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

What is a sin?

Postby Grimace » Thu Oct 13, 2016 9:04 am

Is it just a list of things god disagrees with? Are all sins listed in the bible? If we can ask forgiveness after we do them, then what is the point?
Basically I am wondering if sins are completely laid out and explained, or is it one of those things you have to figure out?
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Re: What is a sin?

Postby jimwalton » Thu Nov 10, 2016 1:40 pm

> Is it just a list of things god disagrees with?

No, not at all. Sin is from us: thinking, doing, or being anything that demonstrates a dissatisfaction with God. Sin is a person's antagonism toward God, and our refusal to understand and will what is right. It has its roots in independence (self-orientation: declaring ourselves the arbiters of right and wrong, rather than living in a dependent relationship with God) and pride.

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."

> Are all sins listed in the bible?

No, not at all. New sins are being invented all the time.

> If we can ask forgiveness after we do them, then what is the point?

The point is that God wants a relationship with you. He loves you. And if you will come clean (confess and repent) and let Him change you from the inside out (change your sin nature), you can be forgiven and start over. "A new creation." "Born again."

> Basically I am wondering if sins are completely laid out and explained, or is it one of those things you have to figure out?

They're laid out fairly clearly, but it's not a uniplanar simplicity. The Bible uses a lot of different terms to talk about sin. Some focus on its causes, others on its nature, and still others on its consequences.

- Error
- Missing the mark
- irreligion
- transgression
- iniquity; lack of integrity
- rebellion
- treachery
- perversion
- abomination
- evil or badness
- trouble

William Stevens says, "Various definitions of sin have been set forth. One is that sin is non-conformity to the moral law of God. Yet sin goes much deeper than God’s law, for 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 this bare declaration."

In other words, it's tough to capture it all with a simple definition, but it is still well laid-out and explained.


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