All Sin Is the Same
In last week’s FP&P, I wrote about the differences between sins. In Num 15:22–31, Moses mentions an “unintentional” sin and a “high-handed” sin. I wrote that sins committed with “high handedness” are worse in God’s eyes than sins committed “unintentionally.”
This week I would like to balance last week’s discussion by exploring the similarity between sins. Scripture teaches that, in some sense, all sin is the same. James 2:10 reads,
“For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it.”
Regardless of how “big” a sin someone commits or how “small”—whether it’s armed robbery or little white lie—sin is sin. James teaches that, if we sin at all, we are guilty before God. We incur His judgment for any and every sin. James states this in the next verse:
"If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor
of the law."
James’ point is not that all those who commit adultery also commit murder, or vice versa. Instead, his point is that both the adulterer and the murderer are guilty before God.
Scripture teaches these two ideas: in some sense, not all is the same; but in another sense, all sin is the same. One of my favorite seminary professors, Thomas Constable, puts it way better than I could:
“Not all sins are equally serious, in that the consequences of some sins are greater than
others, but all sins are equally serious, in that any sin is a violation of God's will.”
Praise God we received grace despite our sins—big, small, and everywhere in between.