What Sin Is
Sin is when we do not love our God above everything else. The greatest command our Heavenly Father has ever given, will ever give us; is to love Him above all things.
One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. Matt 22:35-38 NIV+
And when we love our God above all things, we will keep Jesus' words and obey His commands; to the best of our abilities.
*Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me. Jn 14:23-24 NKJV+
*For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. 1Jn 5:3 ESV+
We must also love our neighbor as ourselves, for this is the second greatest command. Jesus expanded this commandment; He wants us to love our brothers and sisters in Christ, as He loves us.
*And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Matt 22:39 ESV+
*A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." Jn 13:34-35 NKJV+
When we love our God above all things, when we love all people as ourselves; we will fulfill all the other commands of our God.
*"On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets." Matt 22:40 NASB+
*Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not bear false witness," "You shall not covet," and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Ro 13:8-9 NKJV+
Sin comes from the lack of an obedient love for our God, from the lack of a caring love for all people.
*This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it. 2Jn 1:6 NKJV+
Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Ro 13:10 NKJV+
We sin when we love anyone or anything more than we love Jesus. We must love our Savior more than our father or mother, our son or daughter, or any other person. We must love Jesus even more than our own physical life. We must be willing to stand up for our Savior and never deny Him; even though it costs us our life.
*He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. Matt 10:37-39 NKJV+
*So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven. Matt 10:32-33 ESV+
We sin when we love ourselves, the gratification, the sensuality of the flesh, and the pleasures of this world more than our God. We commit sin when we let satan, the world, and our own desires lead us away from Christ. Sin separates us from our God, pushes us away from Him, and we soon become children of Satan.
*The one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. 1Jn 3:8 NASB
* For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 1Jn 2:16 NASB+
* Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. Ro 6:12 NKJV
We sin when we do not treat others as we would have wanted to be treated; if the roles were reversed. This does not mean we will be best friends with everyone; there will always be those we like better than others. But we will always have a compassionate love for all, treating them fairly, with respect, and letting them all know about our great God. Though we should always love everyone, we will hate the evil we do, the evil they do; remembering we will all commit sins. The only difference between a believer and unbeliever, is Christ's atoning grace on the cross forgives the sins of those who love Him above all things.
*But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; Mat 5:43-48 NKJV+
*Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. 1Pe 1:22 NIV+
Sin came into this physical world when Adam and Eve disobeyed God; and we inherited Adams's original sin. We also inherited Adam's and Eve's human desire to sin.
*Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned-- for before the law was given, sin was in the world. Ro 5:12-13 NIV+
*For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous. Ro 5:19 NKJV+
Since that time it has been impossible for any physical person to live a perfect life of love to their Lord.
* If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1Jn 1:8 NKJV
* For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Ro 3:23 NKJV+
*For there is not a just man on earth who does good And does not sin. Ecc 7:20 NKJV+
All sins come from the heart, they are spiritual.
*"The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? Jer 17:9 NKJV+
*For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. Matt 15:19 NKJV+
*For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. Ro 7:14 NASB+
There is a constant battle going on in each person’s mind, and this battle is over who will control the heart, the soul of each of us. Whether we will give up our human will and accept the Spirit into our hearts, let Him guide us. Or whether we will let our human will, our intelligence, ego, lusts, and arrogance control our minds, and then control our hearts.
*Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; Ro 8:5-6 NIV+
*that they were saying to you, "In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts." These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly -minded, devoid of the Spirit. Jude 1:18-19 NASB+
This battle is simply between good and evil. For when we love our God above all things, we will strive with all of our might to follow Him, to obey His commands.
*For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. 1Jn 5:3 NASB+
*For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Gal 5:14 NASB+
It is impossible to list all the ways in which we commit sins by not loving our God, by not putting Him first. By hurting others, not treating them with the love and respect we want to be treated with.
*Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins. Ja NIV+
*Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. Gal 6:2 NASB+
*Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification. Ro 15:1-2 NASB+
Sometimes we are even unaware of the sins we commit. Those who have heard about Jesus, will receive a greater punishment then those who have not had heard, have not had as great an exposure to our Lord. Especially those who are in congregations, who have been told by family, friends, the Word, even this website, but still do not love our God above all things.
*"Now if a person sins and does any of the things which the Lord has commanded not to be done, though he was unaware, still he is guilty and shall bear his punishment. Lev 5:17 NASB+
*But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. Lk 12:48 NIV+
All sins we commit when we don’t love our God above all things, our neighbor as ourselves are evil. It is as deadly a sin to lie, as it to kill. For any sin separates us from our God, keeps us from being one with Him.
*For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. Ja NKJV+
*But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." Rev 21:8 NKJV+
We are imperfect physical beings and we will always fall short and sin; you can see Some Specific Sins we will commit next. This is followed by How Our Sins Are Forgiven by the grace of Christ's atoning death on the cross; if we make Him our Savior and love Him above all things.
Copyright 2011, amended 2015 by Ron Borkey
+ ESV “Scripture quotations marked [ESV] are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version,” copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good New Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”
+ NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE (1995 Update) Copyright © 1981, 1998 The Lockman Foundation, A Corporation Not for Profit, La Habra, California. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
+ NIV Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
+ NKJV "Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved."
Some words in the verses from these Bibles may be emphasized with bold letters.