Too often we grade sins by their effect on other creatures – or more often ourselves – without any regard for their effect against God. So we condemn the drug dealer, the alcoholic, the young single mother (and, sometimes, her boyfriend), the thief, and the murderer, but we give a pass to blasphemy, and lean in to hear gossip, and then thank God that we are not like these other men. In doing so we reveal yet another layer of our sinfulness – another manifestation of pride, wherein hurting *people* is somehow worse than sinning against God. As always, the Devil is clever in his attacks. He takes even our acknowledgement of wrongdoing and twists it so that we place ourselves above God.
Every sin is against God first of all, and every sin is rebellion against God.
Note King David’s prayer in Psalm 51, after he had taken Bathsheba from Uriah and then had Uriah killed:
“Against You, You only, I have sinned
And done what is evil in Your sight,
So that You are justified when You speak
And blameless when You judge.” (Ps. 51:4)
Is a man who hates others or a man who commits adultery with women in his heart a “better sinner” than the man who murdered someone or committed adultery?
Every sinful act is equally evil in the sight of God. Perhaps the easiest way to comprehend this is to realize that all sinful acts proceed from pride – from rebellion against God. Murder, gossip, and profaning the Sabbath day are all equal sins because they are all acts of pride.
Of course, even when we accept that every sin is equal in the eyes of God, we’re more likely to do so because something we’re guilty of seems far above the curve, and we’d be very glad to see it brought down a few notches. If I am a cocaine addict, I would very much like to feel as “sinless” as the church member a couple pews back who never seems to step out of line. And perhaps, given the emphasis we place in the wrong direction, the net effect of treating sins as equal in God’s eyes will be great relief on the part of society’s “worst”.
But for the rest, the effect of realizing the weight of your own sins will be a significant increase in awareness of your wretchedness. You, with your gossip, are no less a sinner than a homosexual – and may even be in greater danger than he is if he at least is struggling against his sin.”. A man who commits adultery is no better than a man who abuses women. You who hate your fellow student for whatever reason are not better than the man who killed his fellow student.
In the eyes of God you have both committed the same sins. In the eyes of God you are both offered salvation.
Every single day we are blasphemers, adulterers, murderers, thieves; hateful, idolaters, covetous, and more. And we commit each of those sinful acts to the same degree as others who are perhaps less “careful” about it. We are terrible, disgusting creatures.
And that is why God saved us by sacrificing His own Son.