The sin is not a popular word in the world. So, many people unfortunately do not accept that they are sinners. Even many churches have stopped perching about this subject because now it is not a very ‘popular’ term to say you are a sinner.

When we looked at the creation account in Genesis, we see that when God finished creating world and everything in it, pronounced “It is good.” But when we look at the world today from our perspective we don’t see the same goodness as God beheld after the immediate work of creation. Why? Because the world we observe today is a fallen world, and we observe it through the eyes of fallen people. There are things in the world that are desperately wrong. The problem we face in life is SIN.

In the New Testament the word ‘SIN’ has five meanings in the original Greek writing. English is very limited language and for every meaning it uses ‘SIN’.

  • Harmartia (ἁμαρτία) is the most common word and it carries the root idea of missing the mark. In the original language that was used in the arena of archery to describe the situation when the archer missed the target –the bullseye. The target is the standard or the norm of measurement of accuracy. Biblically, Sin is missing the mark of God’s standard of righteousness. The standard by which scripture measures righteousness is God’s holy law.
  • Paraptoma (παράπτωμα), often rendered “trespass,” is the sin of slipping or falling, and results more from carelessness than from intentional disobedience.
  • Parabasis (παράβασις) refers to stepping across the line, going beyond the limits prescribed by God, and is often translated “transgression.” This sin is more conscious and intentional than hamartia and paraptoma.
  • Anomia (ἀνομία) means lawlessness, and is a still more intentional and flagrant sin. It is direct and open rebellion against God and His ways.
  • Opheilema (ὀφείλημα) refers to a debt. Twenty-five times out of thirty times in verb form it refers to moral or spiritual debts. Sin is a moral and spiritual debt to God that must be paid.

So, in simple terms, Sin is defined as anything (whether in act, attitude, or nature) that does not express or conform to the holy character of God as expressed in the moral Law. Ten Commandments was the summary of the moral law, and these Ten Commandments is included in two commandments, “Love the Lord your God will all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and your neighbor as yourself.”

Sin is not something simple external blemish but it goes to the very core of our being. Sin is more than doing some wrongful act. There is more to that…

  1. Wrongful acts
  2. Wrongful attitude
  3. Wrongful though
  4. The wrong way that we were born

We need to compare all our acts, attitudes, thoughts and our very human nature against the character and the standards of the Holy God. Any failure to comply with any of these Holy standards is SIN. If you fail in any of these areas, you have no escape; God calls you a sinner.

There are basically 03 Aspects of Sin

Inherited Sin (Romans 4:8; 5:12-14)

Theologians call this the ‘Original Sin’. Original sin does not refer to the first sin Adam and Eve committed in the garden. It refers to the guilt that we inherit from the sin of Adam. Romans 5:12 says “Adam sinned, and that sin brought death into the world. Now everyone has sinned, and so everyone must die.” The ‘Sin’ in this verse (in singular form) does not refer to the everyday sin that we commit. It is specifically referring to the sentence of Guilt, the status of sinfulness before God. We are Adams physical descendants and he is the representation of whole human race. So, the moment Adam sin, the whole human race was counted as guilty on the basis of Adam’s sin. We continue to inherit that guilt from generation to generation from the time of birth.

Sinful nature (Romans 7:17-20)

There is a battle in the flesh. Bible identifies that we have an inherent sinful nature within us; the propensity to sin. This is the consequence or the result of that first sin Adam and Eve committed in the garden. At the fall, we have lost the moral ability to obey God. We are born in a corrupt condition with a lack of the original righteousness that Adam and Eve possessed. Scripture clearly tells us that there is something inherently wrong with our character. Jesus said, “No one is good except God alone” (Mark 10:18). Sometimes, we find ourselves obeying the law of God for our own interest, but not out of a pristine love for God. Given an opportunity, there is always a tendency within us to sin. The power of sin is so deeply rooted in the hearts of men that it is impossible for us not sin. The only person who ever overcame the power of sin was Jesus Christ.

Sins of Commission & Sins of Omission (1 Jon 1:8-9)

Sins of Commissions is when we do something that we are not allowed to do; the bad things we do, the wrongful actions that we take. Sins of Omissions is when we fail to do something we are responsible to do; the good that hasn’t been done. E.g. In the 1st commandment you are called to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength. When you fail to love God with your whole being that is a sin of omission. You are called to love your neighbor as yourself. When you fail to do that that is a sin of omission. Here you see that the sin has both positive and negative dimension to it. You can find these types of sins daily.

How God view our sin?

Sin is abominable to God (Deuteronomy 12:31). God hates sin, and He is angry with the wicked every day (Psalm 7:11). Sin is contrary to His nature (Isaiah 6:3; 1 John 1:5). Ultimately, all sin is against God. God considered sin as personal attack against the character and commands of God. It is his commands that we violates. He is the lawgiver and the judge and the executioner. There is a singular governor of the universe who has written the law, who applies the law, interprets the law, judges the sinner and He is also the executioner.

The Consequences of Sin

Sin has its own consequences -death, sickness, disasters, war and violence, social punishments. It stains the soul and degrades humanity. Scripture calls sin “filthiness” (Proverbs 30:12; Ezekiel 24:13; James 1:21). Everyone has sinned and fallen short of Glory of God. This means, we are cursed because of sins. The original Greek word for Cursed is anathema (ἀνάθεμα), that is something “dedicated to destruction.” The reason there is destruction in this world (hurricanes, tsunami, earth quakes, violence, wars etc.) is because of sins. All these problems that we encounter in this world are direct result of the fall of mankind. Scripture tells us that sin is not merely a human problem, but sin has resulted in cosmic upheaval. The whole created order is effected by sin. “The whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth” (Romans 8:22). The reason is that when the man falls, the effect of the curse was extended to everything within the boundaries of their domain. The ultimate penalty, the ultimate consequence of sin is death (Ezekiel 18:4, 20; Romans 6:3). We are subject to physical death. We are also subject to spiritual death, the eternal separation from God and suffering in the hell. This is a devastating result of the sin.

What is the solution for the Sin?

Sin is a horrible evil for which there is no human cure. It is an incurable leprosy of the soul (Isaiah 1:4-6). As a sinner, you cannot improve your own condition. “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then you also can do good who are accustomed to doing evil” (Jeremiah 13:23). Your good deeds can’t make amends for your rebellion against God. Your prayers and devotion to Mary can’t atone for your sin. Your donation to the church can’t soften your guilt or cover it in any way. The human race is in bad shape.

But there is a solution to the Sin problem. There is a good news, there is an escape from this eternal destruction in hell and to receive the bliss and joy of eternal life in heaven. The first place to start in the salvation process is to admit that you have sin against God. God is right when he says, there is no one righteous and we all fall short of His standards (Romans 3:10-12; 3:23). You need to understand that you are never be able to meet the requirements of the very high standards of God’s righteousness. You must understand that you are a helpless sinner heading towards the destruction. If you refuse to see your sin as God does, you cannot escape His eternal judgment. If you continue to deny your guilt or hide your own sinfulness, you’ll never discover the cure for sin. So, we need to first come to our senses and realize that we are drowning, we are going to be destroyed eternally, and we need someone to rescue us.

There is only one person who can do this rescue, and God himself has provided this rescue operation through His only Son Jesus Christ. The cross of Christ has provided the way for the sinner to escape from the wrath of God. It is the only way God can satisfy His perfect righteousness and still display His rich mercy toward sinners. Christ born as a human, lived a sinless life, and offered Himself as an atoning sacrifice for our sin. He paid the penalty to the fullest on our behalf. The same way God has condemned us (declared guilty) because of a one man’s (Adam) sin, he is now willing to justify (declare not guilty) whoever put the trust in the perfect righteousness of His Son Jesus Christ.

So, “What must I do to be saved?” Here is Jesus clear and simple command: “Repent and believe in the good news” (Mark 1:15). Turn away from your sin of unbelief and start believing in Christ Jesus as your Lord and Savior. You got this wonderful chance to come to terms with God only until you have the breath in this life.


Dr. R.C. Sproul, Dr. John MacArthur

Further Reading:

Dr. R,C. Sproul, Foundations: An Overview of Systematic Theology
Jonathan Edwards, The Great Christian Doctrine of Original Sin
Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology