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Does SIN have Boundaries?
We need to understand how the Bible defines sin. TRUE Christians are to avoid (elude, run away from, shun) sin . . . BUT . . . how can we avoid sin if we do not fully understand what it is?
The Bible describes sin in several places, each of these give us a better understanding of WHAT sin really is. But, first we must understand what the word sin means.
Two broad thoughts
Both the Hebrew and Greek words translated “sin” throughout the Bible rotate largely around two major ideas. The first is that of transgression. To transgress means “to step across” or “to go beyond a set boundary or limit.” This idea can be compared to an athletic with lines outlining the boundaries within which the game is played. When a player crosses over those boundary lines, he has committed a “transgression” and gone out of bounds. Limits are set that define the playing area, and the players are to stay within the limits of that area.
Most of the other words translated “sin” in the Bible involve a second idea, “to miss the mark.” Again, to use a sports parallel, if a player aims for the goal and misses, how many points does he get? None. He missed the goal, missed the mark at which he was aiming.
To miss the mark also includes the idea of our going in one direction but straying off course to the side and not continuing in the direction we intended to go, which results in the fact that we do not reach the goal we intended. We miss. To miss the mark also includes the idea of failing to measure up to a standard. For TRUE Christians, that standard is Jesus! For example, most educational courses and tests are graded or judged according to a minimum standard. If we do not meet that standards we fail. The smallest level of performance is expected, and anything less than that standard is to fail. By not meeting that standard, we “miss the mark” we do not pass. We can miss the mark, either by missing the goal at which we were aiming or by falling short of that goal. In either situation we fail to reach the mark set for us.
Sin is to transgress those boundaries God has set for us or to miss the mark He set for us. My friend, the Bible clearly defines the boundaries and standards God has set for us. The Bible definitions of sin clearly show us the standards God has given us that define what is acceptable to Him and what is NOT acceptable to Him. They show us what measures up and what falls short of those standards.
The definitions of sin in the Bible are NOT simply chance do’s and don'ts. They instead show us the way God lives and the way that He wants us to live! They show the spiritual values by which He lives, and my friend it is the same standard of conduct He expects His human creations to live by.
Transgressing the Law of God
What are the boundaries and standards God has set for us that define sin?
1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. (KJV) . . . This is the most basic definition of sin. Here God defines a boundary for mankind
Romans 7:11-14 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. 12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. 13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. (KJV) . . . Breaking that law is crossing that divine limit God set for us. Sin is an active, willful violation of God's laws and basic moral principles. This refers to actions that are in deliberate rebellion against those laws, deliberately trampling on and rejecting God’s boundary.
Deuteronomy 30:15-16 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;
16 In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. (KJV) . . . God gave humanity His laws to show us His kind of love. Those laws describe how we should demonstrate love to God and our fellowman.
Matthew 22:36-40 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (KJV) . . . Breaking this down follows:
Matthew 22:36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? (KJV)
Master, which is the great commandment in the law? . . . the scribe calls Him "Master” which means Rabbi or doctor, just as the Sadducees had in (Mat.22:24), either because Jesus was usually called so by His disciples and by the majority of the people; or just to gain His attention to him and his question.
Matthew 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. (KJV)
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind . . . Mark 12:29-30 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. (KJV) . . . Mark says that Jesus began His answer by referring to the doctrine of the unity of God, "Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord" (Deut.6:4). This was most likely said because all TRUE obedience depends on the correct knowledge of God. NO one can keep His commandments IF they are not acquainted with His nature, His perfections and His right to demand obedience.
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart . . . meaning that we MUST love Him supremely, more than all other beings and/or things (Mat.10:37-38), and with all the passion possible. We must be dedicated to Him. To love Him with all the heart is to secure our affections totally on Him, being willing to give up all that we hold dear at His command, if it were ever to come to that.
And with all thy soul . . . all our life, meaning to be willing to give our life to Him, and to devote our life to His service. We must be willing to live for Him, and to be willing to die for Him IF He so commands. This is rare in America, so far! But I see it getting closer and closer. Chaplains are forbidden to name the Name of Jesus to the military! This is absurd! The Name of Jesus is the ONLY Thing that can save them! Mark 8:38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. (KJV)
Luke 9:26 For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels. (KJV) . . . BEWARE!!! Refusing to name the Name of Jesus . . . is being ashamed of Him!
And with all thy mind . . . we must submit our intellect and understanding to His will. We must love His Law and Gospel more than we do any decisions for self. We must be willing to submit all our ability to His teaching and guidance. We must be willing to devote to Him all our academic achievements, and all the results of our educated efforts.
With all thy strength . . . as is in Mark’s version, which I am adding here, meaning with all the ability and power of body and soul. We should labor and strive for His honor and His glory, being willing to make Jesus the great Object of all our efforts. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God: (Deut.6:5; 11:1; 19:9; Mat.22:37; Mk.12:30; Lk.10:27).
Matthew 22:38 This is the first and great commandment. (KJV)
This is the first and great commandment . . . this commandment is found in: Deut. 6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. (KJV) . . . It is the first and greatest of all; it is first, not in order of time, but of importance.
It is greatest in all of the following:
#1. In its antiquity; being as old as the world, and engraved originally on our very nature, IF we were to admit it.
#2. In distinction; as directly and immediately being chief and referring to God.
#3. In excellence; being the #1 commandment of the new covenant, and the very power of our Divine adoption, into God's family.
#4. In justice and fairness; because it, and it alone renders to God His due, prefers Him above ALL things, and secures His proper position in relation to mankind.
#5. In sufficiency; for it, and it alone is capable of making men holy in this life, and happy in the one to come.
#6. In fruitfulness; because it is the basis, the foundation, the origin, the root and the source, of ALL the other commandments, and the fulfilling of the Law.
#7. No other commandment is higher in value and effectiveness; because by this alone, God reigns in the heart of man, and man is united to God.
#8. In optimism; for it brings hope to mankind, for eternal life can be expected from Almighty God.
#9. In necessity; for it is absolutely crucial, indispensable, important and vital.
#10. In duration; for it shall always be continued here on Earth, and never to be discontinued in Heaven.
Matthew 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (KJV)
And the second is like unto it . . . Jesus says that there is a second, but not a third, in importance of commandments. This is suggested in opposition to the multitude of commandments in the Law, according to the Jews, who think there are in all 613, of which 365 are negative ones. Isaiah 33:15 He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; (KJV) . . . Isaiah reduces the Jews' 613 laws to 6 here, while Habakkuk reduses the 613 to ONE! Habakkuk 2:4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. (KJV) . . . We are here interested in what Jesus says! Christ reduces all their laws to just two, love God and love your neighbor as yourself.
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. . . Leviticus 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD. (KJV) . . . Where do you stand when you apply this to your life? I know I fall short! If you are honest, you will admit that you too come short of the glory of God. Our Lord is very specific with this man. He says, "You want to know which is the greatest commandment, and I tell you that it is to love God is the greatest commandment, and to love your neighbor is the next greatest." The first command sums up what man owes to God; the second is what man owes to his fellow-man. Anyone who loves God supremely will NOT live in disobedience to Him. Anyone who loves his neighbor as himself, will seek to do right to all those around him. Man is a creature cut out for love; thus it is the law written in the heart “the law of love.” Love is a short and sweet word; and if love is the fulfilling of the Law, the yoke (Mat.11:29-30) of the command is very easy. Love is rest and satisfaction of the soul, and IF we walk in love, we shall find rest. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: (Lev.19:18; Mat.5:43; 19:19; 22:39; Mk.12:31; Lk.10:27; Rom.13:9; Gal.5:14; Jam.2:8).
Matthew 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (KJV)
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets . . . in reality, these two commandments summarize the entire Mosaic Law and the Prophets. IF we love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and love our neighbor as ourselves, we will NEVER do any harm to anyone. Jesus’ answer was SO clear and SO accurate that if the Pharisees had been honest, they would have told Him that they had fallen short and that the Law could not save them. At this time the Lord Jesus, their Saviour, was ever so close to the Cross. The logic is clearly this, that ALL the commandments that are in the Law and the Prophets are consistent with, and dependent upon these two commandments that Jesus gives us here. These two commandments cover the whole Old Testament! They are OUR Law!
1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. (KJV) . . . Sin is violation of that law of love. God showed us a way to live in peace and harmony with Him and with mankind and defined this way of life by His law. When we sin, we violate or transgress that boundary and break God's law.
1 John 5:17-a All unrighteousness is sin:. . . . . . . (KJV). . . SO plain! All unrighteousness is sin!
This topic brings MANY articles on sin,
how we can overcome sin, and how we can have
Victory Over Sin
Victory Over Sin
Applying JESUS'S Victory
Beware of Apostate Preachers
Bible Definition of Sin
Biblical Victory Over Sin
Boundaries of sin, What Are They?
King Davis Was a Sinner, Just Like You and Me
BEWARE . . . Ecumenism, Yolking With Satan . . . BEWARE
Evils of Neo Evangelism
God's Rules on Sin
How Narrow Is the Narrow Way?
How to Gain Victory Over Sin
How to Overcome
Important Bible Verses
Living Godly Is NOT Easy!
Must Be Sincere, to Have Victory Over Sin
Victory Over Sin,Even fot the Chief of Sinners
Victory Over Sin, Forgiveness
Victory Over Sin Misunderstood
Victory Over Sin, Overcoming Sin
Victory Over Sin, Reasons Not to Sin
Victory Over Sin, Rewards For Overcoming
Victory Over Sin, Sin Defined
Victory Over Sin, Sin Must Be Punished
Victory, Struggling Wit Sin
Victory, Taking a Biblical Stand
Victory, Universal Nature of Sin
Victory, Understanding What Sin Is
Victory, Unrighteousness, What Is It?
Victory, Ways to Achieve It!
Weighing Sins, Does God Do That?
WHAT Is Sin?
WHY Must We Be Punished?
World Will Rejoice, Believers Will Have Sorrow