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Is all sin equal in the eyes of God?

Postby Newbie » Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:41 pm

My friend is arguing with me that there are different degrees of sin and that some sins are worse than others. I say that Jesus declared all sin as equal, sin is sin none better or worse than another. She is adamant about her stance. So my question is: Is all sin equal in the eyes of God?
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Re: Is all sin equal in the eyes of God?

Postby jimwalton » Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:43 pm

Hey, your friend is right. There are different degrees of sin, and some sins are worse than others. In Jn. 19.11, at his trial, Jesus said so to Pilate: "The one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin [than yours]." In Luke 12.47-48, Jesus implies the same thing: intentional sin is worse than unintentional sin. Now, hey, let's be realistic. In the parable they both get a beatin'. But there's a difference in the level of guilt (sin), and there's also a difference in the degree of punishment. You'll read the same thing in Leviticus. Look at Lev. 4.2, for instance. The sin offering is for UNINTENTIONAL sin. As you look closely, you'll notice there is no sacrifice for INTENTIONAL sin. Intentional sin is worse.

Now, let's be realistic. Sin is still sin. James 2.10 lets us know that when you sin, you're guilty. It's like whether you stole $100 or $1 million. You're still a thief, and you're still guilty, but one is worse than another. If you have a glass of sewage, and you add a little water, you have (gross) a glass of sewage. But if you have a glass of water and add a little sewage, well, you still have sewage. If you've ever been in a foreign country and some in contact with foul water, all it takes is contact and you're sick. You may think, "Well, I'm not as guilty as the next guy." Well, maybe not, but you're still guilty. Sin is sin, and sin brings guilt, and when it is full grown, it gives birth to death (James 1.15).

Now here's another point: There may be degrees of sin, and some are worse than others, but we haven't been given the list of which are worse. So it's not our place to judge other people, or to think of ourselves more highly than we ought.

Ask more if I haven't been clear about something.
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Re: Is all sin equal in the eyes of God?

Postby Newbie » Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:53 pm

Nope that is a great explanation. Thank you. Earlier in the day my one friend was adamant that there was one sin that God hates the most and that there were different levels of sin. I disagreed that there was not one sin that was worse than all the rest. So we were both kind of right. I may have to eat some crow because, as Jim said, there are different degrees of sin but as he also said we don't have the master list of what is the absolute most worse sin we could ever commit.
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Re: Is all sin equal in the eyes of God?

Postby jimwalton » Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:54 pm

One sin that God hates the most? Hm. Jesus talks about the sin that will not be forgiven: habitual, continual blasphemy against the Spirit (Mt. 12.31). Maybe that's what your friend was talking about. And different levels of sin? Yep. But a master list of others sins? Nope. Often we use our consciences and moral sense to generate a general list, but who's to say how accurate that is. Our human perspectives often aren't the same as God's (Isa. 55.8).
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