Are All Sins the Same?

If you’ve been in the church for very long you’ve probably heard, “All sins are the same!” Yes, there are some ways all sins are the same:

  • The Greek word for sin is hamartanō,  which is an archery term meaning “to miss the mark.” All sins are the same in that they’re examples of “missing the mark,” or missing the standard set by God’s holy, perfect law. That’s why 1 John 3:4 says, “Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.”
  • All sins are the same in terms of being destructive, an offense to God, and demanding death as a punishment. Romans 6:23a says, “The wages of sin is death.”
  • Most importantly: all sins are the same in that they condemn us to hell and can only be forgiven through repentance and faith in Christ.

Aside from these ways all sins are the same, there are problems associated with making this well-known statement.

Practical Consequences to Saying All Sins Are the Same

Soon after I became a Christian I committed a sin that had previously characterized my life for years. Although the sin didn’t bother me earlier, now that I was a believer, I was greatly convicted. I went to an older Christian friend for counsel. He could’ve said something along the lines of:

“Yes, this is sin and it’s wonderful that you’re upset about it. God’s desire is for us to have victory over unbroken patterns of sin. You need to repent and cry out to God for His grace to help you overcome this life-dominating struggle.”

Instead, he “encouraged” me by saying: Continue reading “Are All Sins the Same?”