…. they were unschooled, ordinary men …. they had been with Jesus …. the crippled man healed standing with them – Acts 4:13,14

What is sin? – Bible meaning & sharing the gospel of Jesus

What is the meaning of sin in the Bible?
Is it just evil deeds?

When we  first  believed in Jesus,
… did   we  repent   of all    our sins?

Which sin did we repent of ?

How is sin overcome?
For folks new to Christ, what is repentance?

Some background first. It is good to share why Jesus came:

John 3:16-17 (NASB)
16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish,
but have eternal life.

17 For God did not send the Son
into the world to judge the world,
but that the world might be saved through Him.

18 He who believes in Him is not judged;

he who does not believe
has been judged already,
because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

19 This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world,
and men loved the darkness rather than the Light,
for their deeds were evil.

Jesus came into the world to save us, so that we receive eternal life, because God so love all of us.  By believing in Jesus we are saved from judgment.

Coming into God’s Light, Jesus, also means we turn away from our deeds which were evil and from darkness.

What is the darkness?

Acts 26:18 (NASB)
18 to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’

Colossians 1:13
13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

darkness = dominion of Satan

God has rescued us from the dominion of darkness to light, and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Through Jesus, we are saved, rescued, redeemed and forgiven and brought into the kingdom of God (now!).

It begins with God’s love,
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son

and His kindness, patience
Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?
Romans 2:4 (NASB)

and the free gift of God to everyone through Jesus,

… the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23 (NLT)

And as a result,

God has united you with Christ Jesus.
For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself.

Christ made us right with God;
he made us pure and holy,
and he freed us from sin.

1 Corinthians 1:30 (NLT)

What does sin mean in the Bible ?

Unbelief towards God & Rejection of Jesus

Unbelief towards the true and living God, and Jesus our mediator who died to save us … is sin;
i.e., choosing to worship other gods/idols or not believing God exists.

Concerning the work of the Holy Spirit, Jesus said,

John 16:8-11 (NASB)
And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment;

concerning sin,
because they do not believe in Me;

10 and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me;
11 and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.

The Holy Spirit convicts concerning sin,
because people do not believe in Jesus.

When we first believe in Jesus,
the sin of unbelief in God, … is the sin we repented of.

John 3:36 (NIV)
36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life,
but whoever rejects the Son will not see life,
for God’s wrath remains on them.

We come to God, … ‘just as I am’.
We are not able to change ourselves to be perfect, … before coming to God.
We come to God, … and He changes us to be perfect.
Amazing grace.

After believing in Jesus, God works in our lives and through His Word and the Holy Spirit, we overcome the sins in our lives.

Paul elaborates:

Romans 1:20, 25 (NLT)
19 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. 20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky.
Through everything God made,
they can clearly see his invisible qualities
—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

21 Yes, they knew God,
they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks.

And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like.
As a result, their minds became dark and confused.

25 They traded the truth about God
for a lie
So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen

John 3:18 (NASB)
18 He who believes in Him is not judged;
he who does not believe has been judged already,
because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

he who does not believe (in Jesus) has been judged already,
they wouldn’t worship him as God

Acts 17:29,30 (NASB)
29 Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man. 30 Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance,
God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent

We all are called to repent of unbelief  from following false gods and images, … or no god at all, and turn our hearts to the true and living God and Jesus, our mediator.

Hebrews 11:6 (NIV)
And without faith it is impossible to please God,
because anyone who comes to him
must believe that he exists
and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

1 Timothy 2:3-6 (NLT)
This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. For,

There is one God
and one Mediator
who can reconcile God and humanity
—the man Christ Jesus.

He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone.

This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time.

We repent of our sin of unbelief,
by believing and putting our faith in God through our Mediator, Jesus, i.e. believe that He exist and that He is a rewarder of those who earnestly seek Him, and Jesus who gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone.

This was what happened to the children of Israel when Moses led them in the desert,

Hebrews 3:12 (NASB)
12 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

16 For who provoked Him when they had heard? Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses? 17 And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness?18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient?

19 So we see that they were not able to enter
because of unbelief.

An unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God is the result of
nbelief in the Lord and not following His Word.

1 Thessalonians 1:9 (NASB)
For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God,

Jonah 2:8 (NET) 
Those who worship worthless idols forfeit the mercy that could be theirs.

We are called to turn our hearts to the true and living God,
through Jesus’ death and resurrection, by faith.

In Genesis, its written about Abraham, the father of many nations, the father of all who believe

Genesis 15:6 (NLT)
And Abram believed the Lord,
and the Lord counted him as righteous because of his faith.

Paul explained:

Romans 4:3, 16, 22-25 (NLT)
For the Scriptures tell us, “Abraham believed God,
and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.

16 So the promise is received by faith. It is given as a free gift. And we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according to the law of Moses, if we have faith like Abraham’s.
For Abraham is the father of all who believe.
 17 That is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, “I have made you the father of many nations.” This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing.

22 And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous. 23 And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded 24 for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.

Some examples of others who share this faith,  like Abraham,

These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God.
Genesis 6:9 (NASB)

19 And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man ….
Matthew 1:19 (NASB)

25 And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout,
looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.

Luke 3:25, 26 (NASB)

Simeon was looking for the consolation of Israel, and finally,
he’s seen the Lord’s Christ.

50 And a man named Joseph, who was a member of the Council, a good and righteous man 51 (he had not consented to their plan and action), a man from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who was waiting for the kingdom of God; 52 this man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.
Luke 23:50 (NASB)

Through Jesus death and resurrection, when we turn our hearts and believe in him, we become righteous before God.

Here is a simple prayer to pray if anyone would like to be saved.

Romans 10:9,10 (NASB)
that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

Please pray to receive Jesus today, thank you.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living
Just because He lives!
— Bill & Gloria Gaither

For anyone who has not heard a presentation of the gospel,
we are inviting them to turn to God through Jesus death and resurrection, and receiving Him as the Lord, God of their lives.
Our sins are forgiven by His death, and we are made right with God, i.e. righteous, by His resurrection.

Acts 3:19 (NIV)
Repent, then, and turn to God,
so that your sins may be wiped out,
that times of refreshing may come from the Lord

Billy Graham:

Only one sin that can’t be forgiven is on God’s list
— and that is the sin of rejecting him and refusing his offer of forgiveness and new life in Jesus Christ. This alone is the unforgivable sin, because it means we are saying that the Holy Spirit’s witness about Jesus is a lie (see Luke 12:10). … 
The reason, first of all, is because of who he was. He wasn’t just another religious teacher; he was God in human flesh. But when we deny this, we limit him and assume he is unable to save us. …
The main reason why it’s so serious to reject Christ, however, is because he is God’s appointed means of salvation. Our greatest need is to have our sins forgiven; if we don’t, we have no reason to expect God to welcome us into heaven. But by his death and resurrection Christ provided the way for us to be forgiven and cleansed of all our sins. 

Source:  The Kansas, October 21, 2015

“Sins committed seemed but as trifles compared with
the sin of unbelief which was their cause,
which could not, or would not, take God at His word,
but rather made Him a liar.”
— Hudson Taylor

Besides unbelief, sin in the bible also describes deeds/actions & thoughts, and the sinful nature within us.

Acts 26:19,20 (NASB)
“So, King Agrippa, I did not prove disobedient to the heavenly vision,
20 but kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God,
performing deeds appropriate to repentance,

Deeds/Actions & Thoughts

** Disobeying God’s law

1 John 3:4  (NIV)
Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness

        God law is an absolute and unchanging standard.

** Wrongdoing

1 John 5:17 (NIV, NLT) 
All wrongdoing is sin
 All wicked actions are sin

** Not doing good

James 4:17 (NLT)
If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.

** Wrong Thoughts

Jesus said,
Matthew 5:27-28 (NIV)
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Therefore, sin is any thought or action that displeases God.
Hence,  For everyone has sinned;
we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. – Romans 3:23 (NLT)

The Lord actively reaches out to people to turn to Him,
however, the Lord noted,

… For when I called,
no one answered,

when I spoke,
no one listened.      (unbelief)

They did evil in my sight
and chose what displeases me.       (thoughts & actions)
Isaiah 66:4 (NIV)

Sinful Nature

“The heart is deceitful above all things
And it is extremely sick;
Who can understand it fully and know its secret motives?
Jeremiah 17:16 (AMP)

“If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds,
and it were necessary only to separate them
from the rest of us and destroy them.

But the line dividing good and evil
cuts through the heart of every human being.

And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”
— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn,  
The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956 (1973),  Nobel Laurette Literature

** Paul explains this very clearly  in the book of Romans.

Romans 5:12 (NASB)
12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned

Through Adam’s sin, the sinful nature has been passed down through the generations to all men.
Even though we really want to do what is right, the sinful nature within us influences us to not do what is right, …. but instead we do the wrong which we hate to do … and enslaves us to be a slave of sin.

Romans 7:14-20, Romans 8:1-4 (NLT)
14 So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin.
15 I don’t really understand myself,

for I want to do what is right,
but I don’t do it.

Instead, I do what I hate.

16 But if I know that what I am doing is wrong,
this shows that I agree that the law is good.

17 So I am not the one doing wrong;
it is sin living in me
that does it.

18 And I know that nothing good lives in me,
that is, in my sinful nature.

I want to do what is right,
but I can’t.

19 I want to do what is good,
but I don’t.
I don’t want to do what is wrong,
but I do it anyway.

20 But if I do what I don’t want to do,
I am not really the one doing wrong;
it is sin living in me
that does it

21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.

22 I love God’s law with all my heart.
23 But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.
And because you belong to him,
the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you
from the power of sin that leads to death

The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have.

And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.

Sinful nature =  I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.

Praise God!  Through Jesus, we receive the power of the life-giving Spirit who has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death, … and we no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.  

In Christ, we receive forgiveness of sin,
and we receive the power of the life-giving Spirit who has freed you from the power of sin, i.e. set set free from the sinful nature.

Hence, there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.
Praise God!

Jesus sacrifice, the perfect Lamb of God

Jesus obedience of sacrificing Himself for all our sins, once and for all makes us righteous before God.  We become right with God.  We are freed from the power of sin, the sinful nature.

Romans 5:18,19 (NLT)
18 Yes, Adam’s one sin
brings condemnation for everyone,

but Christ’s one act of righteousness
brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone.

19 Because one person disobeyed God,
many became sinners.

But because one other person obeyed God,
many will be made righteous.

Here is how the writer of Hebrews explains,

Hebrews 9:22 (NASB)
And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, 
and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

Hebrews 9:14 (NASB)
how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

1 John 2:2 (NIV)
He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

1 Peter 2:24 (NIV)
He himself bore our sins
in his body on the cross,
so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness;
“by his wounds you have been healed.”

Hallelujah!  Thank you Jesus !

God also gives us the Holy Spirit for each of us.  The Holy Spirit gives us the power to overcome the sinful nature and its desires, as as we yield and be led by the Holy Spirit — who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.
By our own human strength we are not able to overcome the sinful nature within us, i.eI want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.
We need the Holy Spirit’s power by yielding to the Holy Spirit in us.

Romans 8:4,5, 9-13 (NIV)
4He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us,
who no longer follow our sinful nature
but instead follow the Spirit

Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but
those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit
think about things that please the Spirit.

But you are not controlled by your sinful nature.
You are controlled by the Spirit
if you have the Spirit of God living in you.
(And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.)

10 And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. 11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.

12 Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. 13 For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.

15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” 16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.

God gives us a new nature to overcome our sinful nature,
i.e. Christ lives within you,
the Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you,
you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children
we are God’s children.
Hence, in Christ, we are led by the Spirit of God, and no longer follow our sinful nature,

In Christ, we receive forgiveness of sin,
we receive the power of the life-giving Spirit who has freed you from the power of sin (sinful nature)and through the power of the Spirit we put to death the deeds of our sinful nature (overcome sinful deeds).
In Christ, we received a new nature — Christ and the Holy Spirit lives in us, and we are adopted as God’s children.

This is different from all other faiths,

Acts 4:12 (NASB)
And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”

Colossians 2:21-23 (NIV)
21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”?
22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but
they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.

Faith in Jesus is not focused on rules, self-imposed worship, false humility and  harsh treatment of the body,
but in Christ, He gives us the power to overcome the sinful nature and sinful deeds.

1 John 3:9 (NIV)
No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.

And if we are tempted and do fall into sin, we can confess to God and Jesus’ blood cleanses us from all our sins.

1 John 1:8-9 (NLT)
If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts

Jesus understands our weaknesses.   On earth, Jesus was tempted in all things, and is able to help us in our weaknesses.

Hebrews 4:14-16 (NIV)
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

1 Corinthians 15:52-57 (NIV)
52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
    Where, O death, is your sting?”

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Christianese Guide | Stepping Stones

by 林弟兄, bro Lim
May 14, 2014

Copyright © 林弟兄 bro Lim, Laymanointing, 2014 – All Rights Reserved,
Creative Commons License


This entry was posted on May 14, 2014 by in Christianese Wiki, Foundations, Ministry, Sharing Jesus, Stepping Stones.
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