Sin is a very serious matter. Our sins are why Jesus had to die. Sin is what separates us from God:
Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.
Who is a sinner? Everyone is a sinner! That is why every single human being needs Christ.
As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one…
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
What is sin? Sin means to “miss the mark.” It means to “fall short.” Simply put, sin is wrong-doing.
Here are some passages where the Bible defines sin:
The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: adultery, fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery and witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, murder, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who live like this shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
Romans 1:18-32 (NLT)
18But God shows
his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who push the truth away
from themselves. 19For the truth about God is known to them
instinctively. God has put this knowledge in their hearts. 20From
the time the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky and all that
God made. They can clearly see his invisible qualities--his eternal power and
divine nature. So they have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing God.
21Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn't worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. The result was that their minds became dark and confused. 22Claiming to be wise, they became utter fools instead. 23And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people, or birds and animals and snakes.
24So God let them go ahead and do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other's bodies. 25Instead of believing what they knew was the truth about God, they deliberately chose to believe lies. So they worshiped the things God made but not the Creator himself, who is to be praised forever. Amen.
26That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. 27And the men, instead of having normal sexual relationships with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men and, as a result, suffered within themselves the penalty they so richly deserved.
28When they refused to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their evil minds and let them do things that should never be done. 29Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, fighting, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. 30They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They are forever inventing new ways of sinning and are disobedient to their parents. 31They refuse to understand, break their promises, and are heartless and unforgiving. 32They are fully aware of God's death penalty for those who do these things, yet they go right ahead and do them anyway. And, worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.
And he said, "What comes out of a man is what defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, fornication, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness.
He who conquers shall have this heritage, and I will be his God and he shall be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, as for murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their lot shall be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death."
Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins.
What is the penalty for sin?
It only took one sin for Adam and Eve to die spiritually. That is how serious and deadly sin is to us. Once we have sinned, we die and become separated from God and are in need of the Redeemer and the forgiveness that comes through the work Jesus did on the cross.
We have all sinned and stand guilty before God. We therefore need the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ. But God does not owe us this. He does not owe us anything at all. Our deeds deserve death. The fact that He saves anyone at all is nothing but pure grace. Thank God that He provided a way out for us, when we were still powerless, through His Son who loved us, who gave up His life for us! Thank God He does not treat us as our deeds deserve!
This page last updated: September 4, 2002