Let’s Get Clear on This.

Published in: Theology.

Sin, depending on your denomination, is either a popular or skirted subject within1 Christianity. Some are quite intent on making sure that we are all well aware of its existence in the world, and in ourselves. Others seem to want to avoid it at all costs. Regardless, Christian scripture returns to it regularly and it is an important concept in Christian theology.

A distinction exists between two aspects of Sin: an act and a characteristic. Sin, the act, is any concrete immoral behavior; sin, the characteristic, is our tendency to do sin, the act, regardless of our efforts and desires. We will refer to this as “sin nature.” The relationship is follows: sin nature begets sin actions.

The error is focusing on sin acts, and this is a common error. Often, the group that enjoys talking about sin really enjoys talking about sin acts, but this is a diversion from what’s truly important.

The problem isn’t sin, it’s me.

The problem isn’t that I do sinful things, it is that I am a being whose nature is to sin. This is what God wants to fix in us. He wants us to be free of our sin nature. If we focus on killing our sin nature through Christ, we are on the right path2 to becoming rid of our sin acts also. If we focus on doing less sin acts, we fail in all of it.

  1. And without. Most non-Christians dislike the subject as well. Most of us don’t enjoy being told we aren’t as good as we think.
  2. Truly, a journey.

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