Is sin only something you ‘do’? or, is it more?
In writing this, I feel as though I am having to answer to a denominational textbook that I have no intention of reading. I am attending a pentecostal church in which I have good standing and am highly regarded by leadership. However, the Bible is my text of choice. The apostles and prophets who are exalted by God in scripture, are my heroes. Within the pages of scripture alone will we find this topic sufficiently covered.
Basic scriptures on sin, that define it for me are these:
“Sin is the transgression of the law.”
What is the law? “Love.” Love for God, Love for neighbor – whether friend or foe.
God is Love. He is pure love. This is called holiness.
Sin is ANY deviation of that love, small, or great, in Word, Thought, or Deed.
The word often used for ‘sin’ in the Bible means, “missing the mark.” The ‘mark’ is ‘love’.
Some will quote that we ‘cannot sin’ as Christians. They take these words from 1 John 3:9. They ignore the context in the surrounding verses and promote a scripturally unbalanced dogma that does not seek to harmonize with the other words of John in this very same epistle.
In 1 John, the apostle was addressing a broader topic than ‘can a Christian sin’, He was addressing Sin. In 1:8 he says to the Christian church, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” So, I have biblical ground to say ‘all Christians sin.”
In 3:9, he says, ” Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” So, the stage is set for discussion. BOTH these verses are true. The problem is not with John’s understanding… the problem is with ours. Our understanding must make allowance for both to be true, if WE are to be true.
To take 1 John 3:9 and say a Christian can never sin, or else they are not a Christian, is to disallow the reality of 1 John 1:8. The apparent contradiction, but the fact there can be none, leaves us with the task of examining the key word in both verses, “sin.” Is there a level of sin that ALL Christians are subject to, and a level of sin that goes beyond what a Christian can allow in their lives and still be called a Christian?
I will add to this blog as time allows….