For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries

~ Hebrew 10:26-27

Just what is knowledge of your sin? Is it being told / someone agreeing with you? Only when the bible says is sin? What if you feel uneasy about what your doing? If feeling uneasy and know your doing wrong is a sin, what about doing something to protect those you love (fighting, not out of rage) or displaying tough love. Or rather, how does the bible separate knowledge of sin, the feeling you've done something wrong, and actual sin?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Nathaniel, KorvinStarmast, curiousdannii, Lee Woofenden, Dan Jan 20 '17 at 9:05

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • I assume you are asking what is "knowledge of your sin" separate from "conviction of your sin"? I'm not sure how to think about "feeling of sin". – Ci3 Jun 25 '12 at 20:38
  • 2
    Does the quote actually say anything about "knowledge of your sin?" - kinda feels like the quote and the question are barely related... – Marc Gravell Jun 25 '12 at 22:14
  • @ChrisHarris reworded it. And basically, yes. Is knowledge of your sin the feeling, having been told it's wrong/frowned upon, or just seeing in the bible it's a sin? – Fewfre Jun 25 '12 at 22:15
  • @MarcGravell 'knowledge of the truth'. I read that as knowledge of what is right or rather, knowing what you are doing is wrong. – Fewfre Jun 25 '12 at 22:17
  • Chris seems to have answered some of your questions but your questions are not related to the verse. This verse is saying 'If you Jews reject Christ even after it has become so clear that He is the Messiah to lead you into rest, there remains no hope for you.' Then in Heb 10 it covers how guilty feelings are no longer very appropriate, that was more for the days of offering sacrifices as a reminder of sins. Now by faith we obtain forgiveness and our free from a guilty conscience, even though we sin every day.What matters is - is your faith growing and sins shrinking by that faith. – Mike Jun 25 '12 at 23:57

I'm going to try my best, but please correct me if I stated anything incorrectly. It seems that most of your question lies in the separation between:

1) knowledge of sin

2) feeling of sin

3) actual sin

In relation to "the knowledge of the truth".

Well first off, what is "knowledge of sin"? Where do we get that? Romans 3:20 says:

Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.

With this, we can figure out that God's law is how we become conscious of our sin. This is how we are able to find out we are sinners. If I am correct, this is referred to as "revelation". Knowledge of our sin is revealed to us through God's Word and His standards (the law).

Further we have Romans 7:7:

What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”

What about "feeling of sin" and "uneasiness of sin"? I am unsure about how to answer you for this. Feelings are quite subjective and are hard to use as a basis. However, there is "conviction of sin" which goes a little deeper. This is because feelings are strongly tied to emotions whereas conviction involves a change of attitude toward sin. This is displayed by Joseph in Genesis 39:9 and Isaiah in Isaiah 6:5. They had a change in attitude toward sin. Note that this is different than having simply shame or a guilty conscious that anyone may have without any change in their action. "Uneasiness of sin" may be "conviction of sin" and since "knowledge of sin" is revealed through God's law, that should be the place to go to find out if that conviction is real.

Actual sin is any act contrary to the will and law of God. This can be through omission or commission. If you are truly concerned with whether something is an actual sin or not, sometimes it's best to check whether it is "definitely good" or "glorifying to God".

For this, there is Romans 14:23:

“Everything that does not come from faith is sin”

And 1 Corinthians 6:12:

“Everything is permissible for me—but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me—but I will not be mastered by anything”

There are some other passages you can check such as 1 Corinthians 10:31. Hopefully this would help clarify what is "not sin" so that you can know what "is sin".


Chris referenced the book of Romans already, which deals with this issue in depth. I consider at least the first four chapters very relevant to this discussion, and in re-reading them now I found it difficult to pull out specific verses to address the matter without pulling out whole chapters. But Romans 7:7, as Chris cited, is a good jumping-off point for my answer to your question:

Romans 7:7:

What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”

What I want to emphasize from this is the phrase "I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law." Knowledge of sin is simply that: knowing what sin is and that it exists. Sin is sin regardless of our understanding, but because we have the law (and the deeper content of the law being completed and perfected in Christ), we are able to have an understanding of the shape sin takes.

There is a simple analogy: If you had never experienced darkness, you would never have developed a concept of light. If you had never experienced sadness, you would never have developed a concept of joy. So too with sin - the Law revealed sin to man just as much as it revealed righteousness to man.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.