SIN, LAW AND GRACE
Sin is a pollution or corruption or distortion of the divine nature inside a created being because of their heart separation from God.
This is similar to the pollution of stagnant water when it is no longer in contact with the source of water and so is no longer flowing.
This was what happened to Satan when he fell: his heart was lifted up in pride and so became separated from God: the fountain of life: living water (Jn. 4:14, Jer. 2:13) and the originally perfect nature in him became corrupted forming sin and iniquity.
Isaiah 14:12-13 KJV: How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! (13) For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
Ezekiel 28:14-19 KJV: Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. (15) Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. (16) By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. (17) Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. (18) Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. (19) All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.
Satan originally created perfect as Lucifer became proud because of his beauty and the material wealth God gave him thinking he was now self-sufficient and so able to be independent of God: this is the original sin and all men have this tendency. Hence they seek more and more money and material things thinking if they have enough they will not need God: this is why the love of money is the root of all evil (1 Tim. 6.10)!
This attitude of pride blocked his heart from the flow of divine life from God and so the life and wisdom in him became corrupted; this corrupted nature is called iniquity and sin.
So sin is spiritual substance; in its ‘solid’ state it is called sin as it blocks of the life of God; in its ‘liquid’ (Rev. 12:15) and ‘gaseous’ (Eph. 2:2-3) state it is called death. It is the root of all lust: a desire contrary to the will of God and subsequent acts of sin.
James 1:13-15 KJV: Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: (14) But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. (15) Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
Sin is therefore firstly a substance that brings forth nature and power of death.
All men inherit this nature of sin and death by physical birth because of the sin of Adam in the Garden of Eden:
Romans 5:12 KJV: 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:
Psalms 51:5 KJV: Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Having now a clear understanding of what sin is, what then is law?
It is instructive to know that divine law is at 3 levels:
1. Spiritual law: the laws that govern the generation, release and reception of spiritual power.
2. Moral law: the laws of right and wrong or good and evil: these are universal and are in the consciences of all men.
3. Ceremonial law: physical ceremonial observances commanded by God to be performed by men.
In the Old Testament, God formalized moral and ceremonial in the Ten Commandments (moral law) and the Mosaic and Levitical sacrifices and feasts (ceremonial law).
When the Bible says in the New Testament that we are free from the law: it means we are free from the ceremonial laws of the Old Testament. However, we are still under the same spiritual and moral laws.
So it is not a question of law or grace, rather it is keeping law (spiritual and moral) by grace!
In our article next week, we will see why God instituted ceremonial law and how in Christ we are free from it and how to use the grace in Christ to keep spiritual and moral law.