Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Proverbs 6:16-20 These six things the LORD hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren. (NKJV, emphasis mine)

Sin must not be as bad as it used to be. A few thousand years ago, God wrote down how He hated it. Think of your sin… now compare it with what the Bible says (NKJV, emphasis mine):

  • Zechariah 8:17 Let none of you think evil in your heart against your neighbor; And do not love a false oath. For all these are things that I hate,’ Says the LORD.”
  • Proverbs 21:27 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination; How much more when he brings it with wicked intent!
  • Psalm 5:6 You shall destroy those who speak falsehood; The LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

Do you have the same opinion as God concerning sin ? Do you abhor it? Is it an abomination to you? If behavior and lifestyle are any indication, very few people truly hate sin. Society doesn’t recognize sin at all except for the very “worst” sins (and even then it’s often called a “sickness”).

As Christians, we have been desensitized because of overexposure to sin, and underexposure to God’s presence. We determine how “bad” a sin is by comparing it to other sins. In other words, envy is not as bad as gossiping, is not as bad as lying, is not as bad as fornication, is not as bad as murder. We allow the nature of the sin to determine how bad it is.

In our daily life, sin most definitely has varying degrees of consequences (adultery has more consequences than a moment of being unkind). But the eternal consequences are the same for all sin.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NKJV)

“For the wages of sin”… not “the wages of really bad sin according to societal standards”. Why does Scripture make such a blanket statement about sin? Isn’t murder worse than jealousy? That’s where we miss the point. We are measuring sin against other sin to determine how “bad” it is. God sees sin in all it’s ugly fullness while we see just the superficial characteristics. That’s why His opinion of sin is so harsh and intolerable.

The heinousness of sin lies not so much
in the nature of the sin committed
as it does in the nature of Who it is committed against.

Stop and ponder that statement. The word heinous is grossly overused by the news media but it is most appropriate here. Heinous means “shockingly terrible, brutal or cruel”. There are not words strong enough in our language to convey the destruction and grief caused by sin.

The awfulness of sin is not determined primarily by WHAT the sin is (although that is part of it). The true nature of sin is based on WHO is being sinned against. Read the following examples and notice as the severity of the transgression increases even while the sin committed stays the same:

  • Joe slaps his twin brother across the face.
  • Joe slaps his boss across the face.
  • Joe slaps his mother across the face.
  • Joe slaps a police officer across the face.
  • Joe slaps his commanding officer in the military across the face.
  • Joe slaps the President of the United States across the face.
  • Joe slaps a helpless infant across the face.

Why is slapping your sibling not as “bad” as slapping the President? Why is slapping a defenseless, innocent baby that much worse? The actual sinful act never changed. The severity of the transgression is determined by Who the sin is committed against. Here’s one more example to help clarify the point:

Stealing is a sin. By it’s very nature (taking something that is not yours), stealing is wrong. On a human level, it’s worse to steal the last loaf of bread from a poor widow than it is to steal a loaf of bread from a grocery store. The sin is the same, but the severity of the transgression increases based on WHO is stolen from. (Analogies always break down if pushed far enough, but the idea is adequately demonstrated in the examples). Read our statement again:

The heinousness of sin lies not so much
in the nature of the sin committed
as it does in the nature of Who it is committed against.

Make sense now? Are you beginning to understand why sin is so awful in God’s eyes? Sin is the reason His Son died a horrible death. Because of sin, Jesus (who is infinitely more innocent than even a baby) was tortured and murdered. Each sin you commit is bad because all sin is bad by definition. But each sin you commit is heinous (shockingly terrible) because it is committed against the King of Kings, Jesus Christ, who had to suffer and die for your sin and mine. It’s WHO we sin against (Jesus) that makes ANY sin an abomination to God.

It is imperative that Christians recapture the true nature of sin. The next time you sin, don’t base your contrition (sorrow for sin) on what the sin was, but on WHO the sin was against… Jesus Christ.

Most Holy God, grant us an enlightened heart that we may see sin as You do. Help us understand that sin is terrible because it is committed against Your Son, in Who’s Name we pray, Amen.

Contemplation: Do have the same opinion of sin that God has? Do your “little” sins not bother you much, or at least as much as your “bad” sins? Do you measure sin against other sin in order to determine how “bad” it is? Have you ever realized that WHO the sin is committed against determines its awfulness?

Application: The Church needs to regain a correct understanding of sin. We stay a couple of steps behind the world. That allows us to feel righteous by comparison. The typical Christian today is barely recognizable from the rest of the world because of our view of sin. Our view of sin is low because our view of Who we sin against is low.

  1. What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
  2. What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
  3. What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?