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Problem: What Is Sin?

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Flavio, Aug 3, 2014.

  1. I am a proud Christian and a believer but I do have doubts and hesitations.

    My biggest problem with God is this: what is sin? Even if we're fervent believers and want to serve God, how do we know what is acceptable or not?

    Even the Bible seems to be well aware of this difficulty:

    There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death. (Proverbs 14: 12)

    We do know for sure that God's justice is different from ours (e.g. all sins are equally detestable in the eyes of God, whereas human justice is proportional and punishes some crimes more severely than others) and He does not compromise when it comes to His Law. Many sins have become commonplace in our society and most people today don't even see them as reproachable or negative.

    Nobody questions that murder and theft are sins. But what about smoking, nudity and eating certain foods?

    Here's another one: Catholics love images of Jesus and saints but many Christian groups consider it idolatry.
  2. Firstly, welcome to the forum!

    We all have our doubts. I tend to suffer through mine daily because the logical part of my brain refuses to let go.

    I'd say that sin is doing anything God commands against. It can be different from person to person and not all the answers are clear. I'd say there are a lot of issues that the Bible doesn't even address, which makes things very difficult. Sometimes it seems God doesn't answer.

    Culture tends to change as time passes, but I don't think that what is sinful changes. I would say that smoking is a sin, but if we are basing that on the assumption that damaging your body is sinful then so is eating fast food.

    I'm assuming you are saying that viewing nudity is sinful, but I think this varies from person to person.

    Idolatry is putting anything before God. I don't think that Catholics do this at all. I have heard that they practice idolatry but I've never seen this to be true.
    Flavio and Heart_for_Christ say Amen and like this.
  3. There are many things defined black and white in Bible.. There are certain other things which we take it as gray area.. Not that it is gray area in Lord's sight..

    As a believer, I don't think we should look at things as right or wrong.. The way to look at it would be, does it bring glory to God or not. That is why Paul says, many things are beneficial, but they all do not bring glory to God.. It is easy for a believer to fall into a trap of legalism.. We should always look to the Lord.. Even in OT days, God looked at heart rather than mere sacrifices.. So instead of finding what is right or wrong to see whether we are righteous, we should look to Jesus and His righteousness..
    Flavio, KingJ, God is Love and 2 others say Amen and like this.
  4. And someone will rightfully come along and write, "And not doing something G-d commands us to do is also sin."

    yes, and from area to area, culture to culture.


    -- and from shower to shower, bathtub to bathtub, and if my husband and I were upon an assured empty-but-to-us lake/beach, it would be fun to skinny dip, probably.

    In Jewish and Messianic belief, there is only holy and profane, no in-between. Holy is any activity that G-d sanctions; profane is what He does not sanction. Can walking to the store be holy? Yes. Can lying down to sleep be holy? Yes. Can listening to music be holy? Yes, even if you don't like my music. :D

    Here's a thought: is lying (telling an untruth) always sinful. There are some who say yes with Scripture/reason, others who say no with Scripture/reason.

    There are those who say that imperfection = sin, so everyone is always in sin.
    KingJ, DavidG and Huntingteckel says Amen and like this.
  5. To answer your question from the Word.

    And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Eph 2:1

    Sin is breaking any of the Lord commandments,

    If a soul shall sin through ignorance against any of the commandments of the LORD Lev 4:2

    Whereas, a trespass is a sin against the holy or sacred things of the Lord,

    If a soul commit a trespass, and sin through ignorance, in the holy things of the LORD; Lev 5:15

    Now, if you will do a word search on these two words in the Old and New Testament you will understand what the difference is between the two.


    Flavio likes this.
  6. The ten commandments are good place to start as to what sin is. The Lord gave these commandments knowing full well no one was going to be able to keep them, except for Jesus Christ. They were given so sin would be exposed in man and that it would become exceedingly sinful showing man he needed a saviour. God revealing that the only way for man to be saved from this bondage was by hearing and believing the Gospel. How does a person get saved?

    Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
    Rom 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

    There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death. (Proverbs 14: 12)

    Man has put his hands into areas thy should not have been. Confessing Jesus as your Lord and believing in your heart he raised from the dead
    is the only way to salvation.

    Once a person comes to Christ, that exact Spirit that was in Jesus becomes their new life. This new life in them can never sin or fail. A Christian sins when he does not allow Christ in them to live his life through them. They wrestle back to themselfs control of their lives, and when they do this and sin, their "conscience" condemns them. The born again Christians conscience is very important in guiding them in their lives. If you have any doubts in your conscience about doing something, then do not do it, as that does not come from faith. Anything that is not of faith is sin. The Apostle Paul lived his life with a clear conscience.

    Act 23:1 And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.

    Act_24:16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.

    Rom_9:1 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,

    2Co_1:12 For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.

    1Ti_1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:

    1Ti_1:19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:

    1Ti_3:9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
    Flavio likes this.
  7. I don't know how I can answer without jump-starting a debate unrelated to the topic. If I answer, will everyone understand that this is merely an answer on my belief's behalf and not your behalf?
    DavidG and TezriLi say Amen and like this.
  8. Just a note on nudity....when God blessed humankind He did not include clothing...the man and the woman were naked and not ashamed...but it was in fallen man that nakedness suddenly became something to be ashamed of before God (not His plan)...and neither are any of the curses or consequences of their sin related to their being naked...the problem for fallen humankind is that being a god unto themselves (Genesis 3:5), they want to lord it over one another and the passion and admiration for the beauty of God's creation becomes tainted and filtered through man's lust (self indulgence, self gratification, self exaltation, etc.) which men being the physically stronger of the two genders would take full advantage of and would violate and oppress women (which in general many do now and have throughout history) because the imagination of their hearts is often only evil...so nudity is NOT a sin but selfish lust and the will to have self power, control via self over others, self satiation at the expense of others, is...

    Flavio and KingJ say Amen and like this.
  9. I worry about the following sometimes:
    On the Internet, we open ourselves up to identity theft when we "tell it all." Telling our names, birthdays, places of birth, expose us to the possibility of identity theft.
    The little questions sites often ask -- home town, first car, first school, mother's name, etc. -- are problematic, because later, we start writing and tell these answers without thinking, opening ourselves up all the more to identity theft.
    Further, we get comfortable on a site and start saying things we may later regret, when some bot rolls across it and present or future bosses get a hold of the knowledge.

    How protective should we be? Are we lying when we change some tidbit of information in order to protect ourselves?
    KingJ and Flavio say Amen and like this.
  10. In my opinion, lie is a lie. Circumstance does not change the definition of lie.. Is it right or wrong? People can have divided opinion! If it's right, does not make the person more righteous.. If it's wrong, does not condemn the person anymore.. Because justification is only through faith.. Not through these actions..

    Being a father, I always wondered about this.. When my daughter is not eating, I sometimes give promises like politicians :D That I will get her ice cream or lollipop or whatever she wants.. And she would trust me.. At the end, I won't give her anything because I don't have any of those things at home.. She will be disappointed.. Am I lying to her? Yes.. Is it wrong or right? I am lying with the intention of giving my daughter nutrition.. But I don't think that would make it right.. Lie is a lie.. It all adds to the accumulating wrath of God.. Thankfully, blood of Jesus would cover for these sins also..
    TezriLi likes this.
  11. This one is a tough one for me....
  12. #12 LysanderShapiro, Aug 4, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2014
    In short, this is one of the dividing aspects of different Christian groups: Can we drink or not drink? Is it OK to venerate the saints or not? Is contraception OK or is it wrong? Is homosexuality a sin or not? Is abortion a problem or no big deal? Etc. etc.

    Maybe more interesting are the sins we all know exist but can they even be bent? For example, we know it's wrong to lie--even people who are strongly against religion know it. So is it OK to lie if it means helping someone from an injustice? Were the people who hid the Jews disobeying God or were they honoring Him by taking a risk for the good of the people?

    This is something you rarely hear argument about, but I've seen it come up here and there.
    Flavio and TezriLi say Amen and like this.
  13. "Take this rule—whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes off the relish of spiritual things—in short, whatever increases the strength and authority of your body over your mind—that thing is sin to you, however innocent it may be in itself." -Susanna Wesley
    KingJ and TezriLi say Amen and like this.
  14. Welcome to the board! :D

    First, what is sin:

    - Original: חטא
    - Transliteration: Chata'
    - Phonetic: khaw-taw'
    - Definition:
    1. to sin, miss, miss the way, go wrong, incur guilt, forfeit, purify from uncleanness

    Each Hebrew letter has a meaning and these three are: separation, surround, God

    Sin surround us and keeps us separated from God. The problem is, we are born into sin. So even with a laundry list of things permitted and not permitted, you're already tainted. Seeing how impossible it is for man to live sinless (after being born into sin) He sent His Son to live a perfect life, sinless - being born of a virgin, and with His perfect sinless life died to pay for the wages of our sins. His innocent was put on us and our sins were put on Him. Then to show His authority over even death, rose from the dead to live and be our advocate.

    As you pointed out, people pick and choose the verses that they want to keep and chuck the others. The only way to live God's way is through the help of the Holy Spirit to teach you how to live right. But before that's possible one must trust in the work that Jesus did and call upon Him.

    I hope this helps.
    KingJ and Flavio say Amen and like this.
  15. Thank you for your replies guys, some really interesting points there! God bless everyone!

    The Ten Commandments were a great move from God, they are clear and concise but they don't solve everything. Does abortion violate the 6th Commandment? I believe that it does and so do most Christians but pro life activists disagree.

    Conscience is definitely important but your argument sounds like moral relativism. Psycho killers may find it morally acceptable to murder some people, it wouldn't hurt their conscience at all, but most of us would find it horrific and totally unacceptable.
  16. This is why those who continually disobey their conscience causes it to be "seared" with a hot iron, and become "reprobate". They finally come to a place where they can not tell the difference between right and wrong.

    Rom 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
    Rom 1:29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
    Rom 1:30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
    Rom 1:31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
    Rom 1:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
  17. I have not yet met a person who is prolife and did not agree that abortion is killing. Perhaps I am misunderstanding you?
  18. As was mentioned the ten commandments is a good starting point. But we have to remember something very important. The reason Jesus died for mankind is because all mankind is accountable for sin. All mankind is accountable for sin because all mankind is intelligent. Monkeys are not accountable for sin. Babies and mentally handicapped are not accountable for sin. God never gave Cain the ten commandments. Cain knew he sinned when he killed Abel because of the grey matter between his ears.

    The more intelligent we are. The more scripture we know. The more sensitive our conscience is to God's (as all BAC's know God's heart better then others 2 Cor 5:17) = The more accountable we are for sins. Hence we judge ourselves in fear and trembling before God.

    James 4:17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn't do it, it is sin for them.
    1 Cor 11:31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
    2 Cor 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates.
    Phil 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

    Can a wife beater, homosexual, adulterer survive a session of self judgment in fear and trembling before God? There is mortal and venial sins. With venial sins we can pass such sessions. Sins like lies and theft are not always mortal sins. Stealing a piece of paper from work is not on par with stealing a beggars last loaf of bread.

    Do you take part in communion? It is a good time to and an example of a much needed session of self judgment.

    1 Cor 11:29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body
    Flavio likes this.
  19. While abortion is absolutely the murder of the unborn, I think many mothers who have aborted were seriously unaware that this was murder, especially since so much of the rhetoric is that the unborn isn't even a human being--it's like clipping your nails to them.
    TezriLi and Flavio say Amen and like this.
  20. Amen, and others are burdened, frightened, and feeling desperate...they do this awful thing and then a cloud of darkness consumes them for months...they know they have done wrong...lead these to the Lord and pray for them...
    Flavio likes this.

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