What is sin?
James 4:17 “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”
Sin is clearly defined in the Bible. Here we have the first of seven definitions of sin, most of which are OBvious by the fact that the Bible outright says, “this is sin”.
Called “sins of omission” because we fail to do what we know we should.
Romans 14:23 “And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”
“Whatsoever” is not done in faith, is sin. We do many things and forget our Lord in them, do we then do them in faith? To fail to exercise faith is sin.
The text speaks of offending a weaker brother, but the principle is the same. If we have any doubt at all, it is better not to do it.
1 John 3:4 “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.”
Any transgression of the law of God is sin. This is self explanatory for the most part “Trans” means “across,” for stepping across certain boundaries.
1 John 5:17 “All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.”
This clarifies the previous verse, that “sin is the transgression of the law”. Anything, however that is inherently wrong, and perhaps left to speculation in the law, is sin too.
“All unrighteousness” need not be defined if one is honest.
Proverbs 21:4 “An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin.”
Here we see three things that are said by God, to be sin. A haughty spirit, Pompous self righteousness, and the scheming of the wicked are sin. These are entailed in the other verses to some extent, but God wishes to make it very clear, so that there is no doubt as to what sin is, and then who has sinned. When we define sin precisely, we see that we all have fallen short of God’s standard.
Proverbs 24:9 “The thought of foolishness is sin: and the scorner is an abomination to men.”
Just in case we think that it is all done with our hands, we need to learn that thoughts can be sinful too.
James 2:9 “But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.”
This entails prejudices and partiality. Let us never think ourselves better than any, rich, poor or otherwise; this includes racial prejudice.
“The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” Ezek. 18:20
The reproaches of sin
On the cross, Christ cried out “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” It was sin that caused God to turn His back on our Savior, and sin will cause Him to turn His back on us too! The amazing thing is that He promised in Heb. 13:5 that “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee,” which tells me that the only thing that causes God to forsake us doesn’t exist! Sin still repulses the Father, and He must turn Himself from it, but He has promised His blood bought children that he would never (ever) leave us, not even for a time! What a gloriously wonderful God we serve!
Rom 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” We can never be worse than “yet sinners”; if the Lord saved us while we were at our worst, how can we doubt him later on if we backslide? You cannot escape the love of God, no matter what you do, where you go, or how much you try. (Rom 8: 35-39)
James 1:15 “Sin”
All men are born into it, but enter the gate through many different paths. Many have wandered in the “wilderness of sin,” never finding the path out of it, and being totally consumed therein. These need to look to Christ; we need to show Him to them, that they may be led in the “paths of righteousness.” It begins with being enticed (“drawn away”) by lusts of the world; that is followed by opportunity (lust conceived); this ultimately leads to death. We see; we are tempted; we take/make the opportunity; we sin.
What is sin?