Sin is not defined in terms of societal practise or national custom. Actions are defined as sin when God says so. Even one verse in the Word of God that calls something a sin, would make it sinful. All the many sins we commit are exposed for us in the Word of God. But then there are times when the Scriptures gives a list of sin – not verses scattered throughout the Bible, but a contained list. There are a few of them, and they are by no means all-inclusive, but they are very helpful for us as Christians in our fight against sin. They are also of great help in teaching others why they need the Lord Jesus as their Saviour.

The two most famous lists of sins teach us some very important truths. The first a list of sin for believers in particular. The context is that of Christians fighting sin and walking by the Holy Spirit.

Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Galatians 5:19-21

The other list is in the context of salvation. This is a good list to keep ready in talking to unbelievers about Jesus since the verse immediately following this list proves that God has forgiven those who were guilty of these sins.

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10

These two lists of sins make several important points. First, the ‘great’ sins of orgies, sorcery and idolatry are in the same lists as the ‘lesser’ sins of strife, jealousy, and greed; all sin is sin. Second, any one of these sins, and any sin like them, are worthy of eternal hell; sinners don’t enter heaven. Third, and this point is made from the context of each lists, these sins can be forgiven (1 Corinthians 6:11), and these sins can be overcome (Galatians 5:22-25).

Sin is bad. As Christians we must fight sin and live holy. Those who still are in their sins, need to realise that too, confess them to the Lord and be saved.