What A Man Says
Over the next several weeks, we will be discussing the topics of sin and atonement. With that said, today will be the start of a multi-week series in understanding these topics that are fundamental for every Christian. I am hoping to be able to come out of this series with a solid and biblical understanding of what sin is, why it exists, how it affects us, what is atonement, why it is needed, and how we apply it. We are going to work through these topics week by week, so I’m not sure how long it will take but my desire is to thoroughly speak what I believe God is leading me to speak rather than try to fit it into a specific timeframe. Now for today we are going to start off with the topic of sin… what is it?
Sin may be one simple word, but there is far more to this than that. Sin can be defined in this way: any failure to uphold and conform to the moral law of God in action, thought, or attitude. Sin can be used as a noun - murder is a sin, theft is a sin; but it can also be used as a verb- I sinned yesterday, or I am going to sin tonight. However, in the original languages of Hebrew and Greek there are multiple words for sin, which each have their own context and implication. Today, we will focus on the Greek words used in the New Testament which describe sin. There are four words that we will look at:
Hamartia – sin, any violation of the moral law of the Lord regardless of cause or reason
Paraptoma – a slip to the side, a lapse of deviation from the moral law, unintentional error of transgression
Parabaino – to go astray, to be deceived, seduced, willfully wander and roam away from the truth and violate moral law
Hamartano – to miss the mark, to intend to hit it or fulfill it but be unable to
From these words, both the noun usage and the verb usage we can see that there is Parabaino sin, or the act of sinning, which implies a premeditated, and willful, violation of God’s moral law. This is sin prior to justification. There is no remorse, sorrow, or repentance implied because the act from the beginning was intentional.
There is also another description of Hamartano sin, or act of sinning, that implies an act that occurred while trying to work towards being correct and get it right. So, the person had no intention to sin, in fact, they intended not to, but missed their target and sinned. There is sorrow over missing the target, repentance for the sin, and a desire to learn so that in the future they will not miss it again. This is sin that occurs after justification has occurred and we are in the process of Sanctification.
As we move forward in this study we will be going deeper into our understanding of what sin is. Next week we will be specifically talking about where sin originally came from.