Board index Sin

All about sin. What is it, how does it work, what does it do—whatever your questions are

How to define sin

Postby Johnny O » Sun Oct 15, 2017 2:53 pm

What is the definition of "sin"?
Johnny O
 

Re: How to define sin

Postby jimwalton » Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:03 pm

Sin is a broad term that has been variously defined. One is that sin is non-conformity to the moral law of God—yet sin goes much deeper than God's law because it goes back to our relationship with a personal God. Sin has been defined as rebellion against the will of God for one's life—yet this does not reveal whether sin is a state, an act, or a condition. Sin has been described as selfishness. Yet much more is involved in sin than is implied in the simple term selfishness. Sin has been described as an act, disposition, or state that is morally wrong. This is true as far as it goes, but it doesn't take into account one's relation to God. It is more a definition of evil than of sin. Sin has been defined as a breach of relations between the sinner and God—yet more is involved in sin that is connoted by even all these.

The Bible uses many different terms to denote sin. Some focus on its causes, others on its nature, and still others on its consequences.

1. Sin defined by its causes

A. Ignorance. Rom. 1.13; 2 Cor. 6.9; Gal. 1.22; Acts 3.17; 17.30; Eph. 4.18; 1 Pet. 1.14; Heb. 9.7.
B. Error. Ezk. 34.6; Isa. 28.7; 1 Sam. 26.21; Ps. 119.67; Eccl. 10.5; Job 12.16 et al.
C. Inattention. Rom. 5.19; 2 Cor. 10.6; Heb. 2.2-3; Mt. 18.17; Mk. 5.36.

2. Sin defined by its character

A. Missing the mark: a decision to fail. Gk: hamartano. Occurs multiple hundreds of times in Scripture.
B. Irreligion; impiety. Gk. asebeia, adikia, anomos. Dozens of references.
C. Transgression. Heb. ‘abar: hundreds of occurrences. Gk. parabaino.
D. Iniquity or lack of integrity. Lev. 19.15 et al.
E. Rebellion. Heb. pasha’, marah. Gk. apeitheia, aphistemi, apostasia.
F. Treachery. Heb. ma’al, bagad. Gk. parapipto.
G. Perversion. Heb. awah.
H. Abomination. Heb. to’ebah.

3. Sin defined by its results/consequences

A. Agitation of restlessness. Heb. resha’.
B. Evil or badness. Heb. ra’.
C. Guilt. Heb. ‘asham.

Francis Spufford says, "Sin refers to our human propensity to f*** things up. It's not just our tendency to lurch and stumble and screw up by accident, our passive role as agents of entropy. It's our active inclination to break stuff—moods, promises, relationships we care about, and our own well-being and other people's, as well as material objects whose high gloss positively seems to invite a big fat scratch."

The root of sin is independence—declaring ourselves the arbiters of right and wrong, truth and falseness, making ourselves god of our own lives.
jimwalton
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3841
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:28 pm

Re: How to define sin

Postby Johnny O » Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:22 pm

Is there any human behaviour that isn't a sin? Isn't independence fundamental to being human? Why does God set such impossible standards for humans? Does God want us to be more than human? I am a Transhumanist is that ok? Do the standards God has set only apply to humans, or to other species as well (dolphins or higher primates for instance)? Will they apply to us still if/when we become post-human cyborgs?
Johnny O
 

Re: How to define sin

Postby jimwalton » Fri Nov 24, 2017 4:42 am

> Is there any human behaviour that isn't a sin?

There are plenty: love, joy, peace, goodness, gentleness, self-control, patience, kindness, forgiveness, happiness, proper worship, and countless others.

> Isn't independence fundamental to being human?

That's a good question. I'm not sure it is. We must be dependent on many things—even each other—for survival. I presume that's why cave men (and humans in general) stayed together in family units or in communal groups, even villages, because a certain amount of dependence is not only natural but beneficial. The issue, I guess, is being dependent in certain ways and independent in others. Independence by itself isn't a sin, but independence from God is.

> Why does God set such impossible standards for humans?

It's not that God set impossible standards, but that life and survival are too demanding for us. We are vulnerable in certain ways, weak in other ways, foolish in some ways, good in some, evil in some, controlling, violent, compassionate, and a thousand other things. Life is too hard for beings like us. That's why we need God as a "present help in time of need."

> Does God want us to be more than human?

No, but He certainly knows we need him if we are going to experience life to the fullest. And we certainly need God to be rescued from our sin, because it's insurmountable for us. We can't change our nature.


Last bumped by Anonymous on Fri Nov 24, 2017 4:42 am.
jimwalton
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3841
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:28 pm


Return to Sin

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


cron