In the Gospel of Mary, Jesus explains what sin is. The scripture reads:
Peter said to him, since you have explained everything to us, tell us this also: What is the sin of the world? 26) The Savior said there is no sin, but it is you who make sin when you do the things that are like the nature of adultery, which is called sin. 27) That is why the Good came into your midst, to the essence of every nature in order to restore it to its root. 28) Then He continued and said, that is why you become sick and die, for you are deprived of the one who can heal you. 29) He who has a mind to understand, let him understand.
What? There is no sin except doing that which is like the nature of adultery? What can that possibly mean?
When I was practicing the Christian religion I was made aware that sins are numerous. Commonly agreed upon are the sins to avoid per the Ten Commandments, but save that, Christian denominations vary widely on what constitutes sin, from card playing to wardrobe and all manner of indiscretions in between. Some Christians even think that wearing wire rimmed glasses is a sin. Surely, if God wanted us to avoid sin he would not have made it so complicated. Then I realized that he didn’t make it complicated at all….he who has a mind to understand, let him understand.
The most common Hebrew word translated as “sin” in the bible is the word chata’ah, which denotes to inadvertently be in error or make a mistake. Another Hebrew word translated is pesha, which represents a deliberate act of rebellion or defiance, and is often translated as “transgression.” The other Hebrew word is avon which conveys perversion, distortion, and evil intent. Avon is often translated as “inequity” in the bible. The Greek words translating to sin in the bible are hamartia and hamartano which mean to be without a share, miss the mark, err, be mistaken, possess a tragic flaw, wander from the path, or violate God’s law.
Sin is a trespass against God’s will. Jesus stated succinctly what the will of God is when he said that all of the law and all of the prophets were summed up in two commandments: Love God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself.
I have stated the following in previous posts, but I think it is worth repeating again. The main religions, from Judaism to Taoism, all have at the core of their beliefs the same commandment that Jesus taught– regard others as you regard yourself. It seems to me that if God has a will for mankind, he has made it known in this central tenet common to most religions.
In the scripture from the Gospel of Mary quoted at the top of the post, Jesus conditioned his statement that there is no sin, with the words, “but it is you who make sin when you do the things that are like the nature of adultery.”
What is the nature of adultery?
The nature or characteristics of adultery are those of temptation, infidelity, impurity, betrayal, disloyalty, treachery, faithlessness, deceitful and being disingenuine and inauthentic in a vowed union. When used in a sexual connotation it describes the betrayal of the marital bond of oneness, defiling the joining of two bodies as one. But in spiritual terms, it describes the betrayal of the union of the soul and the Source, a willful separation of the spiritual oneness of the Source and the “I Am” essence within. It pollutes the purity of the divine status of unity which is the requirement for the soul existing in a material plane to remain bonded with the Source. The “I Am” essence within is the one spirit of God, entwined within each being and unified in the All. To corrupt the unity of intertwined souls is to break the bond with the Source; or to desire anything more than the faithful union with God constitutes spiritual adultery, and the act of sin.
The “Seven Deadly Sins” of greed, gluttony, sloth, pride, envy, lust and wrath are well known in the Christian culture. But they are not “the” sin; they are the consequences of sin, which is the failure to love. We miss the mark (err) and deliberately rebel (transgress) and manipulate or perverse the will of God (create our inequities) when we choose not to follow the one commandment to love others as we do ourselves, or more specifically when we fail to maintain the interwoven souls of our brothers and ourselves in the All of God. The only true sin is to not love, but the ramifications of this failure are great and many.
The Apostle Paul most eloquently defines the state of love:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
If the soul abides in the state of love, the consequences of sin do not manifest. Our fall from grace is to forsake abiding in the conditions of love. This is our great sin, not being the inherently inferior descendent of a man who ate an apple.