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Define “sin” biblically

June 16, 2012

Define “sin” biblically. From a forum post.

{{_ Do you sin more when you try not to sin? If you do not and you are one of those good folks who can control yourself, my post is not for you. However, if you are like me and seem to rebel against yourself often, the question is for you. Spurgeon said: I have found, in my own spiritual life, that the more rules I lay down for myself, the more sins I commit. The habit of regular morning and evening prayer is one which is indispensable to a believer’s life, but the prescribing of the length of prayer, and the constrained remembrance of so many persons and subjects, may gender unto bondage, and strangle prayer rather than assist it.}}

Thanks for the Spurgeon quote. Watchman Nee thought that morning prayer was essential although he found no direct scriptural instruction. The Psalms mention morning and evening prayer. These seem to be natural times. Before artificial light, they were practical times for prayer and meditation and our dna has not caught up to Edison. Prayer at noon might be added in stressful times, as with Daniel and one of the Psalms.

The biblical thought that comes to mind is from Romans 8.

(Rom 8:13 NKJ) For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

Living according to law or rules of any sort is living according to the flesh, works religion. The aim is to have something to boast about.

The second clause is better translated as: “but if through spirit (the spirit of that life which is in Christ Jesus) you are putting to death the habits of the body, you will live.

{{_ So, what do you do to keep sin at bay in your life?}}

I have learned to define “sin” in the biblical sense. In the usage of the Greek and Hebrew words for falling short of the mark.

The definitions in our dictionaries and Bible dictionaries obscure the word (and the Word) through the traditions of men.

“Sin” has become a catch all word for everything bad or evil. Scripture is much more precise about the narrow meaning of the Greek and Hebrew words for falling short. There are other words used in scripture for other forms and aspects of evil.

The instruction of scripture seems to work rather well once “sin” is biblically defined.

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