Are All Sins Equal to God?

Author Tim Barnett Published on 09/03/2015

It is very common among Christians to hear that all sins are equal. But is that really true? Are all sins equal to God?

The answer is, yes and no! If we are comparing one sin to another, then the Bible makes it clear that not all sins are considered equal by God. This is actually made clear from Jesus’ own teaching. First, Jesus testifies that there are greater sins (and, by extension, lesser sins). Standing before Pontius Pilate, Jesus says, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin” (John 19:11). Not only does God regard some sins as greater and some lesser, but Jesus tells us that there is a greatest sin. Jesus states, “whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come” (Matt. 12:32b).

It follows that if there are degrees of sins, then there must be “weightier matters of the law” (Matt. 23:23). In fact, we are explicitly told that there is a “great and first commandment” (Matt. 22:38). So it seems that all sins are not same to a Holy God; some are a greater offense to Him.

However, in another sense, all sin is equal. All sin is the same in the sense that any one sin will separate you from God (James 2:10). Maybe a better way to put it is that any sin has the same consequence of separating us from God. The wages of sin, any sin, is death (Rom. 6:23). It only takes one. That is bad news for every person that has ever drawn breath. The good news is that Jesus died for the sins of the world (1 John 2:2).