The Bible teaches a lot about sin and it is good to have a clear understanding about it in order not to be deceived. When we read the Bible we get to know that God spoke strongly against sin through the prophets, likewise Jesus Christ did the same in the Gospels. The Apostles and all other writers also condemn sin. Until a person deals right with God about his or her sins, it remains pending and an alienator between that person and God.
It must be known that God shows no favoritism to anyone and that He cannot be mocked. That which a person sows, that very thing the person shall reap in this world and in the world to come. In this post I will discuss provisions made by God for Christians who happen to fall into sin. This is what makes them differ to non-Christians when they sin.
First, I want to pick a few verses that unveil the view point of sin to God:
- For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23)
- So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin (James 4:17)
- For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God… (Romans 3:23)
- If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us (1 John 1:8 – 10).
- All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death (1 John 5:17).
I do note that some of the verses would give false comfort to those who delight in sin because it is clear that no one is free from sin. The standard is too high such that everyone falls short and therefore need a mediator. However, it is worth noting that everyone will be judged according to the revealed will of God to him or her. The levels in which we have been exposed and know the will of God differ from person to person. This explains the level of growth in the Christian faith. Growth comes by reading and practicing the will of God written in the Bible.
Our will and God’s will is often not aligned and thus making us frequent sinners. It is true that sometimes we commit sin unknowingly and yes we sometimes do even if we know it. No sin is exclusive to either of the groups. We all fall short to the perfect will of God.
There are sins listed in the Bible and those that are not. The reality of new sins is revealed in Romans 1:30 where the writer mentions that there are people who invent new ways of sinning. You therefore should not be confused when smoking, watching pornography, phishing, sexting, hacking and many more ‘contemporary sins’ are quoted as sinful practices. The Holy Spirit and the conscious are our guide in revealing the sins that are not listed in the Bible. That is where arguments on whether something is sin or not among believers come from. Good examples of known practices are attaching artificial ornaments in one’s body, wearing of trousers or pants by woman, listening to circular music and some types of dances. This calls for sensitive spiritual ears not to miss the perfect will of God and then comes obedience.
The true Christian
Becoming a Christian and remaining one is a voluntary decision. It is a matter of agreeing to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ through confession that He is Lord and keep working at likening one’s life to that of His. It takes reading the scriptures and practicing what it says. A believer should take a stand for his or her own spiritual health. In some of the tings Christians do, a Christian should decide for himself or herself whether to indulge or not because it is a personal decision.
A true Christian does not modify scriptures in his or her heart to suit a certain circumstance. He or she relies on God for strength since it is only by God that man can overcome sin. A Christ like behavior and growth towards it makes a Christian who he or she is. Jesus Christ’s character is marked by love, mercy, forgiveness, gentleness, holiness; to name a few. These are desirable qualities of a Christian.
The way a true Christian responds to sin makes God treats him or her according to scripture promises. This is where the difference in sins committed by Christians and those committed by non-Christians gets explained.
- Even though forbidden, a Christians may sin but would not live in sin. The moment a Christian realizes that s/he has committed a sin s/he deals with it as soon as possible. Jesus Christ Himself did not condemn the woman who was caught in the act of fornication but He told her to go sin no more. That is, in all her efforts, she should fight against falling for the same sin. If it calls for restitution, a Christian would be willing to do it.
The non-Christian may not even realize that s/he has gone against the will of God. S/he will take comfort in keeping the issue covered and if no one brings it up it is all right. For example, I have heard of rape cases that have been hidden for many years that the offender never bothered to correct with the people he offended because they believed it was done away with and forgotten.
- A Christian does not sin willfully but it should always be a mistake. The good news is that if we happen to sin, we have an advocate with God the Father, Jesus Christ Himself. A Christian would go to Jesus right away to have his or her case dealt with immediately.
A non-Christian continuously make attempts on dishonest gains, selfish deeds, robbery, etc. The only deterrent would be laws of the land and maybe if it the act affects people of whom s/he wouldn’t want to hurt. Then s/he would want to re-correct the deed.
- A Christian does not wait to be discovered by someone else before they deal with their sin. A Christian believes that all sins are committed in full view of God, thus nothing is worth hiding. Anyone who hides his sins will not prosper and all hidden things will be revealed openly one day.
The non-Christian is not mindful of the fact that there is nowhere a person can hide from God. The fact that God is the ultimate judge is hidden from the non-Christian.
- The first and ultimate guide is the Holy Bible whenever there is a dilemma. Consulting brethren is for advice and support on how to sort matters in a godly, mature and wise manner but the final instruction should come from the Bible.
The non-Christian consults anywhere and everywhere s/he believes the right solution will come from.
I want to conclude by stating that it is a deception to believe that Christians and non-Christians are the same because both groups fall into sin. Comparing sins committed by Christians to justify one’s wrong doing is a tactic of the devil to keep people comfortable in sin.
I encourage everyone to allow God to deal with his or her sin while we all are alive for after death there will be no room for reconciling with God.