I recently saw an interesting meme on a Facebook’s friend’s timeline, promoting pro-choice and abortion:
“This isn’t about abortion. It’s about people having options, and everyone else minding his own business. If it does not affect you directly, it’s not your business.”
The meme’s words caused me to ask myself, “Do my personal sins affect my neighbors’ lives?”
Let’s begin seeking answers to this question by looking at the various types of sin in the Bible.
Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation. (Exodus 34:7)
The Bible separates sin into three specific types: sin, transgression and iniquity.
Although the word sin can be used as a generic catchall word for all three types, its biblical definition really means “missing the mark,” as an archer’s arrow misses its target.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)
Basic sin is disobedience to God’s commands and His word, but usually without willful intent. Examples of sin: losing your temper with your spouse, getting caught up in gossip with your neighbor, exaggerating your importance at work to a new employee and so forth.
All basic sins can easily be reconciled by asking forgiveness of the Lord and if needed, the person involved.
The word transgression means revolt or rebellion and is willful disobedience of God’s commands.
And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression (1Timothy 2:14)
Eve knew that God had commanded them not to eat the fruit of the tree of good and evil, but she rebelled and did it anyway. As with all acts of rebellion, Eve suffered consequences for her transgression.
Truthfully, we all have transgressed at different times in our Christian journeys and can probably give interesting testimonies about the consequences we suffered. But as with sin, transgression simply requires us to ask forgiveness of the Lord and anybody involved. Then, we need to change our ways and not continue in the transgression.
Yet, continuing in a transgression without repentance eventually leads to iniquity. The word iniquity means depravity (evil perverseness or moral corruption) and always carries within it the hatred of God and His ways.
Iniquity is not always a voluntary disobedience to the commands of God, like transgression is, but instead, it may be more of a second nature sin. It could be a demonic stronghold within the individual which was passed on through his ancestral lineage or through rape or it could be that the individual surrendered himself to an evil principality over a region.
The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin. (Proverbs 5:22 ESV)
Ridding oneself of iniquity is not as easy as it is for sins or transgressions. Because it is intertwined with the individual’s personality and attitudes, it requires acceptance of truth, God’s mercy and the fear of the Lord to set an individual free. This usually needs a deliverance move by the Spirit of God upon the people.
…For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting [punishing] the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me. (Deuteronomy 5:9)
Iniquities are not committed in spiritual vacuums. They are committed before the throne of God and cry out to the Judge to be avenged.
(Continued in Part 2)
2 responses to “Do Our Personal Sins Hurt Our Neighbors? (Part 1)”
Thank you AGAIN Mr. Larry, for another important series. Blessings!
Thanks. As Dolly Parton used to often say, “I hope it’s a blessing to you.”