Q16: What Is Sin?

New City Catechism: Question 16


Christians practice catechesis to instruct believers on the foundational truths of the Christian faith. In a question and answer format, this form of discipleship teaches the Apostle’s Creed, the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, along with the basics of the Bible. The New City Catechism, created by Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, asks 52 questions, one for each week of the year, on topics such as God, creation, and salvation. Each video provides an extended answer to the question from either a pastor at Redeemer or council members of the Gospel Coalition. This video with John Lin, Lead Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church’s Downtown Congregation in New York City, answers the question, "What is sin?”



1 John 3:4 (ESV)

4Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.



We can respond to question sixteen with the following answer: sin is rejecting or ignoring God in the world He created, rebelling against Him by living without reference to Him, not being or doing what He requires in His law—resulting in our death and the disintegration of all creation.


John said we sin when we turn our back on God and His Law. When we sin, it leads to death and disintegration. What stands out to you the most about this answer? Why?
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We fall into sin every day. But we do have hope in Jesus. He came, took on our sin and shame on the Cross so that we would not have to suffer the penalty of death and disintegration.


Does the answer to this question impact your Christian walk? If so, how and why?
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Read through 1 John 3:4. Take a moment to reflect on your sin. Use the space below to respond. You can write out a prayer, list the implications of sin, or brainstorm ways you can apply the principle to your life.
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The Catechism can help you remember the core beliefs of Christianity. Take time this week to learn the answer to this question and memorize 1 John 3:4. Allow God to transform your heart, mind, and actions as you follow Him.



 To learn more about New City Catechism or to download the app, click here