ANSWER: Sin is rejecting or ignoring God in the world he created, rebelling against him by living without reference to him, not being or doing what he requires in his law—resulting in our death and the disintegration of all creation.
It is helpful to return occasionally to the opening chapters of Genesis to examine the "sin that started it all." Does the definition of sin in this catechism question fit with what happens in Genesis 2:15-17 and Genesis 3?
It's difficult to think of people who would deny that sin exists in the world--even if they prefer to use other terms when talking about it (evil, injustice, social problems, my issues, moral failings, etc.). At the same time, it's easy to imagine many people mocking the description of sin and its consequences found in question 16. What do you think makes this particular understanding of sin so hard to swallow?
If the result of sin is our death and the disintegration of all creation, what hope is there for us? Our current sermon series is drawn from Romans 1:1-7. Can you explain our hope using these verses?