Another Study to Consider: Understanding the idea of Sin/Self-Rule

Posted by Gabriel (G²) on October 20, 2007






 Here’s another study our


church went through awhile


back. Again, I pray it blesses someone…..



Defined as


C hap. 1 p g. 1-2

Why a wrong definition of “Sin” is so


Short and Expanded Bible def. of “Sin”

C hap. 2 p g. 3-12

Scriptures on Sin as “Self-Rule”

C hap. 3 p g. 13-14

How Jesus parables explain how to live

a practical daily life as a

· “Steward” of the loving King

· “Slave” of the loving King

· “Servant” of the loving King

Chapter 1

There is great danger in not understanding the definition and nature of

sin. A wrong definition of sin can lead to a complete

misunderstanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Many people make the mistake of defining sin as a “Wrong Action”

or an “Unkind Action”.

The danger of this error is that it subtly changes the Gospel of Jesus.

The error of defining sin as a “Wrong Action” or an “Unkind Action”

leads to multiple dangerous ASSUMPTIONS.

The wrong definition of sin as a “Wrong Action” or an “Unkind

Action” leads to the ASSSUMPTIONS that:

1. If I take a morally positive or a morally neutral action while in control

of my life, this wrong definition ASSUMES these morally positive or

morally neutral action are NOT sin.

Every action that has a base in a person controlling their own life is

sin. A good or kind action based on the assumption of control or

authority over your own life is sin.

This assumption that the definition of sin is a “WrongAction” or an “Unkind Action” is an extremely dangerous

and incorrect assumption, which leads to further incorrect


2. That I am ABLE to be a “Good” person.

3. That my “Good” actions can some how outweigh my bad actions.

4. That you can retain control of your life and still get to heaven.

This horrible doctrine allows deceived people to believe that they

can receive Jesus as Savior with OUT receiving him as LORD!

The first 39 books of the Bible (The Old Testament) were written

primarily so that we can understand sin. All of the sacrifices loudly

declare the essence of sin and the cost of sin. This emphasis on the

truth and horror of sin allows us to understand the price our Savior

had to pay to save us from our sin.

The greatest explanation of the covenant of salvation is Romans 1-8.

The first seven chapters of Romans are primarily concerned with us

understanding sin so that we can understand salvation.


In its most simple definition sin is “SELF-RULE”. The very nature of

sin is to believe that you are in charge of your life. It is a denial of

your Creator as the Lord of your life. Any act or thought with the

basis of this belief (that you are in charge of your life) is sin. Good

actions done under a heart that believes that they are in control of their

life is sin.

Sin is actually deeper than just SELF-RULE. It is an understanding


1. My heart (apart from God’s grace) is evil, deceives me and

denies responsibility for my own evil.

2. I (apart from God’s grace) can not be pure or even improvemyself morally. I (apart from God’s grace) am bent toward evil

and will try to do almost anything that I think I can get away


3. I (apart from God’s grace) am gripped in a slavery to

selfishness. Even when I do good things my motives are all

about ME. I want ME to look good. I want ME to feel good

about ME.

For the purpose of this short study, we will study Sin in its most basic

and simple definition of “SELF-RULE”.


Chapter 2

If sin is a “Wrong Action” — HOW could a child be sinful from

conception and birth. However, if all humanity is cursed with

separation from God and a self-will that assumes SELF-RULE then

each child is soaked in sin from conception and birth.

Psalm 51

1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing

love; according to your great compassion blot out my


2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. 3

For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before

me. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is

evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you

speak and justified when you judge. 5 Surely I was sinful

at birth, sinful from the time my mother

conceived me.

Isaiah 53 is the greatest Messianic passage about Christ on the cross in

the entire Old Testament. Please notice that the DEFINITION of the

iniquity that Christ bore on the cross is that we each turned to our


Isaiah 53:6

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned

to his OWN WAY; and the LORD has laid on him the

iniquity of us all.

The act of becoming a Christian is repeatedly defined in scripture as

giving up CONTROL or SELF-RULE of your life.

II Cor. 5:15

And he died for all, that those who live should NO


died for them and was raised again.


I Cor. 6:19-20

You are NOT YOUR OWN; you were BOUGHT at a

PRICE. Therefore honor God with your body.

Luke 14

25Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to

them he said: 26″If anyone comes to me and does not

hate his father and mother, his wife and children, hisbrothers and sisters—yes,

even his own life—hecannot be my disciple. 27And anyone who does not

carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

28″Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not

first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough

money to complete it? 29For if he lays the foundation and is

not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him,

30saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to


31″Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another

king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is

able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming

against him with twenty thousand? 32If he is not able, he

will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off

and will ask for terms of peace. 33In the same way, any

of you who does not give up everything he

has cannot be my disciple.

34″Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be

made salty again? 35It is fit neither for the soil nor for the

manure pile; it is thrown out.

“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Matthew 16:

24Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would

come after me, he must deny himself and take up


his cross and follow me. 25For whoever wants to save

his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life

for me will find it. 26What good will it be for a man if

he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can

a man give in exchange for his soul?

Mark 8

34Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples

and said: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny

himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35For

whoever wants to save his life[a] will lose it, but

whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel

will save it. 36What good is it for a man to gain the whole

world, yet forfeit his soul?

Luke 9

23Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come afterme, he must deny himself and take up his cross

daily and follow me. 24For whoever wants to save

his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me

will save it. 25What good is it for a man to gain the whole

world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self? 26If anyone is

ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be

ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory

of the Father and of the holy angels.

Romans 12:1

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to

offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and

pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.


Matthew 13:46

When he found one of great value, he went away and soldeverything he had and bought it.

Mark 10

21Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,”

he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor,

and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

22At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because

he had great wealth.

23Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard

it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”

24The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said

again, “Children, how hard it is[e] to enter the kingdom of

God! 25It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a

needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

26The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each

other, “Who then can be saved?”

27Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is

impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with

God.” 28Peter said to him, “We have left everything

to follow you!”

29″I tell you the truth,” Jesus replied, “no one who has

left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or

children or fields for me and the gospel 30will fail to

receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes,

brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—and with

them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life.

31But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

Luke 5:11

Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on

you will catch men.” So they pulled their boats up on shore,

left everything and followed him.


Luke 5:28

and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.

Acts 13:22

After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified

concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse a man

after my own heart; he will do everything I

want him to do.’

The word “SIN” in used in the New Testament 110 times. The chapter

that uses the word “SIN” more than any other chapter is Romans 6.

(19 times). By the way, the second and third chapters that use the

word “SIN” are Roman 7 (17 times) and Romans 5 (9 times).

Thus, this section of scripture is the clearest and largest study of sin in

the entire Bible.

In Romans 6 “SIN” is compared or contrasted to its OPPOSITE eight

times. In each of these cases the OPPOSITE of “SIN” is to:

1. Be a “SLAVE” to God

2. To “OFFER” yourselves to God

3. Alive to God

By defining the opposite of sin as living for God, Romans 6 defines

sin as living in control of your own life.

In addition, the word Death or Die is used in Romans 6 – nineteen

times. The message is that we DIE to CONTROL of our lives in and

live for God in order to be free from “SIN”—“SELF-RULE

Romans 6

1What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that

grace may increase? 2By no means! We died to sin; how can

we live in it any longer? 3Or don’t you know that all of us

who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his

death? 4We were therefore buried with him through

baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was


raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we

too may live a new life.

5If we have been united with him like this in hisdeath, we will certainly also be united with him in his

resurrection. 6For we know that our old self was crucified

with him so that the body of sin might be done away with,

that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7because

anyone who has died has been freed from sin.

8Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also

live with him. 9For we know that since Christ was raised

from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has

mastery over him. 10The death he died, he died to sin once

for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

11In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin butalive to God in Christ Jesus. 12Therefore do

not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil

desires. 13Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as

instruments of wickedness, but rather offeryourselves to God, as those who have been

brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your

body to him as instruments of righteousness. 14For sinshall not be your master,

because you are not under law,

but under grace.

15What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law

but under grace? By no means! 16Don’t you know that when

you offer yourselves to someone to obey

him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you

obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads

to death, or to obedience, which leads to

righteousness? 17But thanks be to God that, though you

used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the

form of teaching to which you were entrusted. 18You have

been set free from sin and have become slaves to



19I put this in human terms because you are weak in your

natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts

of your body in slavery to impurity and to everincreasing

wickedness, so now offer them in

slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.

20When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the

control of righteousness. 21What benefit did you reap at

that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those

things result in death! 22But now that you have been

set free from sin and have become slaves toGod

, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, andthe result is eternal life. 23For the wages of sin is

death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our


In Romans 8; having seen, in Romans1-7, that “SIN” = “SELFRULE”

we are now told how to LIVE the Christian life. The key word

that is used is “CONTROL”. We give “CONTROL” of our lives to

God’s Spirit and are “LED” by that Spirit

Romans 8

5Those who live according to the sinful nature have their

minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live

in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set onwhat the

Spirit desires. 6The mind of sinful man is

death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit

is life and peace; 7the sinful mind is hostile to God. It

does not submit to God’s law, nor can it

do so. 8Those controlled by the sinful

nature cannot please God.

9You, however, are controlled not by the

sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God


lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of

Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10But if Christ is in

you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive

because of righteousness. 11And if the Spirit of him who

raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised

Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal

bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you. 12Therefore,

brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to

the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13For if you live

according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the

Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will

live, 14because those who are led by the Spirit of

God are sons of God.

Here are more passages which make this point clearly that “SIN” is

SELF-RULE and the opposite of “SIN” is to give total control of your

life to God.

1 John 2:16

For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful

man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has

and does—comes not from the Father but from the


Please notice this next passage. It defines sin as lawlessness.

Lawlessness is refusing to submit authority and control of your life to

a higher authority.

1 John 3:4

Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is



Ephesians 1:22

And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him

to be head over everything for the church,

Colossians 1:18

And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the

beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in

everything he might have the supremacy.

Hebrews 2:8

and put everything under his feet.” In putting

everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject

to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to


Heb. 4:

11Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest,

so that no one will fall by following their example of


12For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than

any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul

and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts

and attitudes of the heart. 13Nothing in all creationis hidden from God’s sight.

Everything is uncovered

and laid bare before the eyes of him to

whom we must give account.

John 8:34

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who

sins is a slave to sin.


John 16:9

in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me;

Note: Please notice that “BELIEVING” in Jesus is MORE than

acknowledging Jesus existence. Believing includes receiving Jesus as

King, Lord, Boss and Slave Master. Thus SIN is to NOT acknowledge

Jesus as the one in control of your life.

Romans 14:23

But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats,

because his eating is not from faith; and everything

that does not come from faith is sin.


Chapter 3

How Jesus parables explain how to live a practical life of


If I am a not allowed to make decisions, how can I know if it is OK

with God if I:

1. Go to the mall?

2. Eat this bowl of ice cream?

3. Change jobs? etc.

So many of Jesus parables dealt with a KING giving responsibility to

his Stewards, Servants or Slaves to produce results for their King!

1. M aster and Servant (Luke 17:7-10)

2. T h e Servant Entrusted with Authority or The Faithful

and Unfaithful Servants (Matt. 24:45-51; Luke 12:42-46)

3. T he Waiting Servants (Luke 12:35-38; Mark 13:33-37)

4. T he Laborers in the Vineyard or The Generous Employer


5. T he Money in Trust or The Talents (Matthew 25:14-30;

Luke 19:12-27)

6. T he Lamp (Matt 5:14-16; Mark 4:21; Luke 8:16, 11:31) and

The City Set on a Hill (Matt. 5:14b)

7. T he Body’s Lamp (Matthew 6:22 f.; Luke 11:34-36)

8. T he Discarded Salt (Matt 5:13; Mark 9:50; Luke 14:34 f.)

9. T he Patch and the Wineskins (Matt. 9:16 f.; Mark 2:21 f.;

Luke 5:36-39)

10. T he Householder’s Treasure (Matthew 13:52)

11. T he Dishonest Steward (Luke 16:1-12)

12. T he Defendant (Luke 12:58 f.; Matthew 5:25 f.)

13. T he Unforgiving Official or The Unmerciful Servant

(Matthew 18:23-35)

14. T he Rich Fool (Luke 12:16-21)

15. T he Wicked Vinedressers (Matthew 21:33-41; Mark 12:1-9;

Luke 20:9-16)

16. T he Two Builders (Matthew 7:24-27; Luke 6:47-49)

17. T he Two Debtors (Luke 7:41-43)

18. T he Hidden Treasure (Matthew 13:44)

19. T he Pearl of Great Price (Matthew 13:45 f.)

Jesus is our KING! He has given us a commission to bring people to

Him! Our goal is to do His will every moment of our lives. Through

His Word, Prayers and Godly Wise Counsel, we can often discern His

will in many situations.


YET, there will be many hundreds of thousands of decisions where

we will not know for certain if a specific action is God’s will or not. Is

it God’s will to eat this bowl of ice cream or not?????

God’s word tells us that we all have a commission from our King to

bring people to Him!

II Cor. 5:10-11

For we must all appear before the judgment seat ofChrist, that each one may receive what is due him for the

things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try

to persuade men.

II Cor. 5:19-20

And he has committed to us the message of

reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’sambassadors, as though God were making his

appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s

behalf: Be reconciled to God.

Matthew 28:18-20

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven

and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make

disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of

the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and

teaching them to obey everything I have

commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the

very end of the age.”

Thus, finding the will of our King is actually fairly easy. Our first test

of God’s will is always God’s Word. However, when something is not

clearly spoken to in God’s word; the main question is: “Does this

direction in my life help to bring people closer to Christ?”.

All of our life is measured by this commission. What a privilege to

have such a huge, wonderful and important purpose to our lives.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: