| Spiry Tee
"But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid." Galatians 2:17KJV
The subject of sin is a big deal every Sunday morning in almost every church, but do Christians understand what sin is in the New Testament. It is dangerous to call anything we don't like sin because that leads to the bondage of condemnation.
Firstly, Romans 14:23 says, "But if they have doubts about what they eat, God condemns them when they eat it, because their action is not based on faith. And anything that is not based on faith is sin." (Romans 14:23 GNB). In the New Testament anything that is not of faith is sin. Are you walking by faith or by sight or by feelings? If you stay in faith you will not sin.
Jesus spoke of the Holy Spirit as the one who will convict the world of sin. He was clear that the sin the world will be charged with is unbelief. "And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me;" (John 16:8-9 NKJV). If you believe in Jesus you shall not enter into judgement (because Jesus carried your judgement) but you have passed from death into life (John4:24).
In the New Testament sin is a personal thing. What is good for the goose might not be good for the gander. It's not one-blanket-fits-all like scenario as it was under the law of Moses which was unbending. James says, "Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin." (James 4:17 NKJV).
Your personal knowledge and relationship with God determines what is sin to you. If God tells you something, do it. Don't look at others and say but that one is doing it so it's fine. God might ask you not to do something that is not outrightly evil and it will be sin to you if you do it.
Lot and his family was told by the angel not to look back. That was personal to them because Abraham was looking at the same place when Sodom went up in flames. Lot's wife was judged into a pillar of salt but nothing happened to Abraham because the instruction was to Lot's family and not everyone else.
There are people who are called into ministry full time. Others can do secular work and ministry and it will be fine. If you say just because it's fine to the person next door therefore it's right for you, you will be making a big mistake. Stick to what God told you personally because anyone who knows what they should do and don't do it to them it is sin.
Hosea the prophet was told to marry a harlot. It was personal to him. Don't try it unless God tells you. Elijah was told to go and live with a widow woman for three and half years. It's not good for the optics for a thought-to-be single man of God to live with a widow woman for such a long time.
Moreover John writes, "Whoever sins is guilty of breaking God's law, because sin is a breaking of the law." (1 John 3:4 GNB). Sin is breaking the law. But what law is he talking about because the law of Moses was nailed to the cross by Jesus (Colossians 2:14). Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes (Romann 10:4).
So what law is John talking about? He clarifies it in verse 23 of the same chapter "And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment." (I John 3:23 NKJV). The new commandment is faith that works through love. You only sin when you find yourself outside faith and love. Unbelief working through selfishness is the new testament definition of sin.
John taught that "All unrighteousness is sin..." (1 John 5:17). How do we become righteous in the new testament. We have righteousness by faith in Christ Jesus. Therefore again, sin is anything that is not of faith working through love. And if you walk in faith and love, you have passed from death into life. The life of God is active in you.
I walk in faith in Jesus Christ and love towards others. Sin and death has no power over me.