DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SIN AND ERROR # 15108

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The Bible says, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" Romans 3: 23-24. The Word of God speaks of sin in the lives of people. It also speaks of His redeeming grace through the Plan of Atonement or cancellation of debt that Our Lord Jesus Christ put into effect through His death and resurrection. It is important to understand the difference between sin and error. It is called sin when it is a violation committed against a Divine law, that even though we feel badly about it, the temptation is too great and we commit it again and again; there is a tremendous attraction to do it again. The individual who violates the law wishes to be punished and by doing so, feels exonerated. But when temptation arises again, he yields to it once more. This is how someone becomes a slave to sin. And even though he seeks for ways to be punished in order to get rid of his guilt, he does not ask for God's help to correct his fault and overcome temptation because he hasn’t experienced true repentance.  Only with God’s help can he succeed.

It is called error when the individual commits a violation of a divine law and feels bad for what he did. He sees it as a mistake. There is no attraction for repeating the action. There is remorse for the pain he caused, he has no desire to do it again, he wishes to make restitution, and there is confession.  That is the difference between error and sin. Sin is hidden, it remains unconfessed; therefore, it cannot be forgiven.  An erroris admitted, it is brought to light and it is corrected. The individual seeks for the help of the Holy Spirit to have the strength not to do it anymore. No matter the magnitude of the error, it is always correctable. Sometimes a sin is committed again and again with distressing results, but without losing its appeal, and suddenly you change its status from a sin to a mistake. Now you will not repeat it. You merely stop and let it go, unless the guilt remains. When the guilt has not disappeared, it is because the individual has not forgiven himself. Ultimately, everything comes down to forgiving ourselves.

Sin is always linked to a feeling of guilt, but as we accept God’s Plan of Redemption the feeling of guilt disappears.  Admission of fault is not sufficient to eliminate that feeling.  It needs to be corrected, and corrected by God. Perhaps the individual thinks that if he doesn’t commit the fault again, everything will be a matter of the past. But if the negative emotion is still present, it means that the chapter is still open. It doesn’t close automatically. We need to observe ourselves and see if we have developed a pattern that makes us feel guilty; something that makes us feel as though we failed someone or something. That is just a reminder that we left something behind us unresolved. That is an unforgiven sin we must resolve. And what is sin but a mistake that we keep hidden, and therefore remains in force? When guilt is present, we can be certain that we have not forgiven ourselves. Would you like to get rid of that sense of guilt? The solution is next.

We cannot, by our own means, make the guilt go away. We need divine help. The help of the Holy Spirit is available. If you tell Him everything that happened from your own point of view and you ask Him for peace, He brings His light and removes the negative emotion, and leaves only peace. “To give a problem to the Holy Spirit to solve for you means that you want it solved. To keep it for yourself to solve without His help is to decide it should remain unsettled, unresolved, and lasting in its power of injustice and attack… The little problems that you keep and hide become your secret sins, because you did not choose to let them be removed for you. And so they gather dust and grow, until they cover everything that you perceive and leave you fair to no one. Not one right do you believe you have. And bitterness, with vengeance justified and mercy lost, condemns you as unworthy of forgiveness. The unforgiven have no mercy to bestow upon another. That is why your sole responsibility must be to take forgiveness for yourself.” T-25.IX.7:5,9.

"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all."  2 Corinthians 13:14

Ruth