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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Are All Sins Equal?

Maybe the question that needs to be answered before this one is: What is sin?

According to the Bible sin is falling short of God's glory. This means that we were created with a purpose. That purpose was to give God glory. Sin is any time that we fall short of our purpose.

This is why King David would say to God in Psalm 51, "Against You and You alone have I sinned." David said this after his sin with Bathsheba. He had committed adultery, lied and had her husband killed. Surely, David had wronged Urriah, Bathheba's husband, but the purer definition of sin meant that he had fallen short of God's glory so that his sin was against God alone.

All sin has the same penalty but all sin does not have the same consequences. The Bible tells us that when someone keeps the whole law but stumbles in one, he has become guilty of all. (James 2:10) This means that each sin has at its root the same problem: falling short of God's glory. The penalty for sin is death. (Romans 6:23) There is no measure of one sin being greater than another because sin, falling short of God's glory, has reached its maximum wrong already. We fall short of God's glory and are sentenced to death.

This does not mean that all sin is equal in earthly consequences. Sexual sins are identified as sins against the one who commits them. It says that all other sins are outside the body but the sexual sin is committed against the person's own body. This is because people who believe in Christ have the Spirit of Christ within themselves. (Romans 8:9) Their bonding with another outside of marriage brings Christ Himself into the sin (1 Corinthians 6:15-18). This is still falling short of God's glory but more intimately bringing Christ into the center of the sin. The damage is very spiritual.

All sins have the same remedy: Confession and forgiveness. The Bible tells us that by confession our sins will be forgiven and we shall be cleansed of all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9) Many people do not understand this. They think that confession is telling God what you have done wrong as if God doesn't already know. Confession must have repentance or it is not the biblical confession this verse carries with it. The Greek word for confession is homologeo. "Homo" means the same. "Logos" means word. It is saying the same word. This means that our lives and our mouths must say the same words about our sin. We live it or we never meant it.

No sin is meant to be kept from forgiveness. Many people are afraid of forgiving themselves for what they have done. Maybe they are afraid that by forgiving themselves they will be more susceptible to commit the sin again. It doesn't matter what the reasoning is. Jesus Christ paid the price on the cross so that all sins will be forgiven. Any lack of forgiveness on our part, even concerning our own sins, says that Jesus sacrifice was not enough. You just can't say that.

Jesus told the woman caught in adultery, "Go and sin no more." This would not have been easy for this woman. The culture of that day said that a man could not commit adultery unless he had sex with another man's wife. She must have been married for the charges of adultery to have levied against her. Her sin had been made public. Her husband must know of her sin. He would probably divorce her. The most natural profession for a woman caught in such a public scandal would have been prostitution. She would have had a very difficult time supporting herself by any other means. Jesus did not give her a "pass" for her sin. He gave her a difficult path. Sin would be very hard to avoid.

Not all sins are equally hard to avoid for everyone. One sin will be a problem for a certain person while another person will not even understand how someone can be caught up in that sin. But overall sin is something that we all must flee. It comes as an intruder, stays as a guest and eventually becomes our master if we do not flee from it.

I hope you have a blessed day.

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