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Previous: Ask For The Old Paths.

WHY IS SIN SIN?

September 14, 2014

L. John Bost
L. John Bost
First we need to clarify the title, Why Is Sin Sin? The word, sin, comes from words from the original language of both the Old and New Testaments meaning "to miss," or "to miss the mark." Anything that is contrary to the will of God is sin, since the "mark" that we must strive for is God's will. God, Himself, determines what is sin and what is not. That is not a decision to be made by any human being, or group of human beings. But what is it about sins that moved God to classify them as sins? The Bible gives us much insight in to that topic.
The word, sin, first appears in the Old Testament in Genesis 4:7. Genesis 4:1-17 gives the account of the very first murder. We are told that the first brothers offered sacrifices to God. God accepted Abel's offering, but not that of Cain, his older brother. This angered Cain (Genesis 4:5). The Lord asked Cain in Genesis 4:7, "If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him." What sin was the Lord referring to? The fulfillment of God's warning came in the murder of Abel (Genesis 4:8). Why did God call this act sin? Because it harmed someone! Abel lost his life. An innocent man died for no other reason than obeying the will of God. This horrific act - a man killing his own brother - resulted from another sin, the sin of unbridled anger!
When Israel, having been freed from Egyptian bondage, stopped at the foot of Mt. Sinai, Moses gave them the Ten Commandments from God. These Commandments consisted of a list of prohibitionsand requirements involving a number of sins. In fact, every sin would be avoided if these commandments were obeyed! Please read Exodus 1:1-17. The first two commandments forbid the making of, and worshipping, idols. The third commandment forbids taking God's name in vain. These actions dishonor God, our Creator. The fourth commandment set aside a day of worship and rest for the people of Israel. Failure to worship dishonors God and harms man spiritually. Failure to rest harms man physically. This commandment is a pivotal one. It and the remaining six deal with sins that harm man.
Because man does sin, God sent His Son to die so that man might receive the forgiveness of his sins. In other words, because man dishonors God, hurts himself, and hurts others, thus sins, God sent His Son to die so that man might be forgiven of his sins.
So, the bottom line is sin is sin because it harms people! It may harm one or more people other than the one committing the sin. It may hurt the one committing the sin. It may harm both the one who commits the sin and others. But when sin is committed someone always gets hurt! Sometimes our actions may seem harmless. We may not intend to hurt anyone by our actions. For example, premarital sex may seem harmless and good to a young couple. However, it can result in a variety of sexually transmitted diseases, and many other consequences for the couple and others. And practicing "safe sex" will not prevent all of the consequences of illicit sexual activity. So God gave us His laws. His laws are designed to let us know what actions are sinful, and what actions are not.
God created each one of us and all life. He loves man above all living things. That fact is clearly stated in John 3:16: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Because God does not want anyone to be harmed, he declared some things to be sin. All of His laws are for two purposes: to honor God, the Creator, and to keep man from harming himself or others.
Because man does sin, God sent His Son to die so that man might receive the forgiveness of his sins. In other words, because man dishonors God, hurts himself, and hurts others, thus sins, God sent His Son to die so that man might be forgiven of his sins. Sin is so horrible that God was willing to send His only Son to die to provide a remedy for it!
Today many have lost sight of the reason why sin is sin. They look upon it as no big thing. But it is a big thing! Those who commit it are setting themselves up for damnation in hell (Mark 16:15-16). Those of us who realize the true nature of sin work hard to teach others, so that they can avoid the harm to themselves and others that it causes, both here and in eternity. So, it is not a hate crime to warn others to turn from their sins, it is an act of love!

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