Are all Sins the Same?

13 03 2015

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The Analytical and Theological Commentary

The idea is that all sins are the same through the eyes of God. The problem with this is that it goes much deeper than that. James 2:10 says, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it” (NIV). It seems as though the phrase “all sins are the same” came from this verse. The question of whether all sins are the same or not lies in the usage of the word, “sin.” James explains that if you are a Law breaker (meaning, if you break one of the 613 commandments found in the Law of Moses), then you have sinned against God, therefore placing yourself in need of salvation. Jesus even takes these commands further and says that if you look at a woman with lust in your heart, then you are guilty of adultery (Matthew 5:28). Again, in Matthew chapter 5, Jesus explains that murder gets the same results as being angry with someone and calls him or her a fool or holds them in contempt will be in danger of Hell fire (5:21-22). So then, it is a heart thing, and not just something requiring action in order to obtain a sin nature.

With this in mind, consider a child stealing a piece of penny candy from the local candy store in contrast with a vile, sadistic murderer. God looks at both of them as sinners (Exodus 20:13, 15), but do their sins carry the same weight? Even in the eyes of God?

The thing is, there is a difference between the word “sin” and “sinner” All sinners are breakers of God’s Law, but sins definitely have a different value, even to the Lord.

Let me explain something here before we go any further. Once you sin, you are a sinner in the eyes of God. Once you are a sinner, you need to be saved from your sin. So logically, the moment you sin, you need to be saved. The difference between sin and sinner is that a sinner is someone who has broken a Law of God and a sin is a Law of God that was broken by someone.

So where does all of this mumbo jumbo take us? Though definitely not equally, the different value of sin is regarded by humans as well as the Lord. As the comparison in the example above, there is no question of whether or not they carry the same weight. Of course murder is much worse of a sin than stealing candy. For instance, Matthew 11:24 explicitly reveals that there will be more harsh judgment for those who do not repent with enough evidence to do so; James 3:1 explains that teachers will be judged more strictly; John records Jesus telling Pilate that those who handed Him over to him are guilty of a greater sin John 19:11. These examples do not take the fact away that once someone sins, they are a sinner in need of God’s grace.

The unpardonable sin (found in Mark 3:28) is not accepting Jesus as one’s savior before one dies. This blasphemy against the Holy Spirit causes someone to be guilty of an eternal sin. Romans chapter one explains that men are without excuse because of the creation that lies before them. In other words, Some Designer had to start it all, and because we see the design, we have evidence of the Creator. Secondly, men today are without excuse because they have the biblical account (the gospels) that reveals Jesus to us, who is the only way to the Father (John 14:6). Therefore we have more than enough evidence to understand the need for repentance. A thorough reading of the gospel of John will further explain these “evidences” and show its readers the light of the world.

In conclusion, all sin is equally condemning, but not all sin is equally devastating. As with the serial murderer or the small child stealing penny candy, they both are acts of breaking God’s law. Once you sin, you become a sinner who is in need of God’s grace. This is what James is talking about (James 2:10). You might as well have broken all of God’s laws once you have broken one. This does not give you the excuse to go on sinning because we are held accountable, but it is simply making a point of needing grace. In any event, all sins are the same in that they carry us to the place of needing grace through Jesus, but not all sins have the same level of affliction.

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2 responses

13 03 2015
ChrisK

I think the hardest concept for most people to grasp is the fact that all 10 commandments have the same penalty (death). I am just glad that Jesus came to pay the penalty for us so that we can spend eternity with Him!! God Bless =)

24 03 2015
wildswanderer

We often hear Christians say “Sin is sin.” as if all sins are equal. I always wonder if the person stating that has really thought it through and studied scripture, as it’s quite clear that not all sins are equal in their seriousness. Good post.

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