From Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words: Sin is, lit., “a missing of the mark, (a) a principle or source of action, or an inward element producing acts,” e.g., Rom. 3:9; 5:12,13,20; 6:1,2; 7:7 (abstract for concrete); 7:8 (twice),9,11,13, “sin, that it might be shown to be sin,” i.e., “sin became death to me, that it might be exposed in its heinous character:” in the clause, “sin might become exceeding sinful,” i.e., through the holiness of the Law, the true nature of sin was designed to be manifested to the conscience;
(b) a governing principle or power, e.g., Rom. 6:6; “(the body) of sin,” here “sin” is spoken of as an organized power, acting through the members of the body, though the seat of “sin” is in the will (the body is the organic instrument); in the next clause, and in other passages, as follows, this governing principle is personified, e.g., Rom. 5:21; 6:12,14,17; 7:11,14,17,20,23,25; 8:2; 1 Cor. 15:56; Heb. 3:13; 11:25; 12:4; Jas. 1:15 (2nd part).
…And an Understanding
The Bible describes our actions as sinning against our own bodies, others, and ultimately God. There are those that hold to a view that the sinful nature is gone in the life of the Christian. I personally don’t see that in Scripture. I’ve heard arguments for it (no sinful nature) and against it (sinful nature still exists in the Christian), and I’m not going to repeat any of them here. What I do know that sin is powerful in the life of a believer. I personally believe that in Romans 7:14-25, Paul is talking about his own struggle with sin. I’m not posting this to take a side, but to say Christians (especially this one), I believe by choice, struggle with sin.
What doesn’t make sense is that Adam and Eve had what they needed and chose to sin without having a sinful nature. Now even if we don’t have one, we are messed up by choosing to sin, when we have all things that pertain to life and godliness. If we have a sinful nature, we are sinning by choice and by nature. We are a lot like Paul in Romans 7, struggling daily, wondering about being delivered from this body of death.
I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
When we sin, there is a cost. The wages of sin is death. In time, I believe we die spiritually and cannot experience the fullness of what God has for us now. Spiritually, that is. I also believe we close the door on fellowship between us and God. He wants to bless, but our disobedience delays that blessing. And it does bring about chastisement, discipline at times.
We can know victory by faith in Christ. I believe we fail because somewhere in our minds we think that we are an exception to the rule—that our sins are acceptable, we can excuse them away.
I hope that’s not our mindset when we sin.
I believe we have to ask God to fill us daily with the Spirit of God. I know we struggle, but let us not be a people that are comfortable about the sins in our lives.