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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: What Is Sin?

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Don Stewart
The Bible says that Jesus Christ has come into the world to save us from our sins. But what exactly is sin?

Sin Defined

The Bible provides us with a definition of sin:

Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4).

Sin, therefore is equal to lawlessness.


What precisely is lawlessness? It does not refer to the just the ten commandments. The ten commandments do not refer to all cases of sin such as hate, slander, etc. Furthermore the ten commandments do not include all the positive commands such as to love, to pray, to keep unity.

The Law Is The Moral Character Of God

The Law refers to the moral character of God. This is revealed for us in the hundreds of specific commands and principles for conduct found in the New Testament. Commands such as, Present your bodies as a living sacrifice, Make no provision for the old nature, Bring every thought into captivity.

These commands stem from one all-inclusive principle that Scripture lays down.

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Do all to the glory of God. This means to show God off, to make God look good.


Sin, in its broadest definition, is any lack of conformity to the character of God as is revealed in the living and written word.

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Blue Letter Bible offers several daily devotional readings in order to help you refocus on Christ and the Gospel of His peace and righteousness.

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Recognizing the value of consistent reflection upon the Word of God in order to refocus one's mind and heart upon Christ and His Gospel of peace, we provide several reading plans designed to cover the entire Bible in a year.

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The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.