What is Sin?

I've heard so many competing definitions, and I'd really like to have a solid answer--what is sin?

Can Christians live above it?
Are Christians forgiven when they do it?
Do Christians lose salvation when they commit it?

If you've a good answer, please share it.

JeffLogan's picture

Reply to "sin"

Nube, you said sin is separation from God. Isn't sin the transgression of God's law and the result of that sin is separation from God? Doesn't sin separate rather than the separation being sin?

And, yet, a person separated from God will sin. Where else will they get righteousness if they are not getting it from God?

And you say Christians cannot live above sin. Yet, Paul tells us in Galatians that there is no law against those things he listed as the fruit of the spirit. Since sin is the transgression of the law (1 Jn 3:4) then if one is walking in the spirit then wouldn't they have the fruit of that spirit? And, there is NO LAW against any of those things. Thus, if no law against, then doing them can't be sin.

Could it be that what you are describing is our experience in living partly for God and reserving some flesh for ourselves that we deem just to dear to give up? Could this be the reason we cannot live above sin in the spirit? I am just thinking that if we (our flesh) is crucified with Christ and the life we now live in the flesh we live by faith in Jesus, and, that if it is not I but Christ which liveth in me then my life should model Christ's life. See Christ never sinned so if I am dead and it is not me but him living in me then where is the sin? Get my point?

And, sorry, the third thing. Christians are forgiven when they sin if they repent and confess. Right? You said, Yes, but you didn't state the conditions for forgiveness. Now I am thinking that repentance of a correct nature only comes from God. Men may repent for fear of retribution but a godly repentance not to be repented of only comes from God. So then repentance must be a godly sorrow for the sin. A godly sorry would cause one to turn away from that sin so that it would not be repeated over and over again. Human struggling to overcome sin to avoid punishment or to gain blessings is not a godly sorrow for the sin and could very well lead to the exact repetition of a sin as you have described. This is because the human agent is striving in his own weakened condition to overcome rather than placing himself fully in God's hands. He fails because he is looking at an imperfect model--himself. He needs to take his eyes off of himself and stop focusing on his failures and instead look to Christ the perfect model and focus on His victories.

Do Christians lose salvation when the commit sin? No. They are stained with the guilt of sin but they are not immediately rejected by God. When they realize they have sinned they should admit their sin (confession) and in heart turn from it (repentance). They need to understand that sin is proof that in that area of their life they are not in harmony with Jesus, the One who loved them so much that He gave up heaven to become a man so that He could die in their place for the sins they have committed. This should be their thought and their motive. They should not dwell on selfish themes such as whether or not they lost their salvation by that sin. First, they have not. Second, it is their selfish motives which they need to confess and repent of.

As a matter of fact, we can turn a sin to our advantage if we will learn from it. We can learn where our weakness is and ask God for special help in that area and then determine not to place ourselves in a similar situation which caused our downfall. Thus, with God, we make all things work for our good because we love God because He first loved us.

The most important tool for fighting sin is not our weakened will power. Yes, it must be involved. But the most important tool is communion with God. We must be constantly looking to Jesus as our salvation, our only hope. We must focus on His righteousness and account that thought we are not worthy, He is worthy. If we are hid in Him (that is, are lives are crucified with him and nothing of us is manifested in our lives but only Christ is visible--thus hidden) then our guilt and shame are also hidden.

If we are trusting to self to overcome, or we are focusing on our faults and our weakness, then we will be most miserable of all people because there will be this constant battle between the flesh and the desire to be saved. Those who have peace with God and rest in Him have their minds stayed on Him. He is their strength. And, by faith, Christ will dwell in their hearts. But we must believe this promise and then it will become a reality in our lives. Then we will not be plagued with repeating the same sin over and over but we will through Christ gain the victory and move on in our Christian walk toward a perfect man in Christ.

These answers are not so brief but I hope they give you a fresh perspective on just what is available to us--you and me. May God bless us both and help us believe.

(Again, I am writing this when I should be asleep. So if something doesn't seem quite right it could be I used the wrong pronoun or misspelled a word or there is a typo. Please ask if you think something is amiss. I am going to bed so I haven't check this that thoroughly.)

"Iniquitas mentita est sibi"

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“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you."