Are All Sins Equal in the Eyes of God? (What does the Bible say?)

🌺 Published by Brittany Ann

 Are All Sins Equal in the Eyes of God? (What does the Bible say?)Pin

Are all sins really equal in the eyes of God?

Some Christians believe so.

And honestly, it’s not hard to see why.

Yes, there are Bible verses that seem to suggest that all sins are equal in the eyes of God.

Then there’s also the added benefit that: If all sins are equal, then no one is allowed to judge, right?

After all, if my sins are just as bad as your sins, who am I to judge you (or anyone)? So no one speaks up, and we all just go on living however we want.

After all, we’re ALL just sinners, right?

Pretty convenient.

 

Unfortunately, as popular as this belief may be in some Christian circles, it simply is not Biblical.

This is because, while you certainly could find a verse or two that would suggest all sins are equal, you’ll also find a LOT more Bible verses that prove they’re not.

 

Let’s look at what the Bible really has to say about “Are all sins equal…

 

Where the Phrase “All Sins are Equal in the Eyes of God” Comes From

 

As far as I can tell, the most common argument for the belief that all sins are created equal comes from James 2:10.

It states:

“For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.”

 

In other words (according to the argument), it doesn’t matter which sin you break. If you stumble on just one point – any point – you’re guilty of all of it. Therefore, all sins are the same, since they lead to the same end result.

 

And yet, when you go back and read these verses in context, this isn’t what these verses are saying at all.

In the passage leading up to this verse, James is discussing favoritism in the church…

 

You see, back in those times, the idea that all people were created equal was VERY foreign to their way of thinking. In fact, for rich, poor, men, women, Jew, Gentile – everyone – to meet together as one body was completely unheard of.

In those days, women were second-class citizens (basically property), and if you were poor or had a chronic medical condition, everyone assumed you were cursed by God for some sin you (or your parents) have previously committed.

People didn’t help the poor, the hurting or the “down and out” like we might today. They looked down on them and discriminated against them, assuming they were terrible sinners who deserved their punishment.

So it was no surprise the first century Christians were having trouble with it.

 

This is why, in James’ passage, he’s not answering the question “Are all sins equal?” at all.

James isn’t saying that all sins are equal, but that all people are created equal. We all fall short of the glory of God, and we are ALL sinners in need of a Savior (see also: Romans 3:23).

In other words — Stop discriminating against the poor and treating them unfairly, because you are sinners just like they are. 

Your sins may be different than theirs, but we ALL have sins we struggle with. You’re no better than them.

 

We take this for granted today, but this was truly revolutionary at the time.

 

So Are All Sins Equal in the Eyes of God? What Does the Bible say?

 

James chapter 2 isn’t actually about whether all sins are equal in the eyes of God. But thankfully, there are plenty of other Bible verses that are.

 

Take these for example:

  • In Matthew 5:19, Jesus refers to “the least of these commandments,” implying that some commandments are more important than others.
  • In John 19:11, Jesus says “the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin,” meaning there are lesser and greater sins.
  • Matthew 11:23 – 24 says, “it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you,” implying that their judgments will be unequal because their sins were unequal.
  • In Luke 12:47-48, Jesus tells a parable in which some servants are beaten with many blows while others are beaten with few blows. Again, different judgments implies different amounts/severity of sin.
  • 1 John 5:16  tells us that some sins lead to death, while others do not.

 

And these are just a few examples. There are tons more.

 

Plus, it’s just common sense.

Would you expect or even want the same punishment for someone who drove 5 mph over the speed limit and for someone who brutally murdered their own children?

Would you leave you husband for losing his temper once when he had had a very stressful day, the same way you would if you found out he had been cheating on you for years?

I highly doubt it.

 

Yes, every sin separates us from God, but that doesn’t mean all sins are equal.

 

 

Have you ever wondered “Are All Sins Equal in the Eyes of God?” What were you taught on the matter?

 

Brittany Ann

Brittany Ann is an author, speaker, and founder of EquippingGodlyWomen.com, a popular Christian-living website dedicated to helping women be “all in” in faith and family.

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  1. Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you

    Seriously.

    As usual, far more eloquently than I could have put it but I’m always trying to convey this when people minimize great sin (abuse, for example) saying that person is no worse a sinner than someone who, say, tells a white lie. Yes, in fact, they are.

  2. Thank you for making this matter so clear – I actually like s/he who commits sexual morality sins against God and against his/her body’, whereas other sin are outside the body. I think saying all sins are equal is really trying to be let of the hook. From experience, I know there sins that lead to the death-where your spirit just shut down and those that do not lead to death-but to repentance and acknowledgement of one’s weakness and need for a saviour. So the aim is to..not sin, every sin does something to a Christian, and God forgives all, but it is clear from the Bible that not all sins are equal.

  3. I have always wondered about this question and have never had it explained with such biblical authority, which is the only resource qualified to discern an answer to it. God bless you!

  4. But I think it is important to remember that all sin is equal in the fact that it all separates us from God and the wages of sin is death. If I am going to get a burn on my finger, do I want a first, second, or third degree burn? I don’t want any burn! Yes, one would be worse than the other but they would all bring discomfort. So while I agree punishment will ‘fit the crime’, we need to protect ourselves from the possibility to justify our sins by the potential levels of discipline. ‘Well, my sin isn’t as bad as that.’ The wages of sin is death. Romans 6:23

    1. "It is important to remember that all sin is equal in the fact that it all separates us from God and the wages of sin is death." Absolutely, Jennifer!

  5. Brittany….while you give a good argument and quote some scripture to support it, I am not totally convinced. I think this question could be debated.. I do find it interesting that those who agreed with you, you had a reply. To the one person, Jennifer Fox, who wasn’t totally on board, you had no reply and I’m not sure why? Just an observation.

    1. Honestly, just because as this website has grown, I can’t get to every single comment as much as I’d like to! I pop in to reply when I can, but unfortunately, there’s always a few I miss! Wasn’t intentional 🙂

  6. I agree so I guess in a sense all sin is equal if God can forgive all (minus the unforgivable sin) and even a liar will go to hell it seems kind of equal to me.

  7. If the eternal consequence of sin is the same for every sinner, then God sees them all the same. Maybe if the writer can show scriptures that points to a different hell fire for prostitutes and another (milder place of eternal doom) for liars, we may consider this post; but if everyone of us will be assessed based on the righteous word of God instead of against other people’s sins, then we must know that God has no time for classification of sins. One sinner won’t be judged based on the fact that she is only a liar and therefore better than a murderer… God’s word put “All liars and other sinners” in the same hell bound category. I think those who really hope to get off the hook by self righteousness is that person who feels she is better than another sinner. Stay blessed.

  8. Romans 8: 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

    “For your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[j]

    37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    This is in response to your comment that every sin separates us from God.

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