Sin Is Only A Symptom

Sin Is Only A Symptom
Man’s problem is rooted in something far greater than his sin. Man’s problem is the ungodly nature with which he is born.

We continue with our series of posts on Why Jesus Said He Is The Only Way To Heaven. As a reminder, it is not our aim to make the claim ourselves, but rather to investigate why Jesus had made this claim.

In the previous post we looked at the fact that all of us have violated God’s Moral Law, and that this leaves Man with a problem because of the fact that God Is A Judge.

While the violation of God’s Moral Law through our sin is what makes us guilty before the Lord, we need to understand that our sin is only a symptom of a much bigger problem. To properly understand the problem, we need to look at the creation and fall of man with a fresh perspective. Here are 10 key points to better understand the root of man’s problem:

1. God Created Man In His Image

In Genesis we read how God created Adam and Eve in His own image and likeness. Everything God made was good. Man, however, was created extraordinarily good as he was created in the very image of God. God is holy, pure and without sin. This is the image and likeness in which man was created.

Furthermore, it is important to note that Adam was a direct descendant of God Himself.

2. God Created Man For A Purpose

God blessed Adam and Eve to be fruitful and to multiply, and to subdue the earth. They were also blessed to populate the earth with people in their image and likeness, which was in the image and likeness of God.

God had habitual fellowship with them, and there was nothing standing between man and God. While man was created for God’s glory, man was also created to be part of God’s eternal family.

3. The First Commandment

God placed man in the middle of a garden which he had to guard, keep and tend to. God also gave Adam his first commandment, as He instructed him not to eat from the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The instruction came with a warning, and God told Adam he would surely die if he ate of it.

4. Man Disobeyed

Unfortunately Adam did not do a very good job at guarding and keeping the garden, nor did he obey the first commandment. Satan tricked Adam and Eve into sinning, and instead of obeying God they obeyed Satan.

5. Sin Resulted In Death

As they placed Satan above God, sin severed the relationship there was between God and Man. As a result of their disobedience, Adam and Eve – together with all their future unborn children – died an instant spiritual death. Romans 6:23a says,

“For the wages of sin is death…”

6. From Freedom To Enslavement

As sin entered the world, death also entered the world. As Adam and Eve died spiritually, they became slaves to sin. Romans 6:16 says,

“Do you not know that if you continually surrender yourselves to anyone to do his will, you are the slaves of him whom you obey, whether that be to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience which leads to righteousness (right doing and right standing with God)?”

7. Adam’s Children Were Born Into Sin

Genesis 5:3 says Adam had a son in his own likeness. However, Adam’s image no longer looked like God’s. Instead of populating the earth with God’s image and glory, they were now tragically populating the earth with a spiritually dead image, enslaved to sin. This is why David said in Psalm 51:5,

“I was brought forth in [a state of] wickedness; In sin my mother conceived me [and from my beginning I, too, was sinful].”

8. An Ungodly Nature

When Adam and Eve became slaves to sin, they no longer looked like God. They had lost their godly nature. As they bowed their knee to Satan, he became their new father and they took on the nature and image of Satan instead. This became true for all their future children as well. This is why Jesus said in John 8:44a,

“You are of your father the devil, and it is your will to practice the desires [which are characteristic] of your father.”

This is also why Ephesians 2:1-3 (ESV) says,

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.”

While Adam was a direct descendant of God Himself, we are all direct descendants of Adam. While Adam was created with a spirit that was alive and connected to God, all Adam’s children were born after sin had created in him a fallen and dead spirit.

9. The Evidence Of Our Sinful Nature

David said he was sinful, even from the day he was born (from his beginning). The same sinful nature is evident in us today. Nobody needs to teach a child how to lie. Lying comes naturally to us all, and we have to teach a child not to lie instead. The same goes for the rest of God’s Moral Law.

10. Why Man Needs A Saviour

There are 3 primary reasons why Man needs a Saviour:

  • To be legally acquitted from his sin
  • To be set free from his enslavement to sin
  • To be restored to Adam’s original godlike nature (or to become spiritually alive again)


The posts on the topic of Why Jesus Said He Is The Only Way have also been published in book form & is available from

Man’s problem is rooted in something far greater than his sin. Man’s problem is the ungodly nature with which he is born. This is why Jesus said in John 3:3,

“I assure you and most solemnly say to you, unless a person is born again [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, sanctified], he cannot [ever] see and experience the kingdom of God.”

While someone may think of himself as being a ‘good’ person, sin that comes naturally to us is the evidence of the sinful nature with which we are born. Our sin disqualifies us from calling ourselves ‘good’. We might be good in the eyes of the world when we compare ourselves to other people, but not when we compare ourselves to the holiness of God.

It is this sinful nature which we must be redeemed from. In the next post we will look at God’s plan of redemption.

Read Next: God’s Plan Of Redemption

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