Not once does the Bible condone sin, nor whitewash its earthly or eternal consequences. “Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?”, Paul asked in Romans six. And the solemn answer rings forth, “God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Romans. 6:1-2). No, the Bible always pictures sin for what it is, and for what it does to those who participate in it.
Sin is transgression of God’s law (I John. 3:4). It is missing the mark, or going beyond what God authorized (I Corinthians. 4:6, II John. 9). Sin robs man of his innocence and leads to great misery (Proverbs. 13:15). Sin destroys our fellowship with God (I John. 1), erecting a wall of enmity between us and God.
Isaiah wrote, “Behold the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: but your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (Isaiah. 59:1-2). Willful sin, if continued in after learning the truth, voids the sacrifice of Jesus, and condemns your soul at Judgement (Hebrews. 10:26-31). Ultimately, sin’s price is death, “for the wages of sin is death” (Romans. 6:23a).
However, thanks be to God, He has not left us hopelessly lost in our sins! Though the wages of sin is death, the “good news” is that “the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans. 6:23b)! Yes, we’ve all failed the Lord miserably, but He wants us to get up, and learn from our mistakes, and go on paying the price of trying to serve Him.
Occasionally, we make terrible choices in life, because of ignorance, or immaturity, and sometimes because we’re just plain rebellious. When we do, we buy for ourselves lots of trouble. Wishing we had not sinned will not make the guilt, nor the consequences of our sin go away. Ignoring your sin, or trying to hide it will only add to your pain and increase your guilt.
Don’t compound the problem by denying your sin, or by letting it defeat or destroy you. Rather, deal with the reality of your sin, as you seek God’s help for overcoming it, and His strength for living with its earthly consequences. Repenting of our sins, confessing them to God, and others, if necessary, and asking for forgiveness, is the only way to be freed from sin’s eternal stain, by the amazing grace of Christ.
Sin’s unpleasant consequences must always be dealt with in this earthly vale, but the eternal consequences can be avoided. John wrote, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John. 1:9). Paul penned, “…but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians. 3:13-14). Peter admonished, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time; casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (I Peter. 5:6-7). “The Son of Thunder,” “the Persecutor,” and “the Denier” knew whereof they wrote. They had all failed the Lord miserably at times, but they all kept pressing on. They knew the race will be won not by the perfect, but by the patient, persevering souls who will not let sin destroy them.
Yes, when sin knocks you down, don’t let it keep you down. Don’t wallow in the mire! Get up, change up, fess up, pray up, and PRESS ON!