The clearest biblical definition of sin is found in 1 John 3:4: “Sin is the transgression of the law”
The Old Testament was written in the Hebrew language and the Hebrew words for transgression and transgress reveal a clearer understanding of what is sin.
The Hebrew word for transgress in the above verse is abar, meaning to “cross over.” It can also mean to “turn away”. The Hebrew word for transgression is pesha,which means rebellion or a revolt or sin. “Blessed is he whose transgression [rebellion, sin] is forgiven, whose sin is covered” (Psalm 32:1).
Sin can refer to a general condition of living apart from God and His law either in ignorance or unbelief. Sin also refers to specific acts of disobedience. Both the condition of sin and committing specific acts of sin bring undesirable consequences.
God’s law was given to show mankind the best way to live in harmony with God and others. God gave the law as a blessing and intended it to guide mankind into an abundant way of life (John 10:10). He wants all people to have prosperity, peace and joy in their lives.
upheld the law! He explained it, preached it, referenced it and made an emphatic statement of support: “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17). “Fulfill” means the opposite of “destroy.” He gave full meaning to the law and summarised it into two overall great commandments.
A man asked Him, “Which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus answered, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself’” (Matthew 22:36-39).
From the beginning, God established blessings for obedience and penalties for disobedience (Deuteronomy 5:4-5). Sin is ultimately against God Himself. God has designed human life to work best when it is aligned with His law.
A time is coming when Jesus Christ will break into history. He will return to rule the earth and to end moral confusion. He will establish God’s law as the law of the world. All people will understand the law. They will know what sin is and what the consequences of lawlessness are.