After a short break, we now return to our series on sin, particularly the results of sin. This week I want to look at how sin results in more sin.
When we sin, part of God’s punishment is to give us over to more and more sin. This is very clearly stated by Paul: ‘They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion’ (Romans 1:25-27). When you choose not to worship God, you are delivered into ever increasing amounts of sin. In the context of this particular passage, we see that rejection of God leads to shameful lusts which includes the sin of homosexuality.
Yet we don’t need the Bible to tell us that once we begin sinning our sin abounds. As a child, the first time you tell a major lie to your parents there is an intense feeling of guilt. This guilty feeling may continue in subsequent lies, but over time the guilt subsides and it becomes easier and easier to lie. The same thing occurs with any sins that you may struggle with: swearing, lustful looks, drunkenness, gambling, shoplifting, showing up late to work, being lazy, getting angry with your spouse. The first few times it is unpleasant and maybe difficult to commit the sin. But before long you are sinning without even thinking about it.
So how do you break the vicious evil cycle? For if your sinning increases from a few small sins, imagine the sin that will come from sin compounded upon sin! Thankfully Jesus gives us the answer. He recognises that everyone who sins will sin again and again because they are enslaved to it: ‘I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin’ (John 8:34). However Jesus then tells us that he can break the cycle: ‘So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed’ (John 8:36). How does Jesus do it? He does it by his death on the cross – at the cross he was putting sin to death and if you trust his death and ask for his help he can help you put sin to death too.
Does your sin result in ever increasing sin? Or are you breaking the cycle because you are trusting in Christ?