There is only one way to sin, and although the different kinds of sin are far beyond what any of us can ever imagine, this one item must be engaged in before any sin can be accomplished, we must be disobedient, and we must be disobedient of our own free will.
There is a standard, though I will not say whether or not it is a law everywhere, that states “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.” Now of course where this is used is absolutely ridiculous in the extreme, for no one can know, much less interpret properly, all the laws of the nation they live in, but it is an example of disobedience. “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” (Romans 3:20) One would expect the world to do the exact opposite of the Scriptures, and in this case it has, if you do not know about a particular law that does not give you an excuse when you inadvertently break it.
Not so with the Lord, but before Moses, this was the age that God winked at sin, (Acts 17:30) these were part of the captives that He set free, but no longer. “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20) But there is a great difference between what the world considers ignorance and what the Word of God states, for not only are these invisible things clearly seen, but “He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.” (Eccl. 3:11)
No excuses, the lost do not need to be witnessed to, although the Lord has determined through the foolishness of preaching to reach them, (1 Cor. 1:21) when they will listen, but there will not be one viable excuse on their day of accounting. I am not blessed with the answer of Paul’s question, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14) Nor will I attempt to debate on the doctrine of election, I know this one fact though and I know it to stand for all men, saved or lost, sin can only occur by a willful act of disobedience.
David understood this and stated it in a single verse better than all the words I could lay down, “Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.” (Psalm 19:12) We sin, none are righteous, we have been justified, we are being sanctified, and one day each born-again believer will be glorified, but until that final moment, we sin. The difference between those who have been crucified with Christ and the heathen is that we do not live in a perpetual state of sin, it is not in our nature as Christians to seek out sin, and to willingly succumb to it.
The reasons are of course obvious, we have a new nature, a new heart of flesh (Eze. 36:26) within us that grieves when we do sin, for we sin only against the Father, our actions or words may hurt or otherwise inflict pain or suffering on another, but it is our Father that all sin is against when we do so. “Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.” (Psalm 51:4) Temptations will come, and they will go, sometimes we will fall and sin, sometimes not, but one thing always stands as truth, those sins have been paid for on the cross.
The wrath of God rests upon the wicked, (John 3:36) the unrepentant, and it always will throughout eternity, they will have no excuse, but in one manner we are similar to them, in fact, our sins against the Most High are more grievous to Him, for we are His children.
All disobedience is an act of the will, all sin is an act of disobedience, the sooner we ask for forgiveness, the sooner we can get back to the work that He has set before us, until then, no growth will occur, no blessings will be given, no prayers will be answered. Children are never encouraged to be disobedient, but it is expected that they will be, love offers a way back into a right relationship with the Father.
Pay attention to your actions, pay attention to your words, each night be as Job was, ask for forgiveness from the Lord, be as David was, ask Him to show you where you have made a mistake, be as Christ was, submit fully and completely to the will of the Father, and disobedience will fade as the years go past, never gone until we are glorified, but kept in check be submission to the Holy Spirit and a heart whose only desire is to glorify the Lord God.