Is Every Sin Equally Heinous?

frame stIs every sin equal in the eyes of God? John Frame answers in his new systematic—with just the kind of simple, straightforward, biblical reasoning I’ve come to expect from him:

It might seem that since all sin is of the heart, every sin is equally heinous. But Scripture does indicate that some sins are worse than others…. Some [sins] have more harmful consequences than others in this life, and so they offend God more deeply. Scripture distinguishes “greater” from “lesser” sins (Ezek. 8:6, 13ff.; Matt. 5:19; 23:23; John 19:11). The law of Moses distinguishes between “unintentional” sins (Lev. 4:2, 13, 22; 5:17) and sins committed with a “high hand” (Num. 15:27–30). In the NT, Paul tells us that some sins should lead to excommunication (1 Cor. 6), but others need not (Rom. 14:1–4). James indicates that those who teach “will be judged with greater strictness” (James 3:1). So a sin committed by a teacher could be more serious than the same sin committed by someone who is not a teacher. ¶ [Only] one sin is “unpardonable’ (Matt. 12:31–32; Heb 6:4–6; 10:26–27; 1 John 5:16–17).

Mark Ward

PhD in NT; theological writer for Faithlife; former high school Bible textbook author for BJU Press; husband; father; ultimate frisbee player; member of the body of Christ.

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