Gal_1:4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: Heb_1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
When the word sin is mentioned, it usually send shudders through people who react in different ways. Denial is the most popular response followed by argumentativeness and finally by walking away from facing sin. This walking away is known in the Bible as looking in the mirror and walking away unchanged. Yet, if one understands sin and its nature, they will see it for what it is and not be threatened by it.
When Adam and Eve sinned, they were tempted by an external force to themselves that knew how to manipulate their reasoning even to the extent of disobeying God. It was the devil who sinned first in heaven and then made sin appear on the realm of the earth. Till then, sin was hidden, allowing Adam and Eve to enjoy the presence of God without interruption. So, if sin was introduced by satan, then we must understand that sin is a tool of an evil enemy who seeks to destroy us with sin. Secondly, we must become stronger than sin by refusing further temptations by satan. Thirdly, we must rebuke satan himself who is a victim of sin and who has no redemption. We have the opportunity to be redeemed while he has none. Yet, we are unable to make atonement for our sins by ourselves before God and so we needed a Saviour. When Jesus dealt with the sin issue, sin is no longer an issue unless you sin.
Yet, mankind has gone through varying stages of sin before the advent of Jesus and after Jesus came to this earth, because we are human. The varying stages of sin as mankind travelled through time on this earth are as follows:
1. All mankind were born sinners after Adam & Eve sinned
2. Mankind continued to sin because they loved its pleasures
3. Many repeatedly sinned and justified it and God destroyed them
4. Man repented of his sin when confronted about it by God and received forgiveness through the sacrifice of animals
5. Some repeatedly sinned even after repenting of it because they gave into its power again
6. They repented again and received forgiveness from God
7. Others sinned and did not repent or never repented even when convicted
8. Many do not see themselves as sinners
9. Some sinned and enjoyed it and continued to sin with knowledge
10. Sin has its consequences and the punishments for sin is dictated by God.
11. The ultimate end of sin is death. That is death to the flesh and the spirit. This is an eternal death
12. There is also a death that comes from sin which is a slow death. I call it, death by dying. When Adam sinned he did not die immediately but his flesh was cursed and he died after many years through degeneration
13. Jesus was given as the perfect sacrifice for sin and made atonement for all mankind. Anyone who believes this and receives His forgiveness is cleansed from his sin
14. Yet, man continues to sin; both believers and unbelievers
The Danger of sin
Sin brings death in the physical and spiritual realm; sicknesses and diseases too. Added to this, various other consequences ranging from curses to demonic oppression and possession are placed upon those who sin. Added to this, many natural difficulties resulting in economic failure, broken relationships, mental illness etc. to mention a few befall the man who sins. Following this, sin brings various forms of God’s displeasure upon the sinner which cannot be determined before hand as God deals with each one as He wills. Sin defiles the land and cause the earth to suffer. Sin blocks the blessings of God. Sin brings war and other forms of violence upon mankind which results in untold suffering.
When Jesus died on the cross and paid the price for sin, God was able to get past sin and operate in grace. Sin still operates in spite of what Jesus did to defeat sin because not all of mankind has believed in Jesus and God’s plan is not completed as yet. It also operates in believers who have not submitted to God in their entirety. As long as we are in the flesh we are prone to sin. This is where the grace of God comes in. Secondly, through this grace, Jesus has given us power over sin and satan who continues to do his dirty work amongst us on earth.
Now, what we have to understand is, whom Jesus forgives, is forgiven. The prime example of such forgiveness is when they brought the woman taken in adultery to Him for judgement according to the law of God. He did not judge her but forgave her sin. He also did not condone her sin but advised her not to sin again. This is grace in action. After Jesus was resurrected He took on two very important roles in heaven before God. He took up the offices of High Priest and Advocate for us. By doing this, Jesus is able to help us who believe, when we sin. However, there is a condition and that is repentance. Not a repentance that says sorry and then goes back to sinning again freely or deliberately but a repentance that makes one see what sin is really like and hate it and turns away from it and makes all efforts never to repeat that sin. Grace is not a license to continue sinning. When we do that, we defile the sacrifice of Jesus which He gave through the shedding of His blood and giving of His body.
It is unsafe to take communion without true repentance.
Most people struggle with their sin and do not understand sin’s far reaching power over mankind. Even Christians are susceptible to sin. Sin covers a wide range of human activity and is in the body, soul and spirit of man. To recognise sin and overcome it, we must understand God’s ways. We may not deliberately sin but we could still be in sin by virtue of ignorance. We could also be in presumptuous sins which is assuming God’s ways and doing something that is not okay with Him. We could also sin by walking contrary to God’s commandments through our own understanding. The list is endless. So, the way out of sin is to listen to the teaching of the Holy Spirit from the word of God and obey. This requires us to walk with the Holy Spirit and read the Bible and absorb what it says both intellectually and by revelation. One cannot go past common sense as the first mark to understand that we are sinning. One lady said to me that she is only convicted of sin when the Holy Spirit tells her that she is sinning. I strongly said to her that she had thrown away her God given faculties for common sense and intelligence.
It is easy to say, I did not know I am sinning against God but it is hard for one to say the same when convicted by the Holy Spirit. I was once told by God that my desire to be married was greater than my desire for God and so I had sinned because I had placed a rival throne before Him. Was this sin? Most assuredly it was. The reason being, I had not given God the first place in my life. Jesus wrote to the Church in Ephesus in the book of revelation and told them that they had fallen into sin because they had forgotten their first love. He asked them to repent or He would remove them forever. It seems that their good works were not good enough for His pleasure. He desired their first love.
Friends, you may not be sinning deliberately but maybe you have forgotten your first love and are only seeking God for what He can do for you or give you in this earth. Search your own heart and also allow the Holy Spirit to search your heart. Life becomes a lot easier when He brings us to repentance and then onto liberty through death
to self. He loves us and that is why He perfects us. He doesn’t do it for everyone. Choice is our prerogative (right). Judgement and punishment is God’s right. Yet, He chooses to love us and die for us. Should we not die to ourselves to choose Him above sin?
Lots of love