When I Sin…
‘Time in the Word’ By Clayton Adams
In my life when I do something I know is against God’s Word, it is sin. The very things I don’t want to do is what I find myself doing. I hate sin.
I wonder how Adam and Eve felt after they ate the fruit God told them not to eat? Did Adam and Eve feel embarrassed, guilty, ashamed, remorseful?
These are feelings I have when I sin.
When I sin, I sometimes believe it won’t affect anyone else.
When I sin, I sometimes justify my sin by thinking, “I deserve this” or “I had a right to say it.” When I sin, I know I’ll hurt others but I still sin.
When I sin, I remember what James wrote in his letter, “Each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust (desire). Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death” (James 1:14-15).
I know these verses but I still sin.
Every person has weaknesses and desires and Satan uses these against us. Satan is a master of deception and is the father of all lies and has not changed his tactics and trickery he uses against us.
We cannot trust ourselves because our hearts mislead us and we lie to ourselves, we read, “The heart is more deceitful than all else, and is desperately sick; Who can understand it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds” (Jeremiah 17:910).
Satan tried to tempt Jesus using the same three ways he tempts us. We read the account of Satan tempting Jesus (Matthew 4:211) and the three ways Satan tempted Jesus; lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the pride of life (1 John 2:16).
Jesus quoted Scripture to resist each temptation (Matthew 4:4-10).
We must follow Jesus’ example. We must know the Word of God and flee from temptation. Being tempted is not sin but it’s the second glance, the second thought that causes us to stumble and fall.
In 2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.” The phrase “rightly dividing” does not mean to divide up God’s Word, it means to “correctly apply” or “correctly handle” God’s Word.
We need to know God’s Word and correctly apply His Word into our lives.
When I sin, I failed to follow Jesus’ example and I have not done what the apostle James instructed, “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). I did not resist and I did not flee. When I sin, I sometimes find myself running to it, not away.
When I sin, I know the battlefield is always in my mind. Sin starts with a thought, we allow ourselves to drift into the dangerous territory of “possibilities” and “feelings” we know to be wrong but as the Bible states, “there is pleasure in sin for a season” (Hebrews 11:25). But there is the cost of sin, the consequences of sin and effect of sin upon others.
Where is the battlefield of sin? The apostle Paul answers this question, we read, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).
The battlefield is in our minds and hearts and we are masters of neither.
When we sin, we simply need to ask for forgiveness, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). God forgives us, if we ask for forgiveness.
God has also given us His Word, His Spirit and His Fellowship to overcome the temptation in our lives. I know God forgives me but the battle continues everyday and the devil never lets up on the temptation but God always is gracious and forgiving and always provides a way of escape from the temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13). When I sin, I find myself saying the same thing the apostle Paul wrote, “For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do…For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. Oh’ wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?
Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:15-24).
The enemy is Satan, not people, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms, (Ephesians 6:12). The struggle is not with the ex-spouse, friend, coworker, child, in-law or out-law. People are not the enemy of our souls, the devil is.
Because of my sin, I can easily identify with others who are struggling with their sin. I want to follow Jesus’ example of not judging others (John 3:17) but to be their friend as Jesus was the friend of sinners.
When I sin, I know I can ask God to forgive me and according to His Word, “…He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
I am thankful for His forgiveness, are you?
Clayton Adams has a message of faith he would like to share with the community. He would also like to hear from you. E-mail him at [email protected]