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

Answering your questions

Now, to address your specific questions. And I won't get into a theological explanation. Just a simple answer. If you want to explore any of those answers we can try. I don't know if you would classify them as "good" because that rating method seems so subjective. But I think each can be proven Biblically.

Q1. Can Christians live above it?
A1. Yes. But only as we remain in Christ.

    "Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
    1 John 3:6-10 (KJV)

Q2. Are Christians forgiven when they do it?
A2. God is very willing to forgive all who confess and repent.

    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
    1 John 1:9 (KJV)

True confession involves repentance. But do we understand true repentance as a turning away from sin or merely that repentance which only seeks to escape judgment?

    For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
    2 Cor 7:10-11 (KJV)

Q3. Do Christians lose salvation when they commit it?
A3. Not necessarily. God does not immediately cast us aside. He continues to draw us back to Him. For this reason we have One who pleads for us before the courts of heaven.

    My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
    1 John 2:1-2 (KJV)

However, sin separates us from God. It causes enmity in our hearts against God and renders us incapable of submitting to God's will. If we will not give up the sin then in reality we love the sin more than God (righteousness). God will plead with us until it is apparent that the cords of affection for sin have bound us so tightly that we refuse to give them up. We have basically chosen sin over God and God will honor our choice. In truth, we ignore the voice of the Holy Spirit so many times that it grows weaker and weaker until it can no longer be heard. When it can no longer work with us then it is withdrawn.

    Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
    Matt 12:31 (KJV)

"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."