Sunday, April 02, 2006

Definition of Sin

The Westminster Shorter Catechism includes the following question and answer:

Q. 14. What is Sin?
A. Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of the law of God.

I can't seem to find a succinct definition of sin in the Lutheran confessions. My thinking, informed by everyone and his brother, is that sin is both state and trait, both a condition (concupiscence) and an action (trespasses). I've also heard that sin is anything that makes Jesus cry. Is there some nuance that I am missing here?

By the way, the first question and answer of the Heidelberg Catechism moves me deeply.

Question 1. What is thy only comfort in life and death?
Answer: That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ; who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him.

You can't argue with that, can you?


Anonymous Christopher Gillespie said...

Dr. David Scaer might say "All sin is unbelief."

2:19 PM  
Blogger CPA said...

Go to the Augsburg Confession article II which reads:

"Also they teach that since the fall of Adam all men begotten in the natural way are born with sin, that is, without the fear of God, without trust in God, and with concupiscence."

So sin is to be without fear and trust in God and to feel concupiscence (desire for what has not been given you).

The Apology has a superb exposition of this.

8:53 PM  

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