What Sin is All About?

8 Feb 2013 by Tony Dibble-


Sin is often downplayed. Negative concepts about mankind are never readily acceptable. In Isaiah 55:8 & 9 GOD said that His standards are way above ours. This explains why mankind often ends up with a light view of what sin really is and GOD appears to mankind, to be unduly concerned with sin.



St Augustine defined sin as a corrupted love of ourselves which went against the true love of GOD. John Calvin said that sin corrupted us completely. Bishop J C Ryle, expounded Article 9 of the Church of England. He said that sin was a moral family-disease inherited from Adam & Eve where our flesh constantly fights our spirit. Therefore, we sin because we are already sinners.



Sin is being in a state of lawlessness (1Jn 3:4) and all unrighteousness is sin (1 Jn 5:17) in GOD’s kingdom. These two terms are very strong words. Sins include doing things that we are not to do, not doing the things we have to do; and having thoughts and saying things which GOD has specifically warned us not to be engaged in (Jas 4:17).

One of the Greek words for sin is “harmatia” meaning missing the standard. Sin is a governing principle or source of action in all that mankind may engage in. A result of sin is being hardened by it (Heb 3:13).



The Bible says that sin is separation of man from GOD (Is 59:2). The moment we were conceived in our mothers’ wombs we were in sin (Ps 51:5). All have sinned and are not in GOD’s glory (Rom 3:23) and sin is within us (1 Jn 1:8). Death is the outcome of sin (Rom 6:23).Whatever we consider good when done by us, is not good, as only GOD is good (Matt 19:17). Charles Spurgeon said that when he did any wrong, it was wholly his own responsibility; but when he did anything good, it was GOD doing it and not him.

Summaries of what sin is, are in the Bible: Ex 20:1-17; Prov 6:16-19; Matt 5-7. These three passages record the Ten Commandments, the Seven Things that GOD hates and the Sermon on the Mount. We must take a serious view of sin. We may not commit murder; but slander for instance, is equivalent to murder as we destroy a person with our words when we kill the person’s reputation. Grumblings, jealousy and bitterness need to be stopped because if unchecked, these sins grow in significance. We should always rejoice in GOD (Phil 4:4), making no exceptions and never cultivating attitudes that Christ would not want to see us do.



There is one sin which will not be forgiven: this is the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (Matt 12:31). This means if we do not accept the gospel, we call the Holy Spirit a liar. The atheist and the agnostic and others who have dismissed the gospel would be considered guilty of this sin because they have refused to accept GOD’s message of redemption in Christ.

In Adam all sinned, but in Christ all are made alive (Jn 1:29; Rom 5:12&18; 1 Jn 3: 5). Sin has been defeated on Calvary. A Christian’s body of sin is done away with and we are no longer slaves to sin because the power of sin is defeated. We are freed from sin (Romans 6: 6, 7, 11, 12, 14) unless we want it continued. The start of the three teachings in the gospel is sin (Jn 16:8). A gospel with no mention of sin is no gospel at all because there would be no need to introduce the basis of Christ’s victory over sin for us.



To enjoy the peace of GOD, we should confess our sins openly to GOD and in sincerity ask His forgiveness (1Jn1:9). Prayer and reading God’s word help us because the Holy Spirit helps us pray (Romans 8:26) and opens our hearts when we read GOD’s word (John 16:13).

The best defence against being separated from GOD is to be aware of Him all moments of the day. We must also make our concerns brought to Christ. False pride causes us to withhold surrendering all matters to GOD. Nothing is too small or irrelevant for GOD to deal with.



Another step to limit our exposure to sin is to encourage one another daily so that we do not become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3:13).



Note: Tony Dibble worships at Endeavour Christian Gathering in Mullaloo Perth, Australia for about 7 years. Prior to this, he was at Church of Our Holy Saviour, Labuan, East Malaysia. When he is in Kuala Lumpur, he now worships at Faith Oasis Fellowship Subang Jaya, Selangor.


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