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

Thanks for answering the sin questions

This is a side issue...but all the things you mention are gifts from God and not generated by man. I believe that without Christ we can do nothing but through Christ we can do all things. We don't just set out to do good works apart from Christ. It is the love of Christ abiding in our hearts by faith that generates spontaneously this good works.

So for me, I believe that works proceed from true faith and give witness that the faith is a living faith. We are not justified, nor sanctified, nor saved by either faith or works yet they must be applied together equally like two oars. I simply prefer to think that the faith must precede the works based on Romans, chapters 3 and 9.

    Romans 3 (Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition.)

    19Now we know, that what things soever the law speaketh, it speaketh to them that are in the law; that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may be made subject to God.

    20Because by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified before him. For by the law is the knowledge of sin.

    21But now without the law the justice of God is made manifest, being witnessed by the law and the prophets.

    22Even the justice of God, by faith of Jesus Christ, unto all and upon all them that believe in him: for there is no distinction:

    23For all have sinned, and do need the glory of God.

    24Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption, that is in Christ Jesus,

    25Whom God hath proposed to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood, to the shewing of his justice, for the remission of former sins,

    26Through the forbearance of God, for the shewing of his justice in this time; that he himself may be just, and the justifier of him, who is of the faith of Jesus Christ.

    27Where is then thy boasting? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith.

    28For we account a man to be justified by faith, without the works of the law.

Now I don't think Paul is saying that we are to have faith alone without works but he is saying we are justified freely by faith without works. Verse 28 could be written this way, IMHO, "For we account a man to be justified by faith even before he has done any good works."

Here's another take:

From "Steps to Christ," here at CCEL:

    When we speak of faith, there is a distinction that should be borne in mind. There is a kind of belief that is wholly distinct from faith. The existence and power of God, the truth of His word, are facts that even Satan and his hosts cannot at heart deny. The Bible says that “the devils also believe, and tremble;” but this is not faith. James 2:19. Where there is not only a belief in God’s word, but a submission of the will to Him; where the heart is yielded to Him, the affections fixed upon Him, there is faith—faith that works by love and purifies the soul. Through this faith the heart is renewed in the image of God. And the heart that in its unrenewed state is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be, now delights in its holy precepts, exclaiming with the psalmist, “O how love I Thy law! it is my meditation all the day.” Psalm 119:97. And the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us, “who 64walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:1.

    "The Test of Discipleship," Steps to Christ, Ellen G. White, Chapter 7, Pages 63-64.

Well, we need to pick this up elsewhere. This is not the place for this discussion.

"Iniquitas mentita est sibi"

_______ _______ ______ ______ ______

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