Ask a Pastor Column

Presenting biblical answers to tough questions


October 19, 2023

Q: What are sins of omission? Can you give some examples?

Theologians sometimes divide sin into two categories: sins of commission and sins of omission. Sins of commission are the kinds of sin we normally think of: stealing, lying, etc. An easy way to remember it is this: any sin that you can “commit” is a sin of commission.

On the other hand, sins of omission are sometimes overlooked by Christians. They involve any knowing failure to do what is right (i.e. to intentionally “omit” a right choice from your life). The key text that teaches on sins of omission is James 4:17, “Therefore, to him wh...

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