Bible Question:

Is the knowledge of sin, sin?

Bible Answer:

Is the knowledge of sin, sin? The answer is no! But we have not explained what this phrase means. In order to do this, we will start at the beginning of Romans.

Our Conscience

In the first chapter, God tells us that every human knows that God exists – even the atheists who claim that there is no God.

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools . . .(NASB) Romans 1:20-22

Some day when those who have rejected God in this life stand before Him, God will be able to remind them of occasions when they sensed that God existed. They will have no excuse for ignoring God.

Our Conscience

When we arrive at the second chapter of Romans, God tells us that every human has an understanding of good and evil.

So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. (NASB) Philippians 2:12-13

Every human has an understanding of good and evil, even if that understanding is as simple as “it is wrong to murder.” Most non-Christians see good and evil from a selfish perspective. How does it affect me? So scripture is twisted and distorted and God is ignored or “changed” in order to accommodate one’s sin. God’s law of good and evil is written in our conscience. When judgment day comes, God will be able to say, “You sensed I existed and you had some understanding of good and evil.” That will be enough to send that person to hell if he/she does not believe in Jesus.

Any man who is good for anything, if he is always thinking about himself, will come to think himself good for nothing very soon. It is only a fool who can bear to look at himself all day long without disgust. And so the first thing for a man to do, who wants to be his best, is to get rid of semiconscious, to stop thinking about himself and how he is working, altogether.

– Phillips Brooks

Your Question

When we come to the third chapter of Romans, we finally discover that the Mosaic Law, which is found in the Old Testament, gives us a list of sins. It gives us an understanding of good and evil. The idea of sin is no longer our opinion. We finally understand what actions are sin. Sin is disobeying God in a number of areas.

Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, that every mouth may be closed, and all the world may become accountable to God; because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. (NASB) Romans 3:19-20


The Bible gives us our knowledge of sin. We sense that God exists. Our conscience convicts us of wrong actions, but it is the Bible that tells us what God actually considers to be sin. Then we understand sin. Sin is the reason that Jesus came to this earth and died. It is the reason He returned to life and returned to heaven. He did these things so that He could forgive your sins if you believe in Him. Thank you, Lord.

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