Sin’s Sinfulness

A great preacher, now deceased, to whom I used often to listen with profit and delight, would sometimes shout dramatically, “God never classifies sin.”

His words were intended as a protest against a careless attitude toward certain forms of sin, and in their context I agree with them. Nevertheless God does classify sin and so does the law of the land, and so does the conscience of every man.

As various serpents differ from each other in their power to kill, so various sins carry different kinds of venom, all bad, but not all equally bad, their power to injure depending upon the high or low concentration of iniquity they carry in them.

Within the precincts of religion are sometimes found certain sins which I want here to mention. These may be classified under three heads: Sins committed out of weakness, respectable sins more or less allowed by everyone, and sins that have been woven into the religious fabric until they have become a necessary part of it.

No sin is to be excused. Every sin carries its own penalty. But the sin committed on impulse or the sin committed out of weakness over the protests of the heart surely does not carry the same deadly charge as those done with brazen deliberation. From such a sin there is complete deliverance by the power of Christ; and from such there is more likely to be, since it is a grief to those who commit it.