The word sin means missing the mark; a fault, failure (in an ethical sense), a sinful deed (http://biblehub.com/greek/266.htm). From the Scripture, we know that sin consists of missing the mark of God’s holiness. It is anything that we say, think, or do that is not holy- as God is Holy. Sin is any way in which people, who were created to be God’s image bearers (Genesis 1:26-27), fail to reveal an accurate picture of who God is or fail to worship Him as God. In this way, sin is a suppression of the truth about God; a suppression of the truth about God’s holiness; a suppression of the truth about God’s glory. In fact, the Bible qualifies sin as a falling short of God’s glory. All people have fallen short of God’s glory. Even people that the Bible describes as ‘blameless according to the law,’ ‘righteous,’ and ‘devout’ (Luke 1:6; Philippians 3:6), are still sinners and are still in need of a Savior. The Scripture is clear, “… all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
Acts of sin (sinful behaviors) consist of breaking the law of God and in not keeping the law of God. But, sin is more than what we do and what we do not do. Sin is a principle of rebellion at work within our mortal bodies, as well. It is a principle that the Bible describes as an “…evil lying close at hand… …waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive…” (Romans 7:14-25). You see, sin is more than misdeeds, misdemeanors, and misconduct; it is a principle within each human being’s flesh which is at war with God.
We are all born slaves to sin because we have inherited a sinful nature from the first man that was created, Adam (Romans 5:12-14, 18-19; 6:6, 20). When Adam disobeyed God, he died spiritually. In other words, when Adam sinned He became spiritually separated from God. In the Bible, death always refers to some form of separation; physical death is the separation of the spirit; the spirit meaning the breath or the life principle in living beings (http://biblehub.com/greek/4151.htm), from the body, and spiritual death is the separation of man from God (Who is the source of all life). Every person that was born after Adam, except Jesus, comes from Adam. Adam is the father of the human race and Adam’s wife Eve is the mother of the human race. For this reason, Adam and Eve are said to be the parents’ of the entire human race (Genesis 3:20, 4: 1-2, 5:1-5). All of our family trees have their roots in the union of Adam and Eve; therefore, we all share their spiritual DNA; we are all born corrupted by sin and under the judgment of God (Genesis 2:15-17; Psalm 51:5). As Romans 5:12 says, “… Sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned…”