What Is Sin?

Tragically, beginning with the first man, Adam, and the first woman, Eve, the entire human race has chosen independence from God, forsaking the relationship with Him and choosing to go our own merry way, ignoring God in our attitude, which leads us to ignore Him in our words and actions. The Bible calls this sin!

In the ancient sport of archery, the term “sin” was regarded as the arrow falling short of the target. When that happened, the umpire would shout: “SIN!” The archer would not be credited any points for that round.

In today’s context, sin is regarded as falling short of God’s standards. We all know that murder, robbery, cheating, adultery and similar acts are what we would call “big sins”. Many people think that because they have never committed any of these “big sins”, it means that they are living “good” lives.

But the Bible tells us that sin is anything that doesn’t please God. Sin, therefore, is anything we do that we shouldn’t, from telling little lies to gossiping, breaking speed limits to beating a red traffic light even when there are no other cars around.

Sin is also anything we know we should do, but don’t, like not wanting to take care of elderly parents, or refusing to help someone in need when it is within our power to do so.

We can also sin with our words, through cursing, swearing, and lying; and we can sin with our thoughts, like when we entertain lustful or prideful thoughts, or thoughts of anger and hatred against someone.

The Bible says that these are all sins! Pastor Chuck Smith, the founder of Calvary Chapel, once said: “We aren’t sinners because we sin; we sin because we are sinners.” You see, it’s in our nature to sin! That is why the Bible clearly states in the Book of Romans, chapter 3, verse 23, that everyone has sinned: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (meaning all of us has fallen short of God’s standard.)

Some of us may think that we can make it up to God by doing good deeds. But that is not possible, because if we want to be acceptable to God, we have to be absolutely perfect. God’s standard is complete obedience to Him in all things and at all times. It’s like if you put the tiniest drop of cyanide into a 500 ml bottle of pure mineral water – the entire bottle of water becomes contaminated. So it is with us. Even “little sins” like small, white lies contaminate our whole life and render it unacceptable to God.

Next : Sin And Its Effects

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