Question: Hi, I was wondering if it states in the bible, if there are sins that are greater than others? Or is every sin considered the same in Gods eyes no matter the severity?
Answer: Nichole, that is a great question. It is commonly believed a sin is a sin no matter the offense. However, we are going to find out all sins are not the same.
Please turn your Bible with me to,
For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
This verse is commonly cited to document all sins are the same, but that is not what this verse is talking about.
Continue reading with me.
For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.
The entire point here is once we sin, no matter the sin, we have failed God and become a transgressor of God’s Law. “Transgressor” simply meaning a “violator” or “breaker” of God’s Law.
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.
These verses help us understand, as an example, how a guy stealing food is likened to a murderer. The crimes are very different, the punishment is very different. However, the commonality is both individuals broke God’s Law, and both have become transgressors of the Law.
Once we break any one of God’s Laws, we fall short of His Glory, and that is why it is counted as breaking all of His Laws. We must present ourselves perfectly to God. If it were not for Jesus Christ, that would be impossible. We have all sinned, yet Christ provides a way for us to be cleansed of our sins and have them erased from the Book, (1 John 1:8-10 ).
Now I want to talk about the severity of sins, including the example I explained above. Turn with me to,
Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry.
Now it is never okay to steal alright?
However, we are being told if a guy steals so he can feed himself (and his family) in order to live to see another day, do not treat him with contempt. He is still going to be punished though.
But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house.
The thief still committed the crime and broke God’s Law, so he must be punished by repaying whatever he took seven times over.
What happens to the murderer?
He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death.
“Smiteth” can mean “murderer” here, and that is what we are talking about. Essentially, a murderer is someone who kills without a cause. These people are to be put to death so they cannot commit these crimes again, and it makes a great example out of them before everyone else.
Both of these ol boys broke God’s Law, but we can see the punishment is very, very different. This helps us understand all sin is not the same, neither is the punishment, and God sees them very differently.
In John 19:11 Jesus Himself stated, “he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin” while speaking with Pontius Pilate. Christ clearly indicated one sin can be worse than another sin.
Then we have Revelation 20:13 and Jeremiah 25:14 among many other verses that explain we are judged by our works. Judged by our good or bad works I might add.
Listen to the words of Jesus Christ.
And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
Hey, if all we have are rotten wicked works, if all we have are sins then we are going to be judged very harshly by God. However, if we have righteous works, we are going to be richly blessed by God, even if we fell short along the way. As long as we ceased our sin, and asked God to forgive us.
All of these verses document for us, all sins are not the same. Each sin is treated separately with a punishment that matches the sin.