St. Michael's

Truth, Knowledge and Peace through Scripture   




The first thing we need to do, is to define exactly what the word "sin" means. Throughout the Bible we see  the word sin and If we sin then we will die in our sins, but what is the meaning of sin? what does the word "sin" mean? how do we sin? why do we sin?, the answer to these questions can be found in the Bible. If we turn to the New Testament and open up our Bible to the Book of Romans we can read - "For all (every one of us) have sinned  and fall short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23. This is not good news at all! and to make matters worse we can turn to the Old Testament in the Book of Isaiah and read - "Behold, the Lord's hand is not so short that it cannot save; nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear; But your iniquities (gross injustice, wickedness) have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear." Isa. 59:1-2. So now, if we sin then we have isolated ourselves from God, we have put up a blockade so to speak between God and ourselves all because we have transgresed (sinned, Broken the Law). In addition to not obeying God's 10 commandments, Sins of any amount will surly separate us from God. examples of sins are, love of power (being the boss, judging others) , neglecting the needs of family (caring for and loving them), love of money (wealth), love of material things, ex. automobiles, personal belongings, use of theLord's name in anger (swearing, cursing),  etc. if we put these things first in our minds and hearts then we are worshiping them and not giving God all of the honor and Glory that He deserves.  The New Testament Book of John tells the story of the woman caught in adultery, we read - "The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, they said to Him, Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. Now in the Law of Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?" They were saying this to test Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court. Straightening up, Jesus said to her, "woman, where are they? did no one condemn you?" She said, "No one, Lord," And Jesus said, "I do not condemn you either, Go. From now on sin no more." John 8:3-11. Did you hear that? Jesus commanded the woman to sin no more! what did He mean by that? 1 John tells us - "everyone who practices sin also practices Lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness." 1 John 3:4. When we commit a sin, we are breaking the Law.  Turning again to the New Testament, the Book of 1 John we read - "If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us." 1 John 1:8,10. We ought to resist from believing that we are righteous and have not done anything wrong. We ought to repent and call on the name of Jesus, acknowledge to Him that we are sinners, tell Him we are sorry for our sins, ask Him for His forgiveness and to give us the will, the strength and desire  to turn from our sins.  The Apostle Paul writes in the Book of Romans - "What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting (desiring, or to wish for with envy) if the Law had not said, "You shall Not Covet." Rom 7:7. God's Law is the Law that reveals sin. This law that both Apostles, (Paul and John) refer to are the 10 Commandments. In Pauls statement found in Rom 7:7, he is referring to what can be read in the Old Testament Book of Exodus and also in the Book of Deuteronomy. In Exodus we read - "You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor." Ex. 20:17. The same passage is seen again in Deuteronomy Chapter 5 verse 21. Exodus Chapter 20 verse 1 through 17  has a complete listing of the 10 Commandments. Deuteronomy Chapter 5 verses 6 through 21 also contains the 10 Commandments. Paul and John, the Apostles were teaching us that when you break any or all of these commandments, we have sinned. John writes to us in 1 John that "All unrighteousness is sin." 1 John 5:17. In the Book of Psalms we can read - "Let my tongue sing of Your Word, for all Your commandments are righteousness. Ps. 119:172. Sin, then is just the opposite that is, sin is unrighteouness, sin is the breaking of God's commandments. In the New Testament Book of James we read where this Apostle further talks of sin, we read - "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. For He who said, "Do not commit adultery," also said, "Do not commit murder." Now if you do not commit adultery, but do commit murder, you have become a transgressor(step beyond or go over the limit) of the law. James 2:10-11. Eventhough some have gone through their life without commiting adultery or having murdered or lied or stolen, they are still guilty of sin. How can this be? Paul writes in the Book of Romans - "So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good." "For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin." Rom. 7:12, and 14. Jesus tells us in Matthew - "But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Matt. 5:27-28. Therefore eventhough we do not physically commit murder, or commit adultery, just the thoughts of them are sinful. Sin begins in one's mind, what we think will eventually become something we do, the Book of Proverbs in the Old Testament says - "For as he thinks within himself, so he is.  Prov. 23:7. "But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart and those defile the man. "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness,. slanders. "These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man." Matt. 15:18-20. All of these fall within the realm of the 10 Commandments. The book of James in the New Testament says this - "But each one (you and Me) is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death (not necessarilly a physical death but The wages of sin which isolates us from God and condemns us to everlasting damnation, i.e. hell)." James 1:14-15. A good example of this is, every battle, every quarrel, every fight and every conflict throughout history is due to the fact that mankind has coveted something that has not belonged to him, because mankind had failed to control his carnel desires we hence live in a world wracked with pain and suffering, anguish and yes, war. Again we can read in the Book of James - "What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source of your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder, You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask." James 4:1-2.   What exactly is lust? the Bible gives an example in the Old Testament. 2 Samuel 11:2 gives the acount of King David and Bathisheba. The story tells of David while he was on the roof of his palace, he saw a naked woman washing herself. Rather then turning away and forgetting what he saw, David chose to continue watching her. This action led his mind to wrong and evil thoughts a violation of the 10th commandment. David inquired about the woman and learned that she was the wife of one of his most trusted and faithful servants Uriah, and the womans name was Bathsheba. The very fact that David now knew that Bathsheba was married to Uriah it did not stop him from committing adultry with her, the 7th commandment. David also took what did not rightfully belong to him thus breaking the 8th commandment. The sins committed by David and Bathsheba led to her concieving an illegitimate child while her husband was away fighting in a war. David tried to trick Uriah, not wanting him to know of the unborn child so he called Uriah back from the battlefield and tried to convince him to sleep with Bathsheba. If David's plan had succeded then Uriah would have thought that the unborn child would have been his. Uriah refused to sleep with his wife, which angered David. David then arranged to have Uriah killed by his enemies, which caused David to break the 6th commandment.  We can see from what we have just read how one sin of evil thoughts has spread to become several sins which violate the Commandments of God.  God hates sin! God hates the breaking of His Law!.  When David eventually realized he had committed a terrible sin he saw how God abhorred sin. David saw his sins as Lawbreaking and terrible and so he wrote in Psalm 5 "For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; no evil dewlls with You. The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all who do iniquity (sin). Ps.5:4-5. Throughout the Old Testament there are stories of ancient Israel and the sins committed by them, After God freed the Israelites from bondage in Egypt, we can read how while they were being led by God to the promised land they (the Israelites) built idols (graven images) which provoked God to jealousy and their high places which angered the Lord God. In Psalm 78 we read -  "Yet they tempted and rebelled against the Most High God and did not keep his testimonies, But turned back and acted treacherously like their fathers; They turned aside like a treacherous bow. For they provoked Him with their high places and aroused His jealouly with their graven images. When God heard, He was filled with wrath and greatly abhorred Israel;" Ps. 78:56-59.   We can begin to see that God will not and cannot tolerate sin. He will not tolerate those who practice sin, God will not allow them to enter into His Kingdom. More proof that God hates sin can be read in the Old Testament book of Proverbs "Evil plans (thoughts) are an abomination to the Lord, but pleasant words are pure. Proverbs 15:26, You see, God knows everything He knows that our evil thoughts and evil desires will most always lead us into evil and wicked actions. In the Book of Jeremiah we can read - "So the Lord was no longer able to endure it, because of the evil of your deeds, because of the abominations which you have committed; thus your land has become a ruin an object of horror and a curse, without an inhabitant as it is this day. Because you have burned sacrifices and have sinned against the Lord and not obeyed the voice of the Lord and walked in His Law, His statutes or His testimonies, therefore this calamity has befallen you, as it has this day. Jer.44:22-23. Sin is the breaking of the Spiritual Law of God. Sin cut's us off from God. God has turned His attention away from us...because we have sinned! The Old Testament Book of Isaiah teaches us -  "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." Isa.59:2. The Old Testament Book of Jeremiah has this to say - "Your iniquities have turned these away, and your sins have witheld good from you For wicked men are found among My people.: Jer. 5:25-26. God sent the prophet Nathan to King David. Nathan made David realize his sins and  how his sins are hated by God ; so  David begged God for forgivness and wrote in the Book of Psalms - "Do not cast me away from Your presence and do not take your Holy Spirit from me." Ps.51:11. David acknowledged his sins before God, he acknowledged that he had broken God's Laws and he (David) is now deeply troubled and afraid. David says in Psalm 51 " For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, I have sinned and done what is evil in Your sight, so that you are justified when You speak and blameless when You judge." Ps. 51:3-4. David pleaded with God in Psalm 51 he begged god to cleanse him and wash away his sins. We can read this in Psalm 51:vs. 1,2,9 and 10. It would do well however to read the entire Psalm 51 to grasp the full understanding of David's regret for his sins.  So sin is the breaking of God's Law, and is punishable by the penalty of death, in other words, eternity in hell. 

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