Understanding the Problem of Sin Using the Law of Causality

Let’s start off by defining some important terms:

  1. Philosophy: is a combination of two Greek words, philein sophia, meaning lover of wisdom.
  2. Law of Causality or Causation: a principle in philosophy: every change in nature is produced by some cause. In other words, every effect has a cause.
  3. Sin: is described in the Bible as transgression of the law of God (1 John 3:4) and rebellion against God (Deuteronomy 9:7; Joshua 1:18). Jesus explains to Sadhu Sundar Singh in the Book, “At the Master’s Feet” that Sin is to cast aside the will of God and to live according to one’s own will, deserting that which is true and lawful in order to satisfy one’s own desires, thinking thus to obtain happiness.
  4. Sinner: is a person who has inherited the sin nature from Adam. In other words, no matter how hard he tries, he cannot help but sin.


In his book, Stealing from God, Frank Turek says, “To doubt the law of causality is to doubt virtually everything we know about reality, including our ability to reason and do science. All arguments, all thinking, all science, and all aspects of life depend on the law of causality.”

Let me quote also some of the things that Watchman Nee shares in his book, “The Normal Christian Life”.

“In the first eight chapters of Romans, two aspects of salvation are presented to us: first, the forgiveness of our sins and second, our deliverance from sin.

“The blood deals with what we have done, whereas the cross deals with what we are. The blood disposes of our sins, while the cross strikes at the root of our capacity for sin.”

The blood can wash away my sins, but it cannot wash away my “old man.” It needs the cross to crucify me. The blood deals with the sins, but the cross must deal with the sinner.”

“One who sins is a sinner, but it is equally true that one who does not sin, if he is of Adam’s race, is a sinner too and in need of redemption. Do you follow me? There are bad sinners and there are good sinners, there are moral sinners and there are corrupt sinners, but they are all alike sinners.”

I am a sinner because I am born in Adam. It is a matter not of my behavior but of my heredity, my parentage. I am not a sinner because I sin, but I sin because I come of the wrong stock. I sin because I am a sinner.

“God is taking pains to show us that we ourselves are wrong, fundamentally wrong. The root trouble is the sinner; he must be dealt with. Our sins are dealt with by the blood, but we ourselves are dealt with by the cross. The blood procures our pardon for what we have done; the cross procures our deliverance from what we are.”

Story Time

Let me share a story that Jesus tells Sadhu Sundar Singh to explain the problem of sin and sinner:

The forgiveness of sins does not mean full salvation, for that can only come with perfect freedom from sin. For it is possible that a man should die from the disease of his sin, though he has received full pardon for it. For instance, a man had his brain affected owing to an illness of long standing, and whilst thus affected he made an attack upon another man and killed him. When sentence of death was pronounced upon him, his relatives explained the circumstances and appealed for mercy for him, and he was granted pardon for the sin of murder. But before his friends could reach him with the good news, indeed while they were on the way, he had died of the sickness by reason of which he had committed the murder. What advantage was this pardon to the murderer? His real safety would have been to be cured of his disease, and then he would have had real happiness in his pardon. For this reason I became manifest in the flesh that I might deliver penitent believers from the disease of sin, from its punishment and from death; thus taking away both cause and effect. They will not die in their sins, for I will save them (Matt. i.21), and they shall pass from death to becomes heirs of eternal life.”

Scripture Reference: John 3 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

1 There was a man from the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Him at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher, for no one could perform these signs You do unless God were with him.”

3 Jesus replied, “I assure you: Unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

4 “But how can anyone be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked Him. “Can he enter his mother’s womb a second time and be born?”

5 Jesus answered, “I assure you: Unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be amazed that I told you that you must be born again. 8 The wind blows where it pleases, and you hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

Major Points of Sermon

1. Applying the Law of Causality to the Problem of Sin

We often hear people say, “Why can’t I stop doing wrong things? I try my best to attend church service, go to bible studies, pay my tithes and give offerings, I pray, I study the bible……….” And the list goes on and on. Let me ask you a simple question, “After you became a Christian, did your sin nature suddenly cease? Has becoming a Christian suddenly diminished your ability to sin? Have you somehow become immune to sinning?” Of course, if you are indeed human, the answer would most likely be no. If by any chance, that is not the case, I apologize. You might as well leave and make better use of this time instead of reading what I have to say. Now to the folks who are facing this problem of sin and just cannot seem to get out of its grip, I may be able to help you better understand this problem. Before we can form any ground for resolving a problem, it is always good to fully understand what the problem exactly is. I will be using the law of causality to illustrate the problem of sin. We have already defined some important terms such as sin and sinner. It is very important that we stick to the correct definition. The law of causality in simple words states that for every effect, there is a cause. When we talk about sin, it is an effect. The blood of Jesus Christ resolves the problem of the sins we have committed. The Holman Christian Standard Bible says in 1 John 1:7 “But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” It is very important that we clearly understand the purpose of the blood of Jesus; it is to cleanse us from all sin. Please note that it says all sin. Some Christians feel that there are some sins that the blood cannot cleanse. Obviously that it wrong. The only time that is possible is when we reject the blood of Jesus Christ. For example if you refuse to take the medicine which has the capability to cure you, it is pretty obvious you will remain sick and eventually die. The blood of Jesus resolves the problem of the sins we have committed but it does resolve the problem of the sinner. It resolves what we did but it does not resolve who you are. A dog by his identity can only bark when it opens its mouth. Now we do not call an animal a dog because it barks. If that were true and I made the same noise, then you will end up calling me a dog as well. By looking at an animal you can identify if it is a dog. If it is a dog, then automatically anyone would naturally assume when it opens up its mouth, barking would be the reasonable sound coming out. There is another side to this; even if the dog cannot bark due to some problem in his or her throat, I will still call it a dog. We humans are sinners by hereditary. We are born sinners which is naturally due to our adamic heritage. We all came from Adam who passed on to us the adamic nature of sin. What this means is that we were automatically put in the classification of a sinner even before we sinned. The real problem is who we are and not only what we have done. For example I was born Indian. I can speak fluent English but that does not make me an American. I have Indian heritage. It does not matter what I do to change my appearance or color, my birth certificate will still identify me as an Indian. This is through birth and I cannot do anything to change it. This illustration helps us better understand one more concept. All our good works and our effort to become a better person does not really help us at all. Because the truth of the matter is we will still remain sinners. The problem of who we are is not resolved by the blood of Jesus Christ. So what’s the solution? That’s a really good question. I will try to answer it best to my knowledge on the next two points of my sermon. But please remember the first point: sin is the effect and sinner is the cause. The problem of the sins we have committed is resolved by the blood of Jesus Christ. How does it work? We put our faith in the blood of Jesus Christ to cleanse us from all our sins. All sins forgiven; God gives you a clean start.

2. Being Born of Water and Spirit

Jesus said to Nicodemus, “……..Unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit.” Here Jesus is talking about two kinds of births. He identifies the first birth as being of water. In the verse following it, He explains it as physical birth referring to the flesh. Most denominations have mistranslated this verse as a reference to water baptism. This is out of context as to what Jesus explains afterwards. Let’s just say that if that was right, then all who have not received water baptism would end up in hell. Let’s consider one example. There were two thieves crucified with Jesus. One of them confessed to Jesus that he had done wrong and was rightly judged for being crucified. He asks Jesus to remember Him. Jesus tells the thief that today he will be with Him in paradise.  I would like to ask a simple question to folks who think Jesus was referring to water baptism as a requirement to enter heaven; was the thief baptized in water? Of course not. I think the question we should be asking is what does water have to do with physical birth? Water refers to physical birth, specifically to the water of the amniotic sac. The amniotic sac and its filling provide a liquid that surrounds and cushions the fetus. It allows the fetus to move freely within the walls of the uterus. Usually the amniotic sac (also called bag of waters) breaks just before a woman goes into labor or during the early part of labor. Understanding the bag of water breaking and the baby being born is very important as this clearly illustrates what Jesus is talking about. Now let’s talk about spiritual birth. A person is born spiritually when he or she realizes their need for a savior, repents of their sins, asks Jesus for forgiveness and receives Him into their heart and life. They make up their mind to follow Him. In other words simple faith in acknowledging and receiving Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and savior. Spiritual birth does not do changes to your physical body. It makes your spirit man (the real person on the inside, the inner man, the hidden man of the heart) new. In simple words, God puts in your physical body a new heart (spirit). This new spirit being is actually the real you. It desires and thirsts for things of God, things which will bring him closer to Him such as prayer, fellowship, worship, reading the bible, spending time alone in God’s presence etc. If Jesus Christ is your personal Lord and savior, then congratulations; you have been born of the spirit. There is one more point I wanted to stress on before I move to the third point of my teaching. Physical birth gives us bios which is a Greek word. Remember the original New Testament was written in Greek. Bios is God’s gift of physical life. It is the period or duration of earthly life. In other words, it is the physical life force which has a beginning and an end. It is life that starts at birth and ends at death i.e. physical death. It is finite (it has an end or finishing point). Now bios is something only associated to the physical birth. There is another word in the Greek language called Zoe which means life (physical and spiritual). All life (zōḗ), throughout the universe, is derived – i.e. it always (only) comes from and is sustained by God's self-existent life. The Lord intimately shares His gift of life with people, creating each in His image which gives all the capacity to know His eternal life. Zoe is used to express the form of life that Jesus gives His followers (John 10:10). It refers to the principle of life in the spirit and soul. We gain access to this life by being raised spiritually with the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit into the heavenly realms with Christ. This form of life is infinite (it has no end or finishing point). In other words, it continues even after a person dies physically. I know I have gone into a little theological stuff here. But I feel this information is relevant to better understanding spiritual birth and eternal life. Now I would like to move onto my third point before I lose track of this message.

3. Addressing the Problem of the Sinner

I have already discussed about the problem of the sins we have committed and that the solution is the blood of Jesus Christ. Sin is the effect but not the cause. The cause is the sinner. Now let me address the problem of the sinner at its root. We are sinners at the core of our beings. To say in a simple manner, our good works will add no good to our corrupt nature. We ourselves are messed up, our soul is stained so bad that even after we become a new creature in Christ, the mind has to be renewed on a consistent basis or else we will end up doing something stupid once again. Is it not true? Please do not make the mistake of taking my words as an assumption, as if it is just another opinion from a self-proclaimed theologian. Any person will immediately confess that their sinning nature did not seize after conversion. Your spirit is born again with the Holy Spirit inside of it producing the eternal life within. Remember Jesus said out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But what about the flesh; what about your physical body, what about your corrupted mind; what about the devil always looking for the slightest opportunity to tempt, entice, lie, steal, kill and destroy. Who will deal with all that? God! I don’t think so. Let me tell you a small story to demonstrate a point. Pastor Kenneth Hagin was praying for people who were in a prayer line. One woman came up to him and Pastor Kenneth asked her what she would like him to pray for her. She answered, “Brother Hagin, pray that from today the devil does not trouble me anymore.” Pastor Kenneth asked the lady if she wanted him to pray that she die right now. The woman was shocked at the pastor’s response and gave him I would say the big eye look. Pastor Hagin explained, “Well sister, the only way the devil will top troubling you is when you die. As long as you are alive, you will need to deal with the devil. There are no short cuts.” Of course this is not the exact wording but I believe you understood my point. Let’s look at a scripture real quick just to make better sense of the story I just shared.

Holman Christian Standard Bible says in James 4:7 Therefore, submit to God. But resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.

 Before I explain the verse above, let me elaborate on something I feel is very important. When you study the bible carefully, you will notice that the words sin and Satan are almost synonymous. I am not saying they are exactly same in meaning but very interchangeable in their use in the bible. The James 4:7 verse contain three pieces of instruction. Let me list them in order:

  1. Submit to God - Million dollar question; How do you submit to God? Submitting to God is submitting to the Holy Spirit within your spirit. Remember the Holy Spirit is God's guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him (Eph 1:14). Submitting to God is being led by the Holy Spirit. As a matter of fact, the scripture is clear; as many are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God (Rom 8:14). Pay caution to this next statement: I am a spirit being who lives in a body and has a soul. My spirit is born again and is now in submission to the Holy Spirit. The problem is my body and mind are not born again. So what should I do? Build up the real person (the inner man, the hidden man of the heart, spirit). The primary way a person does this is by spending as much time as possible with God (prayer, praise, fellowship, bible study, spending time alone with God, praying in the spirit). Of all these, I think praying in the spirit is a big boom for the enemy of our soul. He certainly hates it. When the real person on the inside is built up, the flesh is brought under the submission of the spirit. This is where victory lays; this is where the work around solution for the problem of the sinner lays. But remember it works both ways. If you keep feeding your flesh with the corruption of the world, the problem of the sinner is even more intensified. This is a very dangerous ground. We don’t want to imagine the end. It may be more terrible then the reach of our imagination.
  2. Resist the devil – Let me ask the obvious question: Who is resisting the devil? You or God. Common sense speaks for itself. Of course you. Jesus Christ has transferred His authority to the church that is you and me. In other words, those who believe and follow Jesus Christ. Refer to Matthew 28 and Mark 16 for the great commission. Mark 16: 17 says that in the name of Jesus, we will drive out demons. Think about this for a second, ok ten seconds, if we have the authority of the name of Jesus Christ to cast out demons then it can automatically be concluded that resisting the devil will also be done in the name of Jesus. Another reference for resisting Satan is Revelation 12:11 which states that we overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb that is Jesus Christ and by the word of our testimony. A third reference would be Matthew 4, which tells about the temptation of Jesus Christ by Satan. The first thing Satan challenges Jesus to do is change stone to bread to prove He was the Son of God. Of course, Jesus was super hungry after completing His 40 day fast. Jesus gives an excellent answer that is men (this includes women) shall not live by bread alone but by every word, which proceeds from the mouth of God. The word of God is the Bible. So there you have it folks. I have given you three solutions to resisting the devil: 1. Name of Jesus 2. Blood of Jesus and your testimony 3. Word of God (Bible).
  3. The devil will flee – Oh yes; at this point Mr. devil has no choice but to run in terror i.e. flee. If only we could get a glimpse of this in the spiritual realm, we would laugh ourselves to the floor in a good way that is. Warning: if you are not resisting the devil, he will not flee. Please make sure it is really the devil and not your carnal flesh. We don’t want to waste time on someone or something that has nothing to do with the spiritual issue we are facing namely the devil and his buddies.  


In conclusion, let us go back to the original scenario: The problem of sin has a cause and effect. Sin is the effect and sinner is the cause. The blood of Jesus Christ resolves the problem of sins one has committed, which is the effect. However the blood of Jesus Christ does not resolve the problem of the sinner, which is the cause. Shortcut solution is physical death. Of course we are looking for an alternative solution, a work around. God has provided it; bring your flesh under the control of the spirit or bring your flesh under submission to your spirit. To do this, you need to build up or edify the real person on the inside i.e. the spirit man. The flesh man should be brought under the lordship or authority of the spirit. The flesh will right away rebel. The solution is to continually feed your spirit men spiritual food i.e. the word of God and have consistent fellowship with God and brethren. Do not feed the carnal desires of the flesh as this will only lead you closer to eternal destruction. It may sound harsh but in a practical sense it is worse then can be put in words. The Christian must understand that Jesus has given the authority of his name to him. He should use it. Secondly there is wonder-working power in the blood of Jesus and in the testimony of the saints. Thirdly the word of God i.e. the Bible is a very powerful weapon. The book of Hebrews says in 4:12 that the word of God is alive, living, active and powerful. If only we Christians will take advantage of all the resources Christ has equipped us with. I believe this teaching will open up your spiritual eyes to see and better understand your position in Christ Jesus. One last word of encouragement: Satan and his cohorts are scared to death when you use the powerful name of Jesus Christ. When the Bible says that everything in heaven, earth and under the earth bows down to the name of Jesus, it includes the devil and his buddies as well. God bless you all and thanks for reading.