We first need to look at what sin is. If you are from a Roman Catholic background the church teaches there are two kinds of sin: “venial” and “mortal”. The mortal sins are things like voluntary murder (Gen. 4:10); sodomy or homosexual relations (Gen. 18:20); taking advantage of the poor (Ex. 2:23); or defrauding the workman of his wages (James 5:4). The venial sins are different from the mortal sins because they include all that are not so grave. (2)
Many think that it is true what Romans 6:23 says, that “we have all sinned”, at least the ones that aren’t atheists or certain evolutionists. Another passage is Romans 3:10. But consider this one! James 4:17 says, “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” In other words, if I know something is good to do, but I don’t do it, I commit both “mortal sin” and “venial sin”.
For example, if I make just one statement that is not true, I am a liar (Exodus 20:16). If I take one thing that really doesn’t belong to me, I am a thief (Leviticus 19:11,13). And if I look at a woman and lust after her in my own heart, I am an adulterer (Matthew 5:22).
In the Old Testament is recorded for us sins committed by Adam (Gen. 3:6), Cain (Gen. 4:8), Ham (Gen. 9:22), Abraham (Gen. 12:12-13), Jacob (27:19), David (2 Sam. 11:1-4) and others.
Sin is an awful thing. The word for sin in the Greek is Harmatia and means “to miss the mark”. It was taken from a military expression of trying to hit the bull’s eye but missing it.
It involves a whole gamut of activities like pride, anger, envy, depression, resentment, hatred, greed, bitterness, jealousy, sickness, pain, slavery, and death. It destroys one’s innocence!
Because it is so powerful, we can become a slave to it (John 8:34). It will control us (Romans 5:12).
Sin can be defined as something that is contrary to God’s nature and character. It is his opposite.
- Sin is disobeying God – Romans 5:19; Joshua 23:6; Psalms 119:45; Ephesians 6:6; John 4:34; 1 Peter 1:14; John 8:51; 1 John 2:17; 1 Samuel 15:22.
- Sin is knowing the right thing to do and not doing it – James 4:17.
- Sin is seen in the following infractions: injustice, fornication, being perverse, full of envy, homicidal activity, being argumentative, deceitful, detractor, gossip, haters of God, perverse, proud, inventors of evil, disloyal, without natural affection, without mercy, and ruthless – Romans 1:29- 31.
- Sin is disobeying God – Exodus 10:28.
- Sin is not obeying God’s law – Romans 7:7; Exodus 20.
- Everything that does not come from faith is sin – Romans 14:23.
- Sin comes from our evil desires – James 1:14.
- All wrongdoing is sin – 1 John 5:17.