What is Sin?

What is Sin

What is Sin in the Bible?

When the idea for this article first came up, I thought it was an oddly simple concept. I’m sure a lot of other people do as well, as most of us are brought up to learn and know the difference’s between right and wrong.

The ten commandments and a list of other examples come to mind, but to answer what sin is in a simpler form without listing a multitude of examples is a bit more challenging. Perhaps the simplest way to answer the question “What is sin?” is to say that it is anything that goes against God’s word.

The word of God is amazing in its timelessness and though we live in a society that is constantly changing and evolving, we are still able to pinpoint what specific instances/occurrences in our lives are comprised of sin. God tends to have a perfect way of showing us in each of these circumstances what He considers to be sin and what he wants us to do.

But what exactly does God consider a sin?

Well as far as the ten commandments went, God made it fairly clear what many of the main sins were: murder, idolatry, sexual immorality/adultery, lust, theft, etc. Other sins are mentioned throughout the bible such as drunkenness, which can cause us to sin in more ways than one, but one that we may not think of often is the one talking about civil law.

Jesus once said, “Give to Caesar, the things that are Caesar’s, but give to God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:21). Jesus had respect for the laws of Caesar even if those were the very laws that resulted in his death.

Romans 13:1 says “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” This is an interesting idea and it can often be a difficult one for many to deal with, but in the end, what had happened, happened for a reason. The exception to these laws would of course be anything that contradicts what the bible says (in fact, “the law” when spoken about in the bible was actually referring to the bible). However, much of the law back then and many that still exist in modern society were created from the ultimate source of truth, the Bible.

How do we commit sin?

I believe we commit sin simply by disregarding the word of God and the consciousness of the holy spirit that lives in us. Disobeying and committing any of the ten commandments is the most simple and clear-cut form of sinning, but what about sinful thoughts?

Matthew 5:28 says “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” I believe this is one of the most challenging sins to overcome, especially with a highly televised and lustful social media that is more and more commonplace.

The same could be said for violence, which is also a prevalent part of our entertainment. That all being said, God does not ever give us more than we can bear (1 Corinthians 10:13) and we are lucky enough to not have a limit on the number of times that he will forgive us.

God wants us to guard and train our thoughts to exclude these and if we meditate long enough on his word there will be little room left for the sinful route our thoughts sometimes take to actually occur.

Thoughts very well may manifest later as actions and those who dwell on evil things often end up doing evil things. Matthew 28: 18-19 says “But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.” The consequences of our heart’s desires and our thoughts often result in sin. So we must take care and guard them.

How can we recognize sin in our everyday lives?

Recognizing sin in a commonly sinful culture can be more and more difficult, but the more that we train ourselves to recognize it, the more easily we are able to oppose it.

If we are to recognize different forms and types of sin, we simply must ingrain ourselves with the word of God. One thing that was more controversial in history was the ownership of slaves. On the confederate side, the side for ownership, there were many Christians and some who would even choose to use specific biblical verses that many could interpret as supportive of slavery. But if we took a look at it through the eyes of God who loved every one of his children, we could see quite easily that owning a slave is not “loving thy neighbor.”

God puts love above all as we see in 1 Corinthians 13:13, (after stating the many wonderful facets that make up love) it states “And now these three things remain: Faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love.”

The two commandments that Jesus held to be the most important were these: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” To me, these commandments encompass what God is, which is love, and oppose what sin is, which can be many forms of hate.

Now, I’m sure not everyone’s intentions when they are sinning are stemming from hatred, but many of them seem as if they could be extinguished if we practiced loving as God does.

Do I truly love my neighbor if I steal from him? Do I love my neighbor if I commit adultery with his wife? Do I love God if I am worshiping false idols? Or perhaps even asking the question, “Am I showing love to this woman or man who is being sexually exploited by supporting and watching that exploitation?”

There are many questions we must ask ourselves when discerning sin from the love of God, but God promises to reveal what is sinful through us when we are filled with the holy spirit. Remember, the closer we are to God and his word, the easier it will be to follow his ways.

What is Sin

How can sin be forgiven according to scripture?

Perhaps one of – if not the most popular verse in the bible – is John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only begotten son, that whosoever believed in him may not perish, but have everlasting life.” This verse encapsulates the good news of the new testament; that Jesus has saved us.

Before the good news, people would make burnt offerings and sacrifices to God as repentance for their sins. But now, thanks to Jesus dying for us on the cross, we are able to simply ask Jesus to come into our hearts and then ask for forgiveness.

Jesus paid the ultimate price so that we would not have to. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life.” (Romans 6:23). God cannot allow sin to enter heaven, but he loved us enough to sacrifice what meant the most to Him. That’s one of the most beautiful things about the love of God. His love for us is endless and unconditional.

Sin is inescapable. Psalm 51:5 says “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” We are lucky enough to have a God who understands this and one who hears us at all times. God’s love for us would indeed have to be endless for him to sacrifice his son, as would Jesus’ love for us to go through with it.

While we do what we can to avoid sinning and recognize it, it is amazing that we can find comfort in the fact that we are saved and the fact that God is a prayer away and that he is always with us. Society does not make it easy to walk in righteousness, but with support from our Father in heaven and support from our fellow Christian brothers, finding the way, the truth, and the light is not impossible.

As God calls upon you to remove the log out of your eye before you take the speck out of your neighbors, it is important to remember that the speck from your neighbor’s eye still needs to be removed for his sake. For it is truly important to be able to recognize the sin of others to try and help save them from their sins so that they may be with us when we go to heaven, but the best way to recognize that sin and to teach and warn others about it is when we first recognize it in ourselves.

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