We all sin.
We all fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).
James writes to believers:
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (James 1:5-10)
Paul agonizes about himself:
For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing…. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. (Romans 7:15-19,24-25)
The difference between an unbeliever and a believer is that we are freed from the power and the penalty of sin. We are no longer enslaved to it and can choose to not sin.
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self[a] was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free[b] from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. (Romans 6:1-11)
Having free will, we can also choose TO sin. If and when we sin, the Holy Spirit will convict us – “kick us from the inside” as I tell my kids.
It follows a path like this for believers:
- Sin (thought, word, deed, or omission)
- Conviction by Holy Spirit
- Free will choice to submit or be stubborn.
Submission leads to repentance, which repairs our communication with God.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
Stubbornness leads to grieving and quenching the Spirit which leads to God discipling us.
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30)
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” (Hebrews 4:5-6)
If we yield and repent, great! Our communication with God is restored.
If we STILL do not repent, God may remove us from this earth to save our souls.
Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world. (1 Corinthians 11:27-32)
If you are walking in sin, don’t delay any longer! Turn from your sins and towards God. Sacrifice them on the altar before God’s throne! You KNOW what God is calling you to do, so do it!
See to it that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if the people did not escape when they refused Him who warned them on earth, how much less will we escape if we reject Him who warns us from heaven? (Hebrews 12:25)
The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in loving devotion. (Psalm 103:8)
Turn to Him!