BibleAsk Team

What is the definition of sin?

The Definition of Sin

“for sin is the transgression of the law”.

1 John 3:4

Sin is the breaking of God’s law. But what is the law? The law is God’s commandments: “My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments” (Proverbs 3:1). And what are God’s commandments? Jesus gives us the answer in his dialogue with the rich young ruler, “if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matthew 19: 17-19).

The Ten Commandments are God’s moral law (Exodus 20). It is the only document on earth that was written by the finger of God (Exodus 31:18). He formulated these laws to guide men, to enable them to enjoy life fully, to protect them from evil, and to preserve them from harm. “But happy is he who keeps the law” (Proverbs 29:18).

Justification Through Faith in Christ

But you cannot be justified or saved or sanctified by keeping the law. It is absolutely impossible. “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:20). The law only points out our sin. In James 1:23-25, our lives are compared to a mirror. When we look into the law of God, we see spots on the character, but the law of God does nothing about those spots.

It takes the blood of the Lord Jesus to cleanse them. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). Jesus is the one that saves from sin and enables His children to overcome sin and produce the fruits of good works (Luke 19:10). God gives mankind all the necessary grace and strength to be able to keep His law and not sin (2 Peter 1:4). Thus, people don’t keep the law to be saved but because they are saved.

Christ came to restore that which was lost, and the Christian may therefore expect to have the divine image restored in his soul (2 Corinthians 3:18; Hebrews 3:14). This possibility is the believer’s goal to stimulate him to overcome sin. The believer will attain this goal to the extent that he accepts and uses the powers in the spiritual gifts Christ has made available to him. The transformation begins at the new birth – Justification (Romans 5:1) – and continues through the Christina’s life – Sanctification (1 John 3:2).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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