Olsen Park Church of Christ

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: 

The firstHow does sin affect the Christian?

The second (which we will consider tonight)—How does the Holy Spirit work in a Christian?

I.  Sin In General.

A.  Sin separates man from God. (Isaiah 59:1-2).  

1.  This 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). 

2.  Paul 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).

3.  One 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).

II.  What if the Christian Returns to Sin?

  1. Some have argued that a Christian cannot sin. 

1.      The 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). 

2.      Yet 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 2:1). 

3.      He 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 Christian.

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). 

2.  Christ’s sacrifice paid the price for sin—His intercession applies that price to the debt of sin. 

3.  How 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.

III.  A Real Life Situation. Let’s look at a real life situation in which this was demanded. 

A.  The preaching efforts of Philip in Samaria. 

1.  Simon, responded to his teaching.  The Holy Spirit tells us,  “Then Simon himself also believed, and when he was baptized he continued with Philip”  (Act 8:13). 

2.  Simon 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).

B.  One whom the Holy Spirit tells us believed, was baptized and continued with Philip, as a result of sin was in a position in which…

1.  …He could “perish”

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 heart. 

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 iniquity.” 

1.  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 non-Christian?

A.  Outside 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. 

B.  Christ offers the promise of “no condemnation” to those who are “in Christ.” 

1.  When one rejects the provisions offered in Christ of confession, repentance, and “walking in the light” they are no longer “in Christ.” 

C.  The warning of the Hebrew writer (Hebrews 10:26-27).  

1.  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 less?

Kyle Pope 2008

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