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Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Theology of Sin: Lust, Idolatry, Pride (Part 1)

As a leader in the student ministries at my church, Harvest Christian Fellowship, I lead a small group of through a theologically-themed curriculum. During the beginning of 2013, my small group has six weeks of no curriculum before the annual winter retreat. The winter retreat is called "Greater," based on John 3:30 to teach students to make Christ greater in their lives. 

In preparation of that theme, I am leading my small group through a small series to transform and prepare their hearts for the winter retreat. The topic I chose to take the group through was sin. The topic of sin was chosen to emphasize how students need to remove sinful tendencies that produce worldliness and replace them with godly solutions that generate righteousness. I believe 1 John answers this questions and commands people to repentance of their worldliness, and calls believes to life in righteousness.

The series is called "A Theology of Sin: Lust, Idolatry, Pride."

It is a hamartiological study of 1 John 2:15-17, "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever." 

Below are some of the notes from our first group discussion, and an added bonus video by John MacArthur on this topic. He does a great job at explaining this topic.

An Introduction: A Theology of Sin (from DTIB)
The Essence of Sin
Scriptures narrative has a structure of creation-fall-redemption-consummation. In general, sin is the singular factor over and against which God acts. The first sin of Adam and Eve set in motion the chain of biblical events that stretches from Genesis to Revelation in salvation-history. Their sin is known as original sin (Genesis 3:12-13). Thus, sin has spread to all men as the result of the Fall (Romans 5:12)

The Universality of Sin
The universality of redemption presupposes the universality of sin in the world. Therefore all have fallen short and have sinned (Romans 3:23).

1) Sin is Unnatural
Sin is a perversion or disorder of human nature. Humanity was created in the image of God, yet is distorted by the Fall. (Genesis 1:26-27; 5:3)

2) Sin is Determinative
Sin enslaves, dictating the direction of human life because sin has perverted life to its very center. Man is totally depraved and indeed of redemption. (Romans 1:18-32)

Sin Is Worldliness
The world and the things in the world are the sinfulness of the world, and the sinful things in the world. Since mankind is totally depraved because of their sin, it is important for those who are believers to avoid the "worldliness" at all costs because it does diminishes the work of the gospel in our lives. John 2:15 warns to run away from worldiness. John 2:16 explains what "worldliness" to run away from. John 2:17 encourages to run towards the will of God instead. Amen!

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