Each of us, regardless of our religious affiliation, has a knowledge of sin and a basic understanding of the concept. We are taught from a young age to differentiate between the good and the bad. However, for Christians, the word sin holds a much more important meaning. Our sin separates us from God. But, through His gift of salvation, we are granted forgiveness.
So, is all sin equal before God? This is a question with a complex answer. While all sin is equal in the way that it separates us from God, there are sins that one could deem “more serious”. For example, lying is a sin. However, murder is significantly more serious than a simple lie. Regardless of the nature of sin, we must constantly repent of our sins and acknowledge our need for a Savior.
As Christians, we must develop an understanding of the severity of sin, both large and small. Only in doing so will we be able to fully appreciate the gift of Salvation as we share the good news of God’s love with others. In this post, we will take a closer look at what the Bible says about the equality of sin.
What the Bible Says About the Equality of Sin
In every area of our lives, we must work to develop a Biblical perspective. The issue of sin certainly is no different. Each of us encounters challenge topics throughout our lifetime, whether questions of our own or questions that others have asked us.
One confusing topic which many believers struggle with is whether or not God views all sin equally. Is lying really the same as committing murder? What about the passages that speak to varying levels of punishment for varying levels of sin? Let’s take a look at what the Bible has to say on this important topic.
What is Sin?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines sin as “an offense against religious or moral law; an action that is or is felt to be highly reprehensible; an often serious shortcoming; transgression of the law of God; a vitiated state of human nature in which the self is estranged from God.”
We can find many passages throughout the Bible that describe sin. Perhaps the most succinct is 1 John 3:4 which reads “Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.” At a very basic level, sin is anything that goes against God’s Word. Sin is anything less than the perfection of God.
Unfortunately, we are all born with a sinful nature. As a result of the original sin we learn of in Genesis, each of us is bound to struggle with sin until God calls us home. Because of our sin, we each deserve to spend an eternity in hell, separated from God. However, in His great grace, He provided a way for us to receive salvation, the forgiveness of our sins.
What the Bible Says About Sin
Countless verses in the Bible talk about sin, both in the Old and New Testaments. Here are just a few key passages if you are interested in conducting a further study on your own:
- Romans 3:23
- Genesis 3:6
- Colossians 3:5-6
- James 2:10
- Romans 3:9-12
- Romans 5:12-15
- Galatians 5:19-21
- 2 Corinthians 5:21
- 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
- James 1:14-15
- 1 John 2:1-2
- Romans 6:23
- Romans 6:12-14
- 1 John 3:4
- 1 John 1:7-9
By reading both Biblical accounts of sin as well as learning more about God’s heart towards sin, we can develop a better view of this important topic.
Is All Sin Equal?
Perhaps one of the most debated questions throughout history is, “Is all sin equal?”. This question has plagued pastors, theologians, scholars, and others for centuries. Romans 3:23 reads, “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…”. Under this light, we see that all sin is equal in that it separates us from God.
However, when Jesus was speaking to Pilate in John 19:11 He said, “…Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.” From this passage and others like it, we can gather that there are sins that are not viewed as equal, some sins are deemed as “greater” in the eyes of God.
When we think of the equality of sin, it makes sense that murdering an entire village would be deemed more serious than a seemingly harmless lie. However, even if this is the case, we must understand that the consequence of our sin is equal, regardless of its severity.
Because of our sin, we deserve to die and spend eternity in hell separated from God. Hell is a very real place, full of unexplainable horrors. However, God sent His son to die on the cross, becoming the propitiation of our sins. He extends His gift of salvation to each one of us. We must simply repent of our sins, acknowledge our need for a Savior, and dedicate our lives to serving Him. In doing so, we will spend the afterlife in heaven, worshipping our Savior.
Intentional Sin vs. Unintentional Sin
So what about sins that we commit unintentionally? Does the Bible have anything to say about unintentional sin? While Christians do their best to avoid intentional sins, there are many sins that we commit daily, oftentimes without knowledge of the act. This is a terrifying realization for more believers.
Unintentional sins are a reflection of the sinful nature of our hearts. They are often bad habits that have gone unnoticed. Other times, they could be habits that you truly do not realize are a sin. Regardless of the type of unintentional sin you commit, it is important to understand that even unintentional sins are viewed as a sin in God’s eyes.
However, if we have accepted Jesus Christ and acknowledged our need for a Savior, our salvation is secure. We must continue to strive towards Christ-likeness in everything we think, do, and say, constantly repenting of our sins as we work to fight off sinful habits.
While the topic of the equality of sin can be confusing, we must understand that all sin is deserving of punishment. God can not have anything less than perfection in His presence. Because of this, our sin renders us incapable of spending eternity by His side. However, by accepting His gift of salvation, we can receive forgiveness for our sins.
Our salvation is not dependent on how serious the sins of our past were, it is a gift that is available for each of us. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a Christian, the consequences of our sins, or heaven vs. hell, take some time to check out our other articles on Religion.
Is heaven a real place? Does heaven sound too good to be true? Luckily, it’s not! Just like hell, heaven is a very real place. The Bible shares very limited explanations and descriptions of heaven, likely because it far exceeds human knowledge. What we do know is this: heaven is a real place in which Christians will spend eternity worshipping God.
Why doesn’t everyone go to heaven? While God is a loving God, He is also perfectly just. In His perfection, He can not let anything unholy enter His presence. In our sinful human nature, we are imperfect. However, through salvation, we are seen as pure and granted eternity in His presence.
Is hell hot or cold? We often associate hell with fire. But is this really an accurate portrayal? While the Bible does not provide us with information regarding the precise temperature of hell, we can make assumptions based on several other descriptors. Mentions of a “lake of fire”, brimstone, and unquenchable thirst, lead us to believe that hell is unbearably hot.
Thank you for reading Answers for Everyone. You can find more answers to life’s questions here.