(Formerly in Israel, if a man went to inquire of God, he would say, “Come, let us go to the Seer,” because the prophet of today used to be called a Seer. I Samuel 9: 9)
“Just what is sin then?” I asked the Seer. We had been talking about the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the “sin” question had come up.
“Sin is the breaking of the law,” he said (1).
“The Ten Commandments. If you are breaking one of them, then you are in a sinful state. The apostle Paul of Tarsus proves this when he wrote, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet (2). Here he equates sin with breaking one of the Ten Commandments. Coveting or desiring your neighbor’s possessions or wife is a sin, prohibited by the Ten Commandments. There are nine others. Breaking any of them is sinning.”
“But I’ve been taught that sin can be anything from dancing to drinking wine, from getting angry to not doing something that I am supposed to do.”
“Shuffling one’s feet on a hardwood floor does not necessarily mean one is sinning. Remember King David, flooded with complete joy, danced in the streets; he did not sin. The Savior Himself drank wine in the homes of sinners and publicans (3), yet He committed no sin. He also got angry at the moneychangers at the temple, yet without sin.”
“Why don’t the preachers teach this?”
“They either do not know the truth, or they have turned from the truth and continued on in man’s traditions. I do not judge them. We all have a Judge who will examine us in light of the knowledge given us by Him.”
“You mentioned dancing and drinking wine. Why would that not be sinning?”
“God looks on the intents of the heart (4). If dancing is used for sinful and lustful purposes, then it is suspect. Same goes for drinking a glass of fermented grape juice. Righteous indignation is not the same as selfish anger.”
“Sin then is a spiritual condition.”
“Yes. It is a spiritual condition of the heart, of the core of a person. But sin does not have to be permanent in the human being. A ‘new heart’ composed of His Spirit can be transplanted into the human being through repentance and faith toward God (5).” He saw that I had enough to chew on, so he stopped speaking.
I thanked him for the visit and walked away with some answers, but they seemed to germinate and sprout into more questions–questions for another day. Kenneth Wayne Hancock
1. I John 3:4
2. Romans 7: 7
3. Luke 19: 2
4. Hebrew 4:12
5. Ezekiel 36: 26-27