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KIRK - I just would like to ask about the difference between sin and transgression. as far as i know transgression is not as heavy as sin. but i still need more explanation.

JOEL - According to the scriptures:

"Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law." (1 John 3:4)

So sin is transgressing or disobeying a law of God. However, it is possible for one to transgress a law of God but not sin. The words "transgression" and "sin" are usually considered synonymous. They can however differ in the sense that transgression lays emphasis on the violation of the law or rule involved, whereas the term "sin" refers to the wilful nature of the disobedience. Sin implies that one is aware of what the law is and has the ability to discern and choose right from wrong. Because Adam did not understand right from wrong it was possible for him to transgress the command that God gave him to not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, but we cannot say that he committed a sin. That is why our second Article of Faith states. "We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adamís transgression (not sin)" (AoF 2)

When a small child under the age of eight years old takes a piece of candy from the store without paying for it to give it to his mother as a birthday present, we can say that he transgressed the 8th commandment of God (Thou shalt not steal), but because he doesn't understand that it was a wrong thing to do, we would not call it a sin that he is held accountable for. A police officer might transgress the speed limit laws in pursuit of a criminal, but he is not held acccountable for breaking the law because he was doing it for a greater purpose, as was the case with Adam when he partook of the fruit and even the small child who wanted to give his mother a present.

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