We all know the word sin; it means evil, or doing evil. The concept itself implies metaphysical reality, proving the existence of God: made in His image, we instinctively identify sin as independent of human opinion —  implying a divine standard defining good and evil.

Sin is breaking God’s Law, violating God’s moral standard. (1Jn 3:4) If we neglect, dismiss or alter any part of His standard, we get the definition wrong and encourage sin.

God has only one standard; it’s called Torah, and it applies to everyone. (Mt 5:19) In breaking any part of it, we break it all, as a whole. (Ja 2:10)

Ultimately, sin isn’t about how we feel, or what we think is good or bad, or what society says. It’s about what God says.

Our conscience is the part of us which reacts to moral behavior, seeing right and wrong in the actions of both ourselves and others, condemning what we think is sinful and approving what we think is good. It makes us feel shame and guilt when we think we’re sinning, and wrath, indignation, disdain and contempt as we judge others. Our conscience isn’t defining sin itself, any more than a thermometer makes things hot or cold; the conscience is just a detector, and it can be broken in more ways than one.

When we don’t listen to God and study His standard for ourselves, the enemy wars against us, easily convincing us that some things are sinful which aren’t, and that other things aren’t sinful which are. This results in a weakening of our conscience (Ro 14:2), and as we act against a weak conscience we further corrupt and defile it. (1Co 8:7) As we continue to let the enemy deceive us, our conscience can eventually become seared (1Ti 4:2), no longer properly responding to moral behavior at all.

To be healthy in God, we must continually exercise ourselves  (Ac 24:16) to keep our conscience clean (He 10:22), constantly washing our mind and heart in the Word of God (Ep 5:26), through which the blood of Christ cleanses our consciences from thought patterns which lead to sin and death. (He 9:14) We hide His laws in our heart (Ps 119:11) and meditate on them all the time (Ps 1:2), so that we can have a conscience that is good, working properly to identify sin and holiness. (1Pe 3:16) This is, in fact, the goal of Torah. (1Ti 1:5)

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