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sin

Source:
A Dictionary of the Bible What is This? Contains accessibly written entries for topics covering the religious, historical, and social aspects of the Bible.

    sin

    In the OT ‘sin’ denotes what is unacceptable (to God or humanity), not necessarily disobedience to God, or rebellion against him (as it is in 1 Kgs. 8: 50); not to be equated with crime, which is an offence against society. Anything wrongly related to God is sin (Rom. 14: 23). Idolatry is therefore the supreme sin (Rom. 1: 23). In the NT one Greek word has the meaning ‘missing the mark’ (John 8: 46; Rom. 5: 12). Another means ‘lawlessness’ (2 Cor. 6: 14) or ‘moral depravity’ (1 John 3: 12). When sin came into the world, it provoked God's wrath (Gen. 3: 24) and it is explained that the fact of death is to be ultimately attributed to sin (Gen. 2: 17). Everybody is infected by sin and its guilt, of pride rather than faith (Rom. 5: 12 ff.). The condition is irreversible by human effort (Rom. 7) and it is only by God's initiative that any change is possible (John 3: 3 ff.). Sin was in principle conquered by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus and we are released from its suffocating power by our being united to him by faith and baptism.

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    Oxford University Press

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