Ever hear someone say “well my sin isn’t as big as his sin” or “my lawbreaking is a big as hers?” I have and I find it annoying that 1) people would compare. Sin is still sin and breaking the law is still breaking the law. Second, committing sin is different from breaking the law. There is a difference. Sin is an immoral act which is considered to be a transgression against divine law. Laws are man made system of rules that are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior. While some laws are derived from divine law, there are differences how man and God see these crimes.
Misdemeanors are crimes which are punishable by a fine and/or confinement for up to a year. These crimes are considered less serious than felonies. There are three degrees of misdemeanors and are classified different state by state. First, Class A misdemeanors are punishable by confinement up to a year and/or a fine of $500 to $5,000. For example, possession of a controlled substance and resisting arrested. Second, Class B misdemeanors are punishable by confinement up to six months. Examples of a Class B can shoplifting and first offense DUI. Lastly, Class C misdemeanors are punishable by confinement up to 30 days or a fine. Examples of Class C are public intoxication and theft under $50. Violations are often lumped together with misdemeanors and are punishable by a fine only.
Felonies are more serious crimes punishable by death or imprisonment in a state or federal penitentiary for one year or more. There are four degrees of felonies. First, Capital offenses carry the maximum penalty of death. Examples are murder, espionage and treason. Second, a first degree felony has a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. Examples are arson, burglary and robbery. Third, a second degree felony has a maximum penalty of ten years imprisonment. Examples are assault with a dangerous weapon, aggravated battery and aggravated arson. Lastly, a third degree felony has a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment. Examples are embezzlement, theft, and fraud. There are some felonies which can be classified as a misdemeanor depending on the state and judge, these are known as wobblers.
Sin is disobedience to God. For example, the Ten Commandments are God’s laws about certain behaviors. Many of the laws in the Bible stem from these ten. In the eyes of God, sin is sin. There are no bigger sin or smaller sin. Murder and lying are equal to God and carry the same penalty: spiritual death. A just and perfect God could not just simply forget sins. He must deal with the injustice of sin, all sins. Sin is sin in God’s eyes despite being big or small in our eyes. God is holy and righteous that He cannot accept any sin regardless of how big or small it may be. In the Old Testament, the practice of a sacrificial lamb was established to cover the sins of the people. In the New Testament, Jesus came and fulfilled prophecy to be the ultimate sacrificial lamb.
In conclusion, the main difference between manmade laws and sin is after time served, the offender is usually free to go while sin carries an eternal punishment. What we really need to do is stop comparing. Don’t make yourself better because you only commit “little sins” or “little crimes.” It is little only in the eyes of man, not in the eyes of God. We need to take responsibility for our wrongdoings and admit that we do wrong. How many of you speed? All of us do but not all of us have gotten caught. Misdemeanors, felonies and sin are still wrongdoings. Even though misdemeanors and felonies have various degrees, sin does not. We all have fallen short of the glory of God and are redeem through Jesus Christ (Romans 3:23-24) for those who willingly accept it.