Sin  |  Venial Sin

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994), venial sins are considered to be less offensive to God than mortal sins.  Venial sins are offenses committed out of ignorance or without full intent to harm.  To repair these sins the Catechism states that the perpetrator must do individual acts of charity, but does not have to confess the venial sin to a priest.

Since mortal sin removes one from God’s saving grace, the Catechism separates out these “lesser” sins in order to allow one to stay under the grace of God after committing a venial sin.  The assumption can therefore be made that if an individual by his own interpretation has committed only venial sin during his lifetime, he is assured of eventually inheriting eternal life.

The Bible, however, gives no special treatment to “lesser” sins. “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin (James 4:17).  “For the wages of sin is death”, which is eternal separation from God.  All have sinned and fall short of His glory (Romans 3:23, 6:23).

I challenge you to study what Scripture says regarding sin and its consequences.

The Catechism Says:

#1862 “One commits venial sin when, in a less serious matter, he does not observe the standard prescribed by the moral law, or when he disobeys the moral law in a grave matter, but without full knowledge or without complete consent.”

The Bible Says:

James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

I John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

The Catechism Says:

#1863 “…However venial sin does not set us in direct opposition to the will and friendship of God; it does not break the covenant with God.  With God’s grace it is humanly reparable.  ‘Venial sin does not deprive the sinner of sanctifying grace, friendship with God, charity, and consequently eternal happiness.’”

The Bible Says:

Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

The Catechism Says:

#1875 “Venial sin constitutes a moral disorder that is reparable by charity, which it allows to subsist in us.”

The Bible Says:

Romans 6:23  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.



Scripture has been given to us so that we might know what our sinful condition is before the all Holy God.  The Bible calls itself a mirror that reflects our true self and our desperate need to be righteous.  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart  (Hebrews 4:12).

During Jesus’ earthly ministry He increased the requirements of the Law by declaring even our inappropriate thoughts and feelings as sin.  The varying degree of our sinful lives has no bearing upon salvation.  It is the very act of one sin, no matter how small, which qualifies us for eternal punishment by hell fire.  When a person prides himself for having committed only venial sin (by his own definition), he further alienates himself from the truth of God’s Word.

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (I John 1:8-10).

In light of God’s truth, won’t you admit that you fall short of the glory of God and His holy requirements.  Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out… (Acts 3:19)