What are the so-called “Seven Deadly Sins” in the Bible? Is that what they’re really called?
All Sin is Deadly
It only takes one sin to bring down any of us but we have multitudes of sins by now in our lives so “only one sin” seems ridiculous. The point is, God hates sin and sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2). Don’t get the idea that those who sin less are going to escape the wrath of God. The only way anyone can enter the kingdom is that they are perfect, but God has provide a way and we read about it in 2nd Corinthians 5:21 which says that it was “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” but then, the question comes up, are some sins worse than others? Are all sins alike? What are the so-called “Seven Deadly Sins?” Are they deadlier than others?
The Seven Detestable Sins
There are sins that are declared deadly but some that are called detestable, so those sins listed in Proverbs 6:16-19 are more detestable than deadly, though again, all sin is fatal unless a person repents and trusts in Christ. Proverbs 6:16-19 says “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him; haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.” Aren’t these sins deadlier than others? I believe adultery and murder and worse than lying and stealing, so yes, some sins are worse than others. Some sins required the death penalty in the Old Testament but some just a fine or restitution. Even today, some crimes warrant the death penalty because they’re more detestable than other crimes, so what are the deadlier sins that God singles out more often? Are some sins unforgivable?
The Roman Catholic Church used the so-called “Seven Deadly Sins” for Christian ethical education and for confession, beginning sometime in the fourth century AD. These list of these “Seven Deadly Sins” is; Lust, Gluttony, Avarice (or greed), Sloth (laziness), Wrath (anger and hatred), Envy (covetousness), and Pride which is at the root of all sin. Yes, these might sound deadly, but are they really any deadlier than other sins? Are they worse than sexual immorality? Not at all! That’s why Paul told the church at Corinth to “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body” (1st Cor 6:18). They should have known “that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh” (1st Cor 6:16).
Another sin that was deadly in the literal sense was that of not discerning the Lord’s body and blood while taking the Lord’s Supper or Communion. Some took it so casually and without thought even though Paul warned them that “anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died” (1st Cor 11:29-30). Can you get any deadlier of a sin than that! Even lying to the Holy Spirit was enough of a sin to God that Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira were killed on the spot (Acts 5:1-10 and as a result “great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things” (Acts 5:11).
The Seven Deadly Sins
Here is a list of the Seven Deadly Sins as they are commonly known;
Avarice (or greed)
Wrath (anger and hatred)
I believe pride should be placed first because pride’s at the root of all sin. It caused Lucifer’s fall from heaven, it cause Adam and Eve’s fall from grace and it caused Peter’s denial of Christ three times. Pride always comes just before a great fall.
If I were to rank sin, I believe that the worst would be murder and then sexual immorality but also taking the Lord’s Supper or Communion lightly. Murder is deadly because we’re made in the image of God and when we take a life, God will take ours. Also, sexual immorality is very deadly because the marriage bed is to be pure and undefiled (Heb 13:4) and all sexually immoral people who don’t repent will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev 21:18). I disagree with what most people call the “Seven Deadly Sins” because some sins are worse and some are more deadly than others. You’re dead in your sins right now (Eph2:1) without saving faith in Christ (Eph 2:8-9). Repent today or meet your Judge at any moment (Heb 9:27; Rev 20:12-15).
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.