What is our attitude towards sin, and what are the consequences of it?

Published on 6 February 2024 at 21:56

When we speak about this topic, we need to see the entirety of what it means and the different places where it is found in the Bible so that we can have a complete picture of it, the same as we need to do with any other biblical discussion. The topic of sin is discussed and found throughout the entire Bible, from the first to the last book. The struggle against sin will accompany us throughout our entire life because it dwells in us. This doesn’t mean that we will always fall into the same sin or that it will progress in our lives. Whoever is a genuine believer doesn’t give in to sin, and he fights against it.

“Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.” (1 John 3:9)

This verse doesn’t tell us that believers don’t sin at all. It simply tells us that sinning is not their lifestyle. They don’t carry on sinning. The verb used in Greek here is “ἁμαρτάνειν” [hamartanein], which means “to continue sinning”. So, believers might sin, but they don’t feel well after it and don’t approve it. They don’t have it as a lifestyle and don’t continue into it.

Nevertheless, the Bible tells us that sin dwells in our members (Romans 7:23). We mustn’t be slaves to it, and sin mustn’t guide us and be the reason for which we do things. In this way, the crucial and important decisions we make in our lives will be affected by it. Its purpose is to lead us astray from God and His plan for our lives. That’s why we need to resist it as much as we can. In which way, though, does this need to be done?

The most effective way is through the grace of God, which not only comes to forgive our sins but also to enable us to live in the right way. Most of the other ways we can use to fight with it will eventually turn ineffective in time and will not lead us to live in the holiness for which the Bible is speaking about.

We need to know that we will fall into sin. This could happen purposely, half purposely (if we can say so), or we just slip into it. This is not in any way to be used for our justification. Who really justifies us is Christ, and we need to look for this kind of justification. What happens when we sin? What happens after the moment in which we do it? We might feel confused and ashamed of ourselves. This occurs mainly if we are born-again Christians having a relationship with our Father. Our relationship with Him feels broken. If we are not such believers, we will not feel this way most of the times. The reason for which we experience this is because we feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Still, the enemy (the Devil) could also profit from this situation. Sometimes, he can come with a thought in us that all hope is lost and that we sinned so much that it is not even worth it to go and ask God for forgiveness. Yes, we can feel that we sinned a lot, and it might be true; we can feel not worthy, and it is again true, but the word of God doesn’t say anywhere that we cannot approach God asking Him for forgiveness.

Here, we see some of the passages speaking about it.

My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.(1 John 2:1)

We see that this verse tells us not to sin, which is the desire of God for us, but it also tells us that if we sin, we can find forgiveness. In this way, we need to approach the topic of sin.

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)

By these passages, we see that God is willing to forgive us. We also need to know that forgiveness is a real experience, and it is not just a formal statement that we know of. There are feelings and emotions in this experience. One is not forgiven just because someone tells him he is or just because he read it in the Bible. We have to know that the forgiveness for which the Bible speaks about is an experience by people who were really forgiven and wrote about it as they lived it.

The enemy does not come except to steal your joy and everything else God has for you. He wants to entice you first into the sin and then to tell you that you are too deep into it, so deep that you cannot get out.

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)

Of course, when we are into sin, we mustn’t be fine with it and carry on, but we also need to know that we can call upon His name. The sin leaves consequences, nevertheless.

What often happens after falling into sin is that we lose faith and hope, and we cannot clearly see the promises of God for us. This is the purpose of the enemy.

There are consequences of sin, and the only medicine is the blood of Christ.

There is a verse in Proverbs saying that the fear of the Lord is health to our flesh and strength to our bones.

“Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones.” (Proverbs 3:7, 8)

That means that the opposite, I mean the lack of fear, which mostly leads to sinning, causes a disease. There is a disease, an illness in our soul, when we sin, and if we don’t prevent it, if we don’t cure it in time, it can spread further on, and our spiritual condition can get worse. It also takes time to heal sometimes and get to the right spiritual condition and health, the same as healing from any other disease that affects us physically. The healing process continues even after we receive forgiveness from the Lord, which is the first thing we need to seek from Him after we sin. Yes, when we acknowledge sincerely that we sinned and humble ourselves in front of Him, He forgives us, but it still takes a bit of time sometimes to get again to the right spiritual condition.

We mustn’t lose hope, though, when we fall into sin. The enemy's purpose for us is to lose hope and not to go to the Lord for forgiveness. We have to be serious and cautious in our walk and relationship with Him and not lose hope at the same time, knowing that He is our advocate (1 John 2:1). He also demands that we don’t fall over and over into this same sin. We also need to trust Him in order to be able to escape temptation. We must set our eyes on Him and be sober and realistic about our condition in front of God. He wants to heal us, but for this, we also need to acknowledge that we are sick. He came for those who are sick, for those who are sinners (Mark 2:17). We know that the Bible says that all of us have sinned (Romans 3:23). The matter is to acknowledge it. Sometimes, we might also know it as a matter of fact, but we must acknowledge it with a need in our hearts. On the other hand, the enemy wants to steal our faith and hope, telling us that there is no solution and discouraging us from going to God for forgiveness.

This message is obviously for those who are born again and have truly accepted Jesus in their hearts. Only they can truly feel the consequences of sin in their life, as they have the Holy Spirit who is guiding them to live in holiness, and once they fall, they feel the difference. We obviously are all sinners, and the sin dwells in us. However, the difference between the believers who are born–again and the rest of the people is that the sin still dwells in their members, as Romans 7:23 says, but they also have the new nature given to them by God which opposes sin, while those who don’t have yet Jesus in their hearts, can have some kind of conscience regarding the sin, but they will never feel the full consequence the sin brings into their life. Those who feel it (the born–again Christians) feel it because of their relationship with God and the pact He has established with them. This is because He wants to bring them to eternal salvation, and He does everything possible to keep them from going astray from Him. This is also how His love is expressed toward them. A father corrects his child because he loves him. In the same way, God is with us.

Sin also blinds us to His promises. The more we carry on sinning, the more we lose sight of His promises. When we return to God, we regain our sight, but till that happens, we are blind in part. The Bible talks of people who could become short-sighted (2 Peter 1:9). Who can become shortsighted if not the one who was able to see before? That’s why the believers cannot allow themselves to persevere in sinning.

"Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:1, 2)

When I speak about sin, I know that all of us are sinners and that what actually makes of those who have believed saints (this is how the believers were called in the New Testament), is not only avoiding certain sins but sanctifying themselves through the blood of Jesus, which comes through faith. In this way, they manage to be clean, even on the inside, in their hearts. Obviously, they are not immune to sin. Still, the difference is that some people force themselves not to do or commit “certain” sins that they esteem as more sinful, and in this way, they consider themselves righteous (we are speaking here mostly about the sins outwardly committed). Instead, others acknowledge their sin and ask God for His grace through faith. This is what makes them righteous. I want to be sanctified through faith in His grace. So, we can conclude that I am not righteous or holier than others just because I do not sin in certain areas of my life but because I’ve received His forgiveness and grace. It is because of Him, and that’s why there is no place for me to exalt myself or boast because of my own righteousness.

There are some different attitudes toward sin. One is that by not committing certain sins, I feel like a righteous person, which is self-righteousness and not right. It is not a question of just not committing some mistakes that we consider worse than the others and, by this, to esteem ourselves as better persons. It is a matter of being sincere with our sinful condition and having an attitude of repentance. I think that this is the way God can work in us, and we can grow in sanctification in front of Him. This should be natural and provoked by the work of God in our lives. We should have a desire for it. A desire not to sin and walk in holiness, but the real work that performs that and makes it become real is from God. We can try achieving it without that, but it won’t be really possible.

Falling into sin is failing to listen and obey God; we need to be conscious when that happens. We must know that acknowledging that we sinned is not a matter of condemning ourselves but seeing what happened in the light of the word of God. Still, we also cannot just say that all is forgiven and we feel fine because of a statement that someone makes, saying it is a word of God. The Bible does speak about persons who were forgiven, but also for persons who were not. Those who were forgiven and wrote about it did it because they had experience with it, pleaded earnestly to God for His forgiveness, and humbled themselves.

We must also know that it is not a question of sinning or not sinning that defines us as Christians, but the blood of Christ, and if that blood is in someone, it will guide him into the life of holiness and transformation into the image of God.

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