I have fallen into sin without knowing in the past, mostly because my definition of sin was superficial. I only thought sin was when one commits murder, steals, and other things we consider major sins. When I started my discipleship class, I was shocked at the revelation of what sin is and what God considers as sinful. If this experience resonates with yours, then you know the importance of understanding the real meaning of sin. So what is sin?
According to the Oxford dictionary, sin is an immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law. The book of 1st John 3:4 implies that sin is lawlessness. As human beings, we are bound to be tempted and fall into sin, but as Christians, we have a chance to present our sins and turn away from sin.
In this article, I am going to have an in-depth exploration of sin. I am going to focus on the real meaning of sin and its origin. Also, I will delve into the unforgivable sin, the seven deadly sins, and the consequences of sin. Finally, you will learn about the causes and Forgiveness of sin. Read on to find out.
What is sin?
How does the Bible define sin?
Sin is defined in the Bible as a transgression of God’s laws. When a person rebels against God, that is equal to sin. In essence, a sin is an act of breaking the laws of God according to 1st John 3:4 “Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.” Rebelling against God is an act of lawlessness which means it is a sin.
How many types of sin do we have in the Bible?
There are two types of sins according to Bible; the original sin and personal sin. Original sin can be traced back to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, which follows each human being. Hence it was uttered by David in the book of Psalms 51:5 that “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me” Therefore, everyone is born a sinner.
The second sin is personal sin, which, in most cases, is referred to as actual sin. These are sins that human beings knowingly or unknowingly commit by going against the commands of God and are referred to as acts of the flesh in Galatians 5:19-21.
What are the stages of sin?
There are five stages of sin according to James 1:14, which says, ” Each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”
According to theologian Collin Smith, the stages of sins are as follows;
Evil desire is something that strongly pushes your soul and entices it towards committing evil.
The evil desire conceives.
Evil desire manages to make your soul consent to do the act.
Sin is born
Sin happens, and one thing about sin, it has a life meaning
it also has an end.
Growth of sin
When it was born, if you do not kill it and stop it, it will keep growing.
Sin gives birth to death.
In the end, sin leads to the death of either a person’s faith, business, or even the literal death of human beings.
What are the two types of sinners?
The two types of sinners are the repentant sinners and the unrepentant sinners. The repentant sinners are those who accept their sins and ask God for Forgiveness. The unrepentant are the unrighteous ones who are too ignorant and arrogant to humble and ask for Forgiveness from God when they sin. The bridge between these two groups will be evident during judgment, where the repentant sinners will have eternal life while the unrepentant sinners will be separated from God for eternity.
What is the difference between venial and mortal sin? What is the original sin?
Mortal sins are offenses that humans commit against God and man, and the offenses always sever the relationship that an individual has with God. On the other hand, venial sins are sins that only hurt the relationship with less damage caused. A sin will become either venial or mortal, depending on the circumstances around the sin. Sometimes someone may commit a sin and feel no guilt because they are not even away it is a sin, or they have no option, while in other cases, people are fully aware and deliberately do it.
A sin can be listed under mortal sins under three conditions:
- The sin must be a serious offence against God.
- When the act is done, the person must be fully aware that the action is evil in the eyes of the Lord.
- Lastly, the sinner agrees to sin willingly, even if they are not doing it to disrespect God. The fact that they are so much willing to do the act makes the sin mortal.
Venial sins are any other sins that do not fit in the listed points. Below is a table that shows the differences between mortal and venial sins, together with examples.
The gravity of the sin
Very serious offense against God
They are not serious offenses
The sinner is fully aware that it is an evil act
The sinner might not be aware that the act is a sin
The sin consents within itself to commit the sin
The man does not consent to it
It severs the relationship between God and the Sinner
It weakens the relationship between God and the sinner
Note that hatred can also be a mortal sin and all other things listed under venial sins. You can deliberately hate someone to the point that you wish the death, and that makes your hatred a mortal sin.
What is the original sin?
The original sin is a phrase that arises from the beginning of the human race, where Adam and Eve disobeyed God and are the forbidden fruit. Original sin is a general term that connects the sinful nature of the human race to the fall of Adam and Eve. When God created man, he placed him in the garden of Eden and instructed him not to eat from the middle tree. However, Satan came in the form of a serpent and enticed Eve to taste the fruit. Eve enticed Adam to also taste, and it marked the beginning of the first sin among Human beings. This is the original sin that affects all human races to date.
Believers can understand themselves and their shortcomings by understanding the origins of sin. The original sin is a necessary concept and event in the lives of Christians because it gives Christians a chance to look at God and understand His truth and his grace. It is only through imperfection and rebellion that Christians realize the necessity of Jesus’ love in their lives.
What is sin in different languages?
Sin is referred to as Shin in Aramaic.
In Hebrew, sin is referred to as Avera. Avera translates to any kind of transgression.
Sin in Greek is called αμαρτία
Sin in Latin is called Peccare
Origin of sin
What is the nature of sin according to the Bible?
According to the Bible, sin is failure to live up to the law of God and lead unrighteous lives, which reduces the capacity to glorify God as He demands. Sin takes different manifestations, but it all began with the sin of Adam and Eve, which grew down to all human generations. All people who lived on earth were born with sin save for Jesus and could not escape the punishment. Therefore, the nature of sin is that it is born when any human is born, and it lives and grows when humans do not repent and turn away from it.
Heavenly origin of sin
Sin happened first before any human beings were created, and it happened in heaven. God created many angels, and they were holy creatures; however, one of the angels turned to sin and coaxed other angels. This angel was one of the leading angels that God loved so much, and his name is Lucifer. Lucifer served in God’s presence and is also referred to as the shining star and morning star, among other names. The fall of Lucifer is recorded in the book of Ezekiel 28:12-17; it says that Lucifer was the guardian of Cherubim until the day wickedness got into him, and he became unholy. He became proud and violent because of his beauty. Lucifer failed to exalt God because his beauty was incredible, and he wanted to be like God. Therefore, pride was the heavenly sin that Lucifer committed.
Earthly origin of sin
The origin of sin on earth can be traced back to the first human beings, Adam and Eve. When God created them and put them in the Garden of Eden, he gave them instructions not to eat from the middle tree. However, the devil came in the form of a serpent and coaxed Eve to taste the forbidden fruit. Later she told Adam to also taste, which marked the beginning of the fall of man. Adam and Eve committed their first sin and disobeyed God, and it is a sin that every human being is born with.
Bible verses about the origin of sin
Genesis 3:6 says that ” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.” This was the first sin among human beings, the sin of disobedience.
Isaiah 14:12-15 says that “How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” But you are brought down to the realm of the dead, to the depths of the pit.” These verses record the fall of Lucifer. Lucifer was the first creature to disobey God because he had a lot of pride and ambition. He wanted to be exactly like God, and God punished him by throwing him into the realms of the dead.
The seven deadly sins in the Bible
Pride is a personal view and self-centeredness that disregards the view of people around you. Proverbs 11: 2 says that “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” This implies that you should not feel like you are better than others and consider it as a power that you have.
Gluttony is a habit of overeating, and it has been mentioned as a deadly sin as it leads to many deceptions. In the book of Proverbs 23:1-3 “When you sit to dine with a ruler, note well what is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony. Do not crave his delicacies, for that food is deceptive.” This verse implies that being a glutton can do more than to you than you perceive. If you love food so much that you overeat, you expose yourself to dangers like being deceived. For example you can be offered food in exchange of you doing something evil or even get poisoned.
Sloth is basically laziness. When you have excessive rest, it is equal to laziness. Proverbs 24:30-34 implies that when you over rest, you bring poverty into your house.
Greed is the deep selfish desire towards something, and it is among the deadly sins because greed leads people into many bad actions. People have greed for power, money, and wealth, which makes them idolize the things they are greedy for. In the book of Luke 12:15, it is written, “Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
Envy is an intense desire for things that another person has. Proverbs 14:30 says, ” A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.”
Wrath is strong anger that drives you to do something that harms you or others. The Bible says that God himself will do the payback, so you should not let your anger grow into wrath.
Lust is a feeling of strong passion towards something more like sexual desire. Jesus warns against lust in the book of Matthew 5:27-28, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
The unforgivable sin
What is the unforgivable sin?
Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is an unforgivable sin, according to the Bible. Matthew 12:31-32 says that ” And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.”
How do you identify blasphemy against the Holy Spirit?
- When you thoughtfully deny the works of the Holy Spirit.
- When you are willingly hardening your heart for the Holy Spirit not to enter and guide you.
- When your consciousness rejects the work of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus’ teaching about the unforgivable sin
Jesus teaches about unforgivable sin in the gospels. He preaches that blaspheming against the Holy Spirit is unforgivable. He teaches that it is an eternal sin.
How Can I be Certain I Haven’t Committed the Unforgivable Sin?
You can only be certain when you notice that you have never intentionally attributed Jesus’ works to Satan. As in when you have never said that the work of God in your life is by the power of Satan. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit happens when your heart is too hard to let in the Holy Spirit and acknowledge that He has the power to guide you. So when you have the Holy Spirit and acknowledge Him, you have not committed an unforgivable sin.
How to Avoid the Unforgivable Sin
First of all, if you are a believer, you cannot commit a sin because you naturally avoid the unforgivable sin. You only have to believe in God, the father, the son, and the Holy Spirit.
Bible verses about blasphemy against the Holy Spirit
Matthew 12:31-32. This verse implies that whenever anyone disregards the power of the Holy Spirit and speaks against Him, they have committed the unforgivable sin
Mark 3:28-29 By eternal sin, this verse implies that sinning against the Holy Spirit is unforgivable.
Luke 12:10 says that ” And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.” This is a third verse that warns us against speaking against the Holy Spirit.
Causes and consequences of sin
What are the causes of sin according to the Bible?
Among all creations of God, Satan was the first creature to commit sin, and he is the creator of all sins in the world. Satan was full of pride and ambition to the point he wanted to be like God, which led him to sin. Satan forgets that he was created by God and all that he could do was exalt God. In this same sense, the Spirit of pride exists among humans and makes them commit sin because they want to exalt themselves and act powerful.
The first sin
First of all, human beings are a product of sin because Adam and Eve committed a sin that led to procreation. Therefore each human being is born a sinner.
Our bodies are made of flesh, and the flesh is full of lust. The flesh can be stronger than our will, and it desires things that are of worldly comfort. It leads us to sin because the flesh is so influential to the mind.
What are the consequences of sin?
Separation from God
Sin offends God so much, and He cannot be in the presence of sin. When human beings sin, they alienate themselves from God. Isaiah 59:2a says, “But your iniquities (sin) have made a separation between you and your God.” When you commit sin continuously without asking God for Forgiveness, you will stop feeling His presence in your life.
Leading to personal suffering.
A close analysis of sins leads to one conclusion that many people overlook, how sin leads to personal suffering. For example, when married people commit adultery, they jeopardize their marriage and their families and bring pain caused by betrayal and mistrust. All these will eventually hit them mentally and emotionally, especially if the adultery leads to divorce.
Causes damage to others
Another consequence of sin is that it causes damage to the people around us, family, friends, and the community. For example, in the Bible, when Herod was furious about being trucked by wise men, he committed the sin of ordering that every baby boy is killed. In the same way, when you, for example, hate your neighbor and abuse them, it hurts their feelings.
Catalyzes more sin
When you sin and fail to repent, you invite more and more desire to sin in your soul. The Holy Spirit is responsible for convicting believers to repent, according to John 16:7-8. For instance, the sin of adultery does not just happen at once as a sin on its own. A person has to lust, covet, lie, and coax the other person before they find themselves committing adultery.
Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death” Whenever a believer sins, they are supposed to repent. However, some people will commit sin and continue to be rebellious against God, which leads to eternal death. This implies that during judgment, they will be separated from God and will not enjoy the gift of eternal life.
Bible verses about the consequences of sin
Proverbs 29;6. This verse implies that when you keep sinning without repeating, you become evil and get trapped in committing more sins.
Romans 6:23 . This verse implies that when you sin, your punishment will be death. However, you have a chance to repent and escape eternal death. Repent and lead a life that pleases God.
Isaiah 57:21 Here, it is a bit clear that sins will have you living a life full of drama and no peace.
How to identify and overcome sin
How to identify sin in your life
When you feel guilty about your actions as a Christian, that could be a sin. Also, when you feel a lack of the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life, you might be in deep sin. Also, you can ask God to reveal to you the sins.
Sources of temptation for sin
There are three sources of temptation, according to the Bible. The world, the flesh, and the devil are sources of temptation.
Galatians 1:4 says that ” Jesus gave his life for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live.” This implies that the world is a source of evil which translates to being a source of temptation.
Galatians 5:19-21 says that ” Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Human beings are weak and easy when it comes to pleasing the flesh. When the flesh demands something, it turns into a temptation when that demand is contrary to the preaching of the word. In human nature, the flesh can get stronger than the soul, and you end up giving in to its demands.
The devil is the source of temptation, given that the word of God insists on Christians putting on the full armor of God to protect themselves from the cunnings of the devil. Ephesians 6:11 says that ” Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”
Why is it so hard to resist temptation?
It is hard to overcome temptation because many temptations target the flesh, and human beings are many times weak. When it comes to the flesh, some people may be too confident and think that they have self-control, but when the urge comes, it becomes too strong. Human nature can be overpowering because the flesh likes pleasure, and many temptations give temporary pleasure to humans. However, it is possible to overcome them through the power of God.
Steps to overcome sin according to the Bible
There are three simple steps to overcome sin;
Name the sin
Honesty with yourself and God is so important in overcoming sin. Call out your sin for what it is without any excuses and reasons for self-defense. Do not sugarcoat, do not hide, do not explain to make yourself feel better; simply tell the truth. Just like in the Bible, David was transparent with his sin. In the book of Psalms 32:5, it is written that; ” I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,’ and You forgave the iniquity of my sin ” Here, there are no explanations that try to make the sin look less of a sin.
Make a decision against the sin.
One thing about human beings that Satan cannot take away is the will to do things. God has granted us the will to decide on what to do, evil or good. Therefore the next thing you decide is to be willing to be against sin. You deliberately change your direction, and biblically it can be said that you are “repenting.” In this sense, you decide to act morally, and your mind gradually gets used to choosing against sin.
Be ready to receive power over the sin.
The major fact is that even though you have the will to choose to do right or wrong, you do not have enough power to choose. You need power from God, and you receive it through the love of God. The book of 2nd Corinthians 5:14-15 says, ” For Christ’s love compels us because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” Therefore you should call upon God’s love to get the power to overcome sin.
What to do when you fall into temptation
When you fall into temptation, you should do the following things to overcome the temptations;
Ask God for strength.
You cannot overcome temptation with your power because you are not powerful enough to direct your will. Seek strength from God that will help you have a sincere desire to do the right thing. Seek spiritual nourishment from God so that the Holy Spirit also stays active in our lives.
Listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit inside you.
Once you have prayed for strength and you are spiritually nourished, your body is clean enough to be the temple of the Holy Spirit. He will convict you, and you should listen to that voice that warns and directs you.
Go to holy places
Also, if you want to overcome temptation, go to holy places. In these places of worship, there are less severe temptations, and when there are temptations, the environment is conducive for you to overcome them. However, if you were in a place like a party house, the conditions around here will make it hard for you to overcome the temptation.
Get a prayer partner.
You should have a person with whom you pray so that you keep track of each other and pray for each other.
What Does the Bible Say About Overcoming Sin?
The Bible says that it is God’s plan for human beings to overcome sin. It is God’s intention for believers to overcome sin. Matthew 5:48 says that “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” This implies that God wants believers to overcome sin.
When you fall into temptations, you need to confess your sins and ask for Forgiveness in the manner you have conquered. 1st John 1:9 “ If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. It implies that for us to get forgiveness from God, we should first confess and ask for forgiveness.
As a believer, staying in the good company helps you overcome temptation. It is written in 1st Corinthians 15:23 that ” do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”
Prayer points for overcoming sin
- Pray to overcome sins that bring problems in your life
- Pray that no sin rules you
- Ask God to wash you and cleanse all your iniquities.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to come into your life and take charge
- Ask God to wipe away your sins
- Ask God to keep you in good company so that your morals may not be corrupted.
- Ask God to help you retain the word of God in your heart so that you act by it.
Forgiveness for your sins
What Does the Bible Say About Forgiveness Of Sins?
The Bible says that when we commit sin, we should turn to God and ask for Forgiveness. Forgiveness is granted only when we confess our sins to God. After confession, we ask God to forgive us and cleanse us.
How do I repent for my sins?
To repent, you must first recognize your sin. Next, you should feel remorse and sorrow that you committed the sin. Then confess your sins to God, and then after that, turn away from the sins and follow the commandments of God. Also, remember to forgive others.
What are three characteristics of true Forgiveness?
- Forgiveness does not require revenge.
- Forgiveness supports the payment of evil with good
- Forgiveness does not have an end
What are the biblical steps to Forgiveness?
Make a quality decision to forgive whoever it is, even if it is uncomfortable.
Depend on God
Ask God for the strength to forgive
Understand your emotions
Understand that with time; your emotions will catch up with your will to forgive.
Pray for them
Pray for your enemies, as the Bible suggests.
What is the relationship between salvation and Forgiveness?
Salvation depends on Forgiveness. You will have your salvation when God forgives your sins. God forgives the sins of people through His grace, and remember salvation is by the grace of God. In fact, Jesus dying on the cross was necessary so that God would forgive the human race and restores us to salvation.
Will God continue to forgive you if you commit the same sin?
The Bible implies that God is always ready to forgive you when you repent; it does not matter how many times you have committed a sin. However, as a Christian, you should not get complacent with sin on the basis that God will always forgive you. Try to shun away sins.
Bible verses about Forgiveness
Acts 2:38-39. This verse implies that we should repent from our sins always, and God will always forgive us.
Hebrews 9:22: This verse implies that the blood of Jesus is powerful enough to forgive our sins. We should call upon the blood of Jesus when we repent so that we get cleansed.
Prayer points to asking God for Forgiveness
- Pray for Forgiveness, and ask God to free your mind from the fear that comes after committing sin.
- Ask God for power to rebuke sin in your life.
- Ask God to forgive you for sins that have led you to defeat
- Ask God to grant you humility and strength to turn from your ways.
- Ask God to heal you as He forgives you.
Other things to know about sin
Is it possible to completely avoid sin?
It is only possible to avoid willful sin, but you cannot avoid sin completely. Remember, the causes of temptations to sin are the world, the flesh, and the devil. You are in the world, and the flesh is you, so it is so difficult to avoid sinning. However, you can always repent and pray for strength to avoid repetitive sins.
Are some sins worse than others?
There is no clear answer, but the Bible implies that some sins are worse than others. The sins of the flesh and the sins of the Spirit are different. Among the two, the worst of sins is the sin of the Spirit could be worse because you are sinning against the truth that you know; you are doing it repetitively and ignorantly.
Does God see all sin the same?
The Bible implies that God does see all sin as the same. In fact, there is a list, as mentioned above, about the seven sins that God hates most, lust, wrath, sloth, greed, gluttony, envy, and pride. Sins have different severity in the eyes of God.
What the Bible says about Sin Separates Us from God.
Isaiah 59:2a says that sins separate us from God. It strains the intimacy that we have with God because it makes us unrighteous, and God cannot be where sin is.
How many times will God forgive me?
The Bible says that you will be forgiven 77×7 times. It implies that there are infinite chances for Forgiveness, provided you honestly repent. However, once you are due in sin before Forgiveness, then your chances are also dead, and you wait for judgment.
How does my personal, private sin affect others?
Personal and private sin makes you feel guilty that you do not want others to notice. The guilt hurts you and drives you to act in an unusual way. In this manner, you end up hurting those you love.
Can I confess my sins directly to God?
The Bible implies that Christians now have direct access to God, and they can confess their sins directly.
What do you say before you confess your sins?
Come, Holy Spirit, into my soul. Enlighten my mind that I may know the sins I ought to confess, and grant me your grace to confess them fully, humbly, and with a contrite heart. Help me to firmly resolve not to commit them again.
More about sin
Here are more articles to help you learn more about sin:
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.