Principle 29: Sin

This entry is part 25 of 98 in the series Principles

It may seem strange that I list sin as a principle. The problem with this word is that the true meaning has been lost and this has caused the principle to be lost. In today’s religious world sin is now a fact rather than a principle. Ministers see sin as the idea that we are all sinners and that is that. Jesus will save us if we just believe.

So what is the real meaning of sin and the principle in countering it?

The orthodox Christian view of sin is that it involves breaking the laws given out by God.

The scripture says: “Sin is the transgression of the law.” John 3:4

“The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.” Cor 15:56

For instance, one of the Ten Commandments says to not steal. If you steal you are therefore transgressing the law and thus you commit sin. Sounds pretty simple and cut and dried. Not quite.

To understand sin we have to look below the surface at the principles involved and first ask this question.

What negative effect does one suffer from sin? Forget about the next world for now, for there is no way to prove what happens there, but we do understand effects from our own experience in this life. How does the sinner suffer in the here and now?

Outside of repercussions of the effects of our actions the main suffering comes from guilt. When a person feels he has violated the law of God he suffers from this.

So what is it about sin that creates the guilt?

It is this. When a person accepts a word or command as coming from God, or a strong authority, and then violates that will, guilt is a natural effect. Thus if he violates a commandment as seen coming from God or a parent figure he can feel guilt.

The strange thing that few consider is this point. The command does not have to come from God to create guilt. It can (and usually does) come from an outside authority who is a substitute for God. For a small child this can be a parent but for the grownups it is some human authority who claims to know God’s will and speaks on his behalf.

When a person becomes subject to such an authority then anything he says becomes the law and any violation becomes sin (in his mind) and produces guilt. If the authority tells him that it is God’s will he not eat peas then eating peas will be a sin to him and produce guilt.

We can see this principle at play with the Mormons. The prophet, who they believe speaks for God, tells them God doesn’t want them to drink coffee. A Mormon who thus drinks any amount of coffee violates the law of God (in his mind), sins and feels guilt when he drinks it. On the other hand, a Methodist recognizes no such authority, sees no sin in drinking coffee and feels no guilt.

Since humans do not receive laws directly from a heavenly being we must receive them from some earthly authority. Unfortunately, this substitution of an earthly authority for the voice of God is the Beast as mentioned in the Book of Revelation.

When the scriptures talk about Jesus saving us from our sins the real meaning of this is that he came to release us from the power of human authorities that produce guilt, which pain of guilt can follow us to the next world. He also came to release us from sin as it was defined in his time.

The word sin comes from the Greek word HAMARTANO which means “to miss the mark.” In other words when the Greeks, 2000 years ago, shot at a target with an arrow and missed they “sinned” (HAMARTANO) or missed the target. Therefore, to sin is to make an error. Jesus came to correct our errors which is to save us from our sins. One of the biggest errors that we fall prey to is the acceptance of an outward authority as speaking for God, thus creating many unnecessary laws that result in guilt and pain.

Notice how Jesus attempted to correct this false idea:

“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matt 22:37-40

So on what hangs all the law and the prophets? The law of love.

What does this mean?

It means that if you are motivated within from true spiritual love that you will automatically follow all the laws of God and guilt will have no power over you. He who is motivated by love needs no commands or law from outer authority for he has the law written in his heart as predicted in scripture:

“After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, (no more outward authorities) and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD.” Jeremiah 31:33-34

True salvation from sin comes from the realization that sin is merely an error which can be corrected by listening to the inner voice of God that speaks to the heart and mind.

True salvation from sin is given in this verse:

“And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written IN THEIR FOREHEADS.” Rev 14:1

The key to escaping guilt from sin is to realize that the Father, God, is in your forehead or within your own mind. You escape the outward authorities trying to control you by replacing them with your true source which is God within yourself. It is as Jesus said, “the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:21.


Copyright 2014 by J J Dewey

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