What Does Sin Mean?

Sin is a violation of God’s law. It positions us against God’s perfect will. This rebellion is so serious that even a single offense makes us guilty of all before God (James 2:10). No amount of human effort or blood of animals can remove the stain of sin (Hebrews 10:4).

Sin is prevalent. It includes things we do (sins of commission) and things we fail to do (sins of omission). Sin not only includes breaking the Ten Commandments but breaking any command given by God like “do not worry” (Matthew 6:25 and following), “be content” (Hebrews 13:5), and “pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

Since sin is such a serious offense to God, no one with sin can enter his presence. This guilt brings condemnation for all people (Romans 5:18). The punishment is eternal death (Romans 6:23). See Hell.

Thankfully, because Jesus’ atonement has covered sin, Christians are confident they have forgiveness right now: “In [Jesus] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Ephesians 1:7).

Study Sin in the Scriptures

James 2:10

Hebrews 10:4

Matthew 6:25

Hebrews 13:5

1 Thessalonians 5:17

Romans 5:18

Romans 6:23

Ephesians 1:7

More on Sin


Are there different levels of sin?

Does God punish some sins more than others?


Does God’s Forgiveness Give us a License to Sin?

A common response to the teaching that forgiveness is God’s gift is the thought that this then gives people the license to sin all the more. But Scripture doesn’t support that argument.


Lesson 2: A Humanitarian in the Face of Rebellion

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