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What is sin? How does the Bible define it?

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Sin isn't something most people talk about very much. Many churches don't talk much about it either. But the Bible tells us that everyone sins, and that every sin earns us the death penalty (Romans 3:23 Romans 3:23For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
American King James Version×
; 6:23). What is sin and why is it so bad?

Some think of sin as what we want to do but aren't allowed to do. But really it's what God says we shouldn't do because it will hurt us and others. God hates sin because it's like an evil disease that will ultimately make His children suffer and die. God is our Creator, and He knows what is good for us and what will bring harm.

You see, for eternity God has lived the give way of life—He is love. His way of life has been recorded in the Bible as God's law—a set of eternal principles that can help us see how to love the way He loves.

But sin is the opposite. It's lawlessness—breaking God's laws (1 John 3:4 1 John 3:4Whoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
American King James Version×
)—and it leads to death (Romans 6:23 Romans 6:23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
American King James Version×
). Murder, sexual sin, stealing, lying, warping the way God wants to be worshipped—breaking any of God's laws destroys the connections of love He wants us to have with Him and each other.

For further study, please read our booklet The Ten Commandments .

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