Biblical Principle #10: Sin is Unrighteousness

Biblical Principles List


Sin is unrighteousness.


Thus far, we have previously established the following biblical principles:

  1. GOD created everything.
  2. GOD designed the whole of creation to operate a certain specific way.
  3. GOD is holy. He is righteous and everything He does is right.
  4. GOD is just. He consistently judges righteously without respect for human accomplishments, money, power or preference.

While GOD represents everything that is right, good, and correct, the antithesis of GOD is sin.

The Greek word that is translated “sin” is ἁμαρτία. Properly speaking, this word means “to miss the mark.” Logically, sin is the concept of (moral / ethical) failure, guilt, and falling short.

Basically, sin is anything and everything that does not align with GOD’s expectations. Said differently, if GOD designed an order to His creation, sin is the act of behaving in a way that is counter or inconsistent with that designed order.

Sin is one of the most frequently discussed concepts in the Scriptures. In fact, the whole point of Scripture is GOD revealing His will for man so that we can know Him, become like Him and ultimately live with Him.

The apostle John put it succinctly:

17 all unrighteousness is sin …

1 John 5:17 YLT

Sin comes in two basic categories:

  • Behaving wrongly.
  • Failing to behave rightly.

Sin may be intentional (conscientiously and knowingly) or unintentional (without awareness or intent). Intentional sin is referred to as rebellion because it is willful disobedience of what GOD has commanded. But even though a person may not know they have done wrong, GOD still considers it sin. For instance, under the Law of Moses, GOD commanded:

17 “Now if a soul should sin and do anything against the Lord’s commandments, though he may not know it, nevertheless, he trespassed and shall bear his guilt.

Leviticus 5:17 OSB

Note that it is GOD and GOD alone who determines that which is righteous and that which is sinful. As much as you and I may disagree with GOD’s assessment, ultimately, it is only GOD’s opinion that matters. He is the all powerful One, the righteous One and He gets the final say. Our protests are meaningless in the final evaluation.

We may not like this fact, but it is reality. We are the clay and He is the Potter. He made us. He has the right to determine how we should live and what should happen when His laws and principles are violated.

Biblical Principles List


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