4.3.1 Sin

Sin is everything that is opposed to God's will and contrary to God's being. Every sin separates from God. To restore a close relationship with Him, the sin must be forgiven (see 12.1.8→).


Neither the Old nor the New Testament offers a self-contained "doctrine of sin" or a systematic and exhaustive "catalogue of sins".


God Himself always defines what is right by revealing His will. It is advisable for man to inquire into God's will and to act accordingly. All words, deeds, and deliberate thoughts that are contrary to God's will and being are sins, just as it is also a sin to intentionally neglect to do good (James 4: 17).


Holy Scripture describes the following as "sins": any violation of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20: 20), the breaking of vows made to God (Deuteronomy 23: 22), refusal to believe in Christ (John 16: 9), as well as avarice, envy, and the like.


The exclusive deciding factor in assessing whether a deed is sinful or not is the divine will–as manifested in Holy Scripture, as corresponds to the mind and spirit of the gospel of Christ, and as revealed by the Holy Spirit. By no means may humans take it upon themselves to define what constitutes a sin.


All human beings in their various circumstances of life are accountable to God and themselves, and thus bear personal responsibility for their conduct.