Our View Of Sin

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“The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. And I am the foremost of sinners.” 1Timothy 1:15

One of the most heated debates in the history of Christianity revolves around the definition of sin. One group argues that only that which involves the will can be called sin. If you do not will to do something wrong, then you have not sinned, irrespective of the act. Another group agrees that you involve the will in sin, but also much more. Sin includes such things as anger, indifference, greed, and selfishness. You awaken in the morning preoccupied with the day’s responsibilities, and act in a thoughtless manner with your family. On the way to work you realize what you did and phone your spouse to apologize. The first group would say that this is not sin; the second group insists that it is. The first group says people can live sinless lives, the second group insists that they cannot.

How you decide on this matter will go a long way in influencing your view of the Christian life. Your sense of guilt over wrongdoing, your feeling the need to seek forgiveness from God and others, plus much more, will be affected. Paul called himself the least of the apostles during his ministry. Later he said he was the least of all saints. Toward the end of his life he said he was the number one sinner. If sin only involves the will, you would have to conclude that Paul became increasingly willful in his relationship with God the longer he walked with the Lord.

If you define sin incorrectly, you will lose touch with your depravity. And if you lose your sense of depravity, you also lose your gratitude for so great a salvation.

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