Sin

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Christians believe that sin is any deliberate action that goes against God’s law. Christian teaching explains that sin separates humans from God and prevents salvation.

Many Christians believe that God gave humans free will so it is up to each person to decide for themselves whether to do good or evil. Only God can rectify the problem of humans often choosing to sin. To do this, he offered salvation through the sacrifice of Christ.

Original sin – Genesis 3

In the Bible, chapter 3 of the Book of Genesis tells the story of how sin first entered the world. Adam and Eve were tempted by the Devil in the Garden of Eden. They ate an apple from the Tree of Knowledge after God had warned them not to, and as a result they were banished from the garden.

Evil had now entered the world – this is known as the Fall. The sinfulness of Adam and Eve caused a separation from God that could have resulted in humanity’s eternal punishment.

For Christians, all humans are descendants of Adam and Eve. This means everybody is connected to this first act of disobedience against God, the first or original sin. Therefore, every person has the ability, and even an urge, to disobey God. St Paul wrote: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

Question

According to Christian belief, what separates people from God?

Sin. Humans have free will and can choose to do things that go against God’s will. These actions are called ‘sin’.