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The Mystery of Sin.

The Mystery of Sin.

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ROMANS v. 12.
" By one man sin entered into the world."

ROMANS v. 12.
" By one man sin entered into the world."

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Apr 21, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE MYSTERY OF SI.BY HERY EDWARD MAIG, M.A,ROMAS v. 12." By one man sin entered into the world."PERHAPS there is no more awful thought than this :that sin is all around us and within us, and weknow not what it is. We are beset by it on everyside : it hangs upon us, hovers about us, casts itself across our path, hides itself where our next footstep is to fall, searches us through and through,listens at our heart, floats through all our thoughts,draws our will under its sway, and ourselves underits dominion ; and we do not know what it is. Itis a pestilence that walketh in darkness ; nothingstays its advance ; it passes through all barriers,pierces all strongholds ; the very air seems to waftit into our dwellings. ow it is very awful toknow this, and yet not to know what is this malignand deadly power. We read, that in the beginningsin was not in the world ; that " by one man sinentered ;" that here it has ever since abode ; that.THE MYSTERY OF SI. [SERM.it brought death with it ; that " death passed uponall men, for that all have sinned."Thus much,, however, we do know, that it is awill opposed to the will of God. To make thismore clear, let us consider, that whatsoever orwhencesoever be the origin of sin, its home ordwelling is the moral nature of God s creatures. Sofar as we can understand, none but moral beingsare capable of sin, because none but moral beingsare responsible ; that is, know good from evil, areon trial, are able to make choice, and are responsible for choosing. In this, we are only sayingthat the chief feature, or power, or endowment of a moral being, is a sense to discern, and a will to
choose ; and that, as to choose the good is holiness, so to choose the evil is sin. Consider next,that a will which chooses the evil is a will opposedto the will of God. Sin, therefore, is a quality,or inclination, or posture of the will of God s creatures, at variance with His own ; or, to speak lessexactly, but more simply, it is a will opposedto His.St. Paul says, " By one man"- that is, bythe wilful act of one man " sin entered into theworld." And from this we may draw the followingtruths :1 . First, that the entering in of sin proves theI.] THE MYSTERY OF SI. Opresence of an Evil Being. We talk of powers, andqualities, and principles, and oppositions, and thelike ; but we are only putting words for realities.They do not exist apart from beings create or un-create ; they are the attributes and energies of livingspirits. Sin entered in through and by the EvilOne ; that is, the Devil. There is working in theworld something which is not of God. All thatHe made was good ; all was holy, and full of life,and immortal. The world was a manifestation of God, of His wisdom and His goodness ; man wasan image of His being and of His will. All wasone ; all moved in harmony, having one supremeand universal law. Things are now divided by atwofold movement, and are full of diversity and opposition, discord and warfare. An Evil One has entered, and spread his enmity throughout the world.For wise ends, God suffers this rebellion to smoulderin His kingdom. Though He might have girdledthe world about with the precinct of His own holiness, so that sin should have never entered ; thoughat a breath of His, even now, all should once morestretch out its hands without sin unto God ; yet, forsome unsearchable purposes of wisdom, He has, bythe entering of the Evil One, permitted the unityof His works to be troubled, and the harmony of His creatures to be marred. It is most neces
sary for us ever to bear in mind the personality of 4 THE MYSTERY OF SI. [SERM.Satan ; for we are often wont to speak of sin, aswe do of sicknesses or plagues, as if it were animpersonal thing ; and we thereby lose all distinctperception of its power, deceitfulness, and malignity. Let us always remember that there is, inthe world, as it were, a new law, opposed to thelaw of God ; and administered by an Evil Being,who has entered and gained a hold in God s creation, and is therefore called " the prince of thisworld," 1 "the prince of the power of the air," "thespirit that worketh in the children of disobedience." 22. Another truth to be learned is, that, bythe entering in of sin, a change passed upon theworld itself. I am not now speaking of physicalevil, such as dissolution and death, and the wasting away of God s works, and the like ; but onlyof moral evil. A change passed upon the condition of man. His will revolted, and transferred itsloyalty from God to the Evil One. By casting off his obedience to God, he lost his government overhimself. So long as he was subject to the Divinewill, he wielded an absolute power over his ownnature. The passions and lusts of the flesh werethen pure affections held in a bond of unity andsubordination. When he rebelled against God, theyrebelled against man ; and the bond of their unitybeing broken, they warred against each other, and1 St. John xiv. 30. 2 Eph. ii. 2.I-] THE MYSTERY OF SI. 5his will was dragged away into bondage by eachin turn. And by this it came to pass that he losthis innocence ; the presence of God, wherewithhe was encompassed, departed from him, leavinghim naked ; fear cast out love ; from thankful hebecame thankless ; the lusts of the flesh soiled hisspiritual being ; his will caught the manifold taintof a world of evil ; and through these dark avenues

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