I’m getting to that age where growing up in the warm California sun is finally catching up with me. It’s time for me to go to a dermatologist to get my face scanned to see if I have any skin cancer beginning to form. My dad did it a few years ago, and now it’s my turn. How silly would it be for me to say, “It’s not that big of a deal. Those cancer spots are pretty small.” No way! Cancer is cancer and whether it’s big or small it has the ability to kill. I think we should view sin in the same way – big or small, it has the ability to steal, kill, and destroy.

When the Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, he said, It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. (1 Corinthians 5:1) The church was justifying sin, assuming that it wasn’t all that big of a deal. However, they were sorely mistaken. They were snuggling up to something that had the ability to destroy them. When sin is tolerated, life is damaged.

Why would someone downplay the seriousness of sin? I think there are a few reasons. First, they don’t understand the way that sin has the ability to rob us of life. Listen to a few of the adverse effects of sin that are listed in the Scriptures. Sin:

  • Robs us of the joy of salvation. (Psalm 51)

  • Robs us of peace (Philippians 4:7)

  • Causes anguish in our physical body (Psalm 32:3-4)

  • Hinders fellowship with God (1 John 1:3, 6)

  • Causes separation and isolation from others (1 John 1:6)

  • Causes ineffectiveness in prayer (Psalm 66:18)

  • Causes us to become fearful (John 2:28)

  • Gives the Devil a foothold in our lives (Ephesians 4:27)

When we stop to think about it, sin’s effects should grieve us.

The second reason we don’t take sin seriously is that we don’t believe we can actually change. We’re not wholly convinced that we can make true change; and yet, we’re told the Spirit lives in us. You are a new creation and Jesus has given you everything you need for life and godliness; you just need to trust him and move forward by his grace.

Finally, many of us ignore sin because we don’t know how much life is waiting for us through obedience to Jesus. Read back through the list above and you’ll, but reverse each of the effects of sin to see what we have through obedience. Joy, peace, and the list goes on. It’s all available to you through Jesus.

If we start to realize what hangs in the balance, we might take sin more seriously. Now, just to be clear, we are seriously forgiven, but we must walk in obedience if we are going to experience all that the Lord has for us … and that starts with getting serious about our sin.  Take a moment today to confess your sins to the Lord. Ask him to forgive you. Remind yourself that he has and does. And then intention in your heart to live in obedience.

Pastor Ryan Paulson
Lead Pastor

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