are born with. When we are born out of God through the Holy Spirit, we have a nature that is good and holy and that cannot sin. True Christians have both this carnal nature and this spiritual nature. I know this sounds schizophrenic and it is...

The wisdom we must make our own is to be dead to sin and alive to Christ. Mortify then your members that are on earth, uncleanness, wickedness ... and greed, which is idolatry. The three main sins, according to the first epistle of John, are the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. These three cardinal points Christ was tested on by the devil. We must learn to starve our inclination towards wrong and we must feed our desire for good and love, for peace and justice, virtue and praise, dependence on the Lord and worship of the Father and the Son. This way we learn to differentiate between good and evil.

The Lord says that despite the fact that we are evil, we yet can do good things also. What father among you when his son asks for a loaf of bread, will give him a stone? Or a scorpion for an egg, or a snake for a fish? If then you, who are evil, can do good, all the more the heavenly Father. This is because, in Adam, we have eaten of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We are capable of good, but in our motivation we want to be independent from God, yes we want to be totally in charge of ourselves. We do not want to be responsible to a 'man in the sky,' who carves his piece of flesh out of our pleasure. And that makes us vulnerable and ignorant even, as far as higher truths are concerned.

God is a forgiving God. He does not, during our earthly lives, punish us according to our sinfulness, nor our sins. If You would visit us according to our sinfulness, already for a long time we would have been destroyed. But He is not some kind of Saint Nick. Nor is He some kind of bogeyman. God is Love. God is Light. I am the way and the truth and the life. Nobody comes to the Father but through Me. That God loves us, assures us of Hís faithfulness, but that He is light, demands oúr faithfulness.



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