National Association of Christian Ministers Summary Series: Theology


The doctrine of sin is a theological study that explores the nature, origin, consequences, and remedy of sin within Christian theology. It examines the human condition in light of sin and its implications for humanity’s relationship with God. While there can be variations in emphasis and interpretation among different Christian traditions, there are several key aspects that are generally recognized in the doctrine of sin.

1. The Reality of Sin: The doctrine of sin acknowledges the reality of sin as a universal human problem. It teaches that sin is a transgression of God’s moral law, an act of rebellion against His will. Sin is viewed as a deviation from the perfect and holy nature intended by God for humanity.

2. Original Sin: The doctrine of sin addresses the concept of original sin. It teaches that all humans are born with a sinful nature inherited from Adam and Eve’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden. Original sin is seen as a state of spiritual brokenness and separation from God that affects every aspect of human existence.

3. Personal Sin: The doctrine of sin recognizes personal sin, which refers to individual acts of disobedience and wrongdoing. It encompasses both outward actions and inward attitudes and intentions that are contrary to God’s standards. Personal sin is viewed as a result of human free will and the fallen nature of humanity.

4. Sin’s Consequences: The doctrine of sin explores the consequences of sin. It teaches that sin brings spiritual death and separation from God. Sin also has social, psychological, and physical consequences, leading to broken relationships, suffering, and the corruption of creation. The ultimate consequence of sin is eternal separation from God.

5. The Nature of Sin: The doctrine of sin addresses the nature of sin. It recognizes that sin involves both commission (doing what is wrong) and omission (failing to do what is right). Sin affects not only actions but also thoughts, desires, and motives. It is viewed as a distortion of God’s intended order and a rejection of His love and authority.

6. The Remedy for Sin: The doctrine of sin explores the remedy for sin through God’s redemptive plan. It teaches that God, out of His love and mercy, provided a solution to the problem of sin through Jesus Christ. Through His life, death, and resurrection, Jesus offers forgiveness, reconciliation, and the opportunity for salvation to all who believe in Him.

The doctrine of sin underscores the brokenness of humanity and the need for redemption and restoration. It highlights the seriousness of sin and its effects while pointing to the hope and grace found in Christ. Understanding the doctrine of sin is foundational to grasping the significance of God’s redemptive work and the transformative power of salvation in the Christian faith.