Daily Word

Deliberate, continual sin | Hebrews 10:26-27, 31 (NLT)

26 Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. 27 There is only the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies… 31 It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

What is deliberate (or willful), continual sin? It helps if we also consider John’s teaching on sin in his first letter: “6 No one who remains in Him sins continually; no one who sins continually has seen Him or knows Him… 9 No one who has been born of God practices sin, because His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin continually, because he has been born of God.” (1 John 3:6, 9). Anyone who plays sports or music knows what practice is. It’s repetitive and the goal is to get better. Anyone who deliberately continues sinning (practices sinning) has to consider the state of their relationship with the Lord. It just can’t happen with a Christian, with the Spirit residing in us. 

So why do I sin? Alas, the sinful nature in me. When it sees an opportunity to sin, it will, like a lion waiting in the brush for his prey, spring on it. The temptation comes and triggers the sinful nature who’s been on the lookout for an opportunity to pounce, as it were. It then tells me how to carry out the temptation. Then comes decision time – do I gratify the sinful nature? Thankfully, the Spirit in me is also active and comes to my rescue instructing me in the righteous response, often bringing scripture to mind like 1 Cor 10:13 about temptation. Now I can’t say that I have no part in the temptation. James 1:14-15 tells me the source is my own lusts. If I have no interest in robbing a bank, that temptation will “fall on deaf ears” but a temptation to look again at a scantily clad lady is sure to tempt. The temptation is not the sin. It’s what I do next. Which will win the battle for my mind and then control my actions – the flesh for the spirit. The answer lies in which I feed and take care of. If I feed my flesh by giving it what it wants, thinking about things it wants, etc., it will be strong. If I delight in the Lord, He will give me the desires of my heart. Both the kind of temptation and the strength of temptation is on God (1 Cor 10:13); how I prepare for and then respond to the temptation is on me!

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