Sin is transgression, wilful crossing of a boundary, and trespass, negligent, reckless or unknowing crossing of a boundary. It is failure to be the best possible human, the human in God’s eye, and iniquity, a perversion of what is right. It is rebellion against God, and the state of wickedness of the habitual sinner. It is rejecting God’s law for lawlessness, seeking to rule in Hell not serve in Heaven. It is irreverence for God and Godly things, refusal to meet the common standard demanded of God’s people, the disobedience of one who pretends not to hear an instruction, a defeat of ones better self by the worse self, and a Debt. All these are separate words in the Bible for sin (again, I am relying heavily on Bill Barclay).
Side note- that was the difference between the Presby Lord’s Prayer, “Forgive us our debts”, which I knew from school, and the Pisky, “Forgive us our Trespasses” which I prayed in church: The Presbies use Matthew, the Piskies use Luke. I had not known.
Yes, Violet, I get it. Imagining me, and every other single human being, a sinner, entrapped in this Satanic miasma, and weekly intoning There is no health in us is a dark view of humanity, and imagining everyone else to be unregenerate Sinners outside my own little Evangelical church is worse. But there are mitigating factors, which make this Christian world-view healing.
First, there is Jesus’ command judge not that ye be not judged, Matthew 7:1, echoed by Paul in Romans 14:4- Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.
Then there is the free forgiveness of the loving Father, in the parable of the prodigal son. God treats us with complete Love, as if all that rebellion and stupidity and destruction and waste had never happened. There are as wide a range of words for forgiveness, as for sin. Forgiveness is being set free from our debt to God, a gift complete, freely given in the grace of God. It is blotting out our wrongdoing, so there is no record of wrongs. It is the annulment of the power of wrongdoing. It is deliverance from danger and healing from disease, as Jesus healed the sick. It is liberation from bonds, and from slavery. It is cleansing and purification. Jesus simply takes away the sins of the world, and covers them, for love covers a multitude of sins. We are justified, treated as if we were really good, and reconciled to God.
Of course we get our Christianity wrong, repeatedly- and it can be so beautiful.