Brother Michel Michel Lankford

Many people go around aimlessly wondering if a certain behavior or attitude is a sin. They constantly ask things like, “Is it a sin if…” You would be surprised how often that question comes across my news feeds every week. Is (X) behavior a sin? I get asked this A LOT. I would say that question hits my news about 2 to 3 times every week. That is why I am motivated to write this post.

People who ask the question are often woefully misinformed about what sin means in God’s eyes. They are not using God’s Dictionary to define Godly terms. That is where countless problems and confusion begin.

We MUST Define SIN the Same Way that God Does

It’s NOT Complicated at all…

As it is Written: “Whosoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4 KJV; cf. Romans 7:7; Hosea 8:1; Daniel 9:11; Isaiah 5:20-24).

Sin is ANY Violation of God’s Laws, Commandments, and Instructions. Any Violation of His Commandments, His Words, His Desires, or His Stated Intentions is a Sin, by Biblical definition. (1 John 3:4 KJV; cf. Romans 7:7; Hosea 8:1; Daniel 9:11; Isaiah 5:20-24).

The Original Biblical Definitions

In Hebrew: HATA (Hebrew Strong’s #2398) Literally to MISS God’s Standards (eg. Hosea 8:1; Daniel 9:11; Isaiah 5:20-24).

In Greek: Sin is missing the mark of YHWH’S Highest Standards (e.g. Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23). The key Greek words: HARMATIA (Greek Strong’s #266) – which is an archery term that means “To miss the bull’s-eye or to miss the mark” of YHWH’S best Standards. (E.g. Romans 6:23).

God’s Commandment is the Bullseye of the Target. Missing the Bulls-eye of God’s Commandment is what sin is. Therefore, violating God’s Commandments is sin.

Sin Is Living Outside of God’s Law

In Greek: Another word for SIN is ANOMIA**, or Lawlessness Greek Strong’s # 458-459 –(ANOMIA Lawlessness IS SIN)

  • · The condition of being without Law
  • · Being ignorant of the Law
  • · Violating/ Breaking the Law
  • · Having contempt for the Law
  • · “To be destitute or in violation of the Mosaic or Jewish Law“ A.K.A. Illegality;
  • iniquity; to break, transgress or walk in violation of the Law- (see also 1 John 3:4)
  • (See both Thayer’s and Strong’s Original Language Lexicons)*
A picture showing arrows missing a target
  • If I HIT those Targets, then I am doing RIGHT. I only need to persevere and CONTINUE aiming for, shooting for, and hitting God’s Targets of Excellence.
  • If and when I MISS His Targets, then I have SINNED. I MUST Repent. I MUST RECOGNIZE that God’s Targets are VALID, I MUST CONFESS that I have MISSED God’s Valid Targets. I MUST RETURN to Archery Practice. I MUST RETURN to aiming for, shooting for, and hitting God’s Targets of Excellence. IF I repent in this way, then God will forgive my sins and choose to forget that I ever sinned (e.g. Ezekiel 18; 1 John 1:5–9).

Learning to Recognize Sin in Your Life

Success in Life Comes Down to Four Basic Principles

  • Knowing God’s Targets.
  • Respecting God’s Targets.
  • Recognizing When you MISS God’s Targets, and admitting it.
  • Continue Practicing Your Archery (aiming and shooting for God’s Targets) Until you regularly HIT God’s Targets, and Your Life AGREES With God’s Targets of Excellence.

If you master these four habits, you will ultimately SUCCEED. If you don’t, then you will ultimately FAIL in anything that counts. It’s that straightforward. Here are the six key questions:

You Can Ask 6 Basic Questions in Any Situation to KNOW IF You Have Sinned

Scripture clearly tells us that if we learn to judge ourselves, then we will not come under judgment or we will not be condemned (1 Corinthians 11:31). Basically, if we learn to evaluate ourselves using God’s Righteous Standards of Measurement, then we would see where we are missing the target. We would repent, and we would, “Practice our archery,” as it were, so that we would get better at hitting God’s Target. If you understand the Key Pillars of God’s Law, then you know that you can ask yourself 6 crucial questions, and you can evaluate whether or not you have sinned. If you have missed God’s Targets, you can then confess it and God will forgive you (1 John 1:8-9), you can then repent. You can practice your archery. You can practice hitting God’s Standards of excellence.

  • Did you desire it, think it, say it, and DO it in accordance with Godly Love? 1 John 3:4). The Greatest Commandment of God is to walk in Godly Love (Matthew 22:34-40; Deuteronomy 6:5 Deuteronomy 7:9; 1 John 5:1-3 (1 Corinthians 13:1-8; Ephesians 4:32; Matthew 7:12). If it wasn’t done in true Love, it’s a sin.
  • Did you desire it, think it, say it, and DO it in accordance with FAITH toward YHWH and in Messiah? (Romans 14:23b; Genesis 15:6; Hebrews 11:1,6; Romans 10:17; Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; 1 John 2:22). If it was not done by faith, it’s a sin.
  • Did you desire it, think it, say it, and DO it in accordance with OBEYING YHWH Almighty God’s and Messiah’s Commandments? (Deuteronomy 7:9; Leviticus 18:18-19 1 John 3:4; Hosea 8:1; Daniel 9:11; Matthew 5:17-20; Matthew 7:24-25; Luke 11:27-28; John 12:49-50; John 14:21; John 15:10; Romans 8:5-8). Anything that violates Commandments given by God or Messiah is a sin. If you disobey Torah, you are violating Messiah’s Commandment (Matthew 5:17-20; Matthew 13:41-42; Matthew 19:17; Matthew 28:19-20). If you disregard the Commandments of Messiah, you are also BREAKING Torah Leviticus 18:18-19). Therefore, violating the Commands of either Torah or Messiah becomes a sin by definition.
  • Is it done on purpose to glorify and honor God? (e.g. 1 Corinthians 10:31; 1 Peter 1:14-16; Ephesians 5:1; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; 1 Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:17-23; James 2:12; John 5:19, 30; 1 John 2:1-6).
  • Did you desire it, think it, say it, and DO it in accordance with the good things that you already know to do from God’s Word? (James 4:17). If you know a good thing that you should do, but you refuse to do it, it is sin.
  • Did I think, speak, and behave toward this other person in the same way that I would want to be treated myself? (Matthew 7:12) If you did not do this, then you have sinned.
    • If you can legitimately answer YES to these SIX questions in any situation, then you have done RIGHT. You have NOT sinned. All you need to do is continue walking this way and persevere in it.
    • Conversely, if you’re going through any situation in which the true answer is NO, to any of these six questions, then you have sinned. You have MISSED God’s Targets of Righteousness and Excellence. Therefore, you need to RECOGNIZE and CONFESS that God’s Targets are valid, and where you recognize that you have MISSED God’s Targets of Excellence. You need to develop and practice action plans to REPENT and practice your archery.

Do You Truly Belong to God or to the Devil?

The ENTIRE answer to that Question PIVOTS upon How You Confront and Deal with Sin in your Life. EVERYTHING depends on getting this one RIGHT. That is NOT OPINION, That is FACT.

As it is written: Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.” (1 John 3:7–10, ESV)

You need to RETURN to aiming for, to shooting for, and to hitting God’s Targets of Excellence in your desires, your thoughts, your words, and your behaviors. If you REPENT in this way, God WILL FORGIVE you (Ezekiel 18; 1 John 1:5-9). He will not even remember your sins anymore. However, if you refuse to repent, if you refuse to learn, and to aim for, shoot for and hit God’s Targets of Excellence and you choose to CONTINUE to SIN, then not only does God NOT forgive you; you are then demonstrating with your life that you are NOT Born-Again. You would not belong to God. You still belong to the devil.

That is a fact. Before you get mad and are tempted to lie and to falsely declare that I am being ungracious, please understand that this is NOT my judgment. I am speaking the judgment that the New Testament openly declares (1 John 3:7-10). Read it again for yourself. You are not arguing with me. You are arguing against Scripture.

If you reject this, you reject it at your own risk. You cannot say that you were not warned. If we do not practice turning away from sin, and we do not practice doing what God says is right, then we belong to the devil and NOT to God. Even the “New Testament” says so. Ignore and reject this warning at your own peril. Please do not lie to yourself.

Please do not wag your finger at me and tell me that you are a New Testament Christian “Under Grace.” If you are truly operating in the Grace that God Provides, then you would respect these words. You would heed these words, and you would guard this teaching and adjust your life to progressively obey this teaching. If you refuse to do that, then it is NOT God’s Grace that you are living in. We must never forget that the apostle John was “Under Grace,” when he wrote those words.