There are three separate aspects of the consequences of sin which will be explained here: 1). The penalty of sin which describes the very real moral debt that every person now carries as a result of sin; 2). the power of sin which describes the enslaving and corrupting power that sinful thoughts, attitudes and actions can produce in the human heart; 3). the pain of sin which describes the misery and heartache that results in the lives of those trapped by the enslaving and corrupting power of sin. The reader can easily see the reality of the second two points in the world today. However the reality of the moral debt of sin is something which can only be fully understood on the basis of the truth of scripture.


When speaking of the penalty of sin three words need to be considered: death, separation, and condemnation. The scriptures records that God warned Adam and Eve that if they were to disobey Him that the result would be death. While the serpent assured Eve that she would not die the resultant consequence was in fact the curse of death. Consider the facts as recorded in scripture,

(Genesis 3:17-19) Then to Adam He said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat from it'; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. {18} "Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you shall eat the plants of the field; {19} By the sweat of your face You shall eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return."

The word which God spoke to Adam and Eve warning of the consequences of sin proved true as the curse of death was pronounced upon Adam along with hardship in the pursuit of his daily needs. Later in this same portion of scripture God drives Adam out of the garden and away from the tree of life. Adam would no longer experience the fellowship with God he once knew as a new sense of separation from God would be experienced.

(Genesis 3:22-24) Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, lest he stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever"-- {23} therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. {24} So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim, and the flaming sword which turned every direction, to guard the way to the tree of life.

The prophet Isaiah speaking on God's behalf to the nation of Israel highlights the separation from God that is caused by sin.

(Isaiah 59:1-2) Behold, the LORD'S hand is not so short That it cannot save; Neither is His ear so dull That it cannot hear. {2} But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He does not hear.

One might ask how the sin of Adam and Eve affects us today. Unfortunately the Bible teaches that Adam stood as a representative of the entire human race. When he sinned the penalty of death and separation from God was placed upon the entire creation. Furthermore the apostle Paul, who brings these truths to light, states that all mankind has come under judgment and condemnation because of the sin of Adam and because of their own sin.

(Romans 5:12;16;18;19) {12} Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned...{16}.... for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation...... {18} So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men...{19} For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners.

The condemnation and separation from God that sin has caused is very real. The apostle Paul when writing to the Ephesian believers explained to them that before they became Christians they were separated from Christ, without God in their lives and in a hopeless state. This description is as valid today as it was when written by the apostle 2000 years ago:

(Ephesians 2:12) ...remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.


The Bible teaches that thoughts, attitudes of heart and actions which are sinful can eventually enslave an individual and destroy that persons life. One need not look to far to see the reality of this matter all around. Many today are enslaved to alcohol and drugs. Others give testimony to being enslaved to lust and pornography and only God knows how many criminal sexual acts are the result of minds and hearts which have been poisoned by the pornographic industry. Others might be "controlled" by anger and hate that drives them to destructive acts of violence. The list goes on and on as the reality of the power of sin is demonstrated daily in the lives of multitudes of people.

(Proverbs 5:21-23) For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the LORD, And He watches all his paths. {22} His own iniquities will capture the wicked, And he will be held with the cords of his sin. {23} He will die for lack of instruction, And in the greatness of his folly he will go astray.

(John 8:34-36) Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. {35} "And the slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. {36} "If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.


As in the case of Eve who was deceived regarding the consequences of sin, many today deceive themselves believing they will somehow escape the pain and unhappiness that sin will bring. However, the word of God proves true as countless lives have been ruined or scarred in pursuit of things which God in His word has warned man not to embrace. For example, the Bible forbids drunkenness, but many in pursuit of some misguided pleasure or desire to escape life's responsibilities indulge in excess with alcohol. The resultant pain and misery that has occurred in the lives of the guilty parties and those as well who's lives in one way or another come in contact with these individuals is beyond question. The truth of the matter is that there was never a person who became enslaved to alcohol who did not in a sober state of mind chose not once but over and over again to overindulge to the point of repeated drunkenness. The examples of the pain and misery that sin brings to life are too numerous to record.

(Isaiah 1:4-6) Alas, sinful nation, People weighed down with iniquity, Offspring of evildoers, Sons who act corruptly! They have abandoned the LORD, They have despised the Holy One of Israel, They have turned away from Him. {5} Where will you be stricken again, As you continue in your rebellion? The whole head is sick, And the whole heart is faint. {6} From the sole of the foot even to the head There is nothing sound in it, Only bruises, welts, and raw wounds, Not pressed out or bandaged, Nor softened with oil.
(Isaiah 57:20-21) But the wicked are like the tossing sea, For it cannot be quiet, And its waters toss up refuse and mud. {21} "There is no peace," says my God, "for the wicked."

(Proverbs 12:21) No harm befalls the righteous, But the wicked are filled with trouble.

The realities of sin would lead to despair if that were the end of the story. Thank God that in His love, mercy and grace He has made provision to enable us to overcome every aspect of sin. Please continue to the next topic to begin to learn about what God has done for us in and through His Son Jesus Christ so that we may find victory over this enemy of man we call sin.