Are All Sins the Same?

My whole life I have heard people say that in the sight of God, all sins are the same. However, I have not found this same sentiment in Scripture.

While we are all the same in many ways, different sins have different kinds of consequences to both man and God. But first, here’s where we are all the same:

We all have the same great need.

The ground is level at the foot of the cross. Meaning, we are all in the same place, being great sinners in need of a great Savior (see Isaiah 53:6). None of us can hold it over another that we are “better” or more spiritual, because were it not for Christ, we would be completely lost. We are all dead in our sins (no matter what kind of sins they are) before Christ raised us to be alive with him, when we put our trust in him (see Colossians 2:13; Ephesians 2:5; Romans 5:6).

Our sins of all kinds disqualify all of us from union and peace with a holy God, yes. Were it not for Christ giving his life, we would have no hope (see Ephesians 2:12).

We cannot overestimate the slightest sin in God’s eyes. To you and me, people are mostly good and worthy, but in the sight of a holy, perfect, blameless Creator, we are all more deeply flawed than we would ever realize, and yet we are more dearly loved by God than we could ever imagine.

Even Christians cannot look down on non-Christians because it is Christ’s work for us, and we are never to boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).

We all have the same great hope.

No matter how terrible our sins might seem in our own eyes, when we lay them at the foot of the cross and put our trust in Christ, we find forgiveness. The power of Christ’s sacrifice is more powerful than any sin imaginable.

God loves each of us so much that he gave everything in his Son that we might be reconciled to Him (see 2 Cor. 5:18).

But Scripture actually does differentiate different kinds of sin.

Statements like “don’t judge others because they sin differently than you” can be potentially harmful and unbiblical.

We are told not to judge non-Christians at all, in the first place (see Matthew 7:1). But Scripture tells us to guide Christians away from sin, even if it is different than what we struggle with (see 1 Corinthians 5:12).

Here are six areas of Scripture that deal with different kinds of sin:

A. Struggling with sin vs. living in sin

When we come to Christ, we die to sin—we cannot live in it any longer (Romans 6:2). There is a difference between struggling with sin and living willfully and comfortably in sin, without seeing a need for repentance.

Galatians 5:19-21 tells us that for “those who live like this”—living in sexual immorality, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, drunkenness, orgies and similar manners, “will not inherit the kingdom of God.” This is a strong statement. It does not mean someone struggles with sin, but has given themselves over. When you come to Christ, you must turn from your sin. 

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Matt Brown
Matt Brown (@evangelistmatt) is an evangelist, author of Awakening and founder of Think Eternity. He and his wife Michelle are impacting millions of people with the gospel each year through live events and online. They also minister to more than a million followers on social media daily.