“For all have sinned, and come (fall) short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). What does this passage really mean? How does one actually define the word “sin?”
According to the dictionary, “sin” is defined “as a transgression of theological principles. It is an act, thought, or way of behaving that goes against the law or teachings of a religion, especially when the person who commits it is aware of this.” In Christian theology, “sin” is defined “as the condition of being denied God's grace because of a sin or sins committed.” According to Strong’s Concordance with Hebrew and Greek Lexicon, the word “sin” is defined as “to be without a share in; to miss the mark; to err, be mistaken; to miss or wander from the path of uprightness and honor, to do or go wrong; to wander from the law of God, violate God's law, sin; that which is done wrong, sin, an offence, a violation of the divine law in thought or in act; or collectively, the complex or aggregate of sins committed either by a single person or by many.”
When we think of sin, we usually define it as personal sin, which may be one of “commission” (doing something that is prohibited) or one of “omission” (failing to do what is required of you). This sin may also express itself in either an act or attitude, for example, going astray like a wandering sheep doing one’s own thing, by transgressing or overstepping the law, or by trespassing. These definitions brings to mind the following questions; What sin does a baby who is born, takes one breath, then dies commit? What did the baby do that was prohibited? What did the baby fail do that was required of him or her? What sin did this baby commit? This is when it dawn on us that we may need to rethink the definition or meaning for this word “sin.” Could there be an alternative definition?
Yes, it dawned on us that there could be another definition or meaning for the word “sin.” We believe the phrase; “All have sinned” referred to a point in time when everyone sinned. The only time that this could be referring to had to be back in the beginning, in the beginning of God’s creation. The phrase actually points to the very moment when all were in one man, Adam. You see, when Adam fell, the entire human race was “constituted or formally established as sinners.” We know from scripture that it was “by one man’s disobedience that many were made sinners” (Romans 5:19).
Adam’s disobedience resulted in the human race being plunged into sin, leading to the imputation of sin. The word “impute” is defined as “to attribute (especially, a fault or misconduct) to another; charge with; ascribe; to ascribe (goodness or guilt) to a person as coming from another.” This imputation of sin took place when Adam sinned and the original sin was charged to every person’s account that came after him.
“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12).
Sin entered into the world by one man’s action, it entered into the world because of what Adam did. It was this sin that was imputed or charged to “all” because we “all” are connected with Adam’s race. And because of this act, death followed and was passed on to every man as well. So, this brings us back to an earlier set of questions. What sin does a baby who is born, takes one breath, then dies, commit? What did the baby do that was prohibited? What did the baby fail do that was required of him or her? What sin did this baby commit? The very sad fact that infants sometimes die demonstrates that even infants are impacted by Adam’s sin, since physical and spiritual death were the results of Adam's original sin. Therefore, the only sin that the baby in this case is guilty of is the sin that was passed down to him or her by Adam, the father of mankind.
Hopefully, we all now have a better understanding on this thing called “sin.” Previously, we mentioned that we are not sinners because we commit and/or practice sin; we are sinners because of the sin nature that was created and passed down by Adam when he fell. And because we have this sin nature, we are also born to die, because death came as a result of the sin. It is by accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and savior, that we have a new nature that was created and passed down by Christ’s obedience. It is having this new nature that brings life everlasting. Just as our sin nature was given to us by Adam, a righteous nature is made available to “all” by Jesus Christ.
As always, we pray that our inspirational message will abundantly bless you, greatly inform you, and that you will be that much better for having read it. If you are blessed by this message, please share so that others may be blessed as well. Be a blessing to others. Amen.
Enjoy your blessings - KW