Every sin earns death. Every sin makes the sinner guilty before God (Romans 6:23).
However, the Bible does describe different types of sin. Some theologians have divided these types of sins into involuntary and voluntary sins. An involuntary sin is a sin that we commit because of the weakness of our flesh or because we are ignorant of a law that we are breaking. In other words, these sins are not done deliberately. On the other hand, voluntary sin is done by those who know what they are doing is wrong, but they do it anyway. This type of sin is done intentionally.
Read Matthew 11:21-24; John 19:11; 1 Timothy 1:13; Hebrews 10:26.
Now answer the following question: Agree/disagree: All sins are equal. Explain your answer.
Involuntary sins: weakness or ignorance
Since we all have a sinful nature, every action we take is tainted with sin. Isaiah said, “All our righteous acts are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). We often sin without realizing it. The psalmist says, “Who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults” (Psalm 19:12). Through our own weakness or ignorance of God’s law, we fall into this type of sin daily. Praise God that he rescues us by forgiving us through Jesus!
Read Romans 7:15-25.
Here the apostle Paul talks about how he struggled with this type of sin.
List examples of sins of weakness or ignorance.
What steps can a Christian take to avoid sins of weakness or ignorance?
Dangers of deliberate sin
To know something is wrong and to do it anyway is dangerous, spiritually. The apostle Paul says, “If you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live” (Romans 8:13).
In an attempt to justify sinful behavior, some will say, “God hates the sin but loves the sinner.” Unfortunately, this is a confusion of law and gospel. The law says that God hates sin and the sinner (Psalm 5:5). I need to hear this message to lead me to repentance. The gospel says that God loves the world and me because of Jesus (John 3:16). I need to hear this message when the law has done its work in my heart and convicted me of sin.
Read Psalm 32:5 and Hebrews 10:26-31.
Of what truths would you remind someone who says, “God hates the sin but loves the sinner”?
Author: David Scharf
Volume 108, Number 3
Issue: March 2021
- Psalm 103: When you count your blessings
- Psalm 91: When God lifts you up on his lap
- Psalm 4: When you draw nearer to the end
- Psalm 42: When you ask, “Where is God when I’m hurting?”
- Psalm 32: When you need forgiveness
- Psalm 130: When rocks fall
- Bible study: Freedom in service
- What does this mean for me? Article 6
- Bible study: Spiritual gifts
- What does this mean for me? Article 5
- What does this mean for me? Article 4
- Bible study: Rejoice in your status!
- Bible study: Baptismal blessings
- What does this mean for me? Article 3
- What does this mean for me? Article 2
- Bible study: Gifts of tongues and miraculous healing
- What does this mean for me? Article 1
- Bible study: Jesus is everyone’s Savior
- Bible study: Love one another
- Bible study: Above all things!
- Bible study: The comfort of God’s providence
- The book of James: Waiting for Christ’s return
- Bible study: Precious grace
- The book of James: Active in using prayer
- Bible study: Rewards of grace
- The book of James: Active in showing love
- The book of James: Correctly evaluating riches
- Bible study: What’s going to happen on the Last Day?
- The book of James: Avoiding loveless judging
- Bible study: Interpretation practice
- The book of James: Taming the tongue
- Bible study: The Bible’s attributes
- Bible study: The importance of the family altar
- Bible study: God’s attitude is grace
- Bible study: The Bible’s account of Easter morning
- Bible study: Different types of sin
- Bible study: God’s inspiration
- Bible study: Giving God glory
- Bible study: Judge for yourself
- The book of James: Using the Word of Truth
- Bible study: The need for the Bible and worship
- Bible study: Citizens of two kingdoms
- The book of James: Active in good works
- The book of James: When battling temptation
- Bible study: God cares
- Bible study: God made the world
- The book of James: When facing trials
- Bible study: A loving God saved people from hell
- The book of James: A blueprint for living out our life of faith
- A Bible story just for me: Guilt
- Bible study: God provides victory over death!
- A Bible story just for me: Anxiety
- Bible study: God forgives and refuses to remember our sins
- A Bible story just for me: Grief
- Bible study: God helps those who cannot help themselves
- A Bible story just for me: Depression
- Bible study: God has not grown soft on sin
- Bible study: Only one path leads to God’s presence
- A Bible story just for me: Trauma
- A Bible story just for me
- Bible study: God wants me in heaven
- Bible study: The incarnation of our Lord