What is sin?
Sin is rejecting or ignoring God in the world he created, rebelling against him by living without reference to him, not being or doing what he requires in his law—resulting in our death and the disintegration of all creation.
Sin is rejecting or ignoring God in the world he created, not being or doing what he requires in his law.
Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. (1 John 3:4)
Sin is a topic rarely talked about in churches today, because it is not politically correct. Many churches in America today avoid the word sin in favor of words like ‘indiscretion,’ ‘a lapse in judgment,’ ‘error,’ or ‘a reflection of brokenness.’ While these terms may be true of sin, the intent of avoiding the word sin is to somehow lessen the offense. Sin is defined and described in many places throughout the Bible. In Genesis 3:2-6, the fall of mankind, demonstrates the nature of sin as an act of rebellion. Leviticus 5:17 teaches that any act of rebellion against God’s law is sin. James 4:17 and 1 John 5:17 both teach that anytime a person knows the right thing to do and does something different is sin. Isaiah 53:6 teaches that sin is choosing to reject God’s way in favor of our own way. The Apostle Paul described sin as any act not done in faith (Romans 14:23). And the Bible teaches that all of humanity is guilty of this rebellion and faithlessness against God (Romans 3:23). But the Bible also teaches that “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Our only hope in overcoming sin is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Additional Scripture References
- Leviticus 5:17. If anyone sins, doing any of the things that by the Lord’s commandments ought not to be done, though he did not know it, then realizes his guilt, he shall bear his iniquity.
- Romans 3:23. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
- Romans 5:12-14. Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.
- Romans 14:23. But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.
- James 4:17. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
- 1 John 5:17. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death.
- Read Scripture. Read one or two Scripture passages each day.
- Create a Flashcard. Write the question on one side of an index card and the answer on the other. Also write the Scripture reference on one side of another index card and the Scripture on the other side. Use these as flash cards throughout the week.
- Memorize the Question and Answer. Write the question and answer on a whiteboard or piece of paper. Each day erase three or four words and put blanks in their place. Read the question and answer replacing the blanks with the correct missing words.
- Read the Commentary. Available on the NCC website or App.
- Listen to a Song. Listen or read the lyrics to All I Have is Christ.
- What are some of the sins listed in the Bible?
- How do these sins offend the nature and glory of God?
- Read Matthew 4:1-11. How did Jesus overcome the temptation to sin? How can we overcome the temptation to sin?
All Scriptures: The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. 2001.
Standard Bible Society: Wheaton.