It should seem, upon spending time in the Word, that there are numerous sins which are clearly defined. Relax, I am not about to start an exposition on interpreting which sins are clear or what actions could be argued as “more ambiguously prohibited.” The topic at hand is a dichotomy of perceived severity.
How often have you heard people say that murder or child abuse is the worst sin? These are common utterances, but we can also recall occasions when a contradictory idea is brought up: that God does not see any one sin as worse than another.
Is this even Biblical? I always had assumed so, but upon doing some research I could not actually find a verse which explicitly suggests that all sins are equal in God’s eyes.
The closest thing to this notion is that if you break any of the laws, no matter the “severity,” you are a transgressor, and thus, a sinner. But the Bible seems not to speak on the perceived severity of different sins from God’s perspective.
So why this natural inclination towards such ideas? I think it is because we are more intuitive about who God is than we realize. God reveals himself to us in mysterious ways. I suspect that despite the Bible’s silence on the issue, most of us would still have an unavoidable tendency to see God in a less discriminatory light when it comes to evaluating sins. A sin is a sin, and we all fall short of the glory of God.
I suggest that this dichotomy can be explained through looking at God’s general revelation to us.
There happens to be an elementary mathematical concept—one which we are all very familiar with. Elementary fractions. When calculating a fraction, a bigger result represents a greater difference between the numbers, whereas a smaller result means that the numbers are close in relative value.
So what does this have to do with sin, God and us? As finite creatures, all of our thoughts are limited, for the most part, to finite concepts. We have thoughts about the notion of infinity, and we use it regularly in mathematics, but no one can really imagine its true expanse.
Contrary to us, God has infinite qualities. His knowledge, goodness and presence are all infinite. So, what happens when you divide infinity by a finite number? The answer is infinity. The number could be ten or ten billion, and the ratio would still describe an infinite difference.
We can relate this to knowledge, something relatively quantifiable. No matter who we are, compared to God’s infinite knowledge, the ratio is still an infinite magnitude of difference.
This levels the field quite a bit.
This means that no matter how much knowledge anyone possesses, it makes no difference to God. This same concept can be applied to someone’s relative amount of goodness, lack of sin or marriage to sin. From God’s perspective of infinite goodness, we are all sinners.
An infinite amount of disparity exists between any goodness we perceive and the actual depth of God’s unbounded goodness.
Because we are to look to God to find who we are, this leaves no room to compare ourselves to others. Again, we are all just sinners who need God’s grace. No matter what we struggle with or the severity of the sins we have committed, God just wants us to look to and rely upon Him to save us.