Sin can be defined as rebellion against God or running away from His divine purpose. Here are nine explanations from Scripture as to how our sin keeps us from that perfect unity with Him.
#1 Our sin keeps God from hearing our cries
Isaiah 59:2 says…
“But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.”
The children of Israel repeatedly turned their backs on God and denied the terms of His covenant with them, and so God finally carried out the promised punishments. By that time, it was too late for the people to turn, because their sin was so great that they had alienated themselves from God.
In the book of Romans, God is said to give us up to our sinful desires if we continually turn away from Him. This does not mean that we can’t return to Him in repentance, but if we willfully abandon Him He will allow us to run away.
It is important to note that passages like this can, unfortunately, be misinterpreted to say that God will walk away from us and not offer His mercy if we truly repent. Complete repentance that turns away from our sinful nature and wholeheartedly returns to God is always available in the waiting arms of a loving Father, but we cannot expect God to bless us if we willfully deny Him at every turn.
#2 We ignore Jesus’ sacrifice for us
Hebrews 10:26 teaches us…
“For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins.”
Continuing to sin after turning to Jesus is a denial of the sacrifice He made for us by His death on the cross. It is like saying, “I recognize what You did for me, but I don’t care because I want what I want instead of what You want for me.”
We will all sin after we receive salvation (it is simply a fact of our human nature), but deliberately walking in a lifestyle of habitual sin is dangerous and deadly because it actively denies the salvation Jesus paid for with His blood on the cross.
#3 We can delude ourselves into thinking we are fine on our own
1 John 1:8 says…
“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
We can remove ourselves so completely from God’s will that we can convince ourselves that we are sinless. We can come to a place of believing that our sins are not so bad and that we don’t need the atoning sacrifice of Jesus to justify us before a holy God. This is a lie from Satan, and can never resonate with the message of the Gospel.
#4 Disobeying the leading of the Holy Spirit is sinful
James 4:17 says…
“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”
It is said that we should let our conscience be our guide. This is especially important of the Holy Spirit. If we believe that doing (or not doing) something is sinful, based on a direction from the Holy Spirit, it is ignoring the will of God and thus becomes a sinful act.
Such crises of conscience should always be weighed against Scripture and wise biblical counsel, but once we acknowledge that a course of action is part of God’s will for our lives, ignoring it and doing something else is considered sinful.
#5 Sin leads to death
James 1:14-15 says…
“But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”
Temptation itself is not sin, but yielding to that temptation through our actions is sin. This sin will fester and grow until it brings about the eventual and certain endgame of all sin: death by eternal separation from God. However, we should remember that God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness, and His power is always available to deliver us from any temptation.
#6 Sin will ultimately lead to eternal separation from God
Revelation 20:15 says…
“And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
In the new heaven and new earth when God perfects His creation, those who do not accept His sacrifice and instead cling to their sinful nature will be cast out into Hell. This is a very real reality and is eternal separation from God with no hope of restoration.
#7 Turning away from God will result in His turning away from us
Micah 3:4 says…
“Then they will cry to the LORD, but He will not answer them; He will hide His face from them at that time, because they have made their deeds evil.”
Do you consider yourself a Christian, but still harbor some hidden sin in your life or your heart? Have you tried to seek God out, but can’t hear Him respond?
It may be that some sinful habit or desire has taken root in your heart, and if you do not forcefully remove it from your life, it can keep you from fellowship with God. Only by fully repenting of sin and turning away from it can you start down the path back to Him.
#8 Sin should be immediately followed by repentance
Revelation 2:4-5 says…
“But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.”
No one is perfect, and no one can go their entire lives without sinning. However, if a believer returns to the pattern of living they had before they met Christ, God warns them that it can lead to eternal destruction.
We should be quick to repent of our sins, stay on guard against evil habits that can come back to tempt us again, and be vigilant in our focus on the Lord. Our actions in this life have lasting consequences in the next life.
#9 Sin is never the right path
Proverbs 14:12 says…
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.”
Any manmade religion or belief system can never bring about salvation. They all lead away from God, which is a certain path to the death of the soul. A solid belief in the God of the Bible, and an acceptance of Jesus’ sacrificial death as the atonement for our sins, is the only way to remove the separation that stands between us and the Father.
Be encouraged that there is always a way back to the Father, but recognize that it necessarily requires removing sin from our lives and seeking out His strength to keep us within His perfect will and purpose for our lives.
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Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.