If you ask a person what is sin, the majority answer, “sinful behavior”. In a Christian context, sin is an abomination against divine command. Each culture has its unique interpretation of what it means for a person to commit a mortal sin. While all sins are considered acts, any action, thought, word or deed regarded as wrong, evil, immoral, harmful, or aliening may be labeled “sin”. For the Christian, this is just one more example of why we are loved and special in the eyes of God. Sin is really more of a choice.
Because sin is voluntary, it is often related to our personal weaknesses such as pride and avarice. It can also be related to the deficiencies of our bodies, which have nothing to do with our actions or thoughts. A man who left his home and family to pursue a vocation of climbing a mountain and living alone on a mountain for many years is not necessarily a weakling or a victim of sin, but rather was simply going through a period of extreme hardship and depression. He committed what is sin because of that, not because he felt like doing it.
For centuries, the question of what is sin has been at the heart of debates among Christians and non-Christians alike. The problem with that line of thinking is that it causes divisions and misunderstanding. To some people, every time they commit sin it is an unforgivable transgression. To other people, however, even if the transgression is slightly different or perhaps even done in a different situation, it does not warrant the same reaction. So, in order for a Christian to be fully understood what is sin, one must understand the nature of the sin itself.
What is sin according to the bible? The question is complicated because the bible speaks of three different kinds of sin. There is obedience, which is considered to be the most standard sin, rebellion, which is considered very minor and is not a major transgression. Of the three, disobedience is the most common word used in speaking of what is sin because all three are considered to be rebellion against God. Transgressing from what is commanded by God is what results in the spoken penalty of the sin.
Obedience sin results when we don’t obey what is commanded by God. We must, under penalty of God’s grace, perform good deeds instead of bad ones so that we would remain in God’s favor. What is sin when we refuse to obey God? That is why God has a plan of eternal salvation for all people, for the unrepentant. And there is no place for unrepentant individuals in God’s end result.
rebellion is another problem with what is sin according to the bible. It can mean two different things. One way it means the act of disliking or opposing what is written in the bible, and another way it can mean engaging in self-righteousness or exegetical glorification of the bible. Again, there are endless definitions and distinctions, but one thing is for certain, and that is that those who engage in the practices described in the scriptures, while not truly following the ways of the Lord, are guilty of rebellion.
The Bible also speaks of natural sin as well. This means that something outside of ourselves is causing us to fall into transgression. For example, murder is an unnatural act. When we commit murder, we are committing an unnatural act. What is sin when we commit this crime against our God?
In Romans 12 and 1st Peter chapter we are given another definition of what is sin. According to this book, all men are predestined in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before God in love. All men are made in the image and likeness of God. All men are given the grace of God by His son, Jesus Christ. Everyone who belongs to Christ has been given a promise of eternal life. Everyone is saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.