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- What Sin Is
- Sin Is against God
- Sin Is Universal
- Sin Has Intrinsic Ill Effects
- Sin Brings God’s Anger and Death
Knowing what sin is and what its consequences are is vital to understanding God’s relationship with humankind and to appreciating the need for Jesus Christ’s mission. It also helps us not to sin by: clarifying what sin is (which this chapter does in general terms); and providing great motivation to avoid sin.
[Moses, to the Israelites:] If anyone sins unintentionally by breaking any of the Lord’s commands, he is guilty and must pay the penalty. … 19It is a repayment offering for the sin he committed against the Lord. Leviticus 5:17, 19 GNT
All fail to measure up to a standard compatible with God’s glory.
[Paul, to believers:] When you were spiritually dead because of your sins and because you were not free from the power of your sinful self, God made you alive with Christ, and he forgave all our sins. Colossians 2:13 NCV™
Spiritual death involves being cut off from God – “dead to God” – without his Holy Spirit, who brings spiritual life.
Actually all of us were like them and lived according to our natural desires, doing whatever suited the wishes of our own bodies and minds. In our natural condition we, like everyone else, were destined to suffer God’s anger. Ephesians 2:3 GNT
Here Paul refers to how all people have lived sinful lives, making them subject to God’s anger.
People may experience God’s wrath and judgment for sin in various forms during their lifetime, but common to all is the judgment of physical death. Note that the verse makes reference to death initially coming as a consequence of Adam’s original sin.
[Paul, to believers:] So what benefit did you then reap from those things that you are now ashamed of? For the end of those things is death. … 23For the payoff of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:21, 23 NET
Particularly in view of the contrast with “eternal life” (v. 23), “death” (vv. 21, 23) appears to primarily refer to or at least encompass what is sometimes referred to as eternal “death”. Because of his justice God demands that unforgiven sin be punished with eternal “death” or destruction, involving eternal separation from God in hell. A complementary reason for this “death” is that sin makes separation from God necessary, because of his holiness.