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Sin is simply doing something that we know is wrong. God has written His rules on our heart (our conscience) and every time we go against these rules, we lose our peace and feel guilty. This guilt is strongest the first time God convicts us of a sin but if we continue in that particular sin then our heart gets harder and harder and we feel less and less guilty. This leads to a real hardness of heart and, almost, an unawareness of doing wrong.
Adam and Eve committed the first sin when they rebelled against God and ate from the forbidden tree. Whenever we go against our good conscience we are rebelling against God because it is His rules that we are ignoring (Rom 2:14-15). God hates sin because it is rebellion against Him and rejection of His authority. When we choose to sin we are telling our Maker that we are independent of Him and that we have the right to make our own rules. When we do this, the Pot (man) is then telling the Potter (God) how things should be and that is gross arrogance.
The Bible says we have all sinned (Rom 3:23). The Ten Commandments tell us what sin is. Greed, lying, stealing, adultery, murder, and blasphemy are included. Jesus took the Ten Commandments a step further when He said that a person who hates would be subject to judgment as a murderer and those who lust are committing adultery in their hearts. No one has to think very hard before realising that they are a sinner before God and deserve to be punished.
There are no big sins or small sins. Sin is sin and "the wages of sin is death" (Rom 6:23). All sin is punishable by death and this includes the little lies, small theft etc. Biblical death is eternal destruction in hell.
To get to heaven a person must be 100% perfect in God's eyes because sin cannot exist in His presence (Psa 5:4-6). When a person's trust is in Jesus for forgiveness then they are cleansed of all sin and become 100% perfect before God. 1 John 1:7 says, "...the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin." To understand the way to be cleansed and to be sure of heaven, please go to How To Be Saved.
A related article, The Power Of Sin, is a personal testimony of the enormous power that sin has over our lives.