I was excited reading all of what was shared above. I really agree with what was shared, and was so edified by the input.
Like what @Camkufner shared, sin is basically missing the mark (or falling short of God’s standard):
For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. (Luke 2:10)
But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:28)
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
Adding all these 3 together, it basically quite damning to anyone, because the mere thought equates to action, and breaking 1 of the 10 commandments equates to breaking all 10. It also means that the thought of lying (without action) is as good as murder + adultery + etc. I think it is quite clear cut to God that sin is sin, and it is intentional that the bar of Christian living be set this high to the extent of impossibility. That was because it was given so that we will know that we are imperfect in nature.
Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin. (Romans 3:20)
Speeding at 180km/hr is only illegal when there is a law specifies that the speed limit on that road is 120km/hr. It is still speeding nonetheless, but we would not have know if it was not stated. The law was intended to reveal the sinful nature of Man, so that we will know that there is a need of a Saviour to help address all our flaws. It was never meant to be kept, because it was impossible to do so from the start.
I loved how @SeanO and @jspare described it, and I view it that there is a difference between sin itself vs worldly consequences of sin.
Sin in it’s actual definition and biblical supports, clearly states that it is the same.
However, there are differences to the worldly consequences of sin (e.g. if you were to kill someone vs if you were to lie). Society will handle both matters very differently.
And to follow up on @psalm151ls 's input, which I totally agree, that to understand why there is this differentiation, we need to look to the root - which is very likely the attempt of someone to try to see if they are able to keep some of the laws to certain degrees.
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. (Matthew 23:13)
The people who taught the law and the bible knew them very well, and despite that, try to keep it, and create this divide of “we can keep the law better than you” kind of attitude towards the masses, and it was something that Christ despised a lot. Pride has unfortunately stepped in. The law was intended to show that Man is sick and needs a doctor.
On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2:17)
To address @Jimmy_Sellers question on how will God judge us. It is an interesting one, because it is shown in the bible regarding the high priest during the time of the Israelites.
Every high priest is selected from among the people and is appointed to represent the people in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. (Hebrews 5:1)
Once a year Aaron shall make atonement on its horns. This annual atonement must be made with the blood of the atoning sin offering for the generations to come. It is most holy to the Lord. (Exodus 30:10)
The significance is that the high priest is the representation of the people to God, and they will be the one who offer the sacrifice on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) on behalf of the people. It gets more interesting when you find out about the priestly garments.
And they made bells of pure gold and attached them around the hem between the pomegranates. The bells and pomegranates alternated around the hem of the robe to be worn for ministering, as the Lord commanded Moses. (Exodus 39:25-26)
According to the account of our rabbis preserved in the Talmud, the High Priest wore a rope around his waist as he made his way – absolutely alone – into the holy of holies. The rope he wore served a very practical purpose. Because, in the event that the High Priest said or did something wrong, it was generally believed that he would be struck dead for his offense. Yes, right then and there. As only the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies, the rope enabled his assistants to safely pull the corpse of the High priest out of the inner-sanctum in the event of mishap. (shared by a Jewish Rabbi)
Basically the bells are intended as a sign that the high priest is not dead, and the rope was used to pull him out if he was struck dead when he did something wrong (e.g. perform the sacrifice wrongly), since nobody but the high priest is able to access the Holy of Holies. God judged Israel at that day, based on how good their high priest was. This was also why their high priest could not have any form of blemish. If the high priest was good, they are blessed; and if the high priest was bad, they are cursed.
So what significance does this have with how God will judge us today? The key is in understanding who is our high priest right now.
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. (Hebrews 4:14-15)
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: (1 Peter 2:22)
But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. (1 John 3:5)
But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, (Hebrews 10:12)
We have a High Priest (Jesus Christ) who is without blemish (knew no sin, did no sin, in him is no sin) who is sitting at the Father’s right hand representing us to the Father. And when we have a perfect High Priest, we know that the harvest will definitely be good. God doesn’t see us based on our blemishes, God sees Christ because we are in Him. God doesn’t judge us based on how bad we are, but based on how good Jesus Christ is.
If you don’t mind, but I slightly disagree with @SeanO regarding David’s life being “more whole” because he sinned. Granted, it would’ve been “better” for him not to commit any sin at all, but God is so amazing when it comes to redemptive work in our lives.
The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, (Romans 5:20)
If not for the sin in David’s life, Bathsheba would not have given birth to the wisest and richest person in history - Solomon. Grace could only come in because sin was there, and this is what makes the redemptive work of God so exciting. If you look back in the bible, many of the heroes experienced breakthroughs in spirt of their sins. Out of Rehab (a prostitute who helped the spies during their investigation of Jericho), came Boaz a wealthy landowner. Out of Saul came Mordecai who was there are the right place and right time to warn Esther about Haman’s plot. And despite Jacob cheating his father of the first born blessings, the nature of Israel came from him.
Before the fall at Eden, we were in this order:
Angels were more of a superior class than Man. However, after the redemption through Jesus Christ, the order has changed to:
2) Man (children of God)
That is how awesome our God is, and how much He loves us, that he made up this master plan (despite Adam’s sin), so that what comes out of our failures is even more amazing and wonderful. If we were to fix a broken chair, it will never be as good as it originally is. However, if God were to fix it, it will be of better quality than ever before!
This is just my personal input that I gleaned from what was shared, and is based on my personal walk. Please feel free to disagree or critic as well, no offence will be taken. Cheers and God bless!