The Root Cause of Sin

by Creflo Dollar | 7 Feb 2018


The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, but He was not sent to convict us of wrong-doing. Most people think He focuses on our actions, but He actually was sent to convict us of unbelief. Sin is certainly wrong-doing, but every action of sin is a reaction of unbelief. When we are tempted to commit a sinful act, it indicates that there is some part of the Word of God that we do not believe. At the point of temptation, we must pause and locate the area of our unbelief. When we feel the pressure applied to us to doubt what God tells us, we must remember the example Jesus set when He faced the same temptations that we face, but did not give in to them. Our victory or defeat in life hinges on what goes on in our minds; when we choose to believe on Jesus, we can receive the same kind of life that He has.
  1. The Holy Spirit’s mission is to convince us to believe, not to condemn us.
    1. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me (John 16:8, 9).
      1. The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, but this does not mean He convicts people of the wrong things they do. He actually comes to convict us of the sin of not believing on Jesus.
      2. Specifically, we must believe that Jesus lived, died, and forgave our sins; we must believe in His finished works.
      3. Unbelief is the root cause of every act of sin. Our sinning is a fruit derived from unbelief.
    2. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased (Matthew 3:16, 17).
      1. We can be tempted to believe all sorts of things if we do not believe what God says about our identity in Him.
    3. Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread (Matthew 4:1-3).
      1. If Jesus had not believed what God said about His identity, the outcome of this confrontation would have been very different.
      2. This test was designed to see if Jesus believed what He had just received.
      3. Temptation is pressure applied to the flesh to cause us to contradict a promise we said we believed.
      4. For Jesus, the temptation in the wilderness was to not believe God when He had said Jesus was His beloved Son.
    4. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15).
      1. Jesus meditated on the Word day and night, and became what He meditated on. We can do the same thing.
      2. There is literally no lack in Christ, regardless of what it looks like on the physical level. If we believe on Him, no lack exists in any area of our lives.
      3. Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth (Mark 9:23).
  1. Unbelief itself is sin. It keeps us from reaching our place of rest in Jesus.
    1. And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23).
      1. The issue here is not about eating or abstaining from any food, but about doubt versus belief.
    2. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love (Galatians 5:6).
      1. Belief in the promises of God, and in Jesus Christ, is the root of all love and goodness.
    3. Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God…And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief (Hebrews 3:12, 18, 19).
      1. An evil heart of unbelief can start in one area of our lives, but grow and infect other areas.
    4. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief (Hebrews 4:11).
      1. Unbelief blocks us from resting in Jesus’ finished works.
  1. Our strong faith makes us overcomers; it also makes us pleasing to God.
    1. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him (Hebrews 11:6).
      1. We cannot truly come to God if there are certain parts of the Word we do not believe. We must accept all of it.
    2. Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone(James 2:17).
      1. Dead faith lacks belief. No matter what we do, all of our actions will be wrong if we do not believe.
    3. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 John 5:4, 5).
      1. Our faith is what overcomes the world. Those who do not believe will not be able to overcome the world’s lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and its pride of life.
      2. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world (1 John 2:16).

Scripture References

John 16:8, 9
Matthew 3:16, 17
Matthew 4:1-3
Hebrews 4:11, 15
Mark 9:23
Romans 14:23
Galatians 5:6
Hebrews 3:12, 18, 19
Hebrews 11:6
James 2:17
1 John 5:4, 5
1 John 2:16