According to 1 John 5:17, "All wrongdoing is sin." Sin results in death (Romans 6:23 says "the wages of sin is death"). So wrongdoing = sin = death. We are all born with a sinful nature (imputed sin) which we inherited from Adam (Romans 7:25; 8:3; and 2 Peter 2:18). It is called the "earthly nature" in Colossians 3:5. The book of Romans offers the most comprehensive look at the human condition. In Romans 5:12, Paul writes, "Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned." Adam's sin started it all, and now we are all sinners. Those who deny the sin nature are self-deceived (1 John 1:8). However, the Sinner who repents and trusts in Jesus Christ for their forgiveness passes from death to life, they do not die in their sins.

There are various words for sin in the Bible. The Hebrew 'awon means an iniquity or malevolent unfairness (1 Samuel 20:1). Rasha' infers restlessness or something that is out of control (Isaiah 57:21). Chata' is the most commonly heard definition. It means missing the mark or straying off course (Judges 20:16). 'Abar means to transgress or to go beyond that which is sanctioned (Judges 2:20). In the New Testament, the Greek hamartia is similar to the Hebrew chata' but it goes further. It is not only "missing the mark," but also the inner compulsion or nature that induced the offense (Romans 6:1). Similarly, it can be an organized power that deliberately sets about causing a person or group to fall into sin (Romans 6:12).


The answer is "yes" and "no" because we have to define what we mean. They are equal in that they all separate us from God. According to God's Law, even if you only did one thing "wrong" (1 John 5:17) your entire life, you would still be a sinner, sentenced to hell and in need of Christ. God knows that we constantly break His Law and we desperately needed Christ to be a final sacrifice for us.

Sin is all very serious. Not only does sin sentence us to hell but we see it's seriousness in the torture and death of Christ. God calls out to you every day, through seeing Him, His attributes and His creation (Romans 1:19-21), hearing Him (through His Word and others sharing the gospel) and the Holy Spirit drawing you. Yet we continue to sin and will for all eternity unless we allow the death of Christ to be in our place.


Sin embeds itself in our soul, and therefore our mind (memory), so that when we are tempted, we desire the sin in our mind as we remember our desire for that sin. We need to train ourselves to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5) so we forget the sin (and pleasure of the sin) so that our first response to temptation is to resist and say "No!"


If a genuine Christian sins, it is against his will. One who is regenerate falls rather than dives into sin; he resists rather than embraces it. Christians still experience temptations and can sometimes fall into sin, but they are no longer slaves to sin (Romans 6:6). They have God’s Holy Spirit within them to help them say no to temptation, and to convict their conscience of wrongdoing when they do sin. The Bible says, "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it" (1 Corinthians 10:13). When we sin, we need to repent, which means we turn completely away from our sin.

When we sin, we can fragment and imprison parts of our soul and give demons legal right to attach to us. We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses and they see when we sin. God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are always watching, in addition to our personal angel and probably other angels, as well as demons. If we live with the realization that we are always being observed and watched, and in fact always have a personal angel with us, we will be far less likely to sin. I pray you can live in this realization for God's eyes are always upon you. If you are a genuine Christian, you have the Holy Spirit living in you. Yet sin seperates you from God and there are always negative consequences for every sin you commit. We deceive ourselves if we think that any sin won't have negative consequences. Sin is never worth it because the consequences will always be a lot worst than the pleasure we get and that seperation we experience will always be regretted later and make it harder to get back into fellowship with God. The heavens will feel like bronze (Deuteronomy 28:23) and God will feel distant or completely absent. Without holiness you cannot see the Lord.

© Todd Tyszka
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