Have you ever heard someone claim, “All sins are equal to God?” I have. For years I believed that this was a claim based on Scripture. Just like the other tough questions we’ve been tackling this week, after doing some digging I’ve discovered that it’s just not that simple."/>

Are Gossip and Murder the Same?

Erin Davis 04/08/10
Category: Sin ; 31 comments

 

Have you ever heard someone claim, “All sins are equal to God?” I have. For years I believed that this was a claim based on Scripture. Just like the other tough questions we’ve been tackling this week, after doing some digging I’ve discovered that it’s just not that simple. 

Here’s what the Bible tells us for certain about sin.

1. All sin separates us from God

Isaiah 59:2 says, “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” 

Romans 6:23 teaches, “ For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Apart from the grace of Jesus we would all face eternal separation from God as a consequence for our sin.

I think this basic truth may be where the idea that all sins are equal comes from. In this sense all sins have the same consequence—separation from God, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that all sins are equal. 

2. There are degrees of sin 

Proverbs 6:16-19 says, “ There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissention among brothers.” 

Matthew 12:31-32 says, “And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.”

I’ll have to leave the full interpretation of these verses to the Bible scholars, but they do seem to clearly indicate that God dislikes some sins more than others. 

3. All consequences are not equal

To my knowledge, this point isn’t specifically backed by Scripture, but it seems obvious that all sins do not result in the same consequences in our lives. For example, if you gossip about your best friend you might hurt her feelings, harm the relationship, or loose the friendship. In contrast, if you commit murder you end a life, grieve a family, and may face judicial punishment such as jail time or the death penalty. Those may be two extremes, but the principle applies across the board. While all sin has destructive consequences on our lives those consequences can vary greatly in impact and severity. 

The point is not to look at our own sin and judge that it’s not as severe as someone else’s. All sin matters and needs to be addressed in our lives. My goal is simply to make you think and to drive you deeper into God’s Word. Whether it’s the Truth about sin, marriage, or the nature of God, I hope you will be impassioned to seek God’s Truth for yourselves (and that you will share it with the rest of us on LYWB.com!). 

 

Comments

HEY, GIRLS! We love hearing from you, but feel limited in the ways we can help. For one thing, we’re not trained counselors. If you’re seeking counsel, we encourage you to talk to your pastor or a godly woman in your life as they’ll know more details and can provide you with ongoing accountability and help. Also, the following comments do not necessarily reflect the views of Revive Our Hearts. We reserve the right to remove comments which might be unhelpful, unsuitable, or inappropriate.

    Christle
    Degrees of Sin
    on Thursday, April 8, 2010 at 11:11 am
    I've always heard "Sin is Sin." It is so hard to believe that a little white lie is same as murder. As one can lead to the consequence of death row and the other can't. I belive that God believes that sin is sin, there's no difference, however there are different consequences for each sin. Just as in Moses' time there were different consequences when the commandments were broken, some involved being cut off from the people and others resulted in death. What we need to remember is God hates the sin, but loves the sinner. We must confess everything to God and pray for His forgiveness. Thank goodness we have Jesus' mercy to cover all of our sins. Once we have forgiveness there is renewed hope, but remember there is always a consequence to every sin we commit...
    gg
    Q's regarding the Sins against the Holy Spirit
    on Thursday, April 8, 2010 at 1:15 pm
    I love what you have written here. Thank you for raising this awareness in me. I have a Q?. How do we know if we have sinned against the Holy Spirit? If we have been working on not sinning with others and coming to God for forgiveness what can we do in this area if he is not able to forgive us?

    What if we don't know what we have done against the Holy Spirit as a sinner?

    Thank you for your help on this.
    Erin Davis
    gg
    on Thursday, April 8, 2010 at 4:31 pm
    I've got to be honest and say that I just don't know the answer to your question. I've read the passages that mention this sin several times, and they aren't very clear to me. I've also heard several pastors and theologians preach on this subject but they always share their opinions. I don't think (based on what we find elsewhere in Scripture) that these verses were meant to make us anxious or fearful or doubt our our own salvation. I guess I would just encourage you to do do some digging on your own and ask God to reveal His Truth to you.

    Erin
    Tori
    sin
    on Thursday, April 8, 2010 at 5:23 pm
    Thanks Erin, I never really thought about this subject in that way. It's all way more clear now!
    Catherine
    Re:
    on Thursday, April 8, 2010 at 8:34 pm
    While I find the topic interesting, I have to disagree. Simply because "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." Sin, in the original Greek term, was translated to mean missing the mark. We all do it. And it all hurts God. We were created for His glory and to be sanctified to Him. If we fall short of that mark(sin), no matter if its lying, or dishonoring our mother or father, or murder, it is still falling short, and not sanctifying ourselves to God. It hurts Him. Sin, is Sin.
    A quick answer to gg: where it may sound trite-you can always just be upfront with God-tell Him you aren't sure what you did, and ask for forgiveness. He knows your heart. It's better to be upfront and honest, because He knows anyhow.
    God Bless.
    Ann
    Sin separates us from God, but not all sin is equal
    on Thursday, April 8, 2010 at 9:08 pm
    My internet has been acting up and my comment was lost so, here is the shortened version.

    What came to mind as well as what Erin posted above was Revelation 20:12 which talks about how at the Great White Throne Judgment (judgment for unbelievers) people are judged "according to their deeds." Also, how God had different degrees of punishment outlined for the Hebrew people in the O.T. books.

    I think that reoccuring themes in the Bible is that God especially hates sin that harms other people and the sin of pride.
    gg
    Thank you Erin
    on Thursday, April 8, 2010 at 11:12 pm
    Hi Erin~

    Thank you for checking. It's funny how it hit me like that. I guess I will have to do some soul searching :) I appreciate the insight. I am grateful you raised this in me.
    monica
    Re:
    on Friday, April 9, 2010 at 12:36 am
    Wow the part about blasphemy against the spirit will not be forgiven sounds scary. I wonder if I ever blasphemed the spirit in the past. I never noticed that part in the bible before
    Anonymous
    sin...
    on Friday, April 9, 2010 at 2:30 pm
    It's true, consequences are different for different sins. Even "little" sins separate us from God. All sins are bad, but I thought that was a good point! If you gossip, you're going to hurt others and yourself, your consequences would be maybe losing a friend, having people not like you so much, and feeling guilty. When you ask God for forgiveness, He'll forgive you, but You'll still have to face the consequences. If you murder someone, you're also going have consequence: you'll be put in jail, possilby have the death penalty, you'll hurt not only a few people but VERY MANY, and you'll have to live you whole life knowing that you've killed someone. God will forgive you but you'll still have to pay the consequences.

    Is all sin Equal? Yes it all can all be forgiven, yes it all separates us from God. But the consequences? definately not equal.
    Erin Davis
    Catherine
    on Friday, April 9, 2010 at 2:53 pm
    I actually agree with you. See point number 1.

    Erin
    babygirl
    re
    on Friday, April 9, 2010 at 5:43 pm
    I believe that sin is equal in that fact that all sin seperates us from God. But I think the severness of sin is different. The consequences are different. There's a much bigger consequence to me murdering someone than telling a lie. So I think I agree with Erin here.
    DoOdLeBuG
    re:monica
    on Friday, April 9, 2010 at 5:46 pm
    I'm not sure if that's the real meaning or not. It sounded scary to me to, but I think like Erin said we should leave it the Lord and to the Bible Scholars. After, all it says in the Bible that God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness. It doesn't say SOME unrighteousness it says ALL. What do you think?
    Natalie
    Re:
    on Saturday, April 10, 2010 at 10:03 am
    Thank you for writing this, we all have to be reminded about it! Ok I have a Q. (it is a little off topic though,) I just finished reading "A Time to Kill" by John Grisham, and was the man who murdered those two men sinning, and if that happed in real life would that be a sin, Because in the verses you showed us in Proverbs said that God hates only the murderers of innocent people, ( they were Not innocent), but then in other parts of the bible it says that to even hate some one is sin and is considerd the same as murder, I'd really appreciate your input on this, and anyone else's too,
    Nat
    Catherine
    Erin-I'll expand
    on Saturday, April 10, 2010 at 3:22 pm
    So we agree sin is sin, because we all fall short. I guess I should expand and further say that even though the scriptural references are solid, I find it harder to believe in "degrees of consequences". Romans says "the wages of sin is death". It does not say that the wages of certain sin is such and such, and the wages of other sin is such and such. All sin, no matter how big or small, equals one consequence-death. Lucky for us, Christ paid that consequence, if we accept Him. As for blaspheming the Spirit- there are many, many theories as to what that means. From denying the gifts, to saying that they come from Satan. I think that it's unbelief in God given that God sends His Holy Spirit upon us when we are saved and forgiven. If you deny that, you are denying salvation, and therefore denying God. That is unforgivable.(Matthew scripture) However, more back to the degrees-wages of sin is one consequence, not many. The Proverbs scripture is before the New Covenant of Christ coming to fulfill the law--just pointing that out. Romans-wages of sin is death-the one consequence, comes after the new covenant.
    DoOdLeBuG
    re:Natalie
    on Saturday, April 10, 2010 at 3:39 pm
    I think we're supposed to hate the sin but love the sinner. So I think if that did happen in real life it would be a sin. No where in the Bible does it justify killing anyone even if they were say, a serial killer. It's says "For God so loved the WORLD" that includes everyone. Even the 'worst' sinners. I would hate getting murdered and then it be justified by the fact that I sinned and didn't get a chance to repent. I have never read the book but I think the man that commintted murder was completely wrong. Hope this helps!
    DoOdLeBuG
    re:Natalie
    on Saturday, April 10, 2010 at 3:41 pm
    One more thought for you. In the Bible it says "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Would the guy who murdered the other two men want to be killed if he commintted the same sin?
    DoOdLeBuG
    re:Catherine
    on Saturday, April 10, 2010 at 3:45 pm
    I can see where you're coming from. I agree, but I also disagree. I just thought I'd give you some food for thought. I agree that the main consequence of sin is death unless the accept the gift of Christ. But, I think there are degrees of consequences here on earth. The consequences would be much greater if I murdered someone than they would be if I lied or even cheated on a test. I may get in trouble, but I wouldn't be taking someone's life and going to jail. See what I'm saying?
    Chloe :D
    yes they are
    on Saturday, April 10, 2010 at 10:20 pm
    All sins are equal. I believe that with all of my heart. If you backstab a friend or lie to her or do something to embarass her it is the same thing as murdering someone. The friend that you backstabbed or harmed in some other way had no idea that you were going to do this to her. And the person who was murdered had no idea that they were going to die. Both of the victims were going about their daily life and the criminals harmed them. They didn't do anything wrong and God probably looks at it like both people were innocent and they were harmed, or at least that's what i think. Believe me, it's no fun being backstabbed and it takes the life out of you. I would know because I have been backstabbed by some of my friends before. The person who's being backstabbed has to make the decision to not let it bother them otherwise they may have a hard time enjoying their life. If you feel anger toward a friend spreading rumors about her or him is never the solution, it's best to talk about the problem with the person that you're angered at.
    BaByGiRl
    re:Matthew 12:31-32
    on Sunday, April 11, 2010 at 1:45 pm
    Hey everyone!!! I know some of us were wondering what the actual meaning of Matthew 12:31-32 was. I looked it up in my dad's study Bible and here's what it said about the verses:

    The Pharisees had blasphemed against the Spirit by attributing the power by which Christ did miracles to Satan instead of the Holy Spirit. The unpardonable sin is the deliberate refusal to acknowledge God's power in Christ. It indicates a deliberate and irreversible hardness of heart. Sometimes believers worry that they have accidently committed this unforgivable sin. But only those who have turned their backs on God and rejected all faith have any need to worry. Jesus said they can't be forgiven-not because their sin is worse than any other, but because they will never ask for forgiveness. Whoever rejects the prompting of the Holy Spirit removes himself or herself from the only force that can lead him or her to repentance and restoration to God.

    This sure cleared the air for me. Hope it helped you guys as well! :)
    Catherine
    Re:DoOdLeBuG
    on Sunday, April 11, 2010 at 7:26 pm
    Food for thought well taken. Some return food for thought: are those consequences on Earth man made, or Sovereign made?
    gg
    Thank You..All
    on Monday, April 12, 2010 at 7:42 am
    I feel very blessed to have been able to pose such a scary question as I have and to have all the love, help and support to better guide me on this. Every answer as been helpful in some way.

    I have done as Catherine suggested and let it go to God in this manner and let him reveal to me each day what it is I have done. He is good at getting my attention. In reading about the sins I would have to agree that all sins are equal in the fact that by following sin and all it's consequences that in itself pulls us away from God and his work. That to me seems like a death by not being close to him and pleasing him as he would like. Almost like a death of a great loved one such as a family member, friend etc.

    These are all great points. Thank you all.

    Have a blessed day!

    gg
    DoOdLeBuG
    re:Catherine
    on Monday, April 12, 2010 at 5:58 pm
    It depends on what you consider as man made. Consequences came when man fell and sin entered the world. I think they're sovereign. Man didn't come up with laws like "thou shalt not murder", God did. It says in the Bible that there will be consequences for sin. Did this answer your question or did you mean something else?
    Natalie
    re DoOdLeBuG
    on Tuesday, April 13, 2010 at 8:17 pm
    I like what you said for the most part, But I did just recently come across a passage in the Bible were a man was praised and blessed for killing 2 people who's only sin was sleeping together when they weren't supposed to,( I mean that is bad and wrong but it seems mild compared to other sins) I totally agreed with what you said until I read this passage, so i'm kinda confused, The passage is Numbers 25, please let me know what you think of it, because i may have misunderstood it........Nat
    By the way, I'm just wondering, did you read the book?
    Catherine
    Re:DoOdLeBuG
    on Wednesday, April 14, 2010 at 12:56 am
    Yes, God did come up with the Laws. And the Ten Commandments are in the order they are for a specific reason. And yes, there is a consequence for sin-death. Yes, there are other. Example: Women were stoned to death for adultery. The man was supposed to be stoned as well, but how often did that really happen in Jewish culture? Do not commit adultery was the 7th Commandment given to Moses by God on Mt. Sinai. However, God is NOT the one who told the Sadducees and the Pharisees to stone people. In fact, it was Jesus (God in flesh) who stopped the stoning of the woman by the men of the village. He wrote in the sand, and said "those of you without sin, cast the first stone." She was out there because she committed adultery.(7th Commandment) The 10 Commandments are Apodictic Laws-Laws stated without punishment attached. Yes, sin entered into the world when humans fell. But remember, what was the consequence God gave Adam and Eve for eating of the fruit? Death. How long was it before they physically died? Begs the question is it spiritual death or physical. The whole point- the physical consequences to murder, adultery, etc. are all man made, not God given. When God passed down the Law, He did not give consequences to go with it on Mt. Sinai. Yeah, the fall came with death, as reiterated in Romans-the wages of sin is death.
    DoOdLeBuG
    re:Natalie
    on Thursday, April 15, 2010 at 8:26 pm
    No I did not read the book, but I read the chapter and i was confused too so I asked my dad. He said it was a different time and culture. That was the punishment at the time. They had different obligations to a social purity.(not that we don't have to stay pure now) The magistrate of the time was to execute wrath upon those who did evil. Have you ever heard of Bible Works?or using a Bible Commentary? these tools can help to explain. Hope i helped!!!!! God bless!
    Christle
    Degrees of sin
    on Friday, April 16, 2010 at 10:01 am
    I know it's been a while since this was posted, but as I was doing my Bible Study this morning I came across something that reminded me of this topic.
    Back in Moses' time there were different ways to offer atonement for different sins. Most all dealt with offering up some kind of animal as a sacrifice. In Leviticus it gets really detailed about what kind of offering is to be given and why it is to be offered...Leviticus 4:22 it tells of when a single ruler sins unintentionally, meaning not knowing he sinned. When it came to light, he was to offer a kid of goats, a male wioth out blemish....in my Bible it explains below what the scripture meant, here it says, "Since he was civil leader and not a religious leader, his sin polluted the sanctuary less seriously than did the sin of the high prest or the sin of the whole congregation." (NKJV Study Bible-Thomas Nelson) Makes the whole "living in a glass house" phrase come to light if you're associated with any part of the ministry. I know as a PK, I was always watched.
    monica
    to doodlebug
    on Sunday, April 18, 2010 at 12:06 am
    sorry for not answering for so long. I didn't see your comment before now. Yeah, I think you're right. Besides I think that once saved, always saved. Maybe God know before we're born if we're gonna do that and that we would never become christians anyway because we were not elected. idk. Hope this makes sense. Kind of hard to explain. Anyway, thanks for the feedback:)
    Natalie
    Thanks
    on Monday, April 19, 2010 at 6:45 pm
    thank, you did help!
    Nat
    Prisy
    re:gg
    on Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 8:05 am
    Hi. Actually my pastor discussed this verse with my friends and me once, and the notes in some of our study bibles (ESV and the MacArthur Study Bible) seemed to agree with it.

    My pastor and the study bibles describe sinning against the Holy Spirit as delibrately rejecting God. The pharisees delibrately rejected Jesus who had the Holy Spirit in Him even though they could clearly see that He was sent by God.

    If someone rejects Jesus knowingly, he cannot be forgiven because he isn't putting in faith in the Lord and doesn't recieve salvation .

    If you have put you faith in the Lord Jesus, I think it's pretty clear that you haven't committed the unpardonable sin. :)

    I hope that helps though you should probably check up with your pastor just to make sure.

    God Bless,
    -p-
    Sarah
    How blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is unforgivable
    on Monday, September 23, 2013 at 12:22 pm
    This comes in response to gg's question about how do we know if we have sinned against the Holy Spirit. I do not have a scripture to back this up, and if you disagree then that is fine, but the way that I understand blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is this; a person becomes a Christian and experiences a move of the Holy Spirit. Let's say for example that they are healed from a physical affliction. Later they stop following Christ and then deny that the Holy Spirit exists. At that point they would not want to be forgiven for their sin because they are denying the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, by claiming that the Holy Spirit does not exist after experiencing It, they are declaring that they do not want to be convicted. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit, being the gentleman that He is, will not force someone under conviction that has made it clear that they want no part of it. And if there is no conviction there can be no repentance, and if there is no repentance there can be no forgiveness. That is just my take on it. Feel free to disagree.
    Sarah, with the LYWB team
    @Sarah...
    on Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 12:18 am
    "Blasphemy" of the Holy Spirit means to "make of no use", to "make void" the work of the Holy Spirit. The work of the Holy Spirit today is to convict people of sin and draw them to Christ. The Holy Spirit draws people to accept Christ, enables them to live for Christ, and makes it possible for them to enjoy the benefits of salvation. If anyone refuses Christ, he makes the Spirit's work of "no use, void."

    Anyone who rejects the Holy Spirit's conviction and does not repent will not be forgiven, "neither in this world, neither in the world to come" (Matt. 12:32)

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