What is sin?
"But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death." - James 1:14-15
Sin, unfortunately, has become a very ambiguous word. It is used in so many ways in our world today, with most of those ways being incorrect.
Sin, culturally speaking, is now synonymous with anything that is risky, provocative or even sneaky. It's primarily used as a joke rather than a serious description. Which is sad, because it is far from humorous.
And though sin does involve some of those things, they are definitely not exhaustive descriptions of it.
A simple, biblical definition of sin is this: Anything done in opposition to the Word or Will of God.
For example, murdering someone is a sin. Why? Because Exodus 20:13 clearly tells us not too. Going against God's Word (His Law) is sin.
In another case, refusing to share the gospel with your friends is a sin as well. Why? Because Matthew 28:16-20 tells us to share the gospel with the world. It is God's Will for us. Operating in opposition to that is sin.
Trust me, this stuff is not complex. Sin is simple in concept, but still very difficult to abstain from.
It is difficult to abstain from for most because they don't understand how serious sin is. They just see it as a minor mistake or mishap, but it's far more than that. Below are some points that show what really is so bad about sin:
1. Sin has horrible consequences. God's Will and Word, among other things, should operate as guard rails in your life. His instructions are better off obeyed. If not, then we risk going off the cliff.
In plain terms, there's tangible, as well as spiritual, reasons Christians don't partake in pre - marital sex, getting drunk, lying and so on. These actions all have real and negative consequences.
God sees the bigger picture and sees this better than we do. It is always best to trust him on it instead of pushing the limits of morality.
2. Sin separates us from God. This is a scary reality and likely more significant than the first point. Our sin literally separates us from our Lord. This is what makes sin more than just a "mistake." It is an offense against our Almighty God!
God is Holy, perfect and cannot be around anything that is not. So, when we sin, we continually widen the chasm between us and Him. This is serious stuff.
That's why God gets so angry at people throughout scripture who continually sin. One, they are ruining their own lives and two they are diminishing their relationship with Him in the process.
Thankfully, God loves us so much that sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for us (John 3:16). Providing us a path to a relationship with God, despite our sins.
But, this should drive us to want to never sin again, not just be okay with making mistakes.
Christ died for us so the least we could do is live for Him. Live for Him by abstaining from sin at all costs - knowing the consequences it carries.