Theologically confused about “Sin”

Good Morning,

As I mentioned previously, my knowledge in so many areas of theology is not up to snuff. This was one of many “buts” I explored on my way to this point. Having accepted my humble beginnings I move forward with prayers for understanding.

Today I was contemplating the nature of sin. I have often been told that sin is any act which separates us from God. I’ve liked this definition as it simplifies nicely the world into sin and not-sin. Of course I know the world is not black and white and have allowed that there may be gradation in sin, though I’m not sure.

That said, during morning prayer which has become my habit over these last months, my brain quite rudely interrupted the Lord’s Prayer with this Easter Egg – how can anyone sin against us?

Up until just today I would have paraphrased this line as “hurt us.”. But, I find that with sin defined separation from God, then I don’t think hurt works. Can another person separate me from God?

To use a popular media example, there is currently a story of a son of the Duggar family who molested younger children. Molestation is surely sin. Were these girls separated from God by this crime? Not so neat a line.

On the one hand no, some people upon whom a crime has been perpetrated are drawn closer to God in prayer, questioning, and comfort. On the other hand possibly, some victims blame God and reject Him after a great injury. However, is that sin not the sin of the victim rather than a “sin against” them?

Are we saying that the victim is no longer responsible? As a past victim of crime I can see the allure of such a notion. But I feel that in this theological context, knowing God never abandons us, that employing such a device of powerlessness is itself a hurt to the victim. That’s why we see things like “take back the night” and other initiatives to claim our own power.

I’m sure I don’t know enough to argue this well, but suffice it to say I now understand the “trespass” translation  of the Lord’s prayer better.  As I can see that someone may trespass against me, but struggle with whether someone may sin against me.




7 thoughts on “Theologically confused about “Sin”

  1. One of the difficulties with sin is that it is wrapped together with both law and the principalities and powers. Somehow Paul claims that law is the power of sin (1 Corinthians 15:54) and then in discussing law claims that these are the work of demons (see Colossians 2:13-23 for one example). The interwoven nature of all of this makes it extremely difficult to sift through, yet a worthy subject to wrestle. It isn’t merely that you strive to understand sin and what it is about. The hope is that in comprehending sin, we might also comprehend our freedom through the blood of Christ, and thus truly be free indeed.
    Grace and peace in Christ


      • I would say that sin is what binds us into death, and that the law is what keeps us bound. Death would be defined as the condition of decay – whether moral, physical, spiritual, emotional, or otherwise. We were born dead, yes, but we’re also dying (in more ways than one).


      • For the believer, sin is done away with. We have complete freedom and victory in Christ, should we humble ourselves and take up our crosses. For the modern world, they who reject Christ are still under the bondage of law – do this, don’t do that. The law is not merely defined as the commands in Genesis through Deuteronomy, but rather an entire system of religion that claims us righteous because of our deeds. For they who have not been freed from this pseudo-righteousness, they are still in sin and death.


      • Hmm. I have to say that seems like a heresy to me. But maybe that is only my reading rather than your intent. I follow the logic for the non-Christian. But for the believer? The only sinless human is Jesus. By definition He is God and Man so He cannot be separated from God and therefore cannot sin. You and I on the other hand, have been grafted to the vine, and can also be clipped. So I’m not sure how “sin is done away with” makes sense.


      • Just briefly going through Romans 6 explains what I’m getting at. “How shall we who have died to sin live any longer in it?” “For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away wit, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin.” “For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, recon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” “And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.”
        Maybe “sin is done away with” was an improper wording, but it doesn’t destroy the point. The point is that we have been set free, as long as we remain in that freedom. However, Hebrews 9:25-27 would suggest that sin has indeed been “done away with”, and also 2 Timothy speaks of Jesus abolishing death and bringing life and immortality through the Gospel.


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