Are Any Sins Misdemeanors?


     It sure seems like some sins aren’t very serious; at the most being on the level of minor crimes, misdemeanors.  But that isn’t how the Bible portrays them.  Sin, all sin, is extremely serious because of the person whom we are sinning against.

     For example, if I took a swing at my friend, there would be consequences but we wouldn’t even make the news.  Taking that same swing at a police officer, however, might get me into the papers – and into jail.  Same swing – different consequences -because of whom I swung at.  Take it a step further.  Say I took that same swing at the President of the United States.  That would get me national attention – and serious jail time.  Same swing – different consequences – because of whom I swung at.

     Sin is serious because we are sinning against God.  For example, after committing adultery, David cried out to the Lord:  “Against thee, thee only, have I sinned.”  (Psalm 51:4)  All sin is against God because all sin breaks God’s law.  That means all sin is serious. That’s why James wrote, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”  (James 2:10)  Sin, all sin, is serious.  There are no misdemeanors when it comes to sin.  In fact, sin is more than a felony – sin, all sin, is a capital crime.  “The wages of sin is death.”  (Romans 6:23)  It’s not just the blatant sinners who have a big problem.

     The only solution to that problem is Jesus.  How wonderful it is that this verse continues:  “but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  Eternal life is more than immortality.  Eternal life is living eternally with Heavenly Father.  (The LDS Bible’s Topical Guide recognizes this by referencing exaltation and eternal family under the heading, eternal life.)  Jesus died for our capital crimes.  He paid the penalty for all our sins.  His blood washes away all sin.  So much so that God gives eternal life as his gift to us – with no strings attached.  To Jesus be all praise!


4 Responses to “Are Any Sins Misdemeanors?”

  1. September 4, 2008 at 6:39 am

    All sin is equal in one sense only:

    It makes you imperfect and no imperfection can dwell in God’s presence. Even getting annoyed with your sister is sufficient to keep you from God’s presence. No sin can be tolerated.

    But that is the ONLY sense in which sin is equal.

    But as imperfect mortals, we should always keep in mind that our own personal raking-system of sin may be incorrect. In fact, it probably is.

  2. 2 noclaf
    September 4, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    So I guess I better haul out my old catechism from my Catholic School days and do a presentation on mortal and venial sin. Catholics in those days took sin very seriously. When we marched over to confession every Thursday afternoon, we took with us our little examination of conscience book. It basically was a self interrogation process. I was so caught up in the process that even today I’m alittle bit warped by my training. My wife says I’m the only person she knows that adds up the check after eating in a restaurant to make sure they charged me enough. This was pretty brutal stuff going into the confessional, doing the “bless me father for I have sinned my last confession was a week ago” routine. Being so sin centered and constantly fearful of going to hell is not a real pleasant way to live as a child. So I get to be twenty years old and in my second year of college and I dumped the whole thing. I can still remember the first Sunday I deliberately missed mass which of course was a mortal sin. I survived emotionally because I became an atheist and quite an active sinner. Well about six years later, through a series of very interesting circumstances, I was born again and trusted Christ for my salvation. It’s taken me literally years to put my earlier training into perspective. But here’s the good news. When I was yet a sinner Christ died for me. God didn’t wait for me to improve. He saved me on the day I found faith in Jesus. I’m no longer sin conscious in the way I was before. I’m Christ conscious focusing on the Cross and the blood that was shed for me. What a relief. I’m set free in Christ. I don’t have to analyze my sins to see what kind, how often, did I really do it, what were the circumstances blah, blah, blah. I receive the gift offered by God and with it I am declared righteous not on the basis of my deeds but on the basis of my faith in Jesus. Transformed and walking by the Spirit with the love of God engulfing my being. This is way cool.

  3. September 4, 2008 at 11:23 pm


    Did you ever check out Hebrews 13:8?


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