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What an excellent question!  Let’s begin by reading the words of John the Baptist in John 1:29, “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”  Notice here that the word ‘sin’ is in the singular tense.  This is not in reference to the individual sins that we all have committed, but is in reference to the ‘sin question’; the whole thought of the corruptible sin nature that dwells in each of us.  It is the root of sin; it is that which has corrupted us.  Sins are the wrong acts that we commit.  ‘Sin’ is the root principle, while ‘sins’ are the shameful fruits that come from the sin nature.

Let’s consider a verse that addresses both ‘sin’ and sins’.  1 John 3:4says, “Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.” (NASB).  Sin is lawlessness.”  The sin nature refuses to be controlled.  It insists on having its own way.  It is the assertion of man’s will in rebellion to God’s will.  It is the sin nature that produces acts of sin.  How did we get this sin nature?  We were born with it.  As King David says in Psalm 51:5, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.”  We inherited this sinful nature by our father, Adam.  Speaking of Adam, Romans 5:12also tells us about ‘sin’ and ‘sins’.  It says, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” 

What then is the cure for ‘sin’ and ‘sins’?  In one word, the cure for both is DEATH.  We read in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, “For I delivered to you, in the first place, what also I had received, that Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures; and that he was buried; and that he was raised the third day, according to the scriptures.”  Notice that ‘sins’ is in the plural tense, meaning that Christ died for our sinful acts.  He died as a sacrifice to God to pay the debt we owed to God for the sins we have committed.  Romans 6:23is crystal clear.  For the wages of sin is death…”  This is our debt because of our actions.  We have earned death.  In His marvelous mercy and grace, the Lord Jesus died in our place.  He “died for our sins.”

Christ also died for “the sin of the world” as we read in John 1:29.  Sin, the root of every sinful act, was taken away, or paid for, by the Lamb of God when He died on the cross. 

Throughout the Bible, we read of the forgiveness of sins, or the forgiveness of an individual act of sin.  For example Ephesians 1:7says, “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.”  However, we never read of the ‘forgiveness of sin’.  In fact, Romans 8:3tells us, “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.”  The Lord does not condone nor forgive the sin nature; He condemns it.  And the work of the Holy Spirit in us leads us to condemn it, also.  The Lord has condemned ‘sin’, so that we may know deliverance from its power.  We learn in Romans 6:6, “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”  Our old man’ is the old standing we had before God before we were saved.  That old man is dead.  Realizing that truth, and the power that comes from that knowledge, we are strengthened so that we do not “serve sin” any longer.  The “body of sin” is destroyed.  The meaning is really that the body of sin, or the sin nature is annulled.  It no longer is able to control the Christian.  As believers on the Lord Jesus we read in Romans 6:14, of the conquering of the sin nature.  That says, “For sin shall not have dominion over you…”  May we learn to walk in the truth and power of these words!  (155.6)