The Five Most Popular Ways to Sin

Christians have plenty of reasons to be opposed to sin: It defiles the innocent; it degrades society; it destroys the soul. Another significant reason: It costs Jesus His life. Paul explained that “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures” (I Cor. 15:3b).
Any sin that might be committed will likely fall into one or more of these five common categories:
1. SINS OF ACTION. These sins are committed by doing, saying, or thinking things that violate God’s law. “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” (I John 3:4).
2. SINS OF INACTION. We sin by failing to do what God says we should do. James said that “to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17). It can be sinful to do nothing.
3. SINS OF SUBSTITUTION. Some sin by doing something different from what God has said. The prophet Malachi rebuked Israel for offering God injured animals instead of the best of the flock (see Mal. 3:8). God won’t accept second place (Matt. 6:24).
4. SINS OF ADDITION. Adding to God’s standards, even if what is added is otherwise good, constitutes sin. Jesus said, “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matt. 15:8-9). God’s law is perfect as it is (James 1:25). We must not go beyond what is written, even if good men urge us to (I Cor. 4:6).
5. SINS OF SUBTRACTION. The devil’s deceiving of Eve in the Garden of Eden involved his inserting the word “not” into one of God’s commands, attempting to take away a warning He had given (see Gen. 3:4). John explained that “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning” (I John 3:8). We must obey all of God’s will, and exclude none of His commands or warnings (Rev. 22:18-19).