What The Bible Says About Unintentional Sin

Biblical View of Unintentional Sin

What The Bible Says About Unintentional Sin

As Christians, one of the first things we learn about is sin and our sinful nature as humans. We know that we should refrain from sinning. But what about the sins that are not intentional? Have you ever stopped to realize how many times a day you sin unintentionally? Realizing our tendency for unintentional sin can be a sobering reality for Christians. Does God view intentional sins differently than He views unintentional sins? Is all sin the same in the eyes of God? These are important topics that we must discuss as we seek to live our lives in a way that more closely reflects the heart of our Father.

What does the Bible say about unintentional sin? In the Old Testament, we learn of different types of sacrifices that were to be made depending on if your sin was intentional or unintentional. However, when Jesus died on the cross for our sins, He erased the need for sacrifices such as this.  Sin, whether voluntary or involuntary, reveals our need for a Savior. We must repent of our sins and work each day to become more like Christ.

It can be overwhelming to realize that we must consciously avoid unintentional sins. After all, if they are truly unintentional, we likely don’t even realize it is something that we struggle with! In this post, we will take a closer look at what the Bible has to say about unintentional sins. By developing a Biblical perspective on this topic, we will be able to more clearly understand and communicate our desperate need for Salvation.

Understanding a Biblical View of Unintentional Sin

By taking the time to understand topics such as that of unintentional sin, we grow in our appreciation for and understanding of Salvation. This allows us to convey truth and hope to the world around us as we seek to share God’s love with others. 

While we are often well-versed in the topic of God’s view on intentional and blatant sins, the topic of unintentional sin can be a bit more confusing. Let’s take a look at what the Bible says on this topic.

What is Unintentional Sin?

The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines sin as “an offense against religious or moral law; transgression of the law of God; a vitiated state of human nature in which the self is estranged from God”. From this definition, we determine that unintentional sin is an offense against God that is done unintentionally or mistakenly. 

Many times, unintentional sins are something as seemingly simple as holding a grudge, justifying your bad attitude, or taking advantage of other people. These are things that we seem to do without a second thought. Yet, at a closer look, we realize them for what they really are: sinful acts. 

Unintentional sin can be exceptionally frustrating for Christians as oftentimes it manifests itself in behaviors that are much harder to stop than intentionally sinful acts.

What Does The Bible Say About Unintentional Sins?

Leviticus 4 is one of the primary passages that speak to the issue of intentional sins versus unintentional sins. Leviticus 4:2-3 reads as follows, “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, If anyone sins unintentionally in any of the Lord’s commandments about things not to be done, and does any one of them, if it is the anointed priest who sins, thus bringing guilt on the people, then he shall offer for the sin that he has committed a bull from the herd without blemish to the Lord for a sin offering.”

In this passage, we see that a sacrifice could be made for someone who committed a sin unintentionally. However, in other passages of the Old Testament, we know that intentionally sinful acts required no opportunity for sacrifice or restitution. Because of these examples, it can be easy to assume that God views unintentional sins differently than intentional sins. 

However, the sacrifices of the Old Testament were replaced once and for all when Jesus died on the cross. As the ultimate sacrifice, Jesus came to die for our sins – both intentional and unintentional. 

In the New Testament, we find no distinction between intentional and unintentional sins. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Each of us deserves death as the penalty for our sins. But, through God’s gracious gift of salvation, we are given forgiveness of our sins and granted eternal life.

Does Unintentional Sin Alter Our Eternal Destination?

While it is not a popular topic, the discussion of our eternal destination often accompanies discussions of sin. This is because sin has a massive impact on where we will spend eternity after we pass on from this life. As Christians, we know that we have received forgiveness for our sins, past, present, and future. By accepting our need for a Savior and dedicating our life to serve Him, we are granted eternity in heaven. 

Even the most devout Christian struggles with sin during their lifetime. Whether intentional or unintentional, sin is a result of our sinful human nature. While it is important that we work hard to combat sinful behaviors, there is forgiveness for the times we fail. Unintentional sin can not alter the eternal destination of those who have put their faith in Jesus.

Unintentional Sins That You May Not Realize Are Sins

As mentioned previously, most unintentional sins go without notice. These are bad habits that we’ve developed and are a reflection of the sinful nature of our hearts. In many cases, these behaviors go on for years without a second thought to their true origin.

Here are a few common ways that Christians sin unintentionally in their daily lives:

  • Unintentional SinHolding a grudge against someone.
  • Putting your personal desires before God.
  • Justifying or remaining in a bad attitude.
  • Not celebrating another’s success.
  • Reacting in anger or hurt.
  • Taking advantage of people. 
  • Discouraging others through our words.
  • Not working as if unto the Lord.
  • Focusing on worldly passions. 
  • Criticizing others.
  • Gossiping or unkind words about others.
  • Telling white lies.


Of course, there are many other types of unintentional sins. It is important that we carefully monitor every area of our lives to combat habits that are rooted in sin. Thank the Lord for His grace and forgiveness that are available to us even in our moments of weakness.

The Consequences of Living in Sin

If we have accepted Christ and have received salvation, we have already been granted forgiveness for our sins. However, those who have not repented of their need for a Savior must realize the eternal consequences of their sins

Romans 3:23-26 reads as follows, “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” 

We have all sinned are in need of Salvation. Without this gracious gift, we will spend eternity in hell, forever separated from His presence. Fortunately, the gift of salvation is offered to each of us, regardless of our past, our present, or our future. 

By accepting Jesus as your Savior, repenting of your sins, and dedicating your life to follow Him, you receive forgiveness. When you pass on from this earth you will not spend eternity in hell but will spend eternity in heaven, worshipping the Lord.

In Conclusion

While we find mention of various responses to unintentional and intentional sins in the Old Testament, we realize that Jesus’ death on the cross was the ultimate sacrifice. All sin is sin in God’s eyes. Because of our sins, we deserve an eternity in hell, separated from God. However, in His great grace, He offers us salvation and forgiveness of our sins. 

As Christians, we must always be aware of unintentional patterns of sin that are present in our own lives. Many times, unintentional sins may go unnoticed because they seem unimportant in the grand scheme of things. However, we are called to strive to be more like Christ with each passing day. By putting away our old habits and behaviors of sin, we are able to more clearly convey the love of Christ to the world around us.

Are you interested in learning more about how to repent of your sins and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior? Our team would have no greater joy than discussing your eternal destination. Contact our team to discuss this important matter today! 

Related Questions

Is civil disobedience a sin? Many Christians wonder how they should approach the topic of civil disobedience. The Bible commands Christians to submit to the governing authorities that God has placed over them. However, when commanded to do something that is in direct opposition to God’s Word, Christians must stand firm and hold fast to their religious convictions. You can learn more about a Biblical view of civil disobedience here. 

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