WHAT IS SIN? 195
TEXT: 1 John 3:4-9 Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is
lawlessness. And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him
there is no sin. Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him
nor known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness
is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned
from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might
destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed
remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.
A. When studying anything we must first define it.
B. J.W. McGarvey once said, "I would esteem above every other gift that could be
bestowed upon me as a preacher the power to adequately conceive what sin is and to
adequately set it before the people.
C. Notice these things about sin.
1. Sin is a violation of the conscience- Rom. 14:23.
2. Knowing to do good and doing it not is sin- James 4:17.
3. Sin is breaking God's laws- 1 Jn. 3:4.
D. Today we want to notice several of the words used for sin in the New Testament and
then notice some word pictures of sin.
I. NEW TESTAMENT WORDS FOR SIN.
1. This word means to miss the mark.
2. It is used in passages like the following.
a. Rom. 3:23. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of
b. 1 Cor. 8:12.
c. Eph. 4:26 "Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go
down on your wrath”
d. 1 Jn. 1:10-2:1.
1. This word meant a transgressing or overstepping the line.
2. Notice the Scriptures.
a. Rom. 4:15 Because the law brings about wrath; for where there
is no law there is no transgression.
b. Gal. 3:19.
c. 1 Tim. 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman
being deceived, fell into transgression.
1. This word meant falling where one should have stood.
2. Most often translated offense.
a. Rom. 4:25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and
was raised because of our justification.
b. Rom. 5:16-18.
D. Anomia. A-neg. NOMIA-law.
1. This word means lawlessness.
2. It is used in such texts as.
a. Matt. 7:23 "And then I will declare to them, `I never knew you;
depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'
b. Matt. 13:41.
c. Matt. 24:12.
d. Titus 2:14.
1. This word means bending the right way and making it crooked.
a. Acts 8:23 "For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and
bound by iniquity."
b. 2 Tim. 2:19.
II. THE BIBLE'S WORD PICTURES OF SIN.
A. Sin is a "Putrifying" disease.
1. Isa. 1:6 From the sole of the foot even to the head, There is no
soundness in it, But] wounds and bruises and putrefying sores; They
have not been closed or bound up, Or soothed with ointment.
2. Hosea 7:1 "When I would have healed Israel, Then the iniquity of
Ephraim was uncovered, And the wickedness of Samaria. For they
have committed fraud; A thief comes in; A band of robbers takes spoil
Hose 14:4 (NKJV) "I will heal their backsliding, I will love them
freely, For My anger has turned away from him.
3. 1 Peter 2:24.
4. Matt. 13:15.
5. Ps. 41:4 I said, "Lord, be merciful to me; Heal my soul, for I have
sinned against You.".
B. Sin is pictured as a "Heavy" burden.
1. Ps. 38:4-6. For my iniquities have gone over my head; Like a heavy
burden they are too heavy for me. My wounds are foul and festering Because of my
foolishness. I am troubled, I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.
2. Gal. 6:1-2.
3. Burdens Are Lifted At Calvary -319.
C. Sin is pictured as a "Hard" taskmaster. Like Israel's taskmasters in Egypt- Ex.
1. Jn. 8:34 Jesus answered them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever
commits sin is a slave of sin.
2. Rom. 6:6.
3. Rom. 6:16-18.
D. Sin is pictured as "foolish" insanity.
1. Prov. 24:9 The devising of foolishness is sin, And the scoffer is an
abomination to men.
2. 2 Sam. 24:10 And David's heart condemned him after he had
numbered the people. So David said to the Lord, "I have sinned greatly
in what I have done; but now, I pray, O Lord, take away the iniquity of
Your servant, for I have done very foolishly."
3. 1 Sam. 13:13 And Samuel said to Saul, "You have done foolishly.
You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He
commanded you. For now the Lord would have established your
kingdom over Israel forever.
4. This is only a picture of sin and in no way takes away from the sinners
E. Sin is pictured as a "defiling" filth.
1. 2 Peter 2:20-22.
2. 1 Tim. 1:9-10.
3. Rev. 3:4 "You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled
their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are
4. 2 Cor. 7:1.
A. Now that you know what sin is way would you want to keep it in your life?
B. Sin is pictured as:
1. A disease.
2. A burden.
3. A taskmaster.
4. As insanity.
5. As fitly.
C. COME TO JESUS TODAY AND HE WILL CLEANSE YOU FROM ALL SIN.