Are There Consequences For Sin?

14 Sep

I believe that ALL of our sins have been already forgiven – past, present and future. (“Christ suffered for our sins once for all time” – I Pet 3:18, Heb 9:28, Heb 10:10)   I also believe that we must believe and confess (believe with your heart and confess with your mouth – Rms 10:9) and we must repent (repent and believe – Mk 1:15) for us to receive forgiveness.  But, getting God to forgive us… and receiving forgiveness are two different issues.   God has ALREADY forgiven us through the one-time sacrifice on the cross.  It is now available to all.  We receive that forgiveness when we confess, acknowledge, receive.  I’m not saying that each and every sin must be confessed and repented of before we can receive forgiveness… but I believe we must walk in a humble heart posture of desire to walk clean. 

And regarding receiving forgiveness: Begging and groveling for forgiveness is totally inappropriate since Jesus already saw our sin and paid for it.  Not only that, but he did it with joy; “who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross” – Heb 12:2.  You see, in essence, God said, “Let’s make man for friendship… but he’s going to have a sin issue.  Jesus, would You mind remedying this… it’ll cost You Your life?”  Jesus then looks down through time and sees each one of us.  He is moved with great love and affection for each one of us, knowing full well ALL of the sin that we are ever going to commit.  That sin, which is so all-important to us, doesn’t even faze Him.  He loves what He sees!  He loves who He sees… and considers that His death on the cross is not a barrier to His love for us.  Rather, He is so smitten with love for us that it propels Him through the cross.  With this amazing realization, we must learn how to humbly but confidently (Heb 4:16) receive forgiveness in the same spirit in which it is offered, joyfully. 

There was a popular saying several decades ago: “Love means you never have to say you’re sorry”.  Well, I’m sorry, that saying is just not true.  Did it ever work for any married couple you ever met… how about in your marriage?  Just try it and we’ll see how it works out for you.  But the fact is even if our spouse didn’t demand an apology from us, if we’re truly in love, we’d want to remedy the bruised area in our relationship.  This is a no-brainer.  Likewise, even if Heaven wasn’t requiring repentance, our love for our Savior and Best Friend Jesus, should compel us to address the issues. 

With the emphasis on Grace, we’re in a new learning curve to understand how Heaven views sin.  But we all know what sin does to our hearts, souls and even our bodies… (not to mention our relationships and our circumstances around us).  Even if our sin doesn’t affect Heaven, it does affect us.  It desensitizes our conscience, it dulls our sensitivity to Holy Spirit’s stirrings, and it bruises OUR confidence with God.  It strengthens alliances with the devil.  It reduces our ability to receive and let Heaven’s anointing flow through us (I’m not saying Heaven reduces it).  Our hearts become encumbered with preoccupation with sin and the residual of sin, e.g. memories, wounded relationships, establishing of evil strongholds in our lives.  All these and many more no-brainer earth-side reasons make sin wrong… not if you want to excel in Heaven’s blessing (again, I’m not even saying the Heaven withholds the blessing).  The fact is, with all the excess baggage that sin incurs, we aren’t light on our spiritual feet anymore.

Maybe some aren’t concerned with this earth-side baggage… they just want a ‘get into Heaven free’ card.  Well, I’d have to ask whether they personally know the Man behind the Grace… or do they just know the theology.  It’s fairly easy to make relationship-less theology justify anything we want to justify.  But if we are related to the Man who really loves us and is our Bridegroom and is our closest Friend, then I’m pretty sure the fruit will be that we want to walk as free from sin’s baggage as we can.

And let’s just be honest, Jesus said it is possible that some will say “Lord, Lord….” and He’ll say, “I never knew you.”  For me, it gets down to walking with a tender heart before the One who knows us best and loves us most.  How long has it been since we had tears because of His tender love resting on our heart?  When did we last have an informal yet passionate heart to heart with Jesus… that lasted more than a few minutes?  Is He on our heart and mind during the day… or only at our ‘religious’ church meeting times?  The answers to these questions will help give evidence to what kind of relationship we have… or don’t have.

I believe true relationship will be evidenced by a deep desire to walk as much like the One we love, versus trying to get by with as much deviant activities as we can and hopefully not ‘max out the system’.  What a horrible commentary the latter one is!

These are just some of the many reasons that would cause Paul to ask the rhetorical question, “Should we sin more that Grace may abound more?”  (Rms 6:1)  Heaven and earth resoundingly respond, “No, way!!!”  Not if we’re truly in love with this wonderful Man Jesus who made Grace so awesome and so free.

— MLH

For more on this topic: Grace: For The Sin Issue… and So Much More

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3 Responses to “Are There Consequences For Sin?”

  1. melwild September 14, 2013 at 11:55 AM #

    Perfectly stated, brother. And I like Paul’s statement, “faith working through love” (Gal.5:6). In other words, would someone whose totally smitten by love for another person want to take advantage of them? No way! Grace and love, powered by the Spirit, are all the barriers to sin we need. 🙂

    • marklhen September 14, 2013 at 9:56 PM #

      And likewise, Mel… very well stated… to take advantage of the someone you say you love??? This is anathema!!! In my book, that tells the story about anyone who feels they can freely sin. Sorry, it’s hard to believe that they really know and truly love this awesome Man Jesus.

  2. darylgstewart September 14, 2013 at 2:05 PM #

    A wonderful summary piece, Mark. I really appreciate it. Thank you!

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