Analyzing the understanding of sin, we should put some general remarks to the theoretical implications of it as a theological term in order to be aware of its theoretical structure.
Sin in our relationship God
Talking about sin means talking about the nature of human being. This includes the question about the opportunity of sin as a result of human freedom as a constant quality of men given by God as their Creator. By that, the theological term sin always includes statements about the relationship between God and man. From a theological perspective, to sin always indicates a wrong behavior towards God, which is accompanied by a wrong relation towards oneself and the world.
We self-realize that we sinned?
Talking about sin, one must clarify what it contentual means to sin. This includes to deal with the nature of sin as unbelief, as egoism and a wrong behavior towards other human beings. Furthermore one has to figure out, whether sin is something which comes from understanding or will and also whether sin is committed consciously or not. The last thought also leads to the question, how men can be conscious about its own sin. More precisely one has to ask, whether men can be aware of their sin by themselves or just after a revelation of God.
Perspectives on sin
Reflections about the term sin also include statements about original sin and actual sin. Whereas original sin points to sin as a condition of human beings, actual sin is more reflected as something momentarily. Although that those two are different perspectives on sin, one could not separate them but has to clarify its connection in order to answer the question of guilt.
Based on Nele Weduwen
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