Home About Us Apostolic Free Library Questions & Answers Guestbook Order Online Search The Network

Why the 'sin' of the world?

Submitted: 2/14/2010
Post a comment or
ask a follow-up question
Question: In John 1:29, what is the sin of the world, not sins of the world?

Answer: In John 1:29, John the Baptist declares, 'Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.' The terminology is different here than in other passages. For example, 1 Peter 2:24 descibes Jesus has having born 'our sins [plural] in His own body on the tree.' And Revelation 1:5 speaks of 'Him who loved us and washed us from our sins [plural] in His own blood.' And the personal application of the gospel is described this way in Acts 2:38, 'Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins [plural].' Our conclusion is that in the three passages quoted, since the reference is more personal (our sins), the plural is used. We all have our own personal sins that need to be forgiven through repentance and baptism. But when John was speaking of the collective sins of all minkind, he used the singular (the sin of the world) to indicate that all individual sins were being brought together into a single package (so to speak) to be born by the Lamb of God. As Romans 6:10 says, 'For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all.' It could also be referring to the concept of sin as opposed to the act of sin. In addition to bearing our actual sins on the cross, Jesus bore the very idea of sin, that we would be abloe to 'reckon ourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord' (Romans 6:11).