How Does Sin Affect a Christian?
Introduction. Questions often
arise in our consideration of Biblical truth which are important for us to
consider in order for us to make certain that our view of our relationship with
God is accurate. This morning and this evening I would like to consider
two such questions which both concern life in Christ:
How does sin affect the Christian?
The second (which we will
consider tonight)—How does the Holy Spirit work in a Christian?
Sin In General.
separates man from God. (Isaiah 59:1-2).
spiritual separation from God the Bible calls death. Paul told the
Ephesians, “You He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and
sins” (Ephesians 2:1).
taught, “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).
B. One who
obeys the gospel dies to sin (Romans 6:1-3).
1. In such
a condition one becomes born again (I Peter 1:22-23).
2. Sin is
forgiven (Colossians 2:13).
is “reconciled to God” (Romans 5:10).
4. One is
in a position in which there is “no condemnation to those who are in
Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).
What if the Christian Returns to Sin?
have argued that a Christian cannot sin.
apostle John taught, “Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His
seed remains in him, and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God”
(I John 3:9).
he also wrote, “I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we
have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (I John
is not talking about being incapable of sin, but that the nature of being a
Christian means that such a one “does not sin.” It is a definition of
God’s expectation, not an exclusion of the possibility of sin in the life of a
B. The Advocacy
of Christ. John says Jesus is the “Advocate” for the Christian. An
advocate speaks to the judge on our behalf.
1. The Hebrew
writer taught that Jesus, “is able to save to the uttermost those who
come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for
them” (Hebrews 7:25).
Christ’s sacrifice paid the price for sin—His intercession applies that price
to the debt of sin.
does the Christian utilize this intercession? It isn’t automatic.
(I John 1:6-7). That teaches us that we must “walk in the light” in order
to have sin forgiven.
4. Part of
this walking in the light he goes on to explain, “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). That means Christians have a
duty, when sin comes into their lives to confess it to Christ. It is then
that Jesus intercedes for us, as our Advocate, and forgives that sin which has
occurred in the life of the Christian.
A Real Life Situation. Let’s look at a real life situation in
which this was demanded.
preaching efforts of Philip in Samaria.
responded to his teaching. The Holy Spirit tells us, “Then Simon
himself also believed, and when he was baptized he continued with Philip”
came out of the pagan practice of sorcery. When Peter came to Samaria, he
offered to pay him money if he would give him some of the power Peter had been
given. This was a sin. (Acts 8:20-23).
whom the Holy Spirit tells us believed, was baptized and continued
with Philip, as a result of sin was in a position in which…
2. …He had
no “part nor portion” in the things of Christ’s disciples.
3. …He is
told to “repent” and “pray” (just as John had taught in I John 1:9)
4. …In the
hopes that “perhaps” God in His mercy “may forgive” the thought of his
C. If he had
stayed in such a condition (even though he had believed, been baptized
and continued in the things of Christ) he would remain “bound by
Fortunately, Simon responded to Peter’s rebuke and repented (Acts 8:24).
Conclusion. This shows us
that just as sin holds the power to separate an alien sinner from God, it also
holds the power to again separate a Christian from God.
What then is the difference between the
condition of the Christian and the
of Christ there is no sacrifice for sins, there is no Advocate, there is no
privilege of confessing sin to God with the promise of forgiveness.
offers the promise of “no condemnation” to those who are “in Christ.”
one rejects the provisions offered in Christ of confession, repentance, and
“walking in the light” they are no longer “in Christ.”
warning of the Hebrew writer (Hebrews 10:26-27).
Certainly the Christian may commit sins of ignorance, for which they do not
realize they need to repent and confess—but it is the patient mercy of God
which demands that as a condition of forgiveness that the Christian strive to
“put off” sin, turn from it quickly, confess it to God, and do all that one can
to obey His will. For one who has loved us so much—do we owe him any