What is sin? Sin is the transgression of the Law

March 17, 2016
Faith matters

Most Christians (Churchians) believe that sin is doing something that you feel bad about in your heart. And although in part it's true, it's a dangerous and incorrect definition. Let me show you why.

It's not possible to define sin based on feelings

If sin was all about what we feel in our hearts we would never know when we sin.

Suppose someone did to you something that you feel bad about in your heart. The other person, however, doesn't feel bad about it in his heart. So did he sin against you or not? He may have hurt you, but did he sin?

Some gay people say that they feel good about what they're doing. Does this good feeling in their hearts change the fact that gay sex is a sin?

What an abomination!

Muslims rape and murder women in the name of Islam. They don't feel bad about it in their hearts. Does this good feeling in their hearts change the fact that murder is a sin?

There could be nothing further from the truth!

You see there must be some kind of universally true map that we can apply to defining sin, or we'd be walking in the darkness based on how each person feels about an act in their hearts.

Yahuah saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of man’s heart was continually only evil.

- Genesis 6:5

How can we define what's sin based on our own imagination and thoughts of our hearts if Yahuah said these are continually evil?

Sin is the transgression of the Law

Everyone who sins also commits lawlessness. Sin is lawlessness.

1 John 3:4 (WEB)

Other translations read "sin is the transgression of the law" or "breaking God's law".

Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God.

- 1 John 3:4 (NLT)

Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

- 1 John 3:4 (KJV)

When you transgress the Law and commit lawlessness you'll feel bad about it in your heart. That's for sure. But what defines sin is the Law. If you break the Law you commit sin.

And Yahusha said that those who practice lawlessness will not inherit his Kingdom!

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!

- Matthew 7:21-23 (NKJV)

The Greek word translated to lawlessness or iniquity in this verse is


which is transliterated to English as


Strong's lexicon defines anomia as

ἀνομία anomía, an-om-ee'-ah; from G459; illegality, i.e. violation of law or (genitive case) wickedness:—iniquity, × transgress(-ion of) the law, unrighteousness.

- Blue Letter Bible

Some translations render anomia in this verse as iniquity. Iniquity is a synonym of sin, and we discussed earlier that sin/iniquity is lawlessness (transgression of the Law).

Even secular (worldly) lexicons define sin as breaking the Law. Consider the following:

An immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law

Oxford Dictionaries

an offense against religious or moral law

- Merriam-Webster

transgression of divine law

- Dictionary.com

Now we know that sin is the transgression of the Law. But what is the Law?

The Law is the 5 books of Moses

Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.

- Genesis 26:5

The Law is the English translation of the Hebrew word


transliterated to English as


Torah means Law or Instruction. Generally speaking, the 5 books of Moses (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy) are referred to as the Law.

These books define in great detail what Yahuah considers sin. It gives us a universally true map.

For instance, it defines what adultery is and what isn't. Based on the Law we know that Matthew 5:28 is mistranslated and misinterpreted.

It also defines, homosexuality and murder as a sin,

“‘You shall not lie with a man, as with a woman. That is detestable.

- Leviticus 18:22

We also know that Yahusha, the Son of the Most High was a Jewish man who was fulfilling the Law. He kept the Law in his whole life and never broke it.

For to this you were called, because the Anointed King also suffered for us, leaving you an example, that you should follow his steps, who did not sin, “neither was deceit found in his mouth.”

- 1 Peter 2:21-22

Don’t think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets. I didn’t come to destroy, but to fulfill.

- Matthew 5:17

This is a great video by a Nehemia Gordon who explains in great detail what the Torah is. He also explains why Yahusha fought over the incorrect teachings of the Pharisees about the Law. Some of the revelations are astounding for a person who haven't been brought up in a Jewish environment.

Barnabas Nagy
Barnabas Nagy

I’m Barnabas, a servant of Yahuah, who loves writing songs and speaking about the truth. Together with my lovely wife I run a small homestead where we raise free range organic chicken, ducks and turkey. We also have a garden where we grow seasonal vegetable. Read more