We have already established, in this book, as well as in our lives,
that believers sin. We want to consider believers sin. Sin in our lives
is not a top secret. We know our own sin before we step into it. We know
our sin, because we consider what we want to do and then do it.
Our conscience is present, just in case we desire to sin and forget
it. As we sin, the conscience tells us immediately so that we may care
for the infraction. If we put off confession it remains in place to prod
us into correcting the error.
As we determine to do the wrong, we know it to be wrong. As we determine
to forget our wrong, we know it is wrong. The conscience is there to keep
reminding us that we have done wrong. It will not go away and it will continue
to return from time to time until we correct our problem.
Is there a difference between the sin of the lost and the Christians
sin? Sin is sin no matter who it is that is doing it. Sin is missing the
mark that was set by God. The sin of the believer may well hurt the Lord
more, in that it is His own child that has gone against Him. It may be
similar to my own child disobeying as compared to my neighbors child disobeying.
My own child's conduct is more important. God is injured by the sin of
the lost, in that His creatures are going against Him.
Christ's work on the cross is the only remedy to any sin, be it the
sin of the lost, or the sin of the believer. This work was done one time
in the past. We do not have to re-kill Him for each sin. He died and offered
His blood in the heavenly tabernacle once and for all. His death on the
cross was to care for all sin both past, present and future.
Sin severs our fellowship with the Lord. This fellowship can only be
restored by confession. I John 1:9 tells us, "If we confess our sins, he
is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all
God will forgive, based on our confession. Confession, however implies
two things. First, that you agree with God's evaluation of the act being
sin, and secondly, that you will attempt to not fall into that sin again.
We also need to know that before we seek forgiveness, we must have forgiven
others of their wrongs to us. Mark 11:25-26 (Matt 6:14-15 also) shows that
there is a link between the Father's forgiveness and our forgiveness of
others. "And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have anything against
any, that your Father also, who is in heaven, may forgive you your trespasses.
But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father, who is in heaven, forgive
your trespasses." Indeed, the context of I John indicates that our fellowship
with the Father is directly related to our seeking forgiveness.
We need to recognize also that confessing is not just lightly admitting
that you did it, but that you have God's feeling of disgust over that sin.
The blood of Christ is not applied to the sin until after the forgiveness
is sought. This is only logical. If it were applied automatically, we would
have no need to go before the Lord with our confessions.
Now, in light of all we know about the sin nature and sin itself, how
do we approach a lost person, in an attempt to lead them to salvation?
What do we tell them to do? Do we say that they need to ask forgiveness
for their sins? Do we say that they need to ask that God would take away
their sin nature? Do we say that they need to stop sinning?
Just what is the Gospel that we need to share? Let me share a few points
that seem to be consistent with what we have learned thus far. They should
1. They are by nature, and by walk, a sinner.
2. They are by nature unable to correct their problem.
3. They are dependant on Jesus Christ as the only possible solution
to their situation.
4. They must believe that He was God, that He died for their sin (singular),
and that He was buried and raised from the dead.
5. If they believe that, and accept his work for their sin, they will
be saved. This is similar to the Old Testament saint that brought a sacrifice
and gave it to the priest to be killed. The priest would place it on the
alter and the saint would place his hand on the head of the sacrifice to
signify that the animal had to die because of his sin.
Forgiveness is part of salvation, as well as part of the Christian walk.
It is not salvation however. Forgiveness for the lost is a step in the
process of salvation. The lost person can never receive forgiveness for
their past personal sin until they are regenerated.
In our Christian life, we must seek forgiveness any time we sin. If
we sin a dozen times, then we should seek forgiveness a dozen times. Some
ask forgiveness once a day, in which they lump them all together. This
does not seem to be the proper way. When we sin, we automatically take
control of ourselves. The Spirit no longer controls our lives. If we sin,
and sin, and sin, then we are not walking with the Lord. To live properly,
we should restore fellowship as soon as possible.
Since we know the Devil and his ways lead to sin, and that Godly ways
lead to a Spirit filled life, why do we choose to sin?
There are two reasons. First of all the Devil, at times can confuse
the issues at the cross over point between good and evil. We like to call
these gray areas. It usually is the Devil that made them gray. We might
in this case sin, due to improper knowledge.
The usual reason we sin is the fact that we decide to sin to fulfill
our own lusts.
The devil has devised many tools for man to use in this STRUGGLE between
evil and good. Let's look at some of these tools briefly.
Rationalization: It won't hurt just this once. A little social drink
can't hurt. One time with that other woman won't hurt. (You know, two consenting
Gray Areas: Well the Bible really isn't clear on this. This is a disputed
area - no one knows. I disagree with Paul the apostle on this one.
Desire: God gave me these desires so they must be okay. Desire is natural
so why not follow them.
Service to God: I will make money to give to missions. I will serve
Him next year. I will serve Him when I retire.
God has a given expectation, for the believer and the believers life.
That expectation can be maintained, otherwise God would be unjust to give
it to us. He has given us all the help that we need to live up to that
expectation. That help is the Holy Spirit. As we allow the Spirit to control
our lives and our decisions we will walk along the expected courses. When
we deviate from the Spirit's leading and prompting then we deviate from
the expectations that the Lord has set.
I Jn. 5:4 tells us, "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world:
and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." (is
born = perfect, passive; overcometh = present, active, indicative; overcometh
= aorist, active) The being born was something that is past and continuing
into the future to a point of conclusion. The one that is born of God continually
overcomes the world on a daily basis. The victory that overcometh the world
is something that occurred in the past based on our faith.
SO, THEN, OUR SALVATION FAITH GIVES US VICTORY TO OVERCOME THE WORLD
IN OUR CONTINUING DAY TO DAY BASIS! Think on that one for a time.
God does not attempt to keep the believer from the Devil's work, but
He does give us all that is needed to continually walk in the control of
the Spirit. Job is a good example of the exposing of the believer to the
testings of Satan.
He will however totally isolate us from the Devil and all evil, in that
day when He removes us from this life for life in His presence.
God may allow the Devil access to our lives, but He will never allow
him to overcome us. In I Jn 4:4 John is speaking of the false spirit's
that the believer will be confronted with. He mentions, "Ye are of God,
little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is
in you, than he that is in the world." The Holy Spirit within is greater
than the Devil that is without!
James tells us to resist the Devil. What does that mean? (James 4:7
"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee
from you.") Notice that one little ittey bittey prerequisite! SUBMIT YOURSELVES
THEREFORE TO GOD.
How do we resist the Devil?
a. SAY NO!
b. Be prepared with knowledge of what is sin, and what is not sin so
that you can make your decisions quickly when tempted, and walk away from
those things that are sin. Don't hang around trying to figure out whether
it is sin or not. If you aren't sure don't do it, and work it out in your
mind later when you aren't being confronted.
c. Avoid situations that could lead to problems, or that could lead
you into a situation in which you would be forced to make a decision for
d. Maintain your walk with the Lord at the highest, and best level that
There is no reason for there to be sin in the life of the believer!
We have the Word to guide our path. We have the Holy Spirit to lead and
guide our path. When we blow it, we have Christ interceding before the
Lord to be sure that forgiveness of our boo-boo's is forthcoming.
I would like to consider I Jn 1:7 for a few moments. "But if we walk
in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another,
and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."
It might be suggested from this verse by itself that if we walk with
the Lord we are automatically cleansed by the blood of Christ. You need
to take this verse within the context of verse nine. As we confess the
blood is applied, not automatically!
Chafer lists seven losses when the believer sins. I would like to mention
these for your thought.
1. Loss of light. We cannot receive guidance from the Spirit nor from
the Word when we have sin in our lives.
2. Loss of joy. Again due to sin, the Spirit is quenched and one of
His fruit is joy.
3. Loss of fellowship. This is clear from I Jn. 1:6, "If we say that
we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the
4. Loss of closeness: The closeness that we have to God in our personal
lives and quiet times.
5. Loss of peace. Again a fruit of the Spirit. Indeed, when you know
what peace with God is - when you loose it you are miserable.
6. Loss of confidence. Your prayer life may suffer - lack of faith etc.
You may even lack confidence to go on with your everyday life. If you rely
on the Lord heavily in the daily walk then when you don't have Him to lean
on, you may become very unsure.
7. Loss of confidence. In the area of His coming was Chafer's thought
but it may also relate to security of the believer as well.
Needless to say, when we sin we loose fellowship, and when we loose
fellowship, we loose.
Confession is for correcting things with God. However, if the sin affected
others, you must correct things with them as well. Indeed, the correction
with others must be a part of correction with God. Confession of your wrong
and seeking of forgiveness from others that your sin has affected is necessary.
(Col. 3:13, "Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any
man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do
ye." Eph. 4:32, "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving
one another, even as God for christ's sake hath forgiven you.")
I SAID NECESSARY - NOT PLEASANT!
We need to be sure we realize that sin only breaks fellowship and communion
with God. It can never, under any circumstance break our Father/son relationship!
When we sin there is further action taken in relation to the confession
of sin and the forgiveness of I Jn. 1:9. I Jn. 2:1 mentions, "My little
children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man
sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:"
Just when is the Lord our advocate, before we confess or after we confess?
The terminology of advocate would indicate that He stands up for us. When
we sin there is an accusation so to speak, and this is followed by our
defense. We confess and plead guilty - throw ourselves to the mercy of
the court. Christ then steps in to plead our case. Forgiveness is forthcoming
for the Father views the Lord's righteousness, and not our filthiness.
Chafer observes four things about the sin of the believer (on page 345).
I would like to list these quickly for your contemplation: 1. The sin of
the believer is as evil as the sin of the lost. 2. The sin of the believer
is against a greater light than the lost's. 3. The sin of the believer
is worse in that we do not have the world, the flesh and the devil to fight
against. 4. The believer has the Holy Spirit, the Word and the Advocate
to aid him in his sin problems.
1. As we consider our personal sin: a. Our sin hurts God immediately.
b. Our sin immediately breaks proper fellowship. c. Our sin immediately
places God in a bad light. d. Our sin immediately places Satan in a good
light. e. Our sin immediately affects our testimony before man. SO, WHY
DO WE SIN SO MUCH?
When we resist sin: a. Satan is put down - he is the loser. b. In the
great spiritual arena, when you say NO Satan looses face! SO, WHY DON'T
WE RESIST MORE?
QUITE A THOUGHT TO SAY THE LEAST!
THE REAL CLINCHER IN THIS IS THAT WE CAN CHOOSE TO OFFEND GOD TO WHOM
WE OWE SO MUCH - OR - WE CAN PUT DOWN SATAN, THE ENEMY OF GOD, TO WHOM
WE OWE NOTHING!
WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD WE WANT TO KNOWINGLY SIN?
It has to be a conscious decision to do what we want to do, when we
know that God has specified that we are not do it.
WE SIN FOLKS, BECAUSE WE WANT TO!
WE OUGHT NOT SIN, BECAUSE WE WANT TO!