Sin – Part 1

What is Sin?

One of the unifying characteristics of human kind is sin. Paul said in Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” It is this common failing that unifies us all in our need for salvation in Jesus. So, what is Sin?

John tells us in I John 3:4 that sin is a transgression of the law. “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” The NIV renders this same passage; “Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.” John teaches us that we sin when we break the law. What law? The Psalmist wrote in Psalms 119:136 “My eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law.” We sin when we break the law of the Lord. I think Paul in Romans 3 provides an excellent description of sin when he tells us that we “fall short of the glory of God”. James tells us in James 1:17 that God is the Father of light and that he does not change. God is perfect, and when we fall short of his perfect will, we sin.

Everyone from Adam until now, except Jesus, have sinned. In the next post we will explore how this common failing has brought a common condemnation on all.

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  1. Craig H
    November 4, 2014

    Brother, great thoughts. Another excellent verse to define sin is James 4:17 (ESV) So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
    As for the ‘law’ that is referred to; well I believe that James helps with that also: James 1:25 (NIV) But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it–he will be blessed in what he does.

  2. November 12, 2014

    Craig, thank you for your comment and for adding James 4:17 to the discussion. I think it definitely provides a uniform definition that can be easily applicable for all. This definition applies equally to those who know nothing of the law of liberty, and those that know it well.

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