Answers

By   •   June 1, 2004   •   Topics:

Q:

Are all sins the same in God’s eyes?


A:

It is always difficult and dangerous to attempt to list sins according to their degree of seriousness. In one sense, all sins are equal in that they all separate us from God. The Bible’s statement, “For the wages of sin is death …” (Romans 6:23), applies to all sin, whether in thought, word, or deed.

At the same time, it seems obvious that some sins are worse than others in both motivation and effects, and should be judged accordingly. Stealing a loaf of bread is vastly different than exterminating a million people. Sins may also differ at their root.

Theologians have sought for centuries to determine what the essence of sin is. Some have chosen sensuality, others selfishness, and still others pride or unbelief. In the Old Testament, God applied different penalties to different sins, suggesting variations in the seriousness of some sins. A thief paid restitution; an occult practitioner was cut off from Israel; one who committed adultery or a homosexual act or cursed his parents was put to death (see Exodus, chapter 22 and Leviticus, chapter 20).

In the New Testament Jesus said it would be more bearable on the day of judgment for Sodom than for Capernaum because of Capernaum’s unbelief and refusal to repent after witnessing His miracles (Matthew 11:23-24). The sins of Sodom were identified in Ezekiel 16:21 as arrogance, gluttony, indifference to the poor and needy, haughtiness, and “detestable things.”

When Jesus spoke of his second coming and judgment, he warned that among those deserving punishment some would “be beaten with many blows” and others “with few blows” (Luke 12:47-48). He also reserved His most fierce denunciations for the pride and unbelief of the religious leaders, not the sexually immoral (Matthew 23:13-36).

However, remember that whether our sins are relatively small or great, they will place us in hell apart from God’s grace. The good news is that Jesus paid the penalty for our sins and the sins of the whole world at the Cross. If we will repent and turn to Jesus in faith, our sins will be forgiven, and we will receive the gift of eternal life.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published but you will receive our next BGEA ministry update. You can opt out of future emails at any time.

6 Comments

  1. Vinny Losciale says:

    I thought this was excellent! I am a pastor and I was just thinking on this subject and came up with this same conclusion. Thanks for publishing!

  2. Tyler says:

    Do our sins separate us from God? Or do we separate ourselves from God? Genesis 3 shares how Adam and Eve sinned against God, but God went looking for them. They chose to hide. Their sin didn’t make them hide, but they made the decision and God went to search for them. Just a thought.

    1. Mark Notz says:

      @Tyler, both! We do indeed, through guilt, anxiety, etc separate ourselves from God. But sin has consequences, eternal separation from God. Jesus bridged the gap through his death burial and resurrection!

  3. Michael D Hornsby says:

    I was brought up to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ..We didn’t attend church regularly..I lived a comfortable Christian life..Which I know wasn’t right..I just want to live in Gods word now and Walk with him..I need God everyday for I know I will sin and fall short…

  4. poppy says:

    Very helpful..the last paragraph is so true,our sins separate us from christ

  5. Lloyd tumbo says:

    Well am so happy because most of my questions have been answered and i truely thank God for that, well i still have many other questions which all come from the very same bible and i would really like your help on that… I don’t know how you can help me….