A definition of sin

A definition of sin is doing what is wrong or not doing what is right according to God's rules 1 John 3:

A definition of sin

A fairly exact definition of sin based on Biblical data would be that sin is the transgression of the law of God 1 John 3: Ordinarily, sin is defined simply as "the transgression of the law," but the idea of God is so completely the essential conception of the entire Biblical revelation that we can best define sin as disobedience to the law of God.

It will be seen that primarily sin is an act, but from the very beginning it has been known that acts have effects, not only in the outward world of things and persons, but also upon him who commits the act.

Sin | Definition of sin in English by Oxford Dictionaries

Affects the Inner Life: Hence, we find throughout the Scriptures a growing emphasis on the idea of the sinful act as not only a fact in itself, but also as a revelation of an evil disposition on the part of him who commits the act Genesis 6: Then also there is the further idea that deeds which so profoundly affect the inner life of an individual in some way have an effect in transmitting evil tendencies to the descendants of a sinful individual Psalms Hence, we reach shortly the conception, not only that sin is profoundly inner in its consequences, but that its effects reach outward also to an extent which practically involves the race.

Around these various items of doctrine differing systems of theology have sprung up. The Story of the Fall: Students of all schools are agreed that we have in the Old Testament story of the fall of Adam an eternally true account of the way sin comes into the world Genesis 3: The question is not so much as to the literal historic matter-of-factness of the narrative, as to its essentially psychological truthfulness.

The essential thought of the narrative is that both Adam and Eve disobeyed an express command of God. The seductiveness of temptation is nowhere more forcefully stated than in this narrative.

God had said that disobedience to the command would bring death; the tempter urged that disobedience would not bring death, implying that the command of God had meant that death would immediately follow the eating of the forbidden fruit.

In the story the various avenues of approach of sin to the human heart are graphically suggested, but after the seductiveness of evil has thus been set forth, the fact remains that both transgressors knew they were transgressing Genesis 3: Of course, the story is told in simple, naive fashion, but its perennial spiritual truth is at once apparent.

There has been much progress in religious thinking concerning sin during the Christian ages, but the progress has not been away from this central conception of willful disobedience to the law of God.

The Freedom of Man: In this early Biblical account there is implicit the thought of the freedom of man. The idea of transgression has sometimes been interpreted in such wise as to do away with this freedom.

An unbiased reading of the Scriptures would, with the possible exception of some passages which designedly lay stress on the power of God Romans 8: Certainly there is nothing in the account of the Old Testament or New Testament narratives to warrant the conception that men are born into sin by forces over which they have no control.

The argument of the tempter with the woman is an argument aimed at her will. By easy steps, indeed, she moves toward the transgression, but the transgression is a transgression and nothing else.

A definition of sin

Of course, the evil deed is at once followed by attempts on the part of the transgressors to explain themselves, but the futility of the explanations is part of the point of the narrative.

In all discussion of the problem of freedom as relating to sin, we must remember that the Biblical revelation is from first to last busy with the thought of the righteousness and justice and love of God Genesis 6: Unless we accept the doctrine that God is Himself not free, a doctrine which is nowhere implied in the Scripture, we must insist that the condemnation of men as sinful, when they have not had freedom to be otherwise than sinful, is out of harmony with the Biblical revelation of the character of God.

Of course this does not mean that a man is free in all things. Freedom is limited in various ways, but we must retain enough of freedom in our thought of the constitution of men to make possible our holding fast to the Biblical idea of sin as transgression.

Adam may have been free to sin or not to sin, but, "in his fall we sinned all. A Transgression against Light: The progress of the Biblical teaching concerning sin also would seem to imply that the transgression of the law must be a transgression committed against the light Acts To be sinful in any full sense of the word, a man must know that the course which he is adopting is an evil course.

A definition of sin

This does not necessarily mean a full realization of the evil of the course. This is partly because the consequences of sin do not declare themselves until after the deed has been committed; partly also because of the remorse of the conscience; and partly from the humiliation at being discovered; but in some sense there must be a realization of the evil of a course to make the adoption of the course sinful.

These standards were partly set by the customs of the social group, but the customs were, in many cases, made sacred by the claim of divine sanction. Hence, we find Biblical characters giving themselves readily to polygamy and warfare.

The Scriptures themselves, however, throw light upon this problem. They refer to early times as times of ignorance, an ignorance which God Himself was willing to overlook Acts Even so ripe a moral consciousness as that of Paul felt that there was ground for forgiveness toward a course which he himself later considered evil, because in that earlier course he had acted ignorantly Acts Inwardness of the Moral Law: The Biblical narratives, too, show us the passage over from sin conceived of as the violation of external commands to sin conceived of as an unwillingness to keep the commandments in the depths of the inner life.

The course of Biblical history is one long protest against conceiving of sin in an external fashion. In the sources of light which are to help men discern good from evil, increasing stress is laid upon inner moral insight compare Isaiah the condition of estrangement from God arising from such transgression See also actual sin, mortal sin, original sin, venial sin any serious offence, as against a religious or moral principle any offence against a principle or standard.

A definition of sin is doing what is wrong or not doing what is right according to God's rules (1 John ). If God says "Do not lie" and you lie, then you have sinned. If .


When once asked, ‘What is the definition of sin?’ Billy Graham gave the following answer: A sin is any thought or action that falls short of God’s will. God is perfect, and anything we do that falls short of His perfection is sin.

The Bible actually uses . What Is Sin - Read a definition of sin and discover how it relates to your life. What is it and what does the Bible say? Sin does, however, have weakened, non-religious meanings.

In its "an action that is or is felt to be highly reprehensible " meaning it is still a weighty word; it refers to actions of a . Sin is any deliberate action, attitude, or thought that goes against God.

Nature of sin

You may think of sin as an obvious act, such as murder, adultery, or theft. Although that’s true, sin is also wrongdoing that’s far subtler and even unnoticeable at times, such as pride, envy, or even worry. Sin includes both things you shouldn’t [ ].

Sin (2) Definition and Meaning - Bible Dictionary