What is sin?

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Sin is lawlessness, a state of rebellion against God. Since the time when sin came into the world through Adam and Eve, man is under the yoke of sin - a yoke that can only be taken away by Jesus Christ through God's grace. The sinful state of humanity manifests itself in the tendency to put oneself and one's own interests above God and His will. Sin leads to alienation from God and to suffering and death. Because all men are sinners, they also need all the salvation God offers through His Son (1, John 3,4, Roman 5,12, 7,24-25, Mark 7,21-23, Galatian 5,19-21, Roman 6,23, 3,23-24).

The foundation of Christian behavior is trust and loving fidelity to our Savior, who loved us and gave himself for us. Trust in Jesus Christ is expressed in faith in the gospel and in works of love. Through the Holy Spirit, Christ transforms the hearts of his faithful and bears fruit: love, joy, peace, faithfulness, patience, kindness, gentleness, self-control, justice and truth (1, John 3,23-24, 4,20-21, 2, Corinthians 5,15; Galatians 5,6.22-23; Ephesians 5,9).

Sin is directed against God.

In Psalm 51,6, a remorseful David says to God, "By you alone, I have sinned and done evil before you." Although other people were adversely affected by David's sin, the spiritual sin was not against them - it was against God. David repeats this thought is 2. Samuel 12,13. Job asks, "Have I sinned, what am I doing to you, you human keeper" (Hi 7,20)?

Of course, injuring others is like sin against them. Paul points out that we are indeed "sinning against Christ" (1Kor 8,12), who is Lord and God.

This has significant implications

First, since Christ is the revelation of God against whom sin is directed, sin should be seen as Christological, that is, from the perspective of Jesus Christ. Sometimes sin is defined chronologically (in other words, because the Old Testament was first written, it has priority over the definition of sin and other teachings). However, it is the point of view of Christ that counts for the Christian.

Second, because sin is against everything that is God, we can not expect God to be indifferent or apathetic to them. Since sin is so opposed to God's love and goodness, it alienates our mind and our heart from God (Isaiah 59,2), who is the source of our existence. Without Christ's sacrifice of reconciliation (Kol 1,19-21), we would have no hope of anything but death (Rom 6,23). God wants people to have loving fellowship and joy with him and with each other. Sin destroys this loving community and joy. That is why God hates sin and will destroy it. God's response to sin is anger (Eph 5,6). God's wrath is his positive and energetic determination to destroy sin and its consequences. Not because he is bitter and vindictive like us humans, but because he loves people so much that he will not wait and watch how they destroy themselves and others through sin.

Third, God alone can judge us in this matter, and only he can forgive sin because sin is against God alone. "By you, O Lord, our God, is mercy and forgiveness. Because we have become apostate "(Dan 9,9). "For with the Lord is grace and salvation" (Ps 130,7). Those who accept God's merciful judgment and forgiveness of their sins are "not destined for wrath, but for salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1Th 5,9).

The responsibility for sin

Although it is customary to blame Satan for the responsibility for making sin into the world, humanity is responsible for its own sin. "Therefore, as sin came into the world through man, and death by sin, death came to all men, because they all sinned" (Rom 5,12).

Although Satan tried, Adam and Eve made the decision - responsibility lay with them. In Psalm 51,1-4, David points to the fact that he was susceptible to sin because he was born human. He also acknowledges his own sins and injustices.

We all suffer from the collective consequences of the sins of those who lived before us to the extent to which our world and our environment were shaped by them. However, that does not mean that we have inherited our sin from them and that they are somehow responsible for it.

At the time of the prophet Ezekiel, there was a discussion about putting the blame for personal sin on "the sins of the fathers." Read Ezekiel 18 and especially consider the conclusion in verse 20: "Only those who sin should die". In other words, everyone is responsible for his or her sins.

Because we have personal responsibility for our own sins and spiritual condition, repentance is always personal. We have all sinned (Rom 3,23, 1Joh 1,8) and the Scriptures urge each of us personally to repent and believe the gospel (Mk 1,15, Act 2,38).

Paul goes to great lengths to point out that just as sin came into the world through a human being, salvation is only available through one person, Jesus Christ. "For if the many have died by the sin of the one, how much more has God's grace been abundant in the many by the grace of the one man Jesus Christ" (Rom 5,15, see also the verses 17-19). The offense of sin is ours, but the grace of salvation is Christ's.

The study of words used to describe sin

A variety of Hebrew and Greek words are used to describe sin, and each term adds a complementary component to the definition of sin. A deeper study of these words is available through lexicons, commentaries, and Bible study guides. Most words used include an attitude of the heart and mind.

Of the most commonly used Hebrew terms, the notion of sin results in missing the target (1Mo 20,9, 2Mo 32,21, 2Kon 17,21, Ps 40,5, etc.); Sin has to do with a break in the relationship, hence rebellion (transgression, rebellion as described in 1Sam 24,11, Jes 1,28, 42,24, etc.); turning something crooked, hence the deliberate perversion of a thing away from its intended purpose (evil deeds such as 2Sam 24,17, 9,5, 106,6, etc.); of guilt and therefore guilt (outrage in Ps 38,4; Jes 1,4; Jer 2,22); from Abirren and departure from a path (see Err in Hi 6,24, Jes 28,7, etc.); Sin is about inflicting injury to others (evil and maltreatment in 5Mo 26,6, Spr 24,1, etc.)

The Greek words used in the New Testament are terms related to missing the target (Joh 8,46, 1Kor 15,56, Heb 3,13, Jak 1,5, 1Joh 1,7, etc.); with error or fault (transgressions in Eph 2,1, Kol 2,13, etc.); with the crossing of a borderline (transgressions in Rom 4,15, Hebr 2,2 etc); with acts against God (Godless Being in Rom 1,18, Tit 2,12, Jud 15, etc.); and with lawlessness (injustice and transgression in Mt7,23; 24,12; 2Kor 6,14; 1Joh 3,4, etc.).

The New Testament adds more dimensions. Sin is the failure to seize an opportunity to practice divine behavior toward others (Jak 4,17). Further, "what does not come from faith is sin" (Rom 14,23)

Sin from the perspective of Jesus

Studying a word helps, but alone it does not lead to a complete understanding of sin. As mentioned earlier, we need to look at sin from a Christological point of view, that is, from the perspective of God's Son. Jesus is the true image of the Father's heart (Hebr 1,3), and the Father tells us, "You should hear him!" (Mt 17,5).

In the 3 and 4 studies it was explained that Jesus is incarnate God and that his words are words of life. What he has to say not only reflects the mind of the Father, but also brings with it the moral and ethical authority of God.

Sin is not just an act against God - it is more. Jesus explained that sin springs from the sinful human heart and mind. "From within, from the hearts of men, come evil thoughts, fornication, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, malice, debauchery, resentment, blasphemy, arrogance, unreasonableness. All these evil things come from within and make people unclean "(Mk 7,21-23).

We make a mistake when looking for a specific, fixed list of bids and prohibitions. It is not so much the individual act, but rather the underlying attitude of the heart that we should understand according to God's will. Nevertheless, the above passage from the Gospel of Mark is one of many where Jesus or his apostles list or compare sinful practices and the expression of the faith. Such biblical passages are found in Matthew 5-7; Matthew 25,31-46; 1. Corinthians 13,4-8; Galatians 5,19-26; Colossians 3, etc. Jesus describes sin as an addictive behavior and mentions: "He who does sin is the sinful servant" (Joh 10,34).

Sin crosses boundaries of divine behavior toward other people. It is action, as if we were not responsible to any higher power higher than ourselves. For the Christian, sin is that we do not allow Jesus to love others through us, that we do not reward what James calls a "pure and undefiled worship" (Yak 1,27), and "the royal law according to Scripture" (Jak 2,8) is called. Jesus explained that those who love Him will follow His words (Joh 14,15, Mt 7,24) and thus fulfill the law of Christ.

The theme of our inherent sinfulness runs throughout the Scriptures (see also 1Mo 6,5, 8,21, Pred 9,3, Jer 17,9, Rom 1,21, etc.). Therefore, God commands us: "Cast out of all transgressions that you have committed, and make you a new heart and a new spirit" (Hes 18,31).

By sending His Son into our hearts, we receive a new heart and spirit, confessing that we belong to God (Gal 4,6, Rom 7,6). Since we belong to God, we should no longer be "slaves of sin" (Rom 6,6), no longer "unreasonable, disobedient, not deceived, no longer desiring desires and desires, no longer living in wickedness and envy, Do not hate us and hate each other "(Tit 3,3).

The context of the first recorded sin in the 1. Book of Moses can help us. Adam and Eve were in communion with the Father, and the sin happened when they broke that relationship by paying attention to another voice (read 1, Moses 2-3).

The goal that missed sin is the prize of our high calling in Christ Jesus (Phil 3,14), and that we may be called by the adoption in the communion of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, God's children (1Joh 3,1). When we move out of this communion with the deity, we miss the goal.

Jesus lives in our hearts so that we can be "filled with the fullness of God" (see Eph. 3,17-19), and breaking this fulfilling relationship is sin. When we commit sin, we rebel against everything that is God. It causes a rift in the sacred relationship that Jesus had forged with us before the foundation of the world. It is a refusal to let the Holy Spirit work in us to do the will of the Father. Jesus came to repent sinners (Lk 5,32), that is, to return to a relationship with God and His will for humanity.

Sin is taking something miraculous that God designed in His holiness and perverting it for selfish desires against others. It means diverting from God's intended purpose for humanity to include every one of them in their lives.

Sin also means not putting our faith in Jesus as the guide and authority of our spiritual life. Sin, which is spiritual, is not defined by human logic or assumptions, but by God. If we want a short definition, we could say that sin is the state of life without living in communion with Christ.


Christians must avoid sin because sin is a break in our relationship with God, which removes us from the harmony of communion with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

by James Henderson