NKJV - 26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins.
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In the world, there is a saying that 'Ignorance of the law is no excuse' This is also applicable when it comes to the Bible. God has given us a moral compass which is our consience which decerns right from wrong. (see Romans 1:20). The Bible explicitly contains the mind of God and how we are to live. Ignorance of gravity does not mean you will not fall when you jump out of a plane. We are moral beings and we know right from wrong.
In Romans 2, Paul indicated that the requirements of the moral law that God gave to Israel through Moses are known intuitively to all people (even if they were/are not part of the nation of Israel), as witnessed by their consciences. Since all people fail to keep the moral law perfectly, as God requires (and, thus, are sinners), then, as Paul said in Romans 2:12, "All who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law." On the other hand, Paul also said in Romans 2:27, "[I]f a man who is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision?", followed by Romans 2:29, where he said, "He is a real Jew who is one inwardly, and real circumcision is a matter of the heart, spiritual and not literal." This inward circumcision is thus not a physical act, but is achieved through faith in Christ's atoning death and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and the attainment of eternal life, just as Abraham was originally justified by faith (Genesis 15:6).
I accept that our conscience is a very handy compass on matters of right and wrong. Maybe the example used in the question, of killing, could be an extreme example. I wish to answer the spirit of the question, without dwelling on the specific example. God accepts that we may sin unknowingly. Lev 4:27 27 "'If a member of the community sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the LORD's commands, he is guilty. NIV So we do not make a blanket assumption that we always know what is wrong and what is right. When we sin unknowingly, we can count on God to be fair with His creation. Acts 17:30 30 In the past God OVERLOOKED such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere TO REPENT. NIV We have come full circle. If we sin unintentionally, we are guilty; but God takes the initiative to forgive us, and calls us to repent. He does not expect us to use our past ignorance of the past to continue sinning today. Heb 10:26-27 26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. NIV This summarizes everything now. We will not benefit from the overlooking if, after truth has been put before us, we continue in our old ways. Bless.
God decided what sin was by giving us his moral law. Jesus further explained this law in detail to include sins of "thought, word, and deed", "sins of commission" [deliberate acts of evil and wickedness] and "sins of omission" [failures to act justly, righteously and mercifully]. God is the judge and will justly punish all sin that has not been forgiven by faith in Jesus saving work on the cross. When the Holy Spirit was poured out on the day of Pentacost he was given many works to accomplish by the Father in heaven. One work was to indwell every believer in Jesus to help us to put off our old sinful ways and to put on the divine nature of Christ, moulding and shaping us to live out the character of Jesus in our lives. Because the Holy Spirit is present everywhere in the entire world, all the time, he was given the following tasks: 1) To convict every human being of their own personal sinfulness, by bringing awareness of every sin to the human conscience, resulting in guilt and/or shame leading to confession and repentance. 2) To declare to every human being that the only way to have a right relationship with God is through personal faith in Jesus Christ, because he is the righteousness of God. 3) To declare to every human being that rejection of Jesus Christ as personal Saviour and Lord will result in God's white throne judgement and eternal punishment in hell. Why do I believe this? Let's have a look at John 16:7-11: "But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgement: about sin, because people do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and about judgement because the prince of this world now stands condemned." The message of the Holy Spirit is delivered to every human being in a quiet voice. Only those people who are seeking God are able to hear and understand his message. However, wherever the gospel is preached, the Holy Spirit's message is delivered in a clear, strong voice that everyone can hear and understand. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes..." (Romans 1:16) Everyone will be judged by God for their sin unless they have been saved by Jesus. But people who have heard the gospel of Jesus Christ and rejected it will be punished much more severely. Jesus warned the villages of Capernaum and Bethsaida of the same judgement to come upon them (Matthew 11:21-24). Ignorance is never an excuse before the Lord God Almighty, creator of the heavens and the earth. But God is patient with us. Because of his great love, he is not willing that any should perish but that everyone would come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
How do humans even know there is a word called sin, and what that word means? The way we know is because the Bible says there is. Genesis 4:6-7), God uses the word, in telling Cain that sin was laying at his door and he needed to decide if he was going to choose to let sin in or not. Here is summed up the whole of sin, it is missing God's mark or target of what is Right. In the Septuagint " hamartia" is the Greek word used. So, it doesn't matter whether a person literally knows what they are doing is a Sin or not. Because of the sin nature in all, what doesn't hit God's Target for right is a sin. God knew humans couldn't meet His mark, so He sent Jesus to be able to meet His Target, thus when we are in Jesus God looks at Jesus not us and grants Righteousness to us, Spiritually.[ Isaiah 56:1] and [Romans 3:21-23]
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