I find it interesting that Christians can assign degrees of seriousness to sin. Some, they say, are small sins. Some sins send you straight to hell. But I don’t see the Bible teaching that.
What degree of sin did Ham commit? In Genesis 9 we see that Ham saw his father, Noah, drunk and naked, then ran to tell his brothers what he had seen. Sounds serious to me. But he didn’t murder anyone.
How can you tell where any sin falls on the mortal scale of degrees of sin? Jesus pretty much answers that. He said, in Matthew 5: You think murder is a big sin? I’m saying if you hate someone you are a murderer. You think adultery’s bad? You better be careful how you look at someone you’re not married to because you commit adultery if you even think about having sex with them.
Jesus didn’t come to abolish the law. He came to fulfill all the requirements of the law. But that doesn’t mean we have it easier than those Old Testament saints.
In fact, Jesus takes us one step further. He makes it plain that we can and do sin in our minds. The point is that sin is sin, there is no such thing as a big or a little sin. Committing a sin makes me a sinner, whether I act it out in my mind or in my body. And being a sinner, I need a Savior.
The good news is that all sin is forgivable. (I John 1:9) I need to go to Jesus with every sin I commit. When I ask him to forgive me, he does! Jesus reminds us his standard of behavior is perfection, holiness. (Matthew 5:48).
I, for one, need Jesus’ holiness because that train has already left the station in my life.
Dear Jesus, may your people recognize the seriousness of any sin in our lives. May we be quick to come to you for forgiveness when our thoughts, our feelings, our actions become sin. May we allow you to place your holiness on our shoulders, because frankly, we have none of our own. We want to stand before you wearing your perfection, and we thank you for the privilege you’ve given us through your own precious blood. Defeat Satan in our lives today. And may we show an unbelieving world what your holiness looks in us.