What is sin?
What is sin? You might say it’s doing something bad. However what “bad” might mean to me probably will not be the same for someone with a different worldview. The statement of sin just meaning something “bad” is too broad to pin down a meaning in practical terms. But if we can sight specifics about what sin “looks like” and what it is outside of any human standard, there can be no debate. For this we must look to a power greater than ourselves, namely God.
So what is sin then? Simple put, sin is transgression or the breaking of God’s Moral Law.
The Ten Commandments is the standard God uses to define what is evil (or bad). It’s not a standard made any human how has imperfections and is fallible. God’s standard for right and wrong is perfect because God is perfect.
Here’s a quick sample of the “test” God will use to measure the worthiness to enter His presence. How will you do? (Remember God requires perfection to enter His Kingdom. More on this later)
Always put God first in your life? (1st, 2nd commandments)
Ever lied? (9th commandment)
Stolen something? (8th commandment)
Hated someone? God views human hatred as murder. (6th commandment)
Lusted? Jesus said to look with lust is the same as adultery (see Matthew 5:28). (7th commandment)
Ever used God’s name as a cuss word? Hitler’s and Muhammad’s names are not even hated as much to be used as a cuss word. To use God’s name to express disgust is blasphemy. (3rd commandment)
What is love?
Before I get back to sin and God’s standard, let’s switch gears for a moment. It’s probable you have heard much or at least some about God’s love or that Jesus loves you. You probably have seen the bumpers stickers, shirts, signs, posters, and more with the words God loves you! But have you ever wondered what that really means and what that actually looks like practically speaking? We know love can mean different things to different people and especially with the “anything is acceptable” mentality in today’s world becoming increasingly more popular. For some, love might mean something unnatural, non-traditional or both—think gay marriage. Perhaps love to you is that great care and concern you have for your child or a friend or parent. Maybe it’s plain old romantic love, traditional or not, that comes to mind.
But what about the love of God. Once again we must go outside ourselves and seek the source of love—God Himself.
For this we must see who God is.
I mentioned earlier that sin is when we break the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments aren’t the sin, it’s the breaking of them. Lying for example. Adultery, Murder. Not loving God and putting Him first in our life. A quick look at The Good Person Test shows we have all broken God’s moral law.
God, because He is so holy and perfect, cannot have sin in His presence. He therefore, because of His very nature or essence being that of holiness, must punish all lawbreakers. Hell exists for lawbreakers/sinners by the way.
And yet God did something beyond human love, even when we all deserve eternal death (also known as judgment in hell).
God made a way of escape from this judgment. The Creator of the Universe namely Jesus Christ paid the penalty as the perfect sinless sacrifice for us breaking His moral law. He did this by dying willing for our sins on a cross and taking the full punishment and anger by God put on Himself. Because God hates sin so much, the Bible states that Jesus was crushed for our iniquity/sins. And then Jesus, because He is God, was raised up from grave after three days proving His earlier claims to be God and defeating eternal death.
The Bible states it like this,
“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation [acceptable payment or sacrifice] for our sins. (1 John 4:10)
“God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
The kind of love which God shows us is as the perfect sinless sacrifice He is ultimately the only salvation for those who repent and put their trust in Him as the Savior.
It’s important to clarify that only two options exist for humanity. After we die physically each person will enter either eternal life or eternal death. God in His mercy has lovingly granted us a choice even when what we all should be getting what we deserve—eternal death (judgment in Hell).
When you repent from your sin (turn from it as in changing your mind about committing sin) and trust in Jesus Christ alone to save you from the wrath to come (judgment against sin), you will have eternal life! (John 3:36, Titus 3:4-7, Ro 6:23)
“When the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared,
not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:4-7)
Questions, comments? let me know