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Are All Sins the Same?

If you are living in any of these sins, Scripture encourages us, “If we confess of our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Confess your sins to God. Don’t let any sin go unconfessed and unrepented of.

B. Some sins lead to death, some sins do not lead to death:

1 John 5:16 mentions that some sins “lead to death” and some sins “do not lead to death.”

This is a surprising statement, and is not often shared in Protestant circles (of which I am part).

But we shouldn’t neglect to see that some sins are more grievous in their consequences on our own lives, the lives of others around us and even, as this Scripture shows, to the heart of God.

C. God especially hates six or seven sins:

Proverbs 6:16-19 tells us, “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.”

D. Christians are called to judge some people:

This might shock some people, but the Bible actually tells us to judge some people!

While we are not called to judge people outside the church (Matthew 7:1), 1 Corinthians 5:12 tells us there is a place for warning, challenging and urging fellow Christians away from a lifestyle of sin.

We are called to warn, urge, encourage, help and patiently work to point other Christians away from sin and toward God (see 1 Thessalonians 5:14). We are called to inspire other Christians to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24).

With this said, we have to be careful of judging other people, because we ourselves all “stumble in many ways” (James 4:2), but there is a place for warning, urging, exhorting, and lovingly and graciously calling people to freedom in Christ!

E. Different sins have different consequences:

While any sin separates us from a holy God, there are clearly different consequences to different sins here on earth.

If you gossip about someone, you are sinning, and may ruin a friendship, but if you have an extra-marital affair, much more, and much deeper, emotional, spiritual and physical damage is done to many more relationships.

Driving past the speed limit clearly has less spiritual, relational, physical and emotional consequences than a mass murderer, taking innocent lives.

Scripture even speaks of different consequences to different sins, saying in 1 Corinthians 6:18, “All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.” The effects of sexual sin are different, and more harmful to us personally than other sins.

It says of having sex promiscuously, “Do you not know he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”

What does all this mean? Sexual sin has greater consequences on our own body, and if someone unites themselves in sexual relations, there are deeper things happening than just the physical.

Jesus also taught that causing a little child to stumble is especially grievous, and it would be better for those who cause children to sin to have a millstone around their neck and be thrown into the sea (see Mark 9:42). Scripture does not speak like this when relating to other kinds of sins.

F. Even if we committed no other sin:

D.L. Moody has rightly said that, “The greatest sin of all is not believing in the Way God has made for us in Jesus.”

Even if we committed no other sin, all that is needed is to trample the grace of God underfoot and remain in our condemnation by unbelief (see John 3:18; 1 John 2:23).

No matter the sins we have committed, God is for us and has given everything in his Son Jesus on the cross to cover our sins. He is wooing us to come to Him and find forgiveness of all our sins.

When we come to Jesus in faith, all our sins are wiped clean, we are washed white as snow (Isaiah 1:18), and our sins are obliterated and forever forgotten by God (Psalms 103:12).  

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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.