What is sin? Sin is anything not in harmony with, hence contrary to, God’s personality, standards, ways, and will; anything marring one’s relationship with God. It may be in word, in deed, or in mind or heart attitude (Proverbs 21:4; Romans 3:9-18; 2 Peter 2:12-15; Job 2:10; Psalm 39:1; Leviticus 20:20; 2 Corinthians 12:21; Numbers 9:13; James 4:17). Lack of faith in God is a major sin, showing, as it does, distrust of him or lack of confidence in his ability to perform. (Hebrew 3:12, 13, 18, 19) A consideration of the use of the original-language terms and examples associated with them illustrates this.
The Bible words translated in English as “sin” are the Hebrew term chattath, and the Greek term hamartia. In both languages the verb forms of these two words mean “miss,” in the sense of missing or not reaching a goal, way, mark, or right point. Both were used to mean missing or failing to reach not merely physical objects or goals (Job 5:24) but also moral or intellectual goals or marks.
Sin occurred first, as we read in James 1:14, 15, when a good angel started to have high thoughts about himself, lusting for something he had not the right to have: worship. What impelled this angel to rebel against God himself? Pride. (Ezekiel 28) After him, another person who sinned by his own will was Adam. He did not want to serve God anymore, he wanted to be his own master, and became the slave of the Devil. In this context, Apostle Paul says in Romans 6:23 that “the wages sin pays is death”, and by being born in Adam’s line all men have come under “the law of sin and of death.” (Romans 8:2; 1 Corinthians 15:21, 22)
Sin, with death, has “ruled as king” over mankind, enslaving all the people. This is the slavery into which mankind was sold by Adam. (Romans 5:17, 21; 6:6, 17; 7:14; John 8:34) Therefore, we can conclude that sin is viewed not only as the actual commission or omission of certain acts but also as a law or governing principle or force operating in them. In other words, sin is the inborn inclination toward wrongdoing that man inherited from Adam. This Adamic legacy has therefore produced ‘weakness of the flesh,’ imperfection. (Romans 6:19) Sin’s “law” continually works in our fleshly members, trying to control our course, to make us its subjects, out of harmony with God. (Romans 7:15, 17, 18, 20-23; Ephessians 2:1-3)
As to the power of sin, this is what we read in the Bible: “There is sin crouching at the entrance, and for you is its craving; and will you, for your part, get the mastery over it?” Cain, however, let the sin of envy and hatred master him, leading him to murder. (Genesis 4:3-8; 1 Samuel 15:23) These statements bring us to this idea: Nobody on earth is truly free. Our moral life is restricted by the law of sin. This is how Paul reasoned: “Do you not know that if you keep presenting yourselves to anyone as slaves to obey him, you are slaves of him because you obey him, either of sin with death in view or of obedience with righteousness in view?” (Romans 6:16)
So, what Paul tells us is that there exist two types of slavery: the slavery to sin, and the slavery to obedience of God. The difference between them is that sin, this awful master, has only death to pay to his slaves. On the other hand, God, being a loving Master, gives those who want to become his slaves this remarkable gift: “The gift God gives is everlasting life by Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Roamns 6:23)
How is eternal life possible since we are all sinners? Only through Jesus Christ. He gave his life with a purpose: To get mankind out of sin’s bondage. But Christ and his death do not do that automatically. No, it is a question of free will that has to be exercised by all those who want to break free of this bad master, the sin. It is true that God gives the calling, but he does that only when he sees that there is something good in one’s heart. (John 6:44)
Christians do not view obedience to God as an unwarranted infringement upon personal freedom. They willingly exercise their freedom in the manner of Jesus Christ bringing personal desires and priorities into line with God’s will. (John 5:30; 6:38) They develop “the mind of Christ,” submitting themselves to him. (1 Corinthians 2:14-16; Colossians 1:15-18)
Yes, the Bible truth about sin presented in chapter 6 of the books of Romans brings deliverance from the bondage of bad concepts, lies and false religious doctrines. Our hearts will be full of gratitude for our good and caring God who gives us a true hope to believe in. The only thing we must do is to really want to approach him, to know him, and to let our lives be influenced by him. There is a great saying in the Word of God: “Come to me, all YOU who are toiling and loaded down, and I will refresh YOU. Take my yoke upon YOU and learn from me, for I am mild-tempered and lowly in heart, and YOU will find refreshment for YOUR souls. For my yoke is kindly and my load is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30) Indeed, Jesus was referring to himself when he preached that. But, he is the glory of God, So God himself can give us the refreshment we need in the battle with sin.
This is how Apostle Paul described this battle: “But now the one working it out is no longer I, but sin that resides in me. For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, there dwells nothing good; for ability to wish is present with me, but ability to work out what is fine is not [present]. For the good that I wish I do not do, but the bad that I do not wish is what I practice. If, now, what I do not wish is what I do, the one working it out is no longer I, but the sin dwelling in me. I find, then, this law in my case: that when I wish to do what is right, what is bad is present with me. I really delight in the law of God according to the man I am within, but I behold in my members another law warring against the law of my mind and leading me captive to sin’s law that is in my members. Miserable man that I am! Who will rescue me from the body undergoing this death? Thanks to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So, then, with [my] mind I myself am a slave to God’s law, but with [my] flesh to sin’s law.”
The battle with sin is the most dramatic battle a Christian has to fight in. It is the battle for one’s heart, and the only thing that can help us to win it is our God.