Sin, what is it, can we avoid it?



Question: “Sin will separate us from God and lead to our downfall, our spiritual death.  How can we identify sin and protect ourselves from sin?”



Bible Answers

As Christians, we are to shun sin—but how can we shun sin if we don't fully comprehend what it is?


The Bible describes sin as the breaking of God's law or lawlessness (1 John 3:4).  And sin is also defined as disobedience or rebellion against God (Deuteronomy 9:7), as well as independence from God. The original translation means "to miss the mark" of God's holy standard of righteousness.


Billy Graham says, “The most devastating fact in the universe is sin.  The cause of all troubles, the root of all sorrow, the dread of every man lies in this one small word - sin. All mental disorders, all sicknesses, all destruction, all wars find their root in sin.”  It is sin, both our sin and our ancestor’s sin that opens the door to the devil and to Godly judgment.


God’s Attitude of Sin

The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence (Psalm 11:5). … you hate all evildoers. You destroy those who speak lies (Psalm 5:5-6).


Characteristics of Sin

The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;  idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21).


The Bible is very clear that everyone is guilty of sin, that God hates sin, and that God made a way through Jesus Christ for us to be forgiven of sin.


Struggle with Sin

In the beginning, there was no struggle with sin as there was no law to define sin.  After Moses gave the people God’s laws, the law provided a standard of right and wrong. The law defined, then also convicted man of his sins (Romans 7:7-12).


There are now three levels of sin recognition.  

The first level are those who have no concern if they sin or not or those who want to sin.  


The second level is those who do not want to sin, but are helpless against the sin within them.   I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do (Romans 7:15).  They sin even when they do not want to sin.

 

And the third level is those who have turned their sins over to Jesus in repentance and have been cleansed by the blood of the lamb.  They are now sinless in Jesus. Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:1-2).


We see in Romans 8:5-8 that the mind controlled by what the flesh desires is controlled by sin and the mind that is controlled by the spirit is free of sin. Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.


We Are All Sinners

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard (Romans 3:23).  


We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind (Isaiah 64:6).


Examples of Sin

So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming (Colossians 3:5-6).  


Sin’s Affect on Sickness

If you do not carefully follow all the words of this law, which are written in this book, and do not revere this glorious and awesome name—the Lord your God — the Lord will send fearful plagues on you and your descendants, harsh and prolonged disasters, and severe and lingering illnesses (Deuteronomy 28:58-59).


Sin and Repentance

When we repent of our sins, He forgives all your sins … (Psalm 103:2-3).


Effects Of Sin

But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear (Isaiah 59:2).


We Need To Confess Our Sin

People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy (Proverbs 28:13).


Then I will return to my place until they admit their guilt and turn to me. For as soon as trouble comes, they will earnestly search for me (Hosea 5:15).  


Result of Sin

For the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). This refers to spiritual death in hell.


Result of Confessing Our Sins

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son Colossians (1:13).


God Forgives Our Sin

But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.  If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness (1 John 1:7-9).


This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins (Matthew 26:28). Christ died and took our punishment to win the victory over sin and sickness.  


Forgiving Other's Sins

If another believer sins [against you], rebuke that person; then if there is repentance, forgive. Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive (Luke 17:3-4). Unforgiveness can destroy you.


What of Those Who Turn Away from God

Thus says the Lord to this people, “Even so they have loved to wander; they have not kept their feet in check. Therefore the Lord does not accept them; now He will remember their iniquity and call their sins to account” (Jeremiah 14:10).


God’s Love Over Sin

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).


Protection from Sin

They word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee (Psalms 119:11).


Victory Over Sin

But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:57).


What Do We Do About Sin

Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins (Acts 2:38).


If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).


And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name (Acts 22:16).



Next Section - Why is unforgiveness so dangerous?   

Representing Sin, mankind' sins

Sin Section

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