We often hear people talk about “The Seven Deadly Sins” like there is a list in the Bible. Well guess what there is no list of seven deadly sins in the Bible. The movie Se7en, released in 1995, about a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as metaphors in his murders, shed light on what are thought of as the seven deadly sins. They are:
There is a scripture that lists seven sins in Proverbs that God hates, but they are not called deadly sins.
Proverbs 6:16-19 (NKJV)16 These six things the LORD hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:17 A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood,18 A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil,19 A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.
The seven deadly sins were first compiled by Pope Gregory I around the year 600.
Gregory also compiled a list of the seven virtues:
It is probably true that they were used extensively to teach principles from God's Word, particularly in the centuries before the invention of the printing press when the Bible was not available for the common man to read and study.
The Bible does validate all of these concepts, but nowhere are they recorded in a list like this and nowhere in the Bible are they specifically referred to as the seven deadly sins or seven virtues.
There are several more sins listed in Galatians, but they are not identified as deadly sins either.
Galatians 5:19-21 (NKJV)19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
These and the sins listed in Proverbs are clearly all sins and God despises sin.
Psalm 5:4 (NKJV) For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness, Nor shall evil dwell with You.
Isaiah 59:1-2 (NKJV)1 Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear.2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.
However the Bible tells us that the only sin that cannot be forgiven is complete rejection of God’s grace which is outright rebellion against God, also known as blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 12:31 (NKJV)31 "Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. (Bold mine).
1 John 1:5-10 (NKJV)5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. (Bold mine)
What Cures These “Deadly Sins”?
Salvation cures these deadly sins because with salvation comes the gift of a new heart.
Ezekiel 36:26-27 (NKJV)26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.
God puts His Spirit in us along with this new heart.
Acts 2:38 (NKJV)38 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 1:13-14 (NKJV)13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
It is the Holy Spirit in you that enables you to develop the fruit of the Spirit.
Galatians 5:16-23 (NKJV)16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
As the fruit of the Spirit becomes real in your life the seven deadly sins of gluttony, envy, sloth, wrath, pride, lust, and greed will lose their power in your life.
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Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.