Lately, I managed to talk to a friend regarding the topic of repentance and forgiveness of sin. I remember, there was once a friend who was from another religion, and he ask me, Christians always advocate that one only need to repent their sins before God and God would forgive, and all one need to do is to says a sinners prayer.

So he brought a very extreme example before me “Imagine a guy who massacred his entire family, he comes before God, repent from his sins. Then later on… he took an machine gun to a church and gun down another congregation. Can he then go on forever and ever to say his sinners prayer and still gets to heaven?”

So.. i feel that theres a need for us to look once again into the bible, to see what is sin, what is repentance. We would first start to look at sin from the perspective of the Old testament, later on unto the New testament and to our present times.

1. So.. What is sin?
Sin simply put, is to miss the mark of Gods standards, generally God judges man for the following things

a. Both the good and evils that we have done (Ecc 12:13-14)
Generally, we often say that as long as we do not do evil, we are good. This is only half true in Gods perspective. Not doing evil is important, but God wanted man to actively do good. Just like what Elder James said in Jas 4:17, ” to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”. There are some people who thinks that one could atone for their sins by doing good, being vegetarians, saving many people. However, the millions of good things done doesn’t cover the fact that we have sin. Which is the reason why God exclaims that mans righteousness is like filthy rags before him. (Is 64:5-7).

Such a view is not just found in the bible. Even Confucius wrote in the Analects (Chapter 7 3rd verse) “德之不修,学之不讲,闻义不能徙,不善不能改,是吾忧也” Dé​ zhī​ bù​ xiū, xué zhī bù jiǎng, wén yì​ bù ​néng xǐ,bù ​shàn​ bù ​néng​ gǎi, shì wú​ yōu​ yě which means “Not cultivating virtues, not expounding understand, not upholding righteousness when necessary, not able to correct what is wrong, these are conduct that worries me”
He was worried that he is unable to restraint himself from doing evil, and am unable to do good. Paul upholds the same view as well in Rom 7:15-25)

that is why he further says that man has all fall short of the glory of God (Rom 3:22-23)

b. The sin of forgetting God. (Ps 9:16-17)
This is usually not well liked in the Christian message, as everyone thinks that sin is doing evil… How could forgetting God be a sin?
Lets take a look at Is 1:3-4. God created man in the beginning, he allows the sun to give forth light, and to allow the rain to fall upon the earth.. allowing food to grow. A person that forgets his parents, forgets his creator, even if the does Good and not do evil, is also considered sinners. That is why God specially gave the 5th commandment to Moses (Ex 20:12)

2. What is the effects of sins on us?
In Gen 3:6-7, Eve wanted to be equal with God, and wanted to set the standards of right and wrong, destroying the perfect relationship they have with God. They have started a problem where the standards is no longer known, (despite having a conscience). This is why from than on, man started to act only according to conscience, and conscience could easily be seared with hot iron (1 Tim 4:2). This means, if man continues to do evil day after day, initially their sensitive conscience may prick them, but they will soon grow indifferent to it…

The main effect of sin on man, is
1. From then on, man has to toil to survive (Gen 3:17-19)
2. Woman have experience childbirth pangs (Gen 3:16)
3. From then on, the result of that sin is death (Rom 6:23)
4. Lawlessness abounds when man does things that are right in their own eyes (look at Nazi Germany, and their massacre, not forgetting both crusades and jihads, Genocide Etc)
5. Man although knowing good, does not have the strength to do good, and constantly wars against his conscience (Rom 7:23-24)
6. All man has to die once, and after that face judgement (Heb 9:27)

In the next blog post, we will talk about sin and how it is forgiven from the perspective of the Old Testament and the New Testament.