Hamartiology (ha mar tee ology). Incredibly huge word. If I would take a guess, I would say that maybe just a few people in here today has ever heard this word before–fewer still have even used it in a sentence. Hamartiology (ha mar tee ology) is simply “the study of sin.” Undoubtedly, anybody who would undertake such a discipline would be, most likely, from a Christian perspective and within that perspective, “the study of sin and its effects.”
Here’s why I am not sure I would have the gumption to take on such a academic. If I read my Bible, and see what God says on sin, and know I was once a prisoner within my own sin, how would I even have the right mind and the right eyes to even see the fullest effects of sin? Even with the Triune God dwelling in me, I am not God–unless the Spirit warns me, can I even see the fullest outcome when I make a sinful choice?
If I tried to write a book on sin, I would feel like it would be wholly incomplete. Because of my mortal nature and not fully glorified on this side of heaven, I would miss so much.
Because of the nature of sin, if I am tempted by sin and give into that sin, I cannot see the full effects of sin.
Dr. Steven Lawson calls this “the slippery slope of sin.” I have been on this earth long enough to know that left unchecked, not confessed, not repentant, and not given over to the Lord Jesus Christ, sin is always a slippery slope into levels of evilness and wickedness that you couldn’t possibly imagine.
Let us do a quick review of Genesis so far. God makes a perfect world in Genesis 1 & 2. Then, we saw the breaking of the cosmos in Genesis 3. We saw sin went full stride in Genesis 4–with not only murder but sexual immortality and pride. In Genesis 5, we witness that sin doesn’t ease up as the generations of mankind continue forward but instead, it becomes bigger and more devastating with every passing generation.
Now the philosophy of the world is evangelizing to you and me that with enough knowledge and understanding while keeping apart from God, humanity can fix its own problems. That is the gospel of humanism and secularism.
Let me ask you a question: how’s that working for us?
And don’t be too quick to divorce yourself from humanity: how many of us, time and time again, try to fix our own sinful mess without running to God.
How’s that working for us?
But what is the end of sin? We are just six chapters in the Bible itself and God reveals to us just how quickly it goes demonic, dark, and dead.
Let us start off by reading the text first and then go to God in prayer:
Genesis 6:1-7 (CSB) When mankind began to multiply on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of mankind were beautiful, and they took any they chose as wives for themselves. 3 And the LORD said, “My Spirit will not remain with mankind forever, because they are corrupt. Their days will be 120 years.” 4 The Nephilim were on the earth both in those days and afterward, when the sons of God came to the daughters of mankind, who bore children to them. They were the powerful men of old, the famous men.
5 When the LORD saw that human wickedness was widespread on the earth and that every inclination of the human mind was nothing but evil all the time, 6 the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and he was deeply grieved. 7 Then the LORD said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I created, off the face of the earth, together with the animals, creatures that crawl, and birds of the sky—for I regret that I made them.”
Before we even mention Noah’s name, we must stop here and examine the effects of sin for:
Romans 6:23a (CSB) For the wages of sin is death…
Before we get to death, sin will lead us straight to the demonic
Genesis 6:1-2 (CSB) When mankind began to multiply on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of mankind were beautiful, and they took any they chose as wives for themselves.
Compare: Angelic/Demonic vs. Royals vs. Sethite debates.
Remember Gen 3 to 4 to 5.
I have said this time and time before: the supernatural forces has more to do with your life than you can possible see and imagine. You cannot see but it has a great impact on your life than anything circumstance within the material plane.
Ephesians 6:12 (CSB) For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this darkness, against evil, spiritual forces in the heavens.
Without God, you are fighting the wrong fight and against the wrong people. You spend your time being hateful and hating one another instead waging war on the real enemies of God–namely Satan and demons, hell, sin, and death.
Before we get to death, sin will rob us of life worth living
3 And the LORD said, “My Spirit will not remain with mankind forever, because they are corrupt. Their days will be 120 years.”
We already know the spirit within mankind departed mankind when Adam and Eve sinned against man. We know by perusing through the Old Testament that the Spirit never rests upon the mankind permanently until the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus until his death. Now that Christ has lived the perfect life, died the saving death of his people, and was resurrected by the Spirit back into life, the Spirit of God rests upon all Christians to take them home.
This is not Holy Spirit but rather, the breath of life of God by God. Don’t forget that God was still in the business of multiplying mankind despite our sinful ways. God declared that Man shall die. In this decree in verse 3, God declares that man will not live forever nor even for a long time. (The life expectancy of man starts to decline after God makes this decree.)
Romans 5:12-14 (CSB) Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all people, because all sinned. 13 In fact, sin was in the world before the law, but sin is not charged to a person’s account when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who did not sin in the likeness of Adam’s transgression. He is a type of the Coming One.
Where do you see God in the text? What does the text say about God?
We were born into sin and we disobey God at every turn. I don’t care if you think you are a good person. You are not. You have committed wicked treasonous acts against the Holy God.
Let us try to examine what God does when mankind chooses to go their own way:
4 The Nephilim were on the earth both in those days and afterward, when the sons of God came to the daughters of mankind, who bore children to them. They were the powerful men of old, the famous men. 5 When the LORD saw that human wickedness was widespread on the earth and that every inclination of the human mind was nothing but evil all the time,
Sin will always bring the judgment of God
Did you catch that? What did mention the multiplication of sin in Genesis 3, 4, and 5? What was the one sin that came to the surface pretty quickly–a sin that God calls an abomination or “detestable” in his own eyes?
They were the powerful men of old, the famous men.
Proverbs 16:5 (CSB) Everyone with a proud heart is detestable to the LORD; be assured, he will not go unpunished.
We live in a culture that celebrates the powerful and the famous. If we are not too careful we might look at that line and think nothing of it. But God declares prideful men and women “detestable”.
But sin is not done.
6 the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and he was deeply grieved.
Sin will always grieve the heart of God
Ephesians 4:30 And don’t grieve God’s Holy Spirit. You were sealed by him for the day of redemption.
How does one grieve God?
31 Let all bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander be removed from you, along with all malice. 32 And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.
In other words:
Letting all bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting, slander and malice be stored up in you–letting hate and anger and sin rule your heart and affections and letting sin dictate your thoughts. Keeping yourself from forgiving others despite the fact Christ was quick to forgive you.
And don’t think for a moment your sin is overlooked or missed by God.
“What, my sin is not that bad and there are so many people doing far worse things.”
“Why does it matter what I am doing?”
“I think that my sin is not actually sin because I am loving another person and doesn’t it say that God is love?”
Don’t be foolish. You cannot claim ignorance. God will never say one thing is a sin and change his mind later because you said so. And I will admit that the Bible is not always clear. Things like Nephilim we might never know on this side of heaven. But just because a few things in the Bible are unclear does not mean the entire Bible is unclear.
And if I know that we may only understand what has been freely given to us God by the power of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:12), which no doubt includes Christ, salvation, faith, grace, and his precious Scripture, for you to claim that most of the Bible is unclear and “who can know it” puts you on the wrong side of God’s grace.
Here’s something else that’s crystal clear:
Sin will always bring the wrath of God upon all unbelievers
7 Then the LORD said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I created, off the face of the earth, together with the animals, creatures that crawl, and birds of the sky—for I regret that I made them.”
Let us, once and for all, dismiss the foolish notion of “Old Testament God / New Testament God.” There is one God and he is the maker of heaven and hell. Let us also dismiss the wrong notion of “Father is the God in the Old Testament and Jesus is the God of the New Testament because the Father is so angry and Jesus just preaches love one another.
John 3:36 (CSB) The one who believes in the Son has eternal life, but the one who rejects the Son will not see life; instead, the wrath of God remains on him.
Also, go and read Acts 5 and see what the Holy Spirit does to Ananias and Sapphira for lying to God.
And after Christ was beaten within an inch of his life, as he began his death march towards the excruciating, blood-curdling pain and torture, Jesus takes precious energy to prophesy in this one moment to the women who were mourning and lamenting him:
Luke 23:28-30 (CSB) But turning to them, Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and your children. 29 Look, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the women without children, the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed!’ 30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’
Christ prophesied and fulfilled his own judgment:
Revelation 6:15-17 (CSB) Then the kings of the earth, the nobles, the generals, the rich, the powerful, and every slave and free person hid in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16 And they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17 because the great day of their wrath has come! And who is able to stand?
Has it happened yet? No, not yet. Not in our timeline. But because God is perfect and cannot lie, this promises is as good as done. Past tense.
This is a lot of death. And that is what sin is. Do you think it is even a coincidence that we are living in a time where the world and even some Christians are trying to redefine what is sin as the sin keeps piling on the body count. The pandemic death toll is at 4.5 million. We cannot keep track of lives lost in war zones such as Afghanistan.
Christian? What does God say? How is God going to save us now?
Romans 6:23 (CSB) For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord
Sin does not leave us alone. Sin does not get better on its own. Sin is not neutral. It is always crouching and waiting to devour us. It will consume us. It will destroy us. It will kill us.
World has decided what is sin against God and what isn’t sin against God. And it is going straight to hell.
What is God going to do? He sent himself, namely his Son to be lifted up upon the Christ. He sent his Spirit to boldly empower his saints to go and do the work of the ministry.
What is ours to do? Stop playing and toying with your sins. Stop hanging on to sins that while might not kill you right away, I promise you will kill everything around you that is good in your life.
Wanna mess with porn? How about death to your marriage and friendships.
Wanna mess with pride? How about being an abomination in the sight of God.
Wanna mess with greed? How about the loss of your soul.
I can keep going all day.
But if you are listen to me, and the Spirit of God is nudging you and speaking to you to give your sin over to Him, don’t ignore it. Don’t leave this channel to think about it some more. Tomorrow is not guarantee. Walk through that narrow gate. Give up your life for Jesus so Christ can give you the newness of life. You will just have to give up all your sin.
Give us repentance so that we can confess and give our sin over quicker than the day before.
Be with us. Do not forsake us.
Save us all.
by John Calvin.
by James Montgomery Boice.
Baker Books. May 1, 2006.
Genesis: Beginning and Blessing (Preaching the Word)
by R. Kent Hughes.
Crossway. November 30, 2012.
Genesis (Word Biblical Commentary)
by Gordon J. Wenham.
Thomas Nelson Inc. October 9, 1987.
The Gospel in Genesis
by Martyn Lloyd-Jones.