This is the first part of a greater subject that is far too great for a single post. Subsequent parts will be posted each Friday. By the way, the picture for this theme is inspired by Disney's The Emperor's New Groove, which is one of the funniest films I've ever seen. For more information on the shoulder angels, click here. While the picture does tie in with what I'm talking about, the shoulder angels aren't my focus. LOL!
What Is Sin?
I have never found an outright definition in the Bible, but here are some scriptures that shed some light on the nature of sin:
- "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin" (James 4:17).
- "... For whatsoever is not of faith is sin" (Romans 14:23b).
- "All unrighteousness is sin" (1 John 5:17a).
- "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law" (1 John 3:4).
- "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death" (James 1:14,15).
- "For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.... Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart" (Matthew 5:20-22,27,28).
So, sin is breaking God's Law, as a result of lust, lack of faith, or disobedience. Also note that Jesus raised the bar, by stating that even dwelling on sinful thoughts count as sin. But what Law is it a sin to break? The explicit details of the Mosaic Law? "But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter" (Romans 7:6). Apparently not, for the Law of Mount Sinai was fulfilled by Jesus, who gave us the two commandments that we need to follow. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." (Matthew 22:37-39).
Sin, therefore, is breaking Jesus' commandments to love God above all else and others as ourselves. Sin is thoughts, words, or actions that originate from misdirected or insufficient love. Think about it. Every sin that you've ever committed can be traced back to loving yourself, or something, more than God or your fellow man (or woman).