I saw a post today where a guy who was “Torah Observant” asked the question, “define sin”? I went to his page and he defined sin with one verse. 1 John 3:4 “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law”. He stopped right there. Ok fine. The definition according to him from Scripture was “sin is the transgression of the Law” or Torah in his case.
The word sin in Greek is ἁμαρτία (hamartia) and it means to miss the mark or to make a mistake. Basically it is when you err in life. Who here makes mistakes? Who here sets a goal on a daily basis and occasionally misses the mark of that goal? You wake in the morning and tell yourself, I’m not going to be a jerk and punch someone in the mouth and then you end up going to work and punching someone right in the mouth. You missed your mark.
Torah observant people say by not following the Torah or the LAW means that you are now given a license to sin. We’ve all heard this before and maybe this exact phrase has come out of your own mouth once or twice. In regards to them saying that, Paul says if you failed at keeping one part of the law you are guilty of all of it. Now please read the rest of what John said after verse 4.
5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
Jesus came to this Earth to “TAKE OUR SINS AWAY”? Jesus has no sin in Him. He put that on the tree at Calvary. If you are in Him (Jesus) then don’t sin. But what was sin? Missing the mark. So is John saying Christians are perfect and don’t sin…ever? No. Are you made perfect by keeping the whole of the law? No. Is that the 613 commandments or the ones that you say are only relevant to you in your life? Be honest here.
6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
If you continue to live in Christ don’t continue you sin. We aren’t perfect as Christians and followers of Jesus and by all means even saying that doesn’t mean you can go raise hell and then ask forgiveness knowing God and well your going to do it. If that’s the case, go be a Catholic and go to mass. Did Abraham, or Isaac, or Jacob or Moses or David sin? Were they perfect? No they weren’t. They all meant good and on occasions missed the mark. What did they do when they sinned though? They repented.
I don’t believe Torah or let’s just call them what they are since they like labels, LAW OBSERVANT folks, do these scriptures any justice. They pick and choose scriptures to fit their view (as do “Grace” Christians) like they pick and choose what laws they choose to follow that will best suite them. The same LAW OBSERVANT folks who won’t eat shell fish and walk around wearing a tzit tzit are the same ones who got the cool Yashua tattoos in Hebrew. They pick and choose and would rather ignore one verse in Leviticus about marking your skin over what mot to eat.
If you are a LAW OBSERVANT Christian then you best understand the 7 trips Moses had ip to Sinai to get a full grasp of calling yourself Torah Observant. If you don’t then you are just making yourself a servant of the LAW, and you will fail, or let’s just say…miss the mark. Would you rather miss the mark by trying to keep the mark or miss the mark and rely on the One who to the MARK away? I think Albert Barnes summed up verse 6 nicely. “The passage teaches, indeed, most important truths in regard to the true Christian; and the fair and proper meaning may be summed up in the following particulars:
(a) He who is born again does not sin habitually, or is not habitually a sinner. If he does wrong, it is when he is overtaken by temptation, and the act is against the habitual inclination and purpose of his soul. If a man sins habitually, it proves that he has never been renewed.
(b) That he who is born again does not do wrong deliberately and by design. He means to do right. He is not willfully and deliberately a sinner. If a man deliberately and intentionally does wrong, he shows that he is not actuated by the spirit of religion. It is true that when one does wrong, or commits sin, there is a momentary assent of the will; but it is under the influence of passion, or excitement, or temptation, or provocation, and not as the result of a deliberate plan or purpose of the soul. A man who deliberately and intentionally does a wrong thing, shows that he is not a true Christian; and if this were all that is understood by “perfection,” then there would be many who are perfect, for there are many, very many Christians, who cannot recollect an instance for many years in which they have intentionally and deliberately done a wrong thing. Yet these very Christians see much corruption in their own hearts over which to mourn, and against which they earnestly strive; in comparing themselves with the perfect law of God, and with the perfect example of the Saviour, they see much in which they come short.”
And the sad thing about this ” following the LAW is good” guy, he ignored Leviticus 19:28. Irony of missing the mark by marking yourself…