- As a relational breach – Gen 2-3 where because of their sin our 1st parents are separated from God and one another; they hide from God and one another fear God, blame one another, and seek to cover their sin and shame while living their life apart from God
- As a social matter because shalom (peace) has been vandalized – evidenced by murder, perversion, drunkenness, which precipitates the flood
- As covenantal rebellion against God and his authority (EX 32-34) – where after God’s liberation of His people they dishonor, disregard and disobey Him.
- As a legal transgression that results in guilt that necessitates punishment (Deut 32)
- It results in ritual uncleanness, pollution, and filth, marked by the use of words such as filth, defiled, unclean, and whore.
- It also includes emotional pain such as shame and disgrace – Gen 3
- It is spoken of in historical terms as an accumulating burden whereby sin is piled up from one generation to the next
- And sin is spoken of with the finality of death.
In the New Testament sin is described and define in several ways as well:
- Harmartia – missing the mark – refers to the innumerable ways we fall short of God’s standard.
- Paraptoma – to trespass – crossing a line of God’s law,
- Parabasis – disobedience and transgression – refers to evil intent whereby someone defiantly chooses to disobey God and thus sin, knowing full well what they’re doing.
- Asebeias – speaks of a sinner’s active character of rebellion whereby they act as if there is no God and/or if they were their own God and the highest authority in their life.
Understanding how the Bible describes and defines sin should do several things in the mind of a believer: (1) cause us to flee from sin and take radical approaches to not sin and (2) invoke a deep-seated humility and gratitude for Christ saving us while we were yet sinners that produces a life of worship.
Praise Jesus that He saved a messed up sinner like me.