Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. -- 1 John 3:4 (NIV)

For example:

  • idolatry (Exodus 20:3-5, Ezekiel 18:6, Revelation 21:8)
  • blasphemy (Exodus 20:7)
  • dishonouring parents (Exodus 20:12)
  • murder (Exodus 20:13)
  • sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness (Exodus 20:14, Ezekiel 18:6, Colossians 3:5-6, Matthew 5:27-30)
  • theft (Exodus 20:15, Ezekiel 18:7)
  • lies (Exodus 20:16, Colossians 3:9, Ephesians 4:29, 1 Peter 3:10, Matthew 5:37, Revelation 21:8)
  • coveting (Exodus 20:17, Luke 12:15)
  • cursing (Exodus 22:28, Ecclesiastics 10:20, Leviticus 19:14, Psalm 109:17, Matthew 5:22, Luke 6:28, Romans 12:14, Job 31:29-30, James 3:10)
  • occultism, witchcraft or sorcery (Deuteronomy 18:10, Revelation 21:8)
  • haughtiness (Proverbs 16:5, Proverbs 21:4, Proverbs 26:12)
  • foolish schemes (Proverbs 24:9)
  • oppressing the poor (Ezekiel 18:7, Habakkuk 2:9)
  • lending with interest (Ezekiel 18:8)
  • betrayal (Matthew 27:4)
  • divorce (Mark 10:11-12)
  • partiality, i.e. only care for the rich (James 2:1-9)d

This list is incomplete, but you should get the idea.

People can also sin against each other (Matthew 18:21), for example:

  • Laban accused Jacob of theft (Genesis 31:36)
  • Josef's brothers betrayed him (Genesis 42:22, Genesis 50:17)
  • Pharaoh claiming that he sinned against Moses (Exodus 10:16-17)

Not only is sin the doing of a "wrong thing", but sin is also the absence of doing the "right thing".

Whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. -- James 4:17

For example:

  • restores to the debtor his pledge (Ezekiel 17:7)
  • gives his bread to the hungry (Ezekiel 17:7)
  • covers the naked with a garment (Ezekiel 17:7)
  • lends without interest or profit (Ezekiel 17:8)
  • executes true justice between man and man (Ezekiel 17:8)
  • obey God's laws faithfully (Ezekiel 17:9)

Everyone is responsible for his/her own sin as explained by the prophet Ezekiel. Parents cannot pay for their children's sin and children not for their parents (Ezekiel 18:4-20).

Sin is still sin even if it was unintentional, because the Israelites had a special sin offering dedicated for that (Numbers 15:27).

Consequences of sin

The iniquities done by a wicked man will trap him, and he will be held with the cords of his sin. -- Proverbs 5:22

Sin is a trap and enslaves people (John 8:30-36, Romans 6:6-7, Romans 6:16-21)

As a result of this:

  • Sin activates curses
  • Sin dominates people (1 Corinthians 6:12) by
    • shame (Romans 6:21, Genesis 3:10)
    • deception (Romans 7:11; Hebrews 3:13; James 1:16)
    • lust (Romans 6:12,19; James 1:13-15), for example
    • sexual immorality (1 Cor 6:16-20)
    • passing pleasures (Heb 11:25)
    • self-condemnation (Romans 14:22-23)
  • Sin bring condemnation (Psalm 1:5)
  • Sin causes health problems (Ps 38:3), for example
    • there was a man with 38 years of infirmity (John 5:5-14)

The wages of sin is death. -- Romans 6:23, Luke 13:3,5, Ezekiel 18:20, Habakkuk 2:10

The consequences of sin is so bad that it is sometimes counted to one's benefit to be crippled in order not to sin. (Matt 5:29-30, Matt 18:8-9, Mark 9:43-45, John 9:41)

Freedom from sin

All sin can be forgiven.

The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" -- John 1:29 (ESV)

Previously a lamb was sacrificed for people's sins. The "Lamb of God" would refer to God's son who offered himself to be sacrificed for people's sins.

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. -- John 8:36 (ESV)

Once you believe and confessed your sins, repented and got baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you will receive the Holy Spirit whom will set you free from sin as Paul explained:

The law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. -- Romans 8:2 (ESV)

God Himself said in the beginning of the Bible:

You must rule over it... -- Genesis 4:7 (ESV)