The Cycle of Sin

When we get saved, are we to continue in a pattern of sin?

I’m not talking about the occasional slip of the tongue, or the unintentional sin. I’m talking about the intentional sin. The ones that we all wink at when we encounter them, or the ones that people think are okay, or should at least be tolerated, because our laws allow for them – and we need to respect the “rights of others”.

C. H. Spurgeon wrote in Around The Wicket Gate:

The Lord Jesus has come to save us from sinning. If we are determined to go on sinning, Christ and our souls will never agree. If a man takes poison, and a doctor has an antidote ready to save his life, how can the doctor save the patient if he continues to swallow the poison? Salvation mainly involves parting the sinner from his sin. The nature of salvation would have to be changed before we could say a person is saved when he is loving sin and willfully living in it. A person cannot be healed and yet remain sick; neither can anyone be saved and still love evil.

An alcoholic will be saved from drunkenness by believing in Christ. If he decides to still intoxicate himself, he is not saved from it, and he has not truly believed in Jesus. A liar can be saved from falsehood by faith, but then he must give up lying and be careful to speak the truth. Anyone can see that he cannot be saved from being a liar and yet go on in deceit. A person who hates another will be saved from feelings of enmity by believing in the Lord Jesus. If he still cherishes the feeling of hate, it is clear that he is not saved from it and equally clear that he has not believed in Jesus for salvation.

How, after receiving the gift of salvation, can we continue to thumb our noses at God? That’s what we’re doing when we continue in our mess – thumb our noses at what Yeshua ha’Mashiach – Jesus, the Messiah, did on that cross.

He took the sins of the world – past, present and future – in His body – so that we could find salvation in His shed blood! Who are we to take that so lightly, and for granted?

The story of the woman caught in adultery in the eighth chapter of John – or the story of the Samaritan woman at the well in the fourth chapter of John, are both classic examples of how, after an encounter with Christ, and receiving His gift, that we are to turn away from that sin.

People love to use John 8 (actually 7:53-8:11) as proof that we’re not to judge anyone. If one wants to get technical, this passage doesn’t appear in the earliest Greek manuscripts of the Gospel of John – and doesn’t appear until manuscripts from about 400 AD. The Greek manuscript, the Textus Receptus, the manuscript used as the basis for most translations, including the King James, includes this passage.

So did Jesus really say, “Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.” Many scholars would say He didn’t, we won’t know until we see Him in Heaven – but the lesson is a good one and I use it regularly as a proof lesson on several levels:

  1. That Jesus does indeed call out sin – as He did here
  2. That Jesus tells the woman to “Go, and sin no more.”

I dealt with the first one in a message several weeks ago – the second one I deal with here. The text doesn’t tell us, but I’d be willing to guess, that this taught her a valuable lesson, and she didn’t repeat the sin.

The fourth chapter of John, the Samaritan woman at the well, is another wonderful example. 

She encountered Jesus at the well, who started a conversation with her by asking for a drink. The conversation progressed into a theological one until in verse 16, Jesus tells her to get her husband. She’s now caught – so in verse 17, she comes clean and says that she has no husband – but that’s all she says, figuring she can hide her past and current situation.  Continuing in verse 17 and into 18:

Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.”

What was said here was that she has been married five times, and she’s test driving potential number 6 – He didn’t accuse her of lying – she didn’t. She was, however, committing adultery, and that was forbidden under the Law of Moses – still in effect in Jesus’ day.

But she realized her sin – and realized who she was dealing with. and in verse 19 – she said “Sir, I perceive you to be a prophet”.

The theological conversation continues for a bit – then she realizes that she’s dealing with a Man of God. Starting in verse 28 through verse 30, she became the town evangelist, and just like that, got a revival meeting going:

So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” They went out of the town and were coming to him.

When we have an encounter with Christ – we shed that habitual sin. We give the booze to Christ and command the habit of drunkenness out of us, in Jesus’ name. We give our lustfulness to Christ and command the sexual sin in our lives out of our lives, in Jesus’ name. We give our lying tongues to Christ and command the sin of deceit, gossip, slander and libel out of our lives, in Jesus’ name.

We give our mess to Christ – and command the evil out of our lives – in Jesus’ name.

There’s power in that name! And we don’t use the name of Jesus lightly. When we pray “In Jesus’ Name” – we’re calling down Heaven on what we’re asking. Demons quake in fear at that name – it’s that powerful!

Anything – that is within the Will of God – can be done in the name of Jesus. Shedding ones sin is within the Will of God, always!

Unfortunately, there will be some that won’t do this – they don’t want to give up their luscious sin. They like it too much – especially sexual sin.

Spurgeon wrote at the end of the quote earlier, which I didn’t write, but will now reveal:

Trust in the Savior means deliverance from the love of sin. It mocks Christ if you pretend to trust Christ to save you from sin while you are still determined to continue in it. I pray my reader is not guilty of such profanity. Do not dream that the holy Jesus will support sin.

Earlier this week, I gave a scripture that dovetails nicely with this teaching:

But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:64-69)

How many worship leaders have turned away from the Lord in recent years? Marty Sampson and Joshua Harris come to mind – and the Hillsong church in New York City once permitted an openly gay “couple” to lead worship – although that’s now stopped.

How many people do you know, who claim to be saved, yet their life and behavior doesn’t show it?

It says in scripture that there will be a great “falling away” – people who claimed that they were believers, but who have abandoned the faith, and the Holy Spirit. John wrote about it in John 6 (above), and Paul wrote about it in the second chapter of 2 Thessalonians.

We are truly in the last days – the very last days. The falling away is all around us.

We have politicians in Washington, and in state capitals, claiming to be praying Christians – some even pastors, but who won’t lift a finger to reign in the murder of the unborn, or restore the notion of the nuclear family of a father and a mother – not two mommies, or two daddies. That there are male and female – not “whatever I identify with today”.

Again, when we accept that gift of salvation, and repent, it means we shed that habitual sin. 

It doesn’t mean that we won’t sin anymore. It means that the intentional sin is shed. There will always be the unintentional sin – but again, when we realize that it happened, we repent of it, and ask forgiveness.

We don’t however, get saved, then sleep with our boyfriend/girlfriend/significant other – and think that it’s okay, because “God will just forgive me.” It don’t work that way, my friend.

If you’re not serious about repentance, then one has to wonder if you’re even saved to begin with. Was your salvation a lie? 

God is above all, Holy – and we too, after salvation, must be holy.  Holy means to be “set apart” – you are not the person you used to be, and you’re certainly different than your unsaved friend. 2 Peter 2:9 and Titus 2:14 refer to us as a “peculiar people” – different and apart from everyone else.

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (Titus 2:13-14 KJV)

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light; which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. (2 Peter 2:9-10 KJV)

You were saved, washed, sanctified and justified – by the power of the blood of Jesus – why would you walk away from that, for carnal gratification?

If you’re truly saved, but backslidden – it’s time to grow up, put away your toys, give that habitual sin to Christ, and command it out of your life, in Jesus’ name.

And if you need to find salvation, because you’re not finding satisfaction in your life of sin, you can do that right now. Get on your knees, close your eyes, and cry out to Jesus to save you, to forgive you of your sin, and to drive out that habitual sin – in Jesus’ name.

Then follow through.

If you’re living in sin with someone not your spouse, find other arrangements and move out. All future visits must be chaperoned – as temptation can befall new and seasoned believers.

If you’re mired in alcohol or drugs – get rid of the stuff and seek treatment immediately.

Above all, get a Bible, and get into the Word every day. Get into a true, Bible-believing church, with leadership who will disciple you biblically. 

Get it right people – time’s short.

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