Knowing if something is a sin or not can be difficult sometimes, especially when there are different opinions, preferences, or situations involved. However, the Bible gives us some clear and reliable ways to define and identify what sin is and what it is not.
Sin is not based on our own opinions, feelings, or preferences, nor the opinions, feelings, or preferences of others. Sin is not determined by what makes us happy or unhappy or by what is popular or unpopular in society. Sin is not relative or subjective, but absolute and objective.
Sin is based on God’s Word, which is His revelation of His holy character and His perfect will for us. Sin is anything that goes against God’s Word, either by breaking His commands or by ignoring His principles. Sin is lawlessness, which means living without regard for God’s authority and standards. Sin is rebellion, which means rejecting God’s rule and relationship in our lives.
Therefore, to know if something is a sin or not, we need to compare it with God’s Word and see if it aligns with His truth and His purpose for us. We need to ask ourselves questions like:
• Does it honor God and glorify Him?
• Does it reflect God’s love and holiness?
• Does it edify ourselves and others?
• Does it promote peace and justice?
• Does it agree with the teachings and examples of Jesus Christ and His apostles?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, then we can conclude that the thing is a sin or leads to sin. If the answer to all of these questions is yes, then we can conclude that the thing is not a sin or helps us avoid sin.
However, sometimes we may not find a direct or clear answer in God’s Word about a specific issue or situation. In such cases, we need to apply some general principles that can help us discern God’s will and avoid sin. Some of these principles are:
• The principle of conscience: We should listen to our conscience, which is the inner voice that tells us right from wrong. However, we should also make sure that our conscience is informed and guided by God’s Word and Spirit, not by our feelings or opinions. The Bible says, “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin” (James 4:17).
• The principle of faith: We should act in faith, which means trusting in God and His promises, even when we do not see or understand them fully. However, we should also make sure that our faith is based on God’s Word and Spirit, not on our assumptions or expectations. The Bible says, “But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin” (Romans 14:23).
• The principle of love: We should act in love, which means seeking the best for God and others, even at the cost of ourselves. However, we should also make sure that our love is defined and directed by God’s Word and Spirit, not by our desires or emotions. The Bible says, “Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:10).
These are some of the ways that we can know if something is a sin or not, according to the Bible. However, the best way to know if something is a sin or not is by studying the Word of God for yourself. The Bible teaches that the Word of God is the ultimate authority when it comes to discerning right from wrong. It provides guidance and wisdom on various moral issues, helping individuals understand what constitutes a sin and what doesn’t. By immersing oneself in the scriptures and seeking God’s guidance, one can develop a deeper understanding of His will and make informed decisions regarding sin.
Therefore, I suggest that you continue studying and seeking guidance from trusted spiritual leaders or mentors who can provide further insight and understanding on how to navigate the complexities of love and sin through God’s teachings. Additionally, prayer and reflection can also help us discern God’s will and align our actions with His perfect love.
Some people say, “My sin was not specifically this or that.” Please know that God looks at the heart and intentions behind our actions. He is not just concerned with the specific actions themselves, but also with the motives and attitudes that drive them. It is important to remember that God’s grace and forgiveness are available to all who sincerely seek them, regardless of the specific sins committed. Therefore, it is crucial to approach Him with humility, repentance, and a genuine desire to change our ways. Through His love and guidance, we can find redemption and transformation in our lives.
Final thoughts for knowing if something is a sin or not:
To navigate the complexities of love and sin in accordance with God’s teachings, or to know if something is a sin or not, it is important to develop a personal understanding through studying the Bible. By immersing ourselves in God’s word, we can gain insights into discerning what actions align with His perfect love and what may be considered sinful. Prayer and meditation should also be embraced as powerful tools to seek God’s guidance and align our actions with His will. With these practices, we can deepen our understanding and make informed choices in our journey of faith.