Next time you’re tempted to sin, to fall into the sinful patterns all of us have in some parts of our lives, tell yourself this: sin is serious. Sin cost the life of the Son of God. Sin will eat away at us and enslave us, and the short-term reward from sin will not be worth the long-term impact on our faith. Run from sin and never take it lightly. Sin is far worse than any of us think it is.
When Christians think about sin, often it is in the context of our sins being forgiven. We know that we are sinners and that we do all kinds of things that disobey God, some of them unknowingly and some of them intentionally. But we have been forgiven for our sins, right? Jesus died for our sins in our place, our debt is paid, and we are free. That is great news and foundational to what it means to be Christian. With the knowledge that our sins are forgiven, and that we have been shown such grace, we can start to think that sin is not really that bad. After all, if I make a mistake, Jesus will forgive me, right?
Yet, in places like Matthew 18, Jesus says very harsh things about sin. Here’s a brief excerpt:
8 And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. 9 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire. (Matt. 18:8-9 ESV)