Bible Question:

Is it a sin to break the law such as a vehicle law (speeding) or a game law (shooting a deer on your own property without a valid license)?

Bible Answer:

When a person breaks the speeding limit, he or she breaks the law. If a person shoots a deer and did not have the required license or a permit, then broke the law. The fact that a permit or license is required tells us the person did not obey the law of the government.

What is Sin?

There are many different opinions about sin. Some people believe that sin is serious and others do not. Some believe that suicide is serious sin and that it will send a person to hell. But God tells us that any sin is serious enough to send us to hell without Jesus’ forgiveness.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NASB) Rom. 6:23

Sin is sin in God’s eyes, and only by believing in Jesus can our sins be forgiven. Sin is breaking God’s laws.

. . . and sin is lawlessness. (NASB) 1 John 3:4

Sin is lawlessness. It is a violation of God’s standard.

Breaking Other Laws

God wants us to obey the laws our government imposes on us. In fact, it is God’s will that we obey the laws of our government.

Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. (NASB) 1 Peter 2:13-15

When we break our government’s laws, we are being lawless. This means that breaking laws such as the speed limit, or killing deer without a license is being lawless and God calls it sin. God wants us to obey our government because He establishes and remove governments.

Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore he who resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil. (NASB) Romans 13:1-4

Every government is a minister of God. Some governments are evil, but God uses them to suppress evil. Without them evil would be worse than it is.

We also sin when we break God’s laws. When we break God’s laws or the government’s laws, we are being lawless and sinning. But there is one time God does not want us to obey our government. When a government violates God’s law(s), He wants us to obey Him and not the government He created.

And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge;” (NASB) Acts 4:18-19

Conclusion:

We do not always plan to commit sins. Sometimes we are surprised by our own actions and discover that we have sinned. On other occasions, we know what we are doing and sin anyway. Both types of sin make God unhappy. Even though Christians are forgiven all of their sins – all past, present, and future ones – God asks us to confess our sins as we commit them because He wants us to live a holy life (1 Pet. 1:16). When we confess or admit our sins to God, He forgives them.

A Sunday School teacher had just finished teaching and wanted to make sure that she had made her point. She said, “Can anyone tell me what you must do before you can be forgiven of sin?” There was a short interval of silence and then from the back of the room, a small boy spoke up, “Sin,” he said.

When does God forgive our sins? He forgives our sins after we commit them and then admit that we did. He is faithful to forgive all of our sins.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (NASB) 1 John 1:9