What does the Bible say about sin?

The Bible tells us that God created us to enjoy life, especially in friendship with Him. But true friendship is not something that can be manipulated or forced. Instead, God gave us wills and freedom of choice. We are capable of saying “yes” to Him, but also “no.” This is what the Bible means when it says that God made us in His image (Genesis 1:27).

Sadly, the first man and woman chose to say “no” to Him—to distrust His motives and His promises and to disobey Him. We still make this choice today. This breaks our relationship with God.

To ignore God, or to substitute other gods for Him, the Bible calls sin. The heart of sin is the desire to live a life independent of the one true God, the God of the Bible. The Bible says:

“All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own” (Isaiah 53:6a).

“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard” (Romans 3:23).

“Yes, [people] knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused….Instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and reptiles” (Romans 1:21, 23).

Because God loves everyone, He requires us to love other people and not do them harm. “Love your neighbor as yourself,” God commands (Leviticus 19:18). When we push God away, ignore Him, or give loyalty to someone or something else, including ourselves, God allows us to go our own way. But when we sin against God like this, the sin clouds our judgment so that we live selfish and ignorant lives that hurt other people.

The result is costly. Not only do we injure others, we hurt ourselves because our relationship with God is broken. “It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore” (Isaiah 59:2). Not only do you lose the benefits of your friendship with God in your present life, your future is grim. Without God in your life, you are lost to Him and He is lost to you. This condition is called spiritual death. “But the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23a).

See also “am I good enough for heaven?

do I need forgiveness?”,

"is the Bible true?”)