The guilt of sin can be soul-crushing and overwhelming.
Sin always brings destruction and death. Destruction of our relationship with God, destruction of our relationship with others, physical/emotional/spiritual death.
It can cause HUGE anxiety, worry, dread and fear in our lives. It can even make us physically sick.
What if you are stuck in sin of some kind – how can you get out of that situation and come back to Christ?
Thankfully – we serve a God who is able to forgive sin.
We ALL are wretched sinners in God’s sight. ALL men. ALL women. ALL people.
We ALL desperately need the blood of Jesus to cleanse our sin and make us right with God.
None of us has anything good in us on our own that would entitle us to deserve to be close to God or deserve heaven or deserve His praise.
THANKFULLY – we serve a God of second chances.
Sin means – “to miss the mark.” It is an archery term. If I miss the mark by 100 yards – that is a “sin.” If I miss the target by 1/2 inch – that is a “sin.” Sin is anything that we think, say or do that falls short of God’s holy standard of perfection. We are all born into sin. We inherited our sinful nature from Adam and Eve. It only takes ONE SIN in our lifetime to make us qualify as “sinners.”
Sometimes we think that some sins are not “that bad.” But when Adam and Eve took one bite of fruit from the tree in the Garden of Eden – notice how serious the consequences were to that “little sin.” They were condemned to die physical death – they and all of their descendents after them. They were severed from communion with God now. Sin also separates us from God after we die. We cannot enter heaven when we have sin in our hearts. God is too holy to tolerate the presence of sin. He is too just to ignore sin. The whole world was cursed. Men and women were cursed and would suffer from those curses throughout the rest of history.
God is also too loving to leave us separated from Himself with no hope of reconciliation.
That is why the holy, sovereign, omnipotent, majestic God of the universe put on human flesh as Jesus Christ, lived a sinless life that we could never life and allowed Himself to face His own wrath on the cross that we could not bear so that through His grace and His sacrifice, He might put His own holiness and righteousness into our accounts and He took our great debt that each of us owed of “billions of sin dollars” into His account. He paid our debt in full. When we trust what He did for us on the cross by faith and accept His gift of GRACE – unmerited favor – we can receive Him as our Savior. He saves us from having to pay for our own sin in hell. But then He is also rightfully our LORD and Master. From that point on, we live for Him and seek to honor, obey and please Him. He fills us with His Spirit and makes us more and more like Christ so that we can live victorious, holy lives and He empowers us to be faithful to Himself.
WHAT KINDS OF THINGS COUNT AS SIN IN GOD’S HOLY EYES?
- putting ANYTHING above Him in our hearts (idolatry) – ie: romance, feeling loved, being in control, self, a man, a wedding, having a boyfriend, getting a diamond ring, making a lot of money, beauty, thinness, power, fame, etc… “I MUST HAVE this thing to be happy in life. It will not be ok if I can’t have this. I will do ANYTHING to get it!” If that thing is not Jesus – we are dealing with idolatry. (How to Stop Idolatry and Truly Live for Christ)
- thinking we can be “good enough” on our own to earn God’s favor or to earn heaven apart from what Jesus did for us
- lust, pornography
- not paying taxes
- causing divisions at church, at work or in the family
- trying to control others
- people pleasing (idolatry of other’s approval instead of God’s approval)
- wanting to hurt someone else physically/emotionally/mentally
- sex outside of marriage
- being ungodly stewards of all the resources He has given us
- envying others
- trusting something other than God – self, money, the government, a guy, etc…
- lusting after a person in our minds
- not believing God and His Word
- not obeying God about ANYTHING He commands us to do in the Bible
- living in worry, doubt and fear instead of trusting God and living in His peace
- not giving to those in need
- disrespect for those in God-given authority over us
- thinking we are so much “better than” someone else
- thinking we know better than God and we are wiser than God
- living for self
- getting drunk/high
- doing anything that does not come from faith in Christ
- not loving people with God’s love
- having an addiction to anything that is not Jesus
- having impure, selfish, prideful or ungodly motives
- living foolishly in God’s eyes
- complaining and arguing
- not totally submitting ourselves to Christ in everything
This is NOT an exhaustive list – but I think it will give you the general idea.
We ALL fall WAY SHORT.
If you have been sinning –
- it is time to see sin the way God sees it.
- It is time to turn away from everything that offends our holy God.
- It is time to turn to Christ and find healing, hope, restoration and abundant life.
It’s not too late for you! There is EVERY reason to hope in Christ Jesus and in what HE has done on your behalf. There is no sin too vile that the blood of Jesus cannot cover it.
If you don’t have a relationship with Christ – please check out this post about how to begin a relationship with Him.
If you DO have a relationship with Him – and have given Him your life, trusting Him to be your Savior and Lord – but have been living in ways that displease God… let’s talk about how to make things right.
WHAT DOES GOD’S WORD SAY?
This is the most important thing! How does God say we can be made right with Him?
- The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 3:23
- If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:8-9
- My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have One who speaks to the Father in our defense – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. I John 2:1-2
- We know that we have come to know Him if we obey His commands. The man who says, “I know Him,” but does not do what He commands is a liar and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys God’s Word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in Him: Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did. I John 2:4-5
- No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen Him or known Him… No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother. I John 3:6, 9-10
- And this is His command: to believe in the Name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as He commanded us. Those who obey His commands live in Him, and He in them. And this is how we know that He lives in us: We know it by the Spirit He gave us. I John 3:23-24
- The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:22-24
- I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds. Acts 26:20
- The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves Me must follow Me; and where I am, My servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. John 12:25-26
- If anyone loves Me, he will obey My teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come and make our home with him. He who does not love Me will not obey My teaching. John 14:23-24a
So, we must
1. See our sin clearly and see how serious and nasty and repulsive it is to God.
2. Turn from our sin and not go in that direction anymore = repent. Make a 180 degree turn away from sin.
3. Turn to Christ and ask Him to be our LORD – not just our Savior. Yes, His blood saves us from the penalty of hell when we trust His death on our behalf to satisfy God’s wrath against our sin. God replaced the massive sin debt in our account with the limitless righteousness/holiness of Jesus when we trust Him as Savior.
But He cannot only be our Savior – we must also submit ourselves FULLY to Him as LORD of ALL in our lives. We give Him full control and reign. We seek His will not our own. We die to our old sinful self and put on a new self in Christ. The purpose of our life from this moment on is only to bring glory and honor to Jesus and to love and bless others. The two Greatest Commandments Jesus gives us that sum up the 10 Commandments are 1. to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your strength and with all your soul and with all your might. The 2nd is like it – to love your neighbor as yourself. These two things are to be the focus of our lives every moment.
We allow God to completely change our hearts, minds and souls by His power to make us more and more like Christ. This is the process of sanctification – the life long process of bending our will and our lives to God’s will so that He can make us like Jesus by His power. We have to have His Spirit do this work in us. We cooperate with Him – but it is HIS power, not ours, that enables us to walk in obedience to Him.
Here is some application to dealing with sexual sin:
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR MY SITUATION WITH MY BOYFRIEND/FIANCE?
If you know that you have committed sin against God…
1. Acknowledge the seriousness of your sin and the cost of your sin in God’s sight.
2. Agree with God that you sinned and were wrong and turn away from that sin. Don’t live in it anymore.
3. Seek God and desire to please and obey Him above all else – no matter what the cost!
This will mean that you will have to say something to your boyfriend like:
“I realize that I have sinned against God and against you by having sex with you and/or living with you when we aren’t married. I was VERY WRONG. I want to please God more than anything else in my life. I can’t live like this anymore. I need to move out as soon as possible (ie: today). I can’t have sex with you or anyone else until I am married. I need some time to get alone with God to get things right with Him and to get my head on straight.”
- If the man is NOT a believer in Christ – I believe you must break up with him. God commands us as believers to only marry a spouse who is “equally yoked” and “in the Lord.”
It may be necessary to break all contact with this man. An unbelieving husband is NOT God’s will for you and he will cause you so much trouble if you were to stay with him or marry him. If he suddenly says, “I’ll just convert and become a Christian, too” – to try to get you to stay with him, I believe it is wise to not date for awhile and let him show that he is serious about living for Christ for an extended period of time before considering getting back together. I believe you would need very wise and godly counsel before getting back together and that you would need to see VERY clear signs of God’s Spirit working in him over time before committing to him. You would also need to enact new boundaries – which will be extremely difficult after violating God’s standard in this area before.
- If he is a believer – he may repent, too, and say, “Let’s get married.” If he does not repent or tries to get you to stay and keep living like you were, he is toxic to your relationship with Christ. That is not ok! I believe you would need to break up with him if he acts like sex outside of marriage is not a big deal. Anything that God says is sin is a big deal to God. He is the Judge. He makes the call. If a man doesn’t reverence God and tremble before Him – he is not living with Christ as Lord.
Please seek GODLY counsel before agreeing to marry. Be sure that you understand the depth of your man’s commitment to the Lordship of Christ. You don’t want to marry someone who just says he is a Christian. You want to marry a man who loves Jesus MUCH MORE than he loves you. Be sure there is CLEAR fruit from God’s Spirit in HIS life and in YOUR life over a significant period of time before agreeing to marriage.
It is possible that you could move out and stop having sex – seek godly, wise, experienced counsel and move toward marriage IF your man decides that is what he wants to do on his own.
Please don’t try to pressure or force him into marriage! That would be a huge mistake! A man needs to marry because he wants to marry, not because he feels pressured.
- Take some time alone and really seek God with all your heart without any distractions.
- Find a godly, wise mentoring older woman who can pray with you and counsel you.
- Spend SERIOUS time in God’s Word daily and maybe even fast (skip meals some days to pray and show your repentance and seriousness to desire to please God) – seeking Him with all your heart and confessing every sin, allowing Him to change you to be the woman He wants you to be. Pray fervently that God will change YOU and that He might glorify Himself in your life.
- Find your contentment in Christ alone.
- Make no provision for the flesh. Don’t be alone with a guy. Don’t put yourself in a super tempting situation. The Bible says to “flee from sexual immorality.”
12“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. 13You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. 15Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”b 17But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.c
18Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 19Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. – I Corinthians 6
YES, this will be PAINFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Giving up our own ways, dying to self, tearing out sin from our lives HURTS. But sin is like gangrene and if we allow it to continue on – it will destroy us. Sometimes it is necessary to do drastic and painful things in order to find Life.
No, you will not want to do these things. At first. But then – God will change your desires. He can give you victory!
But it is necessary in order to get things right with God. That HAS to be your greatest priority if he is your Lord. Be willing to obey Him no matter what He asks of you. That is what it means for Him to be LORD. We do not say, “No, Lord.” He is worthy of our total obedience. Our only proper answer to Him after all He has done for us is, “Yes, Lord!” Be willing to give up anything that God hates. Be willing to hold everything else very loosely in your hands in order to be available completely and wholly devoted to Christ. Hold nothing back from Him. Allow Him FULL access to your life, heart, mind and soul.
This is the path to God’s peace and joy. And it is the path to the abundant spiritual life God promises to those who follow Him.