Sin = Death

Note, this article is a part of the Gospel series and a continuation of the article: All have sinned.

Sin separates us from God

"But your iniquities have separated between you and your God,
and your sins have hid his face from you,
that he will not hear."
Isaiah 59:2

Because man is a sinner by nature and sin separates God and man, we can illustrate separation from God like this:

Isaiah 59:2

All have sinned...

"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"
Romans 3:23

Since our dead, condemned condition is a result of Adam's disobediance, then this truth is universal. Regardless, of one's race, religion, or socioeconomic status, it is still true that


The condition of the whole human race can be summed up like this:

Romans 3:23

All fall short...

"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"
Romans 3:23

Because EVERY human being is born a descendant of Adam and, thereby, a dead, condemned, sinner, they ALL, EVERYONE, fall short of God's expectation.

Romans 3:23

The wages of sin is death

"For the wages of sin is death;
but the gift of God is eternal life
through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Romans 6:23

This verse tells us that the wages, or the consequences of sin, is death. At this point we need to identify just what "death" means. Death is used to describe our dead spiritual condition, as in

"Even when we were dead in sins..."
Ephesians 2:5

However, here in Romans 6:23, death is used to describe an eternal death as in

"...This is the second death..."
Revelation 20:14-15

The second death

And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.
This is the second death.
And whosoever was not found written in the book of life
was cast into the lake of fire.

Revelation 20:14-15

Everyone who is still dead spiritually when they die, everyone not written in the book of life, will be cast into the lake of fire.

Revelation 20:14-15

So, when the Scripture says

"the wages of sin is death"
it is referring to this death, that is, THE SECOND DEATH, the lake of fire.

Our Filthy Rags

Most people, sensing their need for God, try to "do something" to make themselves right with God. They try to build a bridge to eliminate the separation that they sense exists between them and God. Some try through good works such as helping others, giving to the poor, or doing kind things for people. Some try through religious practices such as attendance at religious meetings, prayer, or fasting. Some hope that through religious rituals such as baptism or taking communion that they will no longer be dead sinners under God's condemnation. When we approach God on the basis of these, our own works, God calls them "FILTHY RAGS", as in the following verse:

"But we are all as an unclean thing,
and all our righteousnesses are as FILTHY RAGS;
and we all do fade as a leaf;
and our iniquities, like the wind,
have taken us away."
Isaiah 64:6

Romans 3:23

Not of Works

Can man, by some action, or actions, save himself from his sinful state? Can he make himself alive spiritually and remove the condemnation that exists in the sight of a Holy God? What does the scripture say?

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that NOT OF YOURSELVES: it is the gift of God: NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast."
Ephesians 2:8-9


"NOT BY WORKS of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;"
Titus 3:5-6


"Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that WORKETH NOT, BUT BELIEVETH on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness."
Romans 4:5


"And if by grace, then is it NO MORE OF WORKS: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work."
Romans 11:6


According to the scripture, man, left to himself, is totally incapable of doing ANY work, deed, or act of devotion that would be acceptable in God's sight, seeing that he is unclean by nature and all his righteous deeds are like filthy rags. He is, indeed, weak and helpless when it comes to saving himself, so, he is indeed doomed. He must look to God for help because every time he tries to do anything to please God, it is written...
"... not of yourselves..."
"...not of works..."
"... Not by works of righteousness that we have done..."
"... all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags..."


Death by sin

In conclusion, all who are members of the human race:
  • all are born spiritually dead and separated from God by sin, and thus fall short of His glory

  • dying without Christ will face a "second death", which is the lake of fire

  • totally unable to do anything to save themselves.
    All their righteous deeds to save themselves are, in God's sight, filthy rags.
We are, indeed, in need of a Saviour!

Next Article: Christ died for us

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