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I was given an opportunity last year to reply to a list of questions asked of a group of pastors. I want to share a few of these this week and I hope these questions and my answers provoke thought and further study of the Word of God.

Here is today’s Q & A:

Are there degrees of sin?

Proverbs 6:16-19 gives us our first clue, followed by the fact that the OT law gave different punishments for different sins. All sin is wickedness and horrid. All sin earns the wage of death (Rom 6:23). But all sin is not equal in the eyes of God. Some He hates more than others!

These six things the LORD hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren.

The Law, foundationally, teaches us about the character of God. It shows us what mark we have missed (all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God). It reveals His nature. And in His very nature, God reactes differently to some sins.

So while all sin is sin, there are degrees to how sinful a sin is. This can be demonstrated by the fact that there are degrees of differing punishments based upon the sin, degres of what is required to atone for sins when we compare the OT sacrifices, degrees of accountability (James 3:1; Luke 12:48), and even degrees of blessing in heaven and degrees of judgment and punishment in hell (Deut 32:22; Matt 23:15; Ps 62:12; Rom 2:6; 2 Cor 5:10; 1 Cor 3:12-15)

The last and most graphic example of degrees of sin of course is the fact that while Jesus died to forgive the sins of His people there is one sin that is unpardonable! (Matt 12:31-32; Mark 3:28-30; Luke 12:10)

So there are at the very least 2 degrees of sin – forgiveable, and unforgiveable!


November 2008

Honors and Awards

The Baptist Top 1000

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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright
© 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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