What is the difference between sin and evil…if there is a difference.
This is a good question that does not have a simple answer. I’ll start by explaining sin.
We are born into bodies of flesh, which is sinful flesh, because it missed the mark of what we will be in the end.
Psa 51:5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.
Before a child knows the difference between good and evil, they are already dwelling in this marred vessel that cannot inherit the kingdom of God.
(1Co 15:50 NKJV) Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption.
(Rom 7:18 NKJV) For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.
Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
So when the bible mentions “sin”, it is often referring to our marred and sinful flesh. However at other times it is referring to an actual transgression of God’s commands.
(Jas 1:14 KJV) But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
(Jas 1:15 KJV) Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
Our “own lust” is a part of this sinful body of flesh that God created through Christ and gave us to dwell in.
(Gal 5:17 NKJV) 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.
Notice that we are enticed which BRINGS FORTH sin. This sin spoken of is transgression.
(Mat 15:3 NKJV) He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?
Christ certainly had sinful flesh, but he never transgressed any of God’s commands. We know he had sinful flesh, because he was born of a woman.
(Gal 4:4 NKJV) But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,
Christ had flesh just like we do, which is what made him temptable.
(Heb 4:15 NKJV) For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
So Christ was born with sinful flesh, but did not sin…he did not transgress. This study by Mike explains the difference between the sin and trespass offering which I basically explained above.
Sin can clearly be referring to two different things, but both of them fall under the category of “evil”. In all of the world there are only two things, Good and Evil.
(Gen 3:5 NKJV) For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
God knows the difference and he is teaching us to discern between the two.
(Heb 5:14 NKJV) But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
God, through Christ, has created both good and evil.
Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
Everything starts off as evil first and then is made good, and it is through this process that we learn to appreciate the goodness of God.
(Jer 18:4 KJV) And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.
We are made marred, destroyed, and then remade.
(1Co 15:44 KJV) It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
(1Co 15:45 KJV) And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
(1Co 15:46 KJV) Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
(1Co 15:47 KJV) The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
Here in 1 Cor 15 good and evil are contrasted in a few different ways:
Natural Body vs: Spiritual Body
First Adam vs: Last Adam
Living Soul vs: Life Giving Spirit
First Man vs: Second Man
Earthy vs: From Heaven
Sin is simply a more detailed description and explanation of the more general concept of evil.
I hope this answers your question,