“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” Rom 3:23 NLT All sin has this in common: it is any action out of harmony with God’s perfect standard of justice and rightness. In one important sense, God treats all sin the same. Whether a sin seems a “small” thing or a terrible offense is not as important as the fact that God cannot accept ANY deviation from His, perfect, righteous standard. Sin, or unrighteousness, is disobedience against God’s law. It happens because of human weaknesses, satanic influence or ignorance of what is right.
Christians must pray and study the Bible to recognize when they have sinned. God gave His law to Moses to teach right from wrong (sin). Examples of all sin are given throughout the Old Testament and summarized in the Ten Commandments found in Exodus 20:3-17. All sins fall into one or more of these categories. The Commandments are as follows. Love God the most. Don’t worship things. Don’t misrepresent God’s work or character. Keep certain days special for rest and devotion to God. Respect your parents. Do not hate or murder. Be faithful to your spouse. Don’t commit sexual immorality. Don’t steal. Don’t lie, be dishonest or say something untrue about others. Don’t desire to have what belongs to others or be jealous.
Jesus simplified the Old Law when he gave Christians a “new” law. It is not a different law, but summarizes the spirit of the Old Law into two laws. “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. . . . And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’“ Matt 22:36-37 NIV Sin is the exact opposite of the “Old” and “New” Law. Christians can learn to sin less often by trying to align with the Divine law. Our Lord’s sermons and stories, and the Apostles, elaborate on what is right and wrong.
What is the worst sin? Paul says this: “Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.” Rom 6:16 NLT Once a Christian has accepted Christ as his Savior, has given his life to do God’s will, and has received the “Holy Spirit”, he becomes a new creature adopted into God’s family. Then the Holy Spirit, as the power and influence of God, gradually teaches him to know and avoid sin. But human weaknesses, imperfections, evil attitudes, and wrong desires become the Christian’s battle ground of his heart until the day he dies.
The worst sin is when a Christian decides to intentionally, and with complete willfulness, disobey God’s law AFTER receiving the Holy Spirit. “The Scriptures call this rebellion, the sin against the Holy Spirit. It cannot be forgiven. “. . . Every sin and blasphemy can be forgiven—except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which will never be forgiven.” Matt 12:31 NLT This also includes breaking his promise to accept Jesus as his Savior to cover his sins. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
So it is very encouraging to know that the Bible promises that “. . . people can be forgiven all their sins. . .” Mark 3:28 NIV The Christian who is trusting in the redemption provided by the sacrifice of Jesus finds forgiveness (is made right with God). When Christians try their very best and are sorry when they fail to practice righteousness, they are “… justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Rom 3:24 NIV “. . .People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood.” Rom 3:25 NLT