Sin is a small word, but it has caused the biggest problem one could ever imagine. Many have questioned as to what sin is. And many have their own opinions and definitions to it. Some say there is nothing called sin. Yet some others say it doesn’t exist in reality—if you think something is bad then it is bad; it is just an imagination of the mind. While others say anything that is not acceptable in society is sin. While some others say anything that is morally wrong is sin. There are many other human definitions as well. So what actually is sin?
The only Person we could trust to give us the right definition of sin is God. And the only definition we need to know is the God’s definition, because that’s what matters at the end.
It has confused many sincere seekers of the truth who hear from the pulpits the solution to sin, but they don’t hear clearly what sin is! And Christians are encouraged to overcome sin by the grace of Christ—and that is right; but if they don’t know exactly what sin is how could they overcome it? You should know it to overcome it.
Just as the Bible is very specific as to what is the solution to the menace of sin, the Bible is also very specific to what is sin. John wrote,
1 John 3:4, “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.”
This is the straight and clear definition of sin. So sin is disobedience to the law. But which law was John referring to? There are many laws in the Bible. Paul gives us the same definition and identifies the law as well.
Romans 7:7, “Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.”
Yes, we know which law says “Thou shalt not covet”. It is the Ten Commandments law as recorded in Exodus chapter 20 and Deuteronomy chapter 5. So sin is defined as transgressing or breaking the Ten Commandments law! No doubt God decided to speak this law with His own mouth in the hearing of an entire nation, and write it down with His own fingers on stones—the only part of the Bible that God personally authored. Because this law is the all important law in the Bible! Moses records that God spoke it directly.
Exodus 20:1, “And God spake all these words, saying”. Moses also records that God documented it as well on stones. Exodus 31:18 “And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.”
Even the Old Testament has this same definition for sin. God told Moses, Leviticus 4:2, “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a soul shall sin through ignorance against any of the commandments of the LORD concerning things which ought not to be done, and shall do against any of them”
So sin is defined the same way as it is given in the New Testament as well—going “against any of the commandments of the LORD”.