#077 – Christianese (Sin – Pt 1) – Pt 1 [Podcast]

One of my biggest pet-peeves in the modern church is how we pick up a language that we don’t understand.  We use funny words that we never used before … words like sin, faith, prayer, holiness … and we really don’t understand them at all.



If you are like me, we are never really told what these words mean. Or if we are, then we are given some “religious” idea that was never implied by the original word.

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“Christianese – Sin Part 1” Show Notes


Let’s tackle one of the biggest words you hear in Christian circles … what do we mean by the word “sin”?

Most people think of the following meanings:

Bad Definitions of Sin

Bad Definitions of Sin

These meanings baffle me when I look at certain scriptures:

And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me … (John 16:8-9)

Wait … I thought “sin” was about “breaking rules”?! And this verse makes it sound like “sin” is about the “lack of relationship.”

And what about this verse:

What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead.  (Rom. 7:7-8)

Paul is asking a question that he believes people might wonder if he is actually saying … Is the Law sin?  But if we define “sin” as “breaking rules” … would it make any sense that someone might debate such a question? “Are the rules about breaking the rules”?!  That is like saying, “Is the purpose about speed limits to promote breaking speed limits?”  That wouldn’t even be a debatable question.  Whatever we mean by “sin” it must be different than simply “breaking rules.”

Did you know that the word “sin” was used in day-to-day life of ancient cultures? Non-religious cultures?  Here is what the original word was and what it meant:

What is Sin?

What is Sin?

So what is “sin”?  It means we have missed an objective.  It means that we find ourselves somewhere that was not our intended destination.  If we fail to live up to our purpose … our intention … then we are much closer to what this word means.  And more often than not, it is a thinking aspect, nor a moral one.

“Christianese – Sin Part 1” Episode Resources

In this episode I mentioned several resources, including:

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