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Sin: What is Sin? How is Sin Described in the Bible & Christian Tradition?

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Adam and Eve are Cursed with Original Sin

Adam and Eve are Cursed with Original Sin

What is Sin?:


The concept of sin is, at its most basic, a transgression of religious or divine law. Disobedience to god can be either deliberate or accidental. Augustine defined sin in Christianity as “any word or deed or thought against the eternal law,” making it essentially a religious or theological category. In Christianity, sin may usually overlap moral categories, but some sins do not — for example, idolatry.

What are the Seven Deadly Sins?:


Christian tradition has developed several lists cataloging the most egregious sins which a Christian can commit. The most famous describes seven, thus leading to the title Seven Deadly Sins. These sins are: Pride, Envy, Gluttony, Lust, Anger, Greed, and Sloth. Other lists have had as many as eight, including Dejection as a sin. Read More...

Sins vs. Sin:


Although it might sound purely semantic, there is an important theological difference in the Catholic focus on sins and the Protestant focus on sin. For Catholics, what’s most relevant is a person’s actions in their daily lives and how their sins separate them from God. For Protestants, what’s most important is the basic sinful nature of humanity and how Original Sin separates us from God.

What is Original Sin?:


The Christian concept of original sin refers to the traditional Christian idea that when Adam sinned, he acquired a “stain” on his soul which has been transferred to all of his descendants. Because of this, all people are born sinful and are incapable of achieving salvation on their own. Instead, they must rely upon God’s grace and the redemption provided by Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Where Does Original Sin Come From?:

The doctrine of original sin was introduced into Christian theology right at the beginning by
Paul, who taught that all men had sinned in Adam. Augustine was the first to fully develop the doctrine and argue that it was transmitted from parents to children through the act of sexual intercourse because of the sin of lust which always accompanies sex. Because of Augustine, the doctrine of original sin was adopted by the Catholic church.

Venial Sins vs. Mortal Sins:


Roman Catholic theological tradition, there are different grades of sin. Venial sins involve some slight matter or are not done deliberately. As a result, it is not actually necessary to reveal venial sins during confession and they do not deprive a person of grace. Mortal sins are the most serious and are done deliberately. As such, they are considered offenses against both humans and God so they must be revealed during confession.

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