There are two words that often get intermingled, sin and trespass.
Sin is: to miss the mark, or an offence.
Trespass is: treachery or a fault.
We know that they are not the same because when we look at the different offerings that God gave to Moses in the law we see that they each have a separate offering.
The normal acceptance is that sin is a wrong doing towards God and trespass is a wrong doing towards man.
Jesus tells us what sin is:
Joh 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
Joh 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
Joh 16:9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;
Belief is the root of faith and without faith it is impossible to please God.
Heb_11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Therefore to not have faith in God is sin.
Sin, is not believing God, and not having faith in Him and trusting Him.
Trespass is the fruit of sin.
When we look at the temptation of Eve we see that first the serpent got Eve to dis believe God
Gen 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
Gen 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
And then she ate of the fruit
Gen 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
First the sin – not believing God
Then the trespass – and then doing the wrong thing.
When we look at the Ten Commandments we see that the first ones are the right thing to do towards God and the second the right thing to do towards man.
If we get the first part right we will also get the second part right. The reason that we get the second part wrong is because we do not believe God and get the first part wrong.
Jesus put this simply when He said:
The first commandment is to love God with all your being and the second is to love your neighbour as yourself.
1Jn 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
1Jn 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
In verse 16 we see the three roots of trespass;
- the lust of the flesh,
- and the lust of the eyes,
- and the pride of life.
One or more of each of these is what courses us to commit a trespass.
When Jesus was in the desert after fasting for forty days and nights these were the three areas that Satan tried to break Jesus down by.
The lust of the flesh – turn these stones into bread.
The lust of the eyes – bow down to me and I will give you all that you see. (It was not his to give but if Jesus had bowed down it would have been.)
Pride of life – cast yourself down and call on angels to catch you.
If Jesus had accepted one it would have been as though He had accepted them all.
One thing that I have learnt in life is that “once you compromise in one thing, you lose the very thing that you compromised to gain.”
In Pauls letter to the Galatians in chapter five he talks about the fruit of the flesh compared to the fruit of the spirit and he implores us to follow the spirit.
Once we stop believing God and what He has for us we are in sin, and this opens us up to follow the things of the world, the things that will eventually destroy us.
Adam and Eve fell from God’s righteousness through disobedience and they ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. When we think of evil we think of extremely bad and this gives us the impression that we can be bad as long as we are not extremely bad or evil. The word translated evil also means bad, so actually the translation should be the knowledge of good and bad, basically either or, there is no part way, we are either good or bad.