What is sin?

There is a discussion regarding what is sin.

We must realize that We are born with a sin nature.

Psalm 51:5

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.

Psalm 58:3

The wicked are estranged from the womb;
These who speak lies go astray from birth.

Not only do we have a sin nature, we have both sins of omission, and sins of commission. And we have sin done in ignorance. Certainly when we purposefully do it is a form of rebellion. Disobedience to God is rebellion. We must choose to obey God.

Daniel 9:5 we have sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly and rebelled, even turning aside from Your commandments and ordinances.

James 4:17

Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

Romans 14:23

But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin.

1 John 5:17

All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not leading to death.

Hebrews 5:9

And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation

Sometimes we sin in our thoughts.

Matthew 5:28
but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Mark 7:14-23

14 After He called the crowd to Him again, He began saying to them, “Listen to Me, all of you, and understand: 15 there is nothing outside the man which can defile him if it goes into him; but the things which proceed out of the man are what defile the man. 16 [If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”]

17 When he had left the crowd and entered the house, His disciples questioned Him about the parable. 18 And He *said to them, “Are you so lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him, 19 because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?” (Thus He declared all foods clean.) 20 And He was saying, “That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, 22 deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. 23 All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.”


In fact, we are expected to stop sinning in our thoughts as well as in our behavior.
2 Corinthians 10:5
We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ

So sin is when we disobey God, even if we are not aware of it. We sin when we do the wrong thing (as defined by God) and we sin when we do not do the right thing (as defined by God). We sin in our thoughts. We sin in our actions/behavior.

But God provided a savior so that our sins might not keep us from living with Him. This is His Son, the Word, our Lord and Savior, if we repent, turn to God (through Faith in Christ’s substitutionary death on the cross). This in turn will cause of to have deeds appropriate to repentance.

Acts 26:20

20 but kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance.

Ephesians 2:8

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God

So the choice is yours – continue to live a life of sin, or turn to God through faith in Christ.


2 Responses

  1. You did not mention the major verse in the Bible which is the “gold standard” verse for clearly defining sin: 1 John 3:4. It says that “Sin is the violation of the law.” The Greek for law is nomos, which appears in the New Testament over 200 times and refers almost without exception to only one thing: the Mosaic laws, believe it or not, take it or leave it. The New Testament basically “spells out” and clearly itemizes which major Mosaic laws have been abolished. They are 1) circumcision, 2) the sacrifices, 3) the Levitical priesthood, and most importantly, 4) the automatic death penalty for (law [nomos] obeying) Christians. That means the other Mosaic laws are still valid, such as the dietary, tithing, festival, and Saturday rest laws. There are even New Testament verses specifically supporting the continued observance of those remaining Old Testament laws.

    Yes, I am fully aware that you believe some verses “prove” all the Mosaic laws have been annulled, especially Ephesians 2:15. Many people reading my previous explanation of verse 15, however, will probably agree with me that context and the relatively rare Greek “dogma” appearing in Ephesians 2:15 refers only to man made, man invented, man concocted laws, rules, and edicts that were abolished such as the enmity producing, divisive, and burdensome Jewish Oral Law, not to the written Mosaic laws put in the Bible by God.

    I would be happy to courteously and respectfully refute other verses you claim abolish all the Mosaic laws. There are new readers here who would like to know just exactly how to try to defend their beliefs, if they can be defended, that is. Let them again be exposed to your style of reasoning and to my explanations of verses you say support your anti-law thinking, then let them make their own decision as to who is right, me or you.

    • Hi Wolfgang,

      We have discussed how you believe we need to follow the Law, and how Christ has cancelled the law – repeatedly. I have written many posts and you have responded to many of them: Grace, Law, and the Christian

      1 John 3:4 tells us sin is lawlessness.

      4 Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.

      But before you try to say this means we must follow the Mosaic Law, realize that Paul taught the purpose of the law was to lead us to Christ.
      The Law was to teach us about sin. But rightesouness comes from God through faith in Christ. The Law was put in place to teach people about sin, and ultimately to lead people to Christ. Those who trust in Christ have the righteousness of God through faith in Christ.
      Romans 3:19-20

      19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. 21 But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.

      Once we have faith, we are no longer under the Law.
      Galatians 3:24-25

      24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

      Paul taught that the believer has been set free from the law. It is not the mosaic law we must follow, but the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.

      Romans 8:1-4

      Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

      As for whether the dietary, tithing, festival, or Saturday rest laws being in effect, this is what Scripture says concerning them:
      Paul wrote that Jesus cancelled the written code.
      Colossians 2:13-16

      13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. 16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 16 Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day

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