We are studying Romans. We were in chapter 2:1-16 today. The person leading today made an interesting comment. She said there are “degrees” of sin. Many tried to ask her to explain and a few tried to point out that the consequences are different but sin is sin in God’s eyes. She was using scripture but it was very confusing. What does God’s Word say about this and could you give me specific scriptures to study?
It would be impossible to say there are levels of sin. Being raised Catholic, we had venial sins and mortal sins. You could work off venial sins by rosary and going to confession. For mortal sins, technically there was no forgiveness. That was where purgatory came in. Be that as it may, Catholic theology permeates this idea of levels of sin.
We’re all going to hell apart from Christ’s intervention. This passage, Romans 2:1-6, does not directly produce the conversation of levels of sin. It’s a pretty heavy passage. But then he says clearly there is no partiality with God. He’s talking about Jews and Greeks. All have sinned without the law will perish without the law, and those who sinned under the law will be judged under the law.
There is not a specific passage that talks about degrees of sin. However, the consequences differ, as we see in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 which says, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor those habitually drunk, nor verbal abusers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”
Sanctification is being positionally right before God. Your identity is no longer in your sin. It is in Christ because you are washed, sanctified, and justified. If there were varying degrees of sin, it stands to reason that there would be varying degrees of forgiveness, which is not the case. The degrees of consequence exist only on this earth.
Our Deep Need For Christ
We’re all sinners. We’re all going to hell in a handbasket apart from the efficacious work of Jesus Christ. He lived, died, was buried, and came back from the dead. We’re trusting in Christ and Christ alone for our salvation.
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