How can I be sure if a certain action is a sin?

Hello L,

Thank you for contacting BibleAsk.

The Bible clearly spells out sin. God’s Moral law in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) outlines and defines what sin is (1 John 3:4). And the Ten Commandments are summed up into two commandments which are love to God and love to man (Matthew 22:37-40). Sin does not only deal with the seen actions of a person but also with the motives of the heart (Matthew 15:19). The following verses help classify some of the sins:

These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren” (Proverbs 6:16-19).

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” (Galatians 5:19-21)

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).

If you are still in doubt, then ask yourself the following questions regarding that certain action:

  1. Is this a good thing for me and others? (1 Corinthians 10:23-24)
  2. Will it glorify God? (1 Corinthians 6:19–20; 1 Corinthians 10:31)
  3. Will it be a stumbling block to others? (Romans 14:21; Romans 15:1)
  4. Are my own desires submitted to the Lord’s will? (Colossians 3:17; Romans 14:23)

God promised to give all believers all the wisdom they need to know His will regarding sin. So, claim this promise  “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5).

In His service,

BibleAsk Team

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