Are Some Sins Greater Than Others?

sinsThere are many heated arguments these days as to whether all sins are equal. Too often the argument centers in on one area, or one person wants to dismiss the severity of the sin about which they are arguing.

God said, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”  In other words, if living like God desires is the target, then all of us miss the bull’s eye. There is no getting around that fact. Lying, stealing, cheating, sexual immorality, gossip and many others all miss the target. They are sin in God’s eyes.

One writer said, “Every sin is an act of rebellion against God. Any sin, no matter whether it is an angry thought or outright murder, is a declaration of independence from God, a means of saying, “I am going to do this my way instead of your way. I choose my will rather than your will.”

That is a great description of sin. Sin is sin. That is the truth!

It is also true that not all sin has the same consequences. For instance, stealing a candy bar from a store has consequences, but killing five people has greater consequences. There are consequences on the killer, the ones killed, all the families involved, etc. Lying to your boss about why you didn’t come to work misses the mark, and is sin in God’s eyes. There are consequences such as the company losing the hours of work, or the boss finding out and the employee losing his/her job. An adulterous affair can have more far-reaching consequences.  Sexual sin is missing the mark in God’s eyes, but sexual sins are also called a sin against one’s own body. They destroy marriages and families, leaving seeds of distrust and harm that can take years to overcome.

Even Jesus used a comparative in speaking of sin, “Then Jesus said, “You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you from above. So the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.” – John 19:11

Is all sin equal in God’s eyes? Yes and no. All sin is equal in causing us to be separated from God, but some sins are more significant because they bring about more serious consequences. There must be a word of caution here! The fact that some sins are judged to be more serious than others must not give us license to evaluate our actions on the basis of whether a certain act is a little sin or a big sin. We are commanded to live holy lives, lives that honor God. The Holy Spirit within us gives us the power to live overcoming lives.

“However, remember that whether our sins are relatively small or great, they will place us in hell apart from God’s grace. The Good News is that Jesus paid the penalty for our sins and the sins of the whole world at the cross. If we will repent and turn to Jesus in faith, our sins will be forgiven, and we will receive the gift of eternal life.” – Billy Graham

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