devos from the hill


Sin – What Exactly Is It?

The deadly spiritual disease that infected all humankind.
Lesson 18 from The HOPE Study Guide


…just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned…

– Romans 5:12

Then she gave the fruit to Adam, and he ate. And immediately, they were aware of their nakedness and they were ashamed. Something terrible had happened. Something had changed. The evil in Satan was like an infectious disease. And through Adam’s disobedience, this disease was released into the world. It is called sin. It is a power that works within a person to destroy his or her relationship with God, ultimately bringing death to all it touches. Adam and Eve had been created to live forever in perfect harmony with God. By eating the fruit, they acted independently from God, which is exactly what Satan had done. Now they would experience death, first spiritually, then physically. And through Adam, sin would be passed down from generation to generation, infecting all humankind to this very day.

– The HOPE, Chapter 3


The word sin appears over 350 times in the Bible. It is most often used to identify an act against God (often referred to in the Bible as a transgression). One of the definitions of sin is literally, “missing the mark.”With this in mind, we could say that the “mark” is God’s way, and when we miss it, we are sinning.

Sin is also used in the Bible to describe the power that influences people to rebel against God’s authority. It is not only an act or an action against God; it is a personified power that influences us to act against God (seeGenesis 4:7 and Romans 6:12-13). Through Adam, this deadly power spread to the whole human race.

You can see why The HOPE describes sin as being like an infectious disease.It can’t be diagnosed with medical technology because it is not a physical disease. It’s a spiritual disease, and it always brings death. And only God has the cure.


Many people have the idea that all we must do to be right with God is be good. And a popular notion exists that anyone who manages to do more good than bad in life will go to heaven. The problem is that even if one lives a perfect life (which none of us can–Romans 3:23), that person would still be infected with sin, which is enough to keep us from having a right relationship with God. You see, it’s not only our “sins” that drive a wedge between us and God; it’s our “sin.” And just as we looked at Satan in Lesson 17 and determined that we are no match for him on our own, so also we cannot master sin without the power of God working in us.

  •  Are there things in your life with which you struggle, perhaps even habitually?
  •  Are there urges and desires in your life that you cannot eradicate, no matter how hard you try?
  •  Having honestly answered these questions, do you find it difficult to believe that there is a power at work within you called sin? Continue reading