Let’s start this Learning Activity by searching out some of the things the Bible says about sin.
- Romans 14:23b
2. James 4:17
3. 1 John 3:4
4. 1 John 5:17a
5. Romans 3:23
Looking at the passages above we should be able to see a bit about how to define what sin is and who is affected by it.
6. Leviticus 16:15, 16
7. What was the way in which sin was handled under the Old Covenant?
8. Psalm 32:1
9. In the verse above, how is the handling of sin described?
10. Romans 4:7
11. In the Romans verse, how was sin described as being handled?
From the passages above it is clear that those under the Old Covenant had their sin covered over by the blood of sacrificed animals. Let’s look a bit closer at what this covering over of sin consisted of.
12. Hebrews 10:4
What is this verse saying! We just read above that the sins were forgiven? Is there a difference between “forgiving sin” and “taking away sin?”
Under the Old Covenant when the blood covering was made there was forgiveness of sin, but the sin was NOT taken away! This is an important understanding.
13. Romans 11:27
14. What are we to conclude about the forgiveness of sin and the taking away of sin under the Old Covenant?
The Romans 11:27 verse is speaking of the New Covenant, therefore it states that sin would be taken away at that time (the complete coming in of the New Covenant in AD 70).
15. Hebrews 10:11
16. What is the conclusion we can make from #7 and #12 above?
The writer of Hebrews is making a contrast between the Old and the New Covenant!
17. Read Hebrews 10:12 – 18 in your Bible
18. What conclusion do you draw from reading # 12, # 15, and #17 above?
19. Romans 5:18
20. In the verse above, who is being referred to as the man of trespass and who is the man of righteousness?
21. Who did Christ acquit in the Romans 5:18 verse above?
22. John 1:29
23. Whose sin was taken away by the Lamb of God in John 1:29?
24. John 3:16
25. Who in the world did God show His love to by the giving of His Son in John 3:16?
26. 1 John 2:2
27. In 1 John 2:2 above, whose sins did Jesus die for?
From our travels through the above passages we find that Christ provided for the taking away of sin for ALL of mankind that ever lived in the past, are living today, and will live in the future. There are no exceptions! The only conditional statement found in the Scriptures for this to be applicable to any of us is that we must be part of the group who “believes in him” which is the second half of John 3:16.
28. Hebrews 8:12
I therefore conclude that under the New Covenant sin is NOT the issue at all, with one major exception that will be explained in Learning Activity 43 A on this web site.
Sin under the New Covenant (with the exception of the unpardonable sin) is NOT the issue. The constant focus on this aspect has been a deterrent of many from hearing the true gospel of the New Covenant. The challenge of the New Covenant is NOT a sin problem at all. The challenge is a “believing” problem! God has always revealed truth in some manner to every individual who has ever walked the face of this Earth. It is the individual response to that revelation (by believing the revelation) that determines the eternality of that human being.
In the era of the New Covenant the Old Covenant is obsolete, has passed away and does not impact New Covenant believers. When the apostle Paul wrote about the “law” he was referring to the Law of Moses and he clearly stated that Christian believers were not under its authority. Our responsibility today under the New Covenant is to a different law that is written on our hearts. It is a spiritual law and supersedes what came in the Old Covenant. If the believer has an understanding of the Godhead indwelling them this is easy to understand. Our spirit is in union or commingled with God’s Spirit. We have the mind of Christ available to us (1 Corinthians 2:16b) and the Holy Spirit to guide and direct our thoughts and actions. We have today so much more than the majority of Old Covenant believers had.
But make no mistake, “Christ is the end of the law…” (Romans 10:4a). Christ was the anti-type or the fulfillment of the law. That law is no longer for believers any more because of Christ!
When the above is understood it begins to make sense that when Christ comes into the believer at the instant of believing (the baptism of the Holy Spirit), He, (Christ) Himself is that “law written on the heart of the believer.” The person of Christ is the law written on our hearts! Is this a list of codified laws similar to the Mosaic Law? I think not. What is involved here is something on the order of our having the mind and character of Christ living within us. In the New Covenant we are containers, vessels, temples, for Christ here on Earth. It is Him living His life through us to the world one of the primary reasons He keeps us here for a season to reveal Himself to others who need to have a relationship with Him. For us, because of the personal ministry of the Holy Spirit within us, we know right from wrong. In effect, the law written on our hearts is no a “what” but rather a “who” and the who is the person of Christ!
But let us move on to another aspect of sin.
29. Romans 6:23A
For newcomers to Christianity the verse above can result in some difficulty in understanding. What is this “death” that is spoken of in the verse? The answer is found in the Garden of Eden!
30. Genesis 2:16, 17
Notice how the command by God to Adam about eating from the tree of life fits the definition of sin if the command was disregared or violated in any way. Adam did violate the command and suffered the consequences of his disobedience to God. The “death” required for the disobedience was NOT a physical death but a spiritual death. We know this because neither Adam nor Eve died “on that day” in fact they physically lived on and later had a son named Seth when Adam was 130 years of age!
31. Genesis 5:3-5
32. How long did Adam physically live?
So the death associated with the disobedience in the Garden was not physical but spiritual death which is defined as “separation from God” which is what happened when Adam and Eve were excluded by God from the Garden. I make this point because I want to illustrate that God required certain behavior during the Old Covenant, and even before the Old Covenant was made with mankind. If God’s commanded behavior was violated it resulted in spiritual death!
When we read and study the Old Covenant we should be aware that almost every person, event, ceremony, practice, that is written in the Old Covenant is what is called a “type.” You may want to study types and anti-types as a separate study. A type is a shadow of a real spiritual thing, person or event that later took place or was fulfilled in the New Covenant. My studies have indicated that the vast majority of types find their reality or fulfillment in Christ being the anti-type. Just a few of these types/anti-types are listed below, but the reader is warned there are a huge number of these in the total biblical text.
Adam was a type of Christ.
Melchizedek is a type of Christ.
The Pascal lamb is a type of Christ.
The manna in the desert was a type of Christ.
The Mosaic Tabernacle was a type of Christ.
The death of Abel was a type of Christ.
The list goes on and almost seems endless, but I have one last type that I will add that will perhaps be troublesome to you and that is:
The Mosaic Law was a type of Christ! This is generally referred to in the Scriptures as “the law,” and is referring to the law that was given by God on Mount Sinai to Moses which includes the Ten Commandments (see Exodus Chapters 20 through Chapter 23). It contains a lot of law!
Let’s look at Hebrews again to make another important point. I will be repeating some of what I have already said but it is important for this narrative to be complete.
33. Hebrews 10:4
34. Hebrews 10:11
The two passages above stated by the writer of Hebrews are setting up a contrast between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant as the Chapter goes on to say:
35. Hebrews 10:12 – 18.
36. What is said specifically in verse #17 of the passage above?
The three passages above clearly indicate that the Old Covenant could not take away sin and contrasts this fact with the New Covenant having the result of Christ taking away sin and sin not being remembered any longer! This was something that was unavailable to those under the Old Covenant until the Parousia return, presence of Christ in AD 70. In effect, the Old Covenant facts on this topic are all types and shadows of the fulfillment that would be found in Christ under the New Covenant.
THE NEW COVENANT VIEW
Under the New Covenant there is a radical change in the answer for sin.
37. Romans 5:18
38. John 1:29
39. John 3:16
40. 1 John 2:2
I could add other support, but suffice it to say that Christ provided the taking away of sin for ALL of mankind that ever lived in the past, are living today, and will live in the future, with a single act. There are no exceptions! The only conditional statement made in the Scriptures that applies to us today to be applicable is that we must be part of the group who “believes in him” which is the second part of John 3:16.
Chapter Eight of Hebrews contrasts the Old and the New Covenants. As a student of the Bible we must sharpen our skills to be able to “rightly divide” Old Covenant Bible statements from New Covenant statements. In describing one aspect of the New Covenant He states that:
41. Hebrews 8:12
Does the reader of this document see any exception for present and future sin in these passages? If God has forgotten all of mankind’s sin, then why do we constantly hear from those who supposedly represent Christianity on radio, television, and other media who insist that we must stop sinning? If God has forgotten why do we perpetuate it under the guise of it being a requirement? I am NOT saying that Christianity encourages these acts that represent sin – here I agree with the apostle Paul – BY NO MEANS (Romans 6:2).
So, under the New Covenant, sin is not the issue at all, with one major exception – the unpardonable sin!
42. Matthew 12:31
43. Mark 3:28, 29
So what is this unpardonable, eternal sin that can be committed against the Holy Spirit?
44. John 16:8, 9
45. What does the verse above say is the unpardonable sin?
God has always revealed Himself in some manner to every individual who has ever walked the face of this Earth (Romans 1:19, 20). When that revealed truth is rejected and continues to persist during the entirety of the individual’s physical life that person has committed the unpardonable sin. As I see the Scriptures that is the ONLY SIN a person can commit that has no forgiveness and has not been taken away or covered over!
All sinful acts have their origin in some form of UNBELIEF. The person is believing something that is not true. Many Christians run about in this world trying to stop sinning when what they need to do is to change what they believe about God and to believe what God says about them!
In the New Covenant in which we live today when we accept the Lord into our lives we become a new creation. In that new creation we are not under the law but rather under grace. If we are not under the law the word of God tells me that the sin we commit after becoming a Christian has already been forgiven, in fact, that sin is not even “counted against us” as per the following passages:
46. Romans 5:13B
47. Psalms 32:2
Note in the Psalms verse that it is our spirit that has no deceit, not our physical body! Our spirit is made perfect in God’s sight but not our flesh!
48. Romans 4:8
49. Romans 4:15
50. Romans 7:8C
51. Hebrews 10:17
52. Hebrews 10:2B
We in the New Covenant, are not to even have any consciousness of sin! This scripture tells me that if I believe in Christ, trust in Christ, and proceed in physical life by faith, sin is not counted against me!
Additionally, look at what the following passages say:
53. Luke 15:7
As new creation believers we have been declared righteous, therefore we do not repent!
54. Luke 5:32
God says we are righteous therefore we do not repent! To live the life that Christ has promised to us of freedom, “for Christ has set us free indeed,” you must understand and believe what God says about us in the Scriptures. The following graphic should be completely understood and ingrained in your renewed mind. I strongly suggest that you click on the image to enlarge it and then look up each and every passage that appears on the graphic. Those listed below are “mind blowers” to most Christians and are NOT for some future time era but are true right now today if you are a believer in the the Lord Jesus Christ! Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.
Sin under the New Covenant (with the exception of the unpardonable sin) is NOT the issue. The constant focus by some people on sin has prevented many people from not hearing nor understanding the true gospel of the New Covenant. The challenge of the New Covenant is NOT sin at all. The challenge is a “believing” problem! Unbelief is the causation, sin is the result from the cause of unbelief.
55. John 16:8, 9
And He did come in AD 70!
The verb for disobedience in Koine Greek is “apeitheo” which means to refuse to be persuaded, to refuse to believe, to be disobedient, unbelieving, have not believed, to disbelieve. We know that disobedience to God is NOT what He desires!
In the New Covenant when we say that sin is keeping anyone from eternal life we are saying that Christ failed in His mission on the Cross! (1 John 2:2).
Not many Christians think of themselves as unbelievers, but there are many truths about God that we do not actually believe. This may sound contradictory of Christianity, but if you ponder that remark I think you will conclude that some belief about God and His character may be lacking in our minds that is in the process of being renewed. To dwell on sin in our New Covenant lives is believing in an Old Covenant attribute and an activity that defeats believing in who and what we are in Christ as a new creation! I have never been very successful on controlling my bad behavior, but I have noticed that God has done a magnificent job of eliminating bad behavior and related thoughts from my life over time. Let Him complete the work He has started in us.
Click on Self Check below to check your answers.