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Every time we sin
- Jacob Ninan
Free forgiveness of sins and mercy are the hallmarks of the new covenant. But it was not so 'free' for the Saviour, because He had to suffer and die in order to gain this privilege for us. We tend to assume that we can bank on forgiveness when we sin, and as a result become careless with sin. But sin is a costly affair, for God and for us. Let us take a look at what happens when we sin, so that we can learn to be more cautious towards sin.
1. Every time we sin, we grieve God's heart which bled to save us from our sins. He has given us a new birth so that we will not let sin have dominion over us (Ro.6:13,14), and so that we can, in a progressive manner, stop sinning (1Jn.3:9). Yes, God will certainly forgive us our sins when we confess them (1Jn.1:9), but surely it grieves Him if He sees us going on giving in to sin (Ge.6:6;Is.63:10;Ep.4:30).
2. Whenever we sin, it disgraces God because we are His children. Even when no one elses sees us sin, we must not forget that Satan is eagerly watching us to see when we fall so that he can accuse God about us (Zec.3:1). What disgrace we cause to our Father by the way we choose the pleasures of sin instead of His good pleasure!
3. It breaks our fellowship with God (Is.59:1,2). Yes, we can get back to Him in repentance, confess our sins and be restored. But a break does happen and it causes us suffering. It looks to us as if He is hiding His face from us, even though it is we who have chosen that reaping by our sowing (Ga.6:7).
4. It confuses our mind. When we sin, guilt comes in, and like Adam and Eve we feel like hiding from God. We lose our confidence before God and before people. Even though we know we can be forgiven when we confess our sin, it can be quite difficult to regain the sense of boldness we had earlier.
5. It distorts God's plan for us. God can cause even our failures to work for our good, by teaching us more of humility and leaning on Him (Ro.8:28). But our fall does damage our witness, ministry, and effectiveness to a little or greater extent.
6. There is a struggle back towards God. It is easy to break fellowship with God, but not so with gaining it back. God may resort to chastening at times (He.12:6), and the consequences of our sinful action may take long to get over. Certain consequences may not be reversible too.
7. Relationships with others may get affected. Adam and Eve became self-conscious and somewhat closed towards each other. We may put on masks in front of others and hypocrisy and pretence may come in.
We don't think of these things when we are tempted. What we see before our eyes at that time is only the pleasure or the immediate advantage that our sin might bring us. That is the deceitfulness of sin (He.3:13). But knowing this truth can set us free (Jn.8:32). Knowing the truth is not just by hearing it, but by assimilating it by meditating over it till our thought patterns themselves are changed. God transforms us by renewing our mind.