Salvation Issues

1 – What Is Sin?

Today it seems that one of the most taboo religious subjects is that of sin!  The whole concept of sin has been trivialised, mocked, dismissed as old fashioned, and often rejected.


Because of this, there is a real lack of understanding as to what sin is!


How do you describe sin? What does it mean to you? 

Do you see sin as a simple case of “stuffing up?”  Or do you view sin only as those terrible and evil deeds that are carried in news bulletins - those awful events or actions that make your skin crawl.  Do you believe that sin, no matter what kind, is something that you just do not do?

With people having such a wide variety of beliefs about what sin is, it’s no wonder that many people decide not to think about it, and just get on with, “doing the best they can.” 

Of course this does not actually do away with the issue of sin. 

So what is it?  And why should you be concerned about it?

The dictionary describes sin as anything from, “a lapse misdeed misbehaviour going astray” all the way up to “evil” and “wickedness.”


This goes some way towards enlightening us about the scope of sin.

Perhaps the simplest and most straightforward explanation for sin is found in the Bible.


In the New Testament book of First John, chapter 3 and verse 4 we there learn that, “sin is the transgression of the law.”  The word “sin” as translated here means “to miss” or “to fail to hit the mark,” thus “to err from a rule or law.”

Sin has also been described as, “any want of conformity unto, or transgression of the law of God.”

So we see now that sin has something to do with a mark that must be hit, a rule that must be kept, and the transgression of the law.


What is the rule that must be kept?  What is the mark that must be hit?  What is the law that must not be transgressed?


Well, God has given a law or standard that must be kept perfectly always hitting the mark never missing, never transgressing  in everything you do, in everything you say, and in everything you think.

The New Testament book of Galatians (chapter 3 verse 24) tells us, “...the law was our school master to bring us to Christ.” 

Here we see that we have been given a teacher, (the Law) and that teacher brings us to the Lord Jesus Christ. 

You may ask how can the Law be a teacher that brings us to Christ?

Well you see the purpose of the Law is to make us ask questions such as:

It also makes us wonder:


Remember God is holy - that is perfect completely without sin.

And He cannot stand sin.


Have you ever thought about sin like this before?  That we break the law by doing what we should not do, and not doing what we should do.  The Law is a teacher, and has asked you questions. And if you answer these questions honestly, they will show you how you actually stand before God – as someone who has missed the mark!

However this teacher does not only show what we have done, it also brings us to the One who did not sin the One who paid the penalty we deserved the One who died for sin on the cross at Calvary. We are brought to none other than the Lord Jesus Christ.


Remember what we are told of Christ in Matthew’s gospel (chapter 20 verse 28) that He [Jesus] came, “to give His life a ransom for many.” 

And at the commencement of Matthew’s gospel, chapter 1 verse 21, we learn there, “For He shall save His people from their sins.”

Sin has separated us from God.  But through the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, a way has been made for us to be saved from our sin and its consequences.  Our responsibility is to accept His offer of mercy by faith, repenting of our sin.

You can know Him as your Saviour and have the sin issue dealt with.

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