1.3.0 Hamartiology: Doctrine of Sin

Sections for Harmartiology: The Doctrine of Sin:

  1. The Scene of the Fall of Man
  2. The Fact of the Fall of Man
  3. The Results of the Fall of Man

The study of the Doctrine of sin is called Harmartiology. The Greek word harmartia can be translated sin; it comes from a word that literally means to miss the mark and not share in the prize. The suffix –ology identifies a ‘science’. It is called a science because it consists of systematically and logically arranged facts.

1. The Scene of the Fall of Man

The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil

In the midst of the garden was placed two trees of destiny. The first was a tree of life, but the second was the forbidden tree of knowledge of good and evil. Why did God place such a horrid tree in the midst of Eden’s blissful paradise? It was a test for man.

The Tempter

In his temptation of the Crown of God’s Creation, satan employed the agent of a serpent. The outstanding characteristic of this serpent was that it was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. The serpent, satan, was that eternally damned and rebellious angel of God. Why would he be allowed to put one foot into the garden, or be allowed to operate in that blessed place? It was a test for man.

The Test

The preceding answer leads us to one ultimate question of purpose—Why was it necessary for man to be tested?

First, God’s desire is to fellowship with a people that chooses to love Him. He is not content to have the admiration of mindless robots. Second, in order for there to be a ‘choice’ there must be at least two options or there is really no ‘choosing.’ Therefore, the Tree of Knowledge was placed in the garden to test man’s devotion to God.

Let us consider two other relevant questions:

1) Did man’s failure reflect at all on God? No. God is infallible. God created and designed man, but He also gave man the freedom of choice. Man’s fall does not expose some flaw in God’s design, but emphasizes the wonderfulness of God’s design. God designed it so that man could choose God, but he also had the liberty to not choose God and His ways.

2) Did Adam HAVE to sin? No. If Adam HAD to sin, there would still have existed no true ‘choice’ for Adam simply would have had ‘no choice’ but to sin. With every test from God comes also the grace to overcome! We can pass the test by the grace of God. There existed for Adam and still exists for us the potential of not falling.

Jude 1:24—Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

2. The Fact of the Fall of Man

The most tragic event connected with man is his fall into sin. Genesis 3:1-6 reveals that the first man fell. The steps in the fall were:

Listening to slanders about God. vs. 1

Hath God said…?

Doubting God’s Word and His love. vs. 4,5

“God is keeping something wonderful from you!”

Looking at what God has forbidden.

And when the woman saw…the tree v. 6 (Compare with Joshua 7:21.)

Note the steps of sin:

  I saw —

    I coveted —

      I took —

        I hid.

Lusting for what God has prohibited. v.6

Here we have the “Lust of the flesh”, “Lust of the eyes” and the “Pride of life” spoken of in 1 John 2:16. (Compare with Luke 4:1-15.)

3. The Results of the Fall of Man

a. Upon Man’s Physical Nature

“How often are all the fruits of man's toll destroyed by blasting, by mildew, by insects, wet weather, land floods, etc.! Anxiety and carefulness are the labouring man's portion.”—Adam Clarke

…I will multiply…could also be rendered “in multiplying, I will multiply” as it is rendered in Genesis 22:17. Here is a figure of speech expressing a multiplication ontop of a multiplication. What pain the woman experiences in childbirth since the fall is in the very least much greater than was ever intended.

…and he shall rule over thee. In the beginning a great responsibility was given to Adam to care for, have dommionion over and protect God’s creation. God looked down on Adam’s solitude and said it was not good for man to be alone. This is why God created Eve. She was to be a ‘help meet” to Adam in his great charge. At her creation, the woman had probably as much right to rule as the man, but subjection to the will of her husband is one part of her curse.

This hard labor should serve as a reminder to man of his sin. Sin is a hard master and the labor of sin is difficult. In years gone by, hard labor was a more common part of a criminal’s sentence. The hardness of the labor, combined with the amount of time served, proved to be an effective deterrent to crime. If we choose to do things our way in rebellion to God’s will, we are destined to great toil. God’s way and method is ALWAYS best. (There remains a rest to the people of God! Hebrews 4:9)

Of course, with all this came also a fear of God, a shame of sin, a hiding from God’s presence, and finally, an expulsion from the garden. Genesis 3:8-11,22-24

Adam and Eve suffered from a guilty conscience. The evidences of their guilty consciences were they ran, hid, and tried to cover themselves. There is shame, as well as death, in sin.

The works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21) are a perversion of man’s instincts.

(a. Matt. 4:10; Isa. 14:12-14; b. Gen.2:17; 4:8; c. Gen. 2:15; John 10:10;

d. Gen. 1:19; Isa. 56:11; e. Gen. 1:28;2 Sam. 11:2 f. Gen. 1:18;Luke 2:1)

WORSHIP — IDOLATRY

PRESERVATION — SELFISHNESS

ACQUISITION — COVETOUSNESS

APPETITE — GLUTTONY

REPRODUCTION — LUST

DOMINANCE —TYRANNY

b. Upon Man’s Spiritual Nature

There may be differences in the degrees of sin among people, but never in the fact of sin—ALL have sinned.

Rom. 3:19—That every mouth may be stopped and all the world may become guilty before God.

God’s law demands perfect obedience, but no sinner can yield such obedience; hence, the curse of a broken law rests upon those breaking it. John 3:36; Gal. 3:10; Eph. 2:3

1 John 3:8-10; John 8:44 “Ye are of your father the devil.”

1 John 5:19—And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. (RV: in the wicked one)

Romans 7:14; John 8:31-36

Ephesians 2:3—Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.


Revision #11
Created 7 September 2022 21:29:50 by Stephen Reynolds Jr
Updated 5 May 2024 10:50:02 by Stephen Reynolds Jr