Seven Deadly Sins
While the phrase is not used in the Bible, for well over a thousand years there has been a list of seven sins that are singled out, by many in the Christian world, as cardinal. This is because of the writings and teachings of Pope Gregory I (Gregory the Great) from the 6th century. The seven are: Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, and Pride.
While all of these are sins, there scripture does not single these out as being worse than any other. Actually, there is a list of seven sins that God hates that is given in Proverbs (6.16-19): “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.” Try all you want you cannot get these two lists to line up. Why? Because the purpose of Gregory the Great was to point out paths to sin, not to point out specific sins. Lust leads to all forms of sexual immorality, Gluttony leads to all forms of physical consumptive excess, etc…
I understand what Gregory was doing, but I think we would be better suited to categorize sin into two categories: Sins against God; and sins against man. Jesus nods in this direction in Matthew 22.37-40. The letter that we call first John makes the point repeatedly that we must show love toward our brethren to show love toward God. And all sins are manifested by a lack of love.
While Gregory’s motives may have been noble (to keep people from sinning), I am not convinced God observes different levels of sins. All sin is a separation from God (Isaiah 59.2). Truly, sin is sin- and regardless of what type of category we might place it in, all sins are transgressions of God’s Word. And everyone is guilty of transgressing God’s Word. Quote the ugly truth of Romans 3.23, right? “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. But that verse is set in the middle of a beautiful passage of salvation for those who believe in Jesus Christ, because He was “put forward as a propitiation by His blood” for MY sins (Romans 3.25). For ALLmy sins. Hallelujah! What a Savior! (To be continued…)