from whence we fell
“If there is a personal God--and the world around and within us is full of testimonies we cannot avoid hearing to His unconditioned, eternal and living existence--He must be the fountain of all life and the embodiment of all perfection. Nature then can also really have ‘life’ only in so far as it is united with this fountain and shares His life, i.e., has communion with God.
“Now here is precisely the disastrous fact in man's life; he no longer possesses this union with God. God no longer plays any decisive part in his life. Most could imagine that God does not exist, and it would not make any essential difference to their lives. So many live in practice as if God did not exist, although they may acknowledge His existence in theory and on occasion honor Him by attending a religious service. Precisely this is the essence of what the Bible calls ‘sin.’
“We are not concerned here with terminology but with facts. ‘To sin’' means to have detached oneself from God, to have dissociated oneself from Him, to live far from Him. ‘Sin’ is the creature's deliberate becoming a law to himself. It is eliminating the Divine claim to rule, the ignoring of the supreme authority, the disregarding of the supreme majesty, the freeing of the creature from the Creator. We must not explain it as an inner feeling of inferiority, but as an inherent condition, shared by both superior and inferior characters (Rom. 3:23). It characterizes the whole of man's existence, not only his individual actions. Through sin the creature makes himself independent, flees from the reality of his creaturely subjection, and lives in an illusion about his actual finiteness.”