What is sin? A simple definition might be, desires, words, or actions that are not pleasing to God. But how do we know what pleases the Lord?
One time Jesus was asked, what is the greatest commandment? He said, "'And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." (Mar 12:30-31). I imagine that should be enough to get us started.
We have seen talk show hosts quiz people on the street to see how many or how few of the Ten Commandments they knew, to humorous results. But God knows that His ways will provide the more abundant life, if only we would follow them; after all, He created us and provided the "owner's manual for the human soul", as my friend likes to say. And God has written this moral law on our hearts which is the basis for every human system of justice.
One of the Ten Commandments speaks of coveting, which means that even desiring wrong things in our hearts is sin. So I don't know about you, but I doubt I've met anyone yet who is perfect, including the one writing this article! But temptation is not sin. Even Christ was tempted: "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin." (Heb 4:15). Only giving in is sin.
So, if none of us is perfect, how can we be saved? "He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9)
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