What is sin? Throughout the Bible, sin is a main topic. As a matter of fact, from the first story in Genesis to the last in Revelation, and even to this day, sin plays a crucial role. Since the topic of sin is so important, it is wise to understand what it really is.
In the town where you live, its laws most likely include such prohibitions as murder, robbery, kidnapping, and rape. Breaking any of these laws means you have committed a crime. A crime is an offense you commit against one another; it is an offense against your law. Those who commit crimes are called criminals.
Like your town, God Almighty, the Creator of the universe, has also established laws to govern the people on Earth. Breaking any of His laws means you have committed a sin. So a sin is a violation of God’s laws as a crime is a violation of manmade laws. Those who commit sins are known as sinners. In God’s laws, He prohibits people from harming others, so most crimes are sins, including the ones mentioned earlier.
All of God’s laws, known as commandments in the Bible, are based upon two main laws. Breaking these two commandments causes sin. These most important commandments are:
1. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.
2. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
There is none other commandment greater than these. (Mark 12:30-31, American Standard Version)
For example, if you keep the second commandment, you wouldn’t commit murder, robbery, rape, etc, because you wouldn’t treat yourself so badly. In other words, you should treat others the way you want to be treated. Don’t like people lying about you? Then don’t lie about others. Don’t want your significant other to cheat on you? Then be faithful to your significant other yourself.
If you keep the number one commandment to love God, you would also be keeping the second commandment, and in turn, any and all other commandments. Why is this so? Because when you truly love Yahweh, you would do what He approves of. What He approves of is for you to keep all of His commandments. It is like in any parent-child relationship; when the child loves and honors his father and mother, he would show it through his obedience. When we love God, we would avoid sinning.
Now that we know what sins are and how to avoid committing them, let us briefly go over some of the sins God tells us about through the Bible, His written communication to us. I will list the sins under their categories below.
Sins Against God: While all sins are against God one way or another, these are offenses directly against Him.
• Not acknowledging of His existence, but rather believing in the big-bang theory and evolution.
• Idolatry, which is worshipping false gods. Yahweh is the one and only true God; all other gods are manmade. To credit false gods for God’s own creations is not only shamefully wrong but is also quite foolish. Could manmade gods of wood and stone talk or hear, let alone create us? Idolatry is also an act of crowding out God in our lives, replacing Him with other things, such as wealth and fame. Wrong priorities is idolatry. Yahweh should be our main priority in life.
• Believing Him, yet worshipping false gods at the same time. Since Yahweh is the only true God, He alone should receive our fullest devotion and praise.
• Using images or objects to worship God. God is an invisible Spirit whom no one has seen, so we should not use any objects or images to represent Him during worship.
• Using His name or “God” in vain. We take Yahweh’s name in vain when we use His name or “God” in meaningless ways, such as saying, “God bless you” when people sneeze, exclaiming “Oh, my God!” as an interjection, and cursing, “God d*** it.” We also take His name in vain when 1) we do something bad and say God told us to do it, 2) blame Him for our problems, 3) do anything sinful in His name, 4) joke about Him, His name, His nature, and His plans and purposes; and 5) when we do not honor Him for who He is.
• Believing in Him, yet not loving or caring much about Him. It is similar to kicking a starving beggar out when he asks for food at your restaurant. It would be hard not to believe in his existence when he’s standing right in front of your eyes, but your belief does no one good when you don’t have love for him.
• Denying His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, our Messiah. How could you truly honor the Father when you don’t honor His Son?
• Cursing Him which is called blasphemy.
• Ignoring His commandments.
• Adding or subtracting words from the Bible.
Family Sins: Sinning against your family
• Not honoring your father and mother, and that includes hitting and cursing them
• Mistreating your husband or wife
• Not caring for your children
• Not providing for the needs of your household
• Divorce, except in cases of marital unfaithfulness
Social Sins: Sinning against people in general
• Mistreating and taking advantage of the fatherless, widows, the poor
• Cheating employees of their wages
• Giving false testimonies or being a false witness
• Rebelling against authority
• Being jealous of others
• Not forgiving others
• Selling people
• Abuse of any kind
• Not warning people of sins
• Not rebuking or correcting people when they have sinned
• Not praying for others
• Ignoring the needs of others
• Partiality or judging people based on their social status, background, looks, etc.
• Gossip and spreading rumors
Sexual Sins: Breaking God’s commandments on sexual issues. Sexual relations are blessings God bestows upon a man and a woman married to each other; marriage should be kept strictly holy, especially because it symbolizes our relationship with God and His Son. All believers are called the “bride of Christ,” and we must be clean as virgins before uniting with him on his second coming to Earth. Those who abandon God and His ways are called spiritual adulterers.
• Adultery (cheating on your spouse; having sex with a married person)
• Rape and sexual assault
• Incest (sex with close relatives, such as between parent and child)
• Bestiality (sex with animals)
• Sexual abuse
• Fornication (sex before marriage, sex between people not married to each other, and all other sexual sins not listed here)
• Love of money, greed
• Witchcraft, spiritism and divination through mediums, including astrology, horoscope, numerology, tarot cards, fortunetelling, and palm-reading. All of these activities are acts of demon-worship. Read Deuteronomy 18, 1 Samuel 28, and Acts 16 in your Bible.
• Dressing immodestly
• Flattering people for personal gain
• Not valuing the gift of life
• Excessive drinking and getting drunk
How should we react to sin?
We should absolutely hate sin and treat it as our number one enemy. However, we shouldn’t hate the sinner, for we are all sinners. Yes, every one of us is a sinner. So if we hate sinners, we hate ourselves.
How should we deal with sin?
To treat your personal sin, follow these steps:
1. Repent of your sins. True repentance means:
a) Admit what you did is wrong
b) Feel truly sorry about what you did
c) And never repeat the same sin again
2. Pray to God for forgiveness. In your prayer…
a) Confess your sins and apologize
b) Ask for God’s forgiveness
c) Ask for His help in keeping you from sinning again
d) Commit your life to His ways and laws
3. Accept Jesus Christ as your Master and Savior. Jesus died for all sinners to save us from the eternal penalty and power of sins. The penalty of sins is eternal death: “Therefore, as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin; and so death passed unto all men, for that all sinned.” (Romans 5:12)
4. Develop a lasting relationship with God and His Son by praying and studying the Bible regularly, and applying the Bible teachings to your everyday living. Simply reading the Bible will do you no good–only when you do what it teaches will you be able to defeat sins.
Those who diligently follow the above steps, which result in the spiritual born-again experience, will be resurrected on God’s appointed time unto eternal life of love and bliss in fellowship with Yahweh and Jesus. Then and only then will life be free from sin and suffering caused by sin. Right now, we have a constant battle with sins. However, remember that Jesus’s personal sacrifice has saved us from the power of sin to give us the strength to be a victor, not a loser, of sins, right now.
To treat sins in others, follow these steps to lead them to the born-again experience:
1. Gently but firmly rebuke and correct others when they have sinned. It is our responsibility to correct one another. If you see a train charging in someone’s direction, would you not warn them of it? Likewise, if you see someone heading in the wrong direction, you are saving them from a tragedy. It is a sin not to warn them. God said: “When I tell the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you shall surely die,’ and you don’t speak to warn the wicked from his way; that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood will I require at your hand. Nevertheless, if you warn the wicked of his way to turn from it, and he doesn’t turn from his way; he shall die in his iniquity, but you have delivered your soul.” (Ezekiel 33:8-9, WEB)
a) Let them know what they did is a sin
b) Show them that sin is wrong by using the Bible
c) Direct them to repent for their sins
2. Help them receive forgiveness from God
a) Have them pray to God for forgiveness
b) Let them confess their sins to God
c) Have them ask God for protection from future sins
3. Teach them about Jesus Christ, and help them accept Christ as their Master and Savior
4. Assist them in developing a lasting relationship with God.
a) Urge them to pray and study the Bible on a regular basis
b) Have them apply Bible teachings to their daily living. They need to be doers, not hearers only: “But be doers of the word, and not only hearers, deluding your own selves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man looking at his natural face in a mirror; for he sees himself, and goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of freedom, and continues, not being a hearer who forgets, but a doer of the work, this man will be blessed in what he does.” (James 1:22-25)
God’s Promise to Those Who Truly Repent
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us the sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
“The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some count slowness; but is patient with us, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
But “if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8)
Your destiny is up to you. Would you want to honor your Heavenly Father by conforming your life to His ways, or would you want to destroy yourself by continually going on your dark path?
Life or death is before you: which road will you choose?
“Behold, I have set before you this day life and good, and death and evil; in that I command you this day to love Yahweh your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his ordinances, that you may live and multiply, and that your God may bless you in the land where you go in to possess it.
“I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse: therefore choose life, that you may live, you and your seed; to love your God, to obey his voice, and to cling to him; for he is your life, and the length of your days.” (Deuteronomy 30:15-16, 19-20)
May God give you the desire and power to choose life!
Learn the Entire Bible in Depth from Genesis to Revelation via E-mail
Would you like to know your Creator, understand your origin, and fulfill your purpose? Do you desire to obtain true, enduring wealth, happiness, and wisdom? Then embark on your path to wisdom by learning about your Creator and His will from His Word, the Bible, and apply His principles to your life, as the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10).