What is sin, and why?And personally I'd like to hear why, beyond "because the Bible says so." :)
Hi :) Not sure I understand your second question with the "why?" but to answer your first question, "what is sin?".... Going back to original text, instead of the translated English Bible......The Greek word for "sin" is "hamartia", which means, literally, "to miss the mark." The mark is of course to be like God. Matthew 5:48 says "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." And as Romans 3:23 tells us, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" so none of us have not missed the mark; we've all missed the mark. Paul also used the word "paraptoma" which once meant to slip or fall, but then it meant to travel on the wrong road. And in context it is referring to going in another direction than God's way. So we miss the mark (hamartia) and we go in the wrong direction (paraptoma). This is sin. (Stealing, lying, killing, etc. are specific actions that are sinful. So don't be confused: specific sins (like stealing, lying, etc.) are not sin itself, rather an action which IS sinful. Sin is missing the mark and going in the wrong way. And these specific actions are doing just that, therefore they are called sin).Now that we've got the basics down, here's looking into it further... :)Aside from physical death (separation from this world and your body) there is also spiritual death (separation from God). When we are physically born (first birth) we are spiritually dead (this is so because Adam and Eve ate of the tree and all that, you know the story I'm sure, if you don't just ask ;). And what is interesting is that we are not considered sinners BECAUSE we sin necessarily (like, "oh, he stole, so therefore he's a sinner"), rather WE SIN because we are BORN sinful (spiritually dead). (So it's more like "I'm sinning because I am born spiritually dead, and that is what makes me a sinner"). Note that it is our own doing, yes, but it is BECAUSE we were born spiritually dead (unable to respond or understand, that is we are insensitive, to God...separated from God). So when we have our second birth (which is our spiritual birth....or as most call it, when we are saved) we are "made new", or better worded, we become spiritually alive (able to respond and understand, we are NOT insensitive to God). This is of course made possible because Jesus came and died in our place, so that we may be saved from not being like God, or what God intended for us to be. And not being like God, or not being spiritually alive, is death (separation from God). Side note, "death" always means separation from something. We often think of "death" as an end to something, but in fact that's not so, it always means "separation".Hope that helped some :)
Lol, you said "I'd like to hear why, beyond 'because the Bible says so'" and I used only reference to the Bible above. Even the definition for "death" I used in a scriptural perspective. But if I were to describe it outside of the Bible, then sin might be defined as something else. But then again, usually when one thinks of "sin" they are thinking of something described in Christianity, so, I don't think you'll get something beyond a "because the Bible says so", cause that's where the definition comes from, the Bible. You can't go beyond the Bible for that definition. So the real question is, is Christianity true or false. I say it's true, and therefore would say the definitions of these terms found in the Bible apply in all life, not just for Christians but for all, whether one agrees or not. And so I wouldn't say there is a definition outside of or beyond the Bible. But anyway ;P
Oh, I just thought of something, what I wrote might sound like once you're saved, you no longer sin. But we're still sinful at this point, but when we're spiritually alive, we become sensitive to God, which of course means we're sensitive to sinning. We can choose not to sin or to give into sin, Christians, being sensitive to God, try not to, but they can still slip at this point. Satan isn't gone yet, after all. The upside is that you learn from your mistakes and stuff. But sin itself won't be gone for good until the end. But Jesus' death was to provide a way that we may become spiritually alive and sensitive to God AND be given passage to heaven in the end when sin is demolished. Basically. ;)
Basically as christians that's all we have is Gods Word the bible which is the final authority. And as far a why are somethings considered sin, God could had made anything he wanted labeled sinful who knows why he decided on what the final say so in what is sinful behaviour. Your asking a question that you know what our answer is gonna be and by you predicting what our answer is gonna be in your question does not discredit the answer "because the bible says so".
Better yet let's hear your answer, What is Sin in your eyes, and why? But don't use the bible or any scripture let's pretend the bible does not exist in your cause because you think its not true anyway.
@PHBOI and @Alpha...Pushing the Bible aside, which I already, above, mentioned that the term "sin" comes from the Bible, so any other definition aside from the Bible is something else. But pushing the Bible aside, and lets assume that I'm not a Christian for a moment (I am, but pretend I'm not), either I would believe that sin does not exist and so my definition of sin would be something like "A religious person's definition of bad stuff, and the bad stuff is what they view is bad according to their religion", OR, I would say sin is like, "just bad stuff" like killing, or anything that hurts people and impacts people negatively...though I probably wouldn't consider it "sin" but just call it "unjust" things. OR, lets say I had a different religion then Christianity, my definition for sin would be different. I know someone who believes that there is no sin but rather levels of understanding. Those who are "good" (those who don't do negative things) have more understanding than those who do "bad" (those who do do negative things). But like I mentioned above, the real question is, is Christianity true or false. If it's not then the definition of sin is something else then what I wrote above ;P
@ O.0 - I totally agree with what you said!@ Alpha's original question:Sin is breaking of the law. The fact that we have laws at all, in the world, denotes a law giver. If you go with the definition previously mentioned of "missing the mark" than it means that somebody had to set the mark, so it works with eitehr definition. If you try to approach this question without the Bible or God, then you automatically start out with a failure. the reason being because without a law giver, there can be no law. And if there is no ultimate authority, than there is no such thing as "sin" or "wrong" or "morality". This is known, commonly, as "relativity." The problem with relativity is that it tries to uphold morality through the laws(example you go to jail if you murder someone)but it also claims that whats wrong for me might not be wrong for you. It contradicts itself by setting moral standards while simultaneously claiming that there is no moral superior. There can only be a standard moral code if there is a superior moral law giver/mark setter. So, by asking the question and stipulating that the Bible should not be referenced, this question can't be answered. So, back to my first statement. Sin is breaking of the law. The law was set by God, and the only reason that anybody anywhere has any type of conceptualization of wrong and right is because God's law, as set in the Bible, gives a moral superior. So even if you dont acknowledge God as the ultimate authority, you cannot even begin to talk about "right" and "wrong" without, at some level realizing that God's law is superior, otherwise everything would be relative.
O.0 and Steph you both basically said what my response would of been no matter how Alpha answered the question. Without any kind of higher power or creator we should have no sense of what is right or wrong, but because we do have a creator we are programed with instincts and feelings,emotions leading us to react to right and wrong. And like I stated before God had the power to make anything sinful he wanted to like clapping after the sun went down or chewing gum and walking at the same time.
@ Steph Good points made, I think! :DIn regards to what PHBOI just wrote...I agree with what you, PHBOI, said about 'because we have a creator we have a sense of right and wrong and that if we did not have a creator we would have no sense of this.' BUT, I would like to point out the fact that (and you know this already but am just saying it) from another perspective (a non-Christian perspective) what you said would be disagreed with. If a person (non-Christian person) considered that there WAS "right" and "wrong" (however they defined it) then they would reply to what you wrote above that you CAN sense right and wrong without a God. I'm just saying this cause someone who is not a Christian might read what you just wrote and be like "Oohhh, you Christians know everything don't you.." because they believe/see it differently. As a Christian, we would say we KNOW the truth, we wouldn't say "we made up this truth" and obviously a non-Christian would disagree there. But I just wanted to make the point to any non-Christian reading that Christians (most people anyway) are perfectly aware that from a different perspective, the definitions will be different, and so again, the underlying question is, is Christianity true or false. And I will also say that if Christianity is true (and I say it is) then other (non-Christian) perspectives of a given topic (take the topic being discussed now, on sin) are a hinderance to the person who accepts them as acceptable (or in a Christian terminology, accepts them as "true"). Just sayin' ;P
O.0 I get what you are saying, I am very into christian apologetics so I am always thinking as a christian and thinking as a non believer. Glad you brought that up. I want to bring this up also, if there was no creator or higher power, why do we have a conscious? Why do we have feelings? What is that we "evolved" and had feelings, or conscious for? Now to answer my own question, God created us to feel emotion I believe beause if he didnt we wouldnt feel happiness or joy, we would walk around numb not having guilt about anything therefore not caring about anything, we wouldnt care about going to hell or heaven we wouldnt care about consequences at all. So if he wanted us to Love him and follow him and give us free will God knew he had to develop something inside of us that helped us know wrong from right, sinful things and non sinful things, hence having a conscious or soul if you will.
@ PHBOI Mm, good point. I agree, yet again, someone of a different belief than us would have a completely different spin on that. So now the question seems to be, "am what I(you) believing true or false?" ;P
O.0 I think this is the shortest post I ever seen you make! Usually you are writing novels. Anyways I dont blame people for being skeptic and asking questions, everyone should seek the truth, in fact I would encourage everyone to study other religions including athiesm, because hands down I know the bible is backed up by logic, facts and science. Christians or pastors often tell anyone to go and study other religions, because we know they dont hold up, now what other religion would urge people to do that? It just feels so good to know what we believe in is 100 percent true and over thousands and thoudsands of year yet no one can prove other wise cause if they found one tiny little thing to be wrong in the bible or about Jesus Christianity would crumble.
@ PHBOI, lol, I have my moments. Usually I blabber, I know...think I'm just bogged down with homework today lol Yeah, I totally agree, and it's funny, that's something I've been thinking about lately. So many people want to prove their point but they don't stop to think of all the alternatives (for many different reasons people tend to do this!!!!!). The goal is to be right, but when you find you are wrong, what an awesome thing that is because you learned something new! It should never be about this vs. that, it should be learning about human existence! :) Now I wonder what school ever taught their students to be ambitious to learn about human existence like that, and to properly go about working with their world views and biases, eh? I would love to start my own school that taught everything from every perspective, what a wealth of BENEFICIAL knowledge that would be!! To know how to think, vs. what to think, that is the dilemma ;P
Man, that picked up fast.I still have to read all the posts, and I might respond to them later, but I have a similar question:Is sin a specific action, or a mentality/mindset/intention?
And one question to O.0's first post...You said that "Sin is missing the mark and going in the wrong way" ...but what is "the mark" and the right way?
In archery, when you don'y get a bullseye, it is called a sin. The mark is perfection, God's standard.
Very unspecific. What defines that mark?
I think that sin can be a specific action (example, murder) or it can be a mentality/mindset/intention. If I do something that looks kind, and it may actually help someone, but if my intentions are selfish than the intention itself is sinful. But the intention thing is two-fold, because the selfish intention is sinful, but also action means nothing in terms of showing love to other people. Some religious people like to do things in order to look good, in order to make a list of "good works" that will help them get to heaven. But Christianity is very different. We cannot do anything that will make us "good enough" to get into heaven, our salvation is 100% based on Jesus death on the cross. But we do advocate doing good works, not for salvation purposes, but in order to show God's love to other people. For example, the Bible says "If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[a] but do not have love, I gain nothing." ~ 1 Corinthians 13:3Basically, the selfish intention is sinful, but the selfish intention also negates the good work.So I would say that yes, sin is both of those things.
What defines the mark? Perfection. To get to Heaven, we must be perfect. But we all miss the mark, every one of us has done something wrong. Whether you believe in God or not, we all know when we have messed up or wronged another person. So, what defines the mark. Well, God's standard, which, as I said before, is perfection.