"There will be trouble and distress for every human
being who does evil."
Sin: breaking God's moral laws (sins of commission) or failing
to act according to God's teachings (sins of omission)
Sin dominates the picture of our modern world-murder, rape, infidelity, drug abuse, lying, deception, and stealing, are commonplace. Everywhere we turn we see evidence of man's inhumanity to man and the glaring failure of human beings to take action and do what is right.
Every human being sins, and we all experience the harmful consequences of our sin as we live in this world. Without the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, our sins would separate us from God and we would live for eternity in Hell. But hallelujah! Christ came into this world to die for our sins, so that our sins would not be counted against us. Those who repent and believe in Christ, and God who sent Him, inherit eternal life and will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
According to the Bible, we sin when we break God's moral law,1 or when we fail to do the things we ought to do based on God's teachings.2
Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact,
sin is lawlessness.
(1 John 3:4)1
Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do
and doesn't do it, sins.
Lucifer, renamed Satan (also "devil"), was the original source of sin. One of the most powerful angels in heaven, Lucifer desired to be equal to God, and that was his downfall. He was banished from Heaven by God only to appear again in the Garden of Eden, where he tempted Adam and Eve to rebel against God (which they did when they ate of the forbidden fruit). Sin entered into this world through Adam's disobedience, and every human being since Adam has inherited the inclination to sin.3
We are all sinful from birth, from the time we are conceived.4,5 No one is good except God alone.6 If we claim to be without sin, then we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.7,8
Your first father sinned;
your spokesmen rebelled against me.
Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
I know that nothing good lives in me,
that is, in my sinful nature.
No one is good-except God alone.
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves
and the truth is not in us.
(1 John 1:8)7
If we claim we have not sinned,
we make him out to be a liar
and his word has no place in our lives.
(1 John 1:10)8
There is no human being on earth who always does what is right and doesn't sin.9-11 In fact, if we claim we have not sinned, we will be judged by God for making that claim.12
Furthermore, as far as sin is concerned, no person is better than any other person. It doesn't matter how "good" you have been and how much of your life you have followed God's law; if you break just one law, you are guilty of breaking all of it.13
There is not a righteous man on earth
who does what is right and never sins.
Who can say, "I have kept my heart pure;
am clean and without sin"?
All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt;
there is no one who does good, not even one.
But I will pass judgment on you because you say,
"I have not sinned."
For whoever keeps the whole law yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.
Unfortunately, there are always consequences for sin. If it were not for Christ's sacrifice on the cross (see below), the consequence for sin would be death-the spiritual separation of man from God. Although Christians are spared the ultimate judgment and condemnation for their sins, they still experience consequences for their sin while living on this earth.
In fact, all sins, no matter how "small" have consequences in this world. Some of our sins are obvious, and have immediate impacts, whereas the results of other sins are not apparent until some future point in time.14
But don't be fooled. We never "get away" with our sin. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil.15
The sins of some men are obvious, reaching the place of
judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them.
(1 Timothy 5:24)14
There will be trouble and distress
for every human being who does evil.
There is no peace for the wicked.16 People who sin get trapped by their evil desires and find it hard to stop sinning.17,18 Evil deeds are self-destructive and in the end we always end up being hurt by our own sinful actions.19
Sometimes it appears that God is "not fair" when it comes to sin; when we look around the world it seems that righteous men get what the wicked deserve and wicked men get what the righteous deserve.20 But don't be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.21 Anyone who sows to please his sinful nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit reaps eternal life.22
"There is no peace," says my God, "for the wicked."
The righteousness of the upright delivers them,
but the unfaithful are trapped by evil desires.
The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him;
the cords of his sin hold him fast.
He who digs a hole and scoops it out falls into the pit he
has made. The trouble he causes recoils on himself;
his violence comes down on his own head.
There is something else meaningless that occurs on earth:
righteous men who get what the wicked deserve,
and wicked men who get what the righteous deserve.
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked.
A man reaps what he sows.
The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that
nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please
the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
In the final analysis, God is a just God and a jealous God. He laughs at the wicked, for He knows that their day of judgment is coming.23 People who do evil have no hope for the future and will be "snuffed out" by God.24 God watches over the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.25 Things will always turn out better for God-fearing men who do what is right and are reverent before God.26-28
The Lord laughs at the wicked,
for he knows their day is coming.
The evil man has no future hope,
and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out.
For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.
Although the wicked man commits a hundred crimes
and still lives a long time, I know that it will go better with
God-fearing men, who are reverent before God.
This is what the Lord says: "Maintain justice
and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand
and my righteousness will soon be revealed.
For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the
children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth
generation of those who hate me, but showing love
to a thousand generations of those who love me
and keep my commandments.
Without Christ, our sin would hopelessly separate us from God. Christ was sent by God to pay the penalty for our sins.29 He came to earth to die for our sins so that our transgressions would not be counted against us.30-33
But you know that he [Christ] appeared so that he might
take away our sins.
(1 John 3:5)29
God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ,
not counting men's sins against them.
(2 Corinthians 5:19)30
This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us
and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
(1 John 4:10)31
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree,
so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness;
by his wounds we have been healed.
(1 Peter 2:24)32
He was delivered over to death for our sins
and was raised to life for our justification.
The only thing necessary to have our sins removed is to believe in Jesus Christ and confess (and repent of) our sins.34,35 Those who believe in Jesus and repentare blessed, because their sins will be forgiven36,37 and no longer be held against them.38 Jesus wiped our accounts clean, and God is no longer aware of our sin.39 Christ's sacrifice on the cross removes our sins as far as the east is from the west.40
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
(1 John 1:9)34
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,
and that he may send the Christ, who has been
appointed for you-even Jesus.
Everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins
through his name.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned.
Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will
never count against him.
Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.
As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
Not only are our sins removed, when we believe in Jesus and confess our sins, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us,41 and gives us the power to resist sin.We are no longer controlled by our sinful nature, but by the Holy Spirit.42 Those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.43 In contrast, the sinful mind is hostile to God and does not submit to God's law.44
Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name
of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.
And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
You [believers], are controlled not by the sinful nature
but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you.
Those who live according to the sinful nature have their
minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live
in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set
on what the Spirit desires.
The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit
to God's law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the
sinful nature cannot please God.
The mind controlled by the sinful nature is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.45 Things will go much
better in this world if, through the help of the Holy Spirit, we resist evil46 and do what is right.47
Unfortunately, in their struggle against sin, Christians sometimes lose the battle. They are by no means perfect.48 They sometimes find themselves doing the very things they do not want to do.49 But the important thing is that they do not give up. Throughout their lives, they try to be more and more Christ-like and avoid willfully sinning.50
The mind of the sinful man is death,
but the mind controlled by the
Spirit is life and peace.
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
This is what the Lord says: Do what is just and right.
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already
been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that
for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
So I find this law at work: When I want to do good,
evil is right there with me.
Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not
rule over me. Then I will be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.
In fact, if you are a Christian it would be a serious mistake to continue willfully sinning when you know what you are doing is morally wrong. God cannot be fooled. People who deliberately keep on sinning even when they know God's truth are in danger of being judged by God and receiving His wrath.51
Ultimately, despite the best efforts of Christians to avoid sinning, they cannot totally overcome their inherent sinful nature;52 as a result, all human beings, including Christians, experience a physical death.53
However, because of the redeeming love and sacrifice of Christ on the cross, Christians are raised from the dead and their sins are forgiven.54 They are "set free" from sin, and they go to dwell in the house of the Lord for eternity.55-57
If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received
the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left,
but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire
that will consume the enemies of God.
Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is
eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of
God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom
For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the
unrighteous, to bring you to God.
(1 Peter 3:18)55
He appeared so that he might take away our sins.
(1 John 3:5)56
"Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the
sin of the world!"