“Go, and sin no more” John 8:11
It is sin that has changed the world into its present condition. Sin has caused wars, crimes, and all the evil in the world. And the sad thing is that many people love sin. Even for Christians, it is a struggle to try to give up sin.
Sin started from a small disobedience—eating the forbidden fruit—but the consequences of that one sin are tremendous. For six thousand years, it has caused every human being to commit sin.
People who delay their obedience and overcoming sin to a later time may not make it. Another great danger is committing sins, trusting that God always forgives sin, and that the only thing they have to do is to say, “Forgive my sins that I have done today,” and then repeat it again the next day. But, the Bible says, “For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.” Hebrews 10:26
Willful sin, if persistently cherished and committed, will grieve the Holy Spirit and, if not repented of, will eventually lead to the sin against the Holy Spirit, at which point there will be no more forgiveness. Sin that is done ignorantly God will forgive if we repent and ask for forgiveness. Also, sin that is done from human weakness God will forgive, like the sin that David committed because he repented and did not persistently continue in sin. Sins that are forgiven still bring consequences to us. David killed Uriah, and he lost four of his own children prematurely. Jacob lied to his father, Isaac, and then his own children lied to him about Joseph, and he also had to spend 20 years far away from his home country. God forgave Jacob his sin, but still he suffered for it.
Uzzah knew that he must not touch the ark of the covenant, but he did touch it, and he died that moment. The sons of Aaron knew that they could not bring common fire into the sanctuary, however they did bring common fire, and they both died. Ananias and his wife, Sapphira decided to lie to the church, and both of them died that moment.
“Comfort ye, comfort ye My people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.” Isaiah 40:1–2. The people of Israel had committed sins, and the Lord forgave them their sins, but He also chastened the nation at that time, double for their sins. He has said, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” Revelation 3:19
If you neglect to pay God your tithes, or your taxes to the government, individually you will receive a just punishment from God.
“For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.” Revelation 18:5–6. The leaders in the fallen churches, Babylon, in these verses were to receive a double reward as they were instrumental in leading many innocent souls astray. It is grievous in the sight of God to continue in willful sin, but it is more grievous to lead others into the wrong pathway.
“What if we should lose our soul? It would be better for us had we never been born.” –This Day with God, p. 271
Jesus said this about Judas. “The Son of Man goeth as it is written of Him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.” Matthew 26:24
God’s people have to go through persecution, prison sentences, even death sentences, also the time of Jacob’s trouble, but all this is nothing compared to the suffering in hell fire, unmingled with the mercy of God, which they will endure as a just punishment for all their sins. What God’s people go through is not a punishment, but a purification of their characters.
Then, what we must do is to stop committing sins. There is a way to do it. We have a beautiful gospel song, written by Lewis E. Jones in 1899, based on the Bible verse Revelation 12:11, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony: and they loved not their lives unto the death.” This Bible verse refers to the millions of martyrs who did not love their lives unto death, who received the power to overcome from the blood of the Lamb. The song is, “Would you be free from the burden of sin? There’s power in the blood, power in the blood.”
The Roman judges and the hardened soldiers could not understand how even little children were willing to die in the flames of fire for this Man, Jesus, rather than denounce Him.
It was the power of the blood of the Lamb that strengthened them. In this power of the blood, we can overcome every sin, and suffer gladly, rejoicing in persecution, prison, and even death for this man, Jesus.
“But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7
“The precious blood of Jesus is the fountain prepared to cleanse the soul from the defilement of sin. When you determine to take Him as your friend, a new and enduring light will shine from the cross of Christ. A true sense of the sacrifice and intercession of the dear Saviour will break the heart that has become hardened in sin; and love, thankfulness, and humility will come into the soul. The surrender of the heart to Jesus subdues the rebel into a penitent, and then the language of the obedient soul is: ‘Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.’ This is the true religion of the Bible. Everything short of this is a deception.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 625
“The atoning blood of Christ is the greatest blessing, ever granted to sinful man.” –Sons and Daughters of God, p. 226
Without this power, religion is only an empty form; it does not satisfy the longing of the soul. This kind of religion is not a blessing, but rather a curse to the sinner.
But, there is a way to escape the temptations of Satan. “You cannot save yourself from the tempter’s power, but he trembles and flees when the merits of that precious blood are urged.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 317
But if we love sin and have a desire to continue in sin, then the mighty power of God is gone from us, and only human weakness remains. Even the smallest sin that we can think of, like just looking at vanity, is enough to lose the power of God. Many lose the power of God by neglecting their duties. God cannot say to them in the end, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” Matthew 25:21
Human power alone is not strong enough to overcome sin and to put it away; we need the power of God to do it. Many people have said, “I am not strong enough to live according to the church’s rules, therefore I cannot join!” But God has promised to give us power to move mountains, if we have faith (Matthew 17:20).
But God will not do the work alone to purify us from sin; human effort must be added to it. We must, by prayer, fasting, and adding the power of God, gain the victory over sin. Paul writes, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Philippians 2:12
While we are caught in this human condition, Christ’s advocacy work is available to each repenting sinner. The word of God enjoins, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.” 1 John 2:1-3
Then what happens? In addition to being our Advocate, He is our righteousness and when we, by faith, accept Him as our righteousness, then according to Paul, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13. It is our claim by faith as we work out our salvation with fear and trembling.
That means that we must do it; we must overcome sin in the power of God. And when we must do this? The Bible is very clear. “To day if ye will hear His voice.” Hebrews 3:7
Let us make a firm decision, that we will stop committing sins in the power of God. Your example will encourage others to do the same. Let us put out the utmost effort, and with the help of God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the holy angels, and our brothers and sisters, we will gain the victory. Sin will be overcome and the perfect image of God will be seen in us.
Then we can sing, “The cleansing stream, I see, I see! I plunge, and, oh, it cleanseth me! Oh, praise the Lord, it cleanseth me! It cleanseth me, yes, cleanseth me.”
And then we will meet each other in heaven. What a joy it will be! Amen.