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Sin, Definition Of

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Introductory Comment

Sin is an ugly and nauseating study. But, if a study of sin leads us to acknowledge that God knows us better than we know ourselves, and causes us to humble ourselves before Him, then our study of sin is worthwhile.

Biblical Words For Sin

  1. The meaning of the Hebrew (Old Testament) words for sin:
      • Chata: to miss the right mark and hit the wrong mark.
      • Ra: to break up or ruin.
      • Pasha: to rebel.
      • Awon: to be guilty of a very great injustice.
      • Shagag: to wander off from where you're supposed to be.
      • Asham: to be guilty before God.
      • Rasha: to be wicked not righteous.
      • Taah: to do something deliberately not accidentally.

  2. The meaning of the Greek (New Testament) words for sin:
      • Kakos: to do something morally bad.
      • Poneros: to be morally evil (used of Satan and demons).
      • Asebes: to act ungodly or like an unbeliever.
      • Enochos: to be guilty of a crime deserving death.
      • Hamartia: to miss the right mark and hit the wrong mark.
      • Adikia: to be involved in wrong conduct (used of money and parts of the body).
      • Anomos: to break a law in the broad sense.
      • Parabates: to break a specific law.
      • Agnoein: to ignorantly worship someone or something other than God.
      • Planao: to deceive yourself or others.
      • Paraptoma: to deliberately fall away.
      • Hypocrisis: to interpret falsely, to pretend to be what one is not, and to follow what is known to be false.

Scriptural definitions of sin:

  1. Romans 14:23 doing something while not believing it's the right thing to do.

  2. James 4:17 knowing the right thing to do and then not doing it.

  3. 1 John 3:4 lawlessness (to break a law).

  4. 1 John 5:17 unrighteousness (wrong conduct).

  5. According to 2 Corinthians 5:15 sin is centered in selfishness.
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