• What does it mean for God to “give people up” to their sin (Rom. 1:24)? Question and Answer

    Romans 1:24

    A good way of thinking about this is that when people rebel against God, especially in the way Romans 1 describes it, they view themselves as being freed from the judgment of God: “We are able to do these things and flaunt God’s law, and you Christian people speak about the judgment of God.” Paul says that the fact that you are doing these things so freely and with a free spirit is actually itself the judgment of God. God has given you over to that sin. In a sense, if that is the kind of freedom you want, then … View Resource

  • What is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit? Question and Answer

    Matthew 12:31-32

    THOMAS: Interestingly enough, we talked a little bit about this today in a course that I was teaching here for Ligonier. We talked about the change of view that has taken place since the Puritan period in the seventeenth century. At that time, the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit was a definite sin. It was a definite, existential moment in a person’s life when they said “No” to the gospel or “No” to the work of the Holy Spirit. I was pointing out that Martyn Lloyd-Jones, I think in Preaching and Preachers, said that this was what troubled his congregation … View Resource

  • Does God give people free will? Question and Answer

    No, God doesn’t give people free will if you take it to mean that they can choose anything they want. I would define free will as this: every human being has the freedom to choose whatever sin he wants. That’s free will. You can choose whatever sin you want to choose, you just can’t choose not to sin. So yes, there’s free will, but there’s only free will within the framework of depravity and corruption. The one thing you can choose is to get out of there. For that, you have to cry for the mercy and grace of God … View Resource

  • What does it mean in Romans 1 that God gave people up to a reprobate mind? Question and Answer

    Romans 1:28

    THOMAS: This is the first chapter of Romans, and it extends after the introductory prologue that is, in some ways, a summary of the whole book of Romans. Paul begins his exposition of sin, which will lead all the way through to the middle of the third chapter. He talks about sin both in Jews and Gentiles so that none is without excuse. As a result of Adam’s fall and rebellion, he lost his native ability to will that which is good. “Giving over to a reprobate mind” means that God consigns mankind to live in a condition that can … View Resource

  • Is God disappointed in our mistakes or disobedience? Question and Answer

    SPROUL: My skin crawls when I hear sin described as “a mistake.” That language we’ve been taught to use is the politically-correct language of our day: “I made a mistake.” You make a mistake when you add two and two and come up with five. There are moral implications of that because of the noetic effects of sin, but a mistake does not carry the full, moral weight of a willful act of disobedience against a holy, perfect, and righteous God. We grieve the Holy Spirit, even in our redeemed state, by our sins. I don’t think the Lord is … View Resource

  • What is the difference between sin, transgression, and iniquity? Question and Answer

    FERGUSON: Sin, transgression, and iniquity are different words in the Old Testament. Most of us are familiar with the Greek term hamartia, meaning “sin,” which conveys the idea of falling short of the mark. We are made for the glory of God, but sin causes us to fall short of the mark. Transgression has the very basic idea of crossing the line. God has given us His law, and we cross the line. Iniquity has the sense in Psalm 51, for example, of “twistedness.” There is a twistedness in us as a consequence of this. All of these words are … View Resource

  • Is God justified in punishing us for Adam’s sin? Question and Answer

    It is just that we are born with a sin nature because we sinned in Adam. That’s the whole concept. Adam was the perfect representative, not just for himself but for the whole human race. Whether we understand being in Adam through federalism, realism, or different theories, nevertheless it’s because of my unity with Adam and corporate solidarity with Adam that Adam and his progeny were punished with a corrupt nature. The corrupt nature is the punishment. What we call “original sin” is not the first sin, but the result of the first sin. That’s passed to the whole human … View Resource

  • Are there distinctions of sin in hell? Question and Answer

    2 Corinthians 5:10

    SPROUL: I think the New Testament makes it clear. There are at least twenty-five references in the New Testament that speak of the various degrees of punishment and/or reward in heaven relative to the degrees of sinfulness of sin. Even though all sin is sin, there is still a clear distinction in the New Testament between those sins that are covered, the multitude of sins that love covers—the Roman Catholic distinction between “mortal” and “venial” is not something that we would hold, but it’s a distinction that we would agree with in part, that at least there is a difference … View Resource

  • Scripture says that Christ stated the unforgivable sin as being blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Can you expand on that, and how should I pray for someone committing that sin? Question and Answer

    Mark 3:28-29

    There’s a lot of confusion over the sin that Jesus says cannot be forgiven either in this world or in the world to come. Some people think that the unforgivable sin is murder because the Old Testament gives us such strong sanctions against murder and says that if a person has committed murder, even if he repents, he is still to be executed. Others believe that it’s adultery because adultery violates the union of two people. As gross as these sins may be, I don’t think they fit the description here because we see that King David, for example, who … View Resource