Copyright Rev. Stanley L. Derickson Ph.D. 1992



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 unrighteousness."

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 know that:

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 adults etc.)

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.


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 or against.

d. Maintain your walk with the Lord at the highest, and best level that you can.

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 truth."

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.")


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?




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.