What role do spirits play in sin?

Man, Sin, & Salvation
Theophilus
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What role do spirits play in sin?

Post by Theophilus » Sat Aug 30, 2008 2:32 pm

What role do spirits play in sin?

In Genesis 4:7, the LORD describes sin as crouching at the door and desiring to have Cain.

In Romans 7:23 Paul says he sees another law at work in the members of his body.

I've also heard an explanation that when David asks for his transgressions or sins to be covered, that he is asking for God's Spirit to cover the sin so that it doesn't have any power over him. Almost as if it were a contagion that needed to be brought under control.

When man ate of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, he ingested something and then his eyes were opened. The serpent was present in this scene. It would appear that man and the spirit world conspire together to commit sin.
Last edited by Theophilus on Wed Sep 03, 2008 9:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Paidion
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Re: What is sin?

Post by Paidion » Mon Sep 01, 2008 2:41 pm

It seems to me that there is a wide variety of opinions as to what sin actually is. Some limit sin to sexual immorality. Others limit it to activities such as smoking, drinking, attending R-rated movies, or gambling. Some are blind to the sins by which we wound other people.

Some think that it is impossible for a Christian to go for a single day, or even an hour without sinning. One the other hand, I encountered one woman who claimed she had never sinned for more than 40 years.

As a young person, I had some problems with anger. I was helped by keeping in mind the verse which states "The anger of man does not work the righteousness of God". Yet, anger per se cannot be sin, for God gets angry ---- and we also have the verse, "Be angry and sin not."

There are a number of different Greek words which have been translated as "sin", and they do not all have the same meaning.

You may want to share the specifics of your own concept of sin. Please don't be content with the definition "anything which separates us from God." For there is a great deal of difference in opinion as to what things do in fact separate us from God.

Here are the eight words for "sin" in the New Testament. The number in brackets at the beginning of each word gives the number of occurrences in the New Testament. The literal meaning of the Greek word is given in capital letters. The scriptures quoted are from the King James, from Revised Standard, and from other translations. The translated word for the given Greek word is underlined.

[1] ἀγνοημα agnoāma — NO KNOWLEDGE, error due to not knowing

Heb 9:7 but into the second only the high priest goes, and he but once a year, and not without taking blood which he offers for himself and for the errors of the people.
1Es 9:20 They pledged themselves to put away their wives, and to give rams in expiation of their error.


[151] ἁμαρτια hamartia — MISSING THE MARK and thus used in early Greek for “mistake”. In New Testament times, its use was broadened to include any wrongdoing.

Mt 1:21 she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.

Ac 2:38 And Peter said to them, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forsaking of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Ac 22:16 And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name.
[Ananias spoke these words to Paul after Paul had given his testimony. First Paul’s sight was restored to him. Then Ananias told him that God had chosen him to know His will, and to be a witness to all people.]

Mr 1:4 John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forsaking of sins.

Ro 6:4-6
We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin.

1Pe 2:24 He himself endured our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

1Jo 1:8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

Heb 10:26,27 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

[13] ἀνομια anomia — LAWLESSNESS

Ro 6:19 For just as you once yielded your members to uncleaness and to greater and greater iniquity, so now yield your members to righteousness for sanctification.

2Co 6:14 Do not be mismated with unbelievers. For what partnership have righteousness and iniquity? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?

2Th 2:7 For the secret of lawlessness is already at work; only there is the restraining one just now until it is out of the way.

Tit 2:14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all iniquity and to purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.

Heb 1:9 Thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity; therefore God, thy God, has anointed thee with the oil of gladness beyond thy comrades."

Heb 8:12 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more."

Heb 10:17 then he adds, "I will remember their sins and their misdeeds no more."

1Jo 3:4 Every one who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.

[1] παρανομια paranomia — BEYOND THE LAW, breach of the law

2 Pet 2:15,16
Forsaking the right way they have gone astray; they have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing, but was rebuked for his own transgression; a dumb ass spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet's madness.

[6] ασεβια asebia — NO REVERERANCE, irreverance

Ro 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodlinessand wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth.

Titus 2:11,12
For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all men, training us to renounce irreligion and worldly passions, and to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world,

[3] Παρακοη parakoā — BEYOND HEARING, unwillingness to listen

Ro 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man's obedience many will be made righteous.
[Then as through the unwillingness to listen of the one man, the many were constituted sinners, so also through the listening of the one man, the many will be constituted righteous].

2Co 10:6 being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.
[in readiness having to correct every unwillingness to listen, whenever is fulfilled in you a willingness to listen.]

[7] παραβασις parabasis — STEPPING BEYOND, transgression

Ro 2:23 You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law?

Ro 4:15 For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.

Heb 9:15 Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred which redeems them from the transgressions under the first covenant.

[20] παραπτωμα paraptōma — FALLING BESIDE, a false step, a blunder

Matt 6:14,15 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Last edited by Paidion on Mon Sep 01, 2008 10:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Paidion

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Theophilus
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Re: What is sin?

Post by Theophilus » Mon Sep 01, 2008 10:13 pm

Paidion,

Thank you for your thoughtful and comprehensive reply.

When reading the NT, we learn that Jesus will save his people from their sin and that the indwelling and baptism of the Holy Spirit is normative for followers of Christ. It makes me wonder if man has some other spirit present (shudder, in him?) that works with him to commit sin (not necessarily all the time, but maybe before the sin is conceived).

Just as when we are born again of our Heavenly Father, Jesus also depicts the other "father";

John 8
44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.

Paul also talks about the Law being given to expose sin (Rom 7) so that we would know what it was and that we would be driven to Jesus by faith (Gal 3). Maybe if we were physically born into this condition we would have no other reliable frame of reference apart from the Law to detect it.

We also have the ministry of Jesus driving out demons and performing miraculous healings. We could possibly associate sickness with death and sin and The Fall. Rev 21:4.

It could be that the evil or sinful nature that is present is in the world around us in which we walk, not necessarily that anyone is inhabited by a particular evil spirit, although that is possible. Eph 6:12.

It seems to me that if we have a better understanding of the involvement of evil forces in the commission of our own sin (evil spirits and man conspiring together) how can we not be driven into the arms of our Savior?

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Homer
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Re: What is sin?

Post by Homer » Tue Sep 02, 2008 10:07 am

I do not believe we need any help to commit sin; we can do pretty well on our own.

James 1:13-15 (New King James Version)

13. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.

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RickC
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Re: What is sin?

Post by RickC » Tue Sep 02, 2008 1:32 pm

I have thoughts on several points raised so far but, for now....
Theophilus wrote:What role do spirits play in sin?

Homer added:
I do not believe we need any help to commit sin; we can do pretty well on our own.

James 1:13-15 (New King James Version)

13. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
James 3 (ESV)
6And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. 7For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.

13Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. 14But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.


If James was writing to Christians, and I think he was; he wrote believers can allow their tongues to get "set on fire by hell {Grk, gehenna}." He also wrote believers can exercise a kind of wisdom that is "earthly, unspiritual, and demonic."

A Christian can't be demon-possessed. But I do believe a Christian can yield to demonic influences, the devil, the forces of hell {Grk, gehenna}. I wouldn't necessarily call this "demonic oppression" because, according to James, we can decide to go right along with what demons want! In other words, we can do the devil's will: What happens when people backslide....

I don't see a demon or the devil behind every sin I do: Nor do I NOT see the devil or demonic forces there {my point being, the Bible doesn't make a dichotomy along these lines, imo}.

James quite strongly wrote that Christians aren't immune from devilish influences at all! I believe this is very true. I've experienced it and think all of us have, whether we realize it or not.

I'll have more tomorrow on a couple things Theophilus brought up.
Good word study, Don.
Hiya Homer.
Have a good day, thanks, :)

Theophilus
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Re: What is sin?

Post by Theophilus » Tue Sep 02, 2008 9:16 pm

It would appear that our sinful nature is the work of the devil.

1 John 3:8
8He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
9Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
10In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

Zondervan Compact Bible Dictionary, 1993, definition of sin,
"...Sin in the human race had its origin in Adam and Eve (Gen 3), but sin in the universe had its origin in angelic beings who rebelled against their creator and whose nature, as a result, became fixed in evil (2 Pet 2:4, Jude 6)."

Romans 7:20
20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

The sinful nature manifesting itself in the flesh, if not demonic itself, would appear to be demonic in origin and has all the trappings of being demonic as it is contrary to the nature and will of God. Also, to be clear, I am not attempting to exonerate man, but to understand the sinful nature better.

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RickC
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Re: What is sin?

Post by RickC » Wed Sep 03, 2008 1:55 pm

Hi Theophilus
You wrote:When reading the NT, we learn that Jesus will save his people from their sin and that the indwelling and baptism of the Holy Spirit is normative for followers of Christ. It makes me wonder if man has some other spirit present (shudder, in him?) that works with him to commit sin (not necessarily all the time, but maybe before the sin is conceived).
In the Dead Sea Scrolls {DSS} document: The Community Rule {abbrev., 1QS} it reads:
[God] allotted unto humanity two spirits that he should walk in them until the time of His visitation; they are the spirits of truth and perversity. The origin of truth is in a fountain of light, and the origin of perversity is from a fountain of darkness. Dominion over all the sons of righteousness is in the hand of the Prince of light; they walk in the ways of light. All dominion over the sons of perversity is in the hand of the Angel of darkness; they walk in the ways of darkness” (1QS 3:18–21, bold for emphasis).

The DSS aren't scriptures but do tell us things Jews believed before and during the lifetime of Jesus. In this text we see a "spirit of truth," a phrase Jesus used to describe the Holy Spirit. Standing over against in contrast is a "spirit of perversity." There are many examples and variations of this 'dualistic theme' in DSS. Much could be said, but I'll move on.
You also wrote:Just as when we are born again of our Heavenly Father, Jesus also depicts the other "father";

John 8
44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.

{And in your last post you wrote}:
Zondervan Compact Bible Dictionary, 1993, definition of sin,
"...Sin in the human race had its origin in Adam and Eve (Gen 3), but sin in the universe had its origin in angelic beings who rebelled against their creator and whose nature, as a result, became fixed in evil (2 Pet 2:4, Jude 6)."
For several years I've been studying {what I'll call and just say}:
"The Bible Teaches There Are Two Spiritual Families."
1) God's
2) the devil's

In this ongoing study I've looked at 1 Enoch and alternate {that is, unpopular} interpretations of who the Nephilim were in Genesis 6. The Hebrew word Nephilim can be accurately translated as "the fallen ones" {which I think is correct}. So, the view I'm working with is that the Nephilim were fallen angels; a belief that was held by certain first century Jews and widely in the Early Church {by Tertullian and others}.

This can get very complicated, and is. One question I asked was, "In what sense could the Jews Jesus spoke to be 'sons of the devil'?" Was the devil their spiritual father symbolically? or literally? God is our real, literal, spiritual Father. This being so, I've concluded that, in some sense, the devil was really their spiritual father.

We become God's children by spiritual birth or the rebirth {born again}. How did these Jews become the devil's children? Are they somehow "born again" into Satan's family?

1 Enoch describes the fall of rebellious angels {angels being called "Watchers"}. I've read that this can be seen as "another, Jewish way of describing how sin came into the world." That is, in comparison to what we have in the first chapters of Genesis. There, we have Adam & Eve & the serpent {the devil}. But in 1 Enoch, the rebel Watchers fell from heaven {being cast out down, "the fallen ones"} and brought their sins into the world with them. Again, a lot could be said on this, too!
You wrote:Paul also talks about the Law being given to expose sin (Rom 7) so that we would know what it was and that we would be driven to Jesus by faith (Gal 3). Maybe if we were physically born into this condition we would have no other reliable frame of reference apart from the Law to detect it.
In Romans 7 Paul describes "sin" as a power or powerful force in the world. It's as if sin almost has a personailty.
You also wrote:It could be that the evil or sinful nature that is present is in the world around us in which we walk, not necessarily that anyone is inhabited by a particular evil spirit, although that is possible. Eph 6:12.
"Walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfil the lust of the flesh," wrote Paul in Romans 8. This seems to preclude that walking in the flesh is tantamount to walking according to another spirit {the devil's}. I refer back to my post from yesterday.

Slightly off-topic.
I believe the person Paul described as "I" in Romans 7 refers to a Jew before [Christian] conversion. Christians don't walk according to a "sinful nature." Our "nature" is Holy Spirit[ual]! Your quotes from 1 John show how how Christians walk: The Greek in those verses show that it is habitual: it conveys Christians don't make it a continual {habitual} practice to sin.
Lastly for now, you wrote:It seems to me that if we have a better understanding of the involvement of evil forces in the commission of our own sin (evil spirits and man conspiring together) how can we not be driven into the arms of our Savior?
Years ago, I was really "on fire for the Lord." I witnessed to people and they got saved! But now, after many years, I've been considering why I'm not so "zealous." Why am I not leading so many to Christ? and so on. I truly think it's because I haven't been sufficiently angry at the devil! The Holy Spirit is confirming this to be true in my life. Lately I'm more focussed on the spirit behind the unsaved people I meet: the devil's, or a "spirit of perversity," to borrow from DSS. Unsaved people do the bad things {sin} but, at the same time, are also held captive by the devil to do his will. There really isn't a dichotomy here, imo.

Gtg for now, God bless! :)
Last edited by RickC on Wed Sep 03, 2008 2:34 pm, edited 9 times in total.

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RickC
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Re: What is sin?

Post by RickC » Wed Sep 03, 2008 2:04 pm

Quick P.S.
I was wondering...you could change the title of this thread?
"What role do spirits play in sin?"
Not saying I think you have to or anything like that, lol, ;)
But it is what we're talking about!
OK, Rick-out, ~ peace ~

Theophilus
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Re: What role do spirits play in sin?

Post by Theophilus » Wed Sep 03, 2008 10:41 pm

Hi Rick,

Thanks for your post. That was very informative. I wasn't aware of the writings you mentioned in the DSS. I'm going to have to check that out.

I'm not sure if what follows is on topic, but I also wonder if there is an analogy with the Israelites being afraid to enter the Promised Land, and the Church advancing to drive out the principalities and powers of this present age (as the LORD was going ahead of the Israelites so Jesus has already disarmed the principalities (See also David & Goliath)). Because the Israelites would not go initially, they were forced to wander. And then a generation later, they did enter but did not drive out all of the Canaanite peoples (sinful practices, evil forces of this dark world). That eventually became a snare to them and then they were driven into captivity or bondage again. The cycle repeated. (Sorry for repeating what is known).

And it's difficult to know if this is something that happens at the individual level, national level, or both.

Here are some verses that have stood-out with the possibility of understanding God's forbearance with the evil spirits, if knowing God is eternal life;

Romans 9
22What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory—

Romans 11
32For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.

Deut 13
1 “If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods’—which you have not known—‘and let us serve them,’ 3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him.

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RickC
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Re: What role do spirits play in sin?

Post by RickC » Thu Sep 04, 2008 1:28 pm

Quick Post...{been busy today, work nites & gtg to bed}....

I've been re-listening to Steve {Gregg's} "Spiritual Warfare" lectures this week. In one {can't remember which right now} he uses David, Goliath, the Israelites & Philistines as an illustration of spiritual battle. The agreement was: whoever lost between David & Goliath; the loser's nation would serve the other. But the Philistines took off and had to be pursued, though David had already won the victory. I think I see what you're getting at on "how spritual battle works" {but have to go for now}.....

Have you listened to Steve's lectures on this or other topics?
"Spiritual Warfare" is under Topical Lectures: http://www.thenarrowpath.com/
I like hearing Steve because he gives "all views' then his & why.

Obviously, we have a few things to discuss, Theophilus!
I'm enjoying it, thanks, have a good day & bbl, :)

P.S. I have Geza Vermes' DSS translation in paperback. It's not real expensive, like $20. Also, I'd like to see more folks in on our study....Take Care.

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