Why Do We Sin?

Why Do We Sin?

About 4 months ago, I preached on the consequences of sin. It was titled, “Don’t Do It” and it was not a new revelation to you. We observe and experience the consequences of sin every day. We know we should not do it. Still, in spite of the devastating consequences of wickedness, we continue to sin. Why?

There are several reasons, but basically, people sin because we are born with a sin nature that does not love God. This sin nature rejects God through outright disobedience that indicates, "Lord I don’t care who you are, I don’t care what you say, I’ll live my life the way I want, I don’t need you!"

Unbelievers do not hold a monopoly on rebellion against God, Church members also reject Him through outright disobedience. They know what God says and they know what God desires, but they disobey Him anyway. For example, they gossip, they slander, they envy, they hold bitterness, they are unloving, and they ignore His Word. They, too, love themselves more than God.

John 14:23-24 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.

We need to realize, that when we disobey God, we are effectually looking Our Lord and Savior straight in the face, and saying to Him, "I DON’T LOVE YOU!! I will be lord of my life!”

Another way “Christians” reject God is through NEGLECT. Our life is so busy, so cluttered, that we don’t have any time for the Lord. We don’t particularly dislike God or His Word, but we have our priorities set, and God ends up somewhere behind family, work, sports, hobbies, and leisure.

God could have created us like robots, but He didn’t.  He desires our love. Therefore, we sin because we love ourselves more than God. God lets us choose our affections, and every one of us chooses sinRomans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

When we choose to sin, we wrongly reason that we won’t suffer any consequences. However, once we have given into temptation and allowed a sin to control us, it breaks us down to the point where we don’t even try to resist. Because we feel like we can’t break free, the attitude becomes, “Why should I try to quit, I always go back to doing it again.”

At this point, people sin because, "There is no fear of God before their eyes"  (Romans 3:18).  They have little respect for God, their Creator.  They have forgotten who gave them life and decided to ignore why they were created.

Ecclesiastes 12:13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.

Some people sin because of ignorance. Before we can keep God’s commandments, we must know what they are. God says in Hosea 4:6, "”My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge”. 

We must develop a love for God and His Word so we will not sin. However, some people prefer to be ignorant of God’s Word. Their motto is ‘ignorance is bliss’. That is a lie that leads to death. Ignorance does not prevent the consequences of sin. So, we are destroyed for a lack or knowledge.

People sin because there is temporary pleasure in sin.  Because of the pleasures of sin, we are tempted and enticed. We forget or ignore the consequences, deceiving ourselves by believing we can enjoy sin and not suffer too severely. We forget sin brings forth death to our spirit, soul, and body.

James 1:14-15 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.    

People sin because they are deceived by false doctrine.  There is a lot of it today. People don’t like preaching about sin and repentance. They label it “hate speech”. They want a preacher who will tell them how good they are. Some politicians are saying the Church must change its doctrine about sin or suffer criminal prosecution.

Galatians 1:6-9 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.

We must be faithful to God and His Word. Otherwise, false doctrine will lead us into sin.

2 John 1:9-11 Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.

People sin because of the influence of the people with whom they associate. 

1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”

We must carefully choose our associates, and fear God instead of fearing the loss of friendship if we don’t participate in sin. 

We also sin when we don’t do what we should do

James 4:17 Therefore, to him that knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. 

This type of sin may start small. For example, we may rationalize, “I don’t think I will attend worship this Sunday. I’m tired. God will understand. Besides, I can worship Him at home.” This deception sounds true. So we ignore the Holy Spirit’s voice and stay home.

At first, we don’t notice any immediate consequences. However, our spirit has been denied the nourishment it needs from worship, fellowship, and the Word of God. Also, that deception can lead to repeated absences and soon, no attendance at all. Then it is easier to fail do other things we know we should do. Therefore, we have this warning:

Hebrews 10:24-27 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.

I admit these reasons why we sin are not new to us either. Somehow, we know this by nature, but we don’t think about it much. It is easier to sin that way. When we do consider our sinfulness, it seems hopeless. We want to change, we are convicted that we need to change, but we seem to be caught in a cycle of action, to guilt, to promises not to do it again, to doing it again. Since we know people sin and basically why we sin, how do we stop sinning?

We can’t stop, unless we are first saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Salvation includes being filled with the Holy Spirit, who will give us a love for God that desires to please Him and not sin. The Holy Spirit will also give us grace and power to stop sinning. He will teach us to say “No” to all ungodliness. Therefore, let us not grieve the Holy Spirit.

Romans 6:14 For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law but under grace.

Secondly, we need to confess our sin. We falsely believe that we can manage sin better by covering it up or tackling it on our own. We do not want our sin to be discovered because it is embarrassing. So we try to hide it. The reality is this: Sin that is covered up and self-managed will continue to grow. Freedom from sin cannot come through individual effort alone.

Before deliverance from sin can take place, our sin must be exposed to the Light. Like a fungus, sin grows in darkness. The Light of Jesus Christ causes it to wither. We have to stop trying to hide our sin. That’s why this step is often the most difficult, because sin hates to be exposed.

John 3:19-21 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.

Third, since sin is enticing, we must resist thinking about it. We must intentionally focus on Jesus Christ and God’s blessings in our lives. After all, we will pursue what we focus on.

Phil 4:6-8 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.

Fourth, to prevent the deception of sin, call sin what it really is. Call it by its real name. God doesn’t give sin a politically correct name. Neither should we.

For example, it’s not an affair; it’s adultery. Men, it’s not enjoying some "eye candy"; it’s full blown lust. Women, it is not attractive and cute; it’s sensual and immodest. It’s not having too many drinks; it’s drunkenness. It’s not overeating; it’s gluttony. It’s not a choice, it’s murder. It’s not borrowing; it’s stealing. It’s not living together, it’s fornication. It’s not a gay lifestyle, it’s homosexuality, it’s sodomy, it’s perverted, and it’s an abomination in God’s sight!

Leviticus 18:22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.

Sin brings terrible consequences, regardless of what name we call it or how we rationalize it. To get delivered from sin, we must confess it and call it what God calls it.

In summary, we have to give our life to Jesus Christ and expose our sin to His Light to remove its efficiency. We have to quit diminishing sin and call sin what it really is. It’s ugly and hideous. And we must admit we are too weak to overcome it on our own. We have tried and tried to quit, but we keep getting the same result. So are to confess our sin to God—and to one another—that we may be healed.

James 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

Christians, we are in a war! In terms of war, a sinful habit is like a stronghold, a territory that the enemy already occupies and controls. This is why the stronghold must be correctly named and exposed. Confession—admitting we are guilty and accepting the responsibility that we have a sin problem—is how we destroy the walls of the stronghold. Then we can fight with prayer and the power of the Spirit to recapture that territory for the glory of Christ.

Many Christians are in a state of denial, they never admit they have a problem, therefore they never break free. Addicts, who never admit they are addicts, won’t find freedom. Likewise, people, who won’t admit they have a sin problem, won’t get freedom. Deliverance and freedom come after we recognize that we are bound and have confessed our sin.

1John 1:9 “If we confess our sin, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Notice forgiveness and purification come after confession. Stop struggling alone. Confess your sin and have a brother or sister pray for you. Depend on God’s power to combat sinful habits. When it comes to being set free from sin that binds, Jesus can do more in a moment than doctors can do in a lifetime. Jesus must become our primary source of strength.

Phil. 4:13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Therefore, start your days off with God, praying and reading His Word. He will help you through the day to overcome your sinful desires and show you a way out of every temptation. The more we humble ourselves and allow God to be Lord of our life, the more we will see Him working in us.

Sinful habits must be replaced by good ones. Set your mind on things above instead of the things of the flesh. To do this, we need each other’s help to stay focused on Jesus. We can put our sinful nature to death by denying ourselves, believing and obeying the Word, praying, and becoming accountable to one another.

Still we resist confession, and fear exposing our sin to another person. We think, if they really knew the truth about me, they would reject me. Why can’t I just admit it to God? Because the root of our sin problem is PRIDE, the foundation of all sin and the character of Satan!

Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.

We must repent of pride and falsehood. Only if we are humble, can we truly love one another and help each other to stay focused on Jesus Christ.

The amazing thing is, when we risk openness and honesty with someone, all of a sudden, this feeling of freedom comes into our life. We no longer have to hide. We are no longer alone. Our burden is lighter.

Gal 6:2 Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

It is an honor to bear another person’s burdens, to be trusted to pray and keep it confidential. That is how we fulfill the law of Christ—to love one another, as Christ loves us.

The sin nature will never leave us until Jesus comes. The enemy will continue to entice the lusts of our flesh. However, we have everything we need to live godly lives in this evil day. We have the Blood of Christ to atone for our sin after we have confessed it. We have power of the Holy Spirit to rebuke the tempter and cause him to leave. We have God’s grace to flee temptation and focus on Jesus instead of our lusts. We have each other to help us be accountable to the Lord and to pray for us. And we have God’s promise that we can do all things through Christ.

God demonstrated His love for us in this: while we were yet sinners, while we were God’s enemies, while we were willingly disobeying God, neglecting God, using God for our own selfish interests, or while we were rejecting God, telling Him to get out of our lives,—Jesus—God the Son, was being beaten, mocked, and nailed to the cross so that you and I could escape the flames of Hell. Jesus paid the price of our sins. He took our death so we could have His life!

Are you thankful God loves you this much? If we are really grateful for God’s love, our life will show it. We will give Him our love in return by dying to ourselves, our pride, and our sinful desires. Our love for Jesus will not be a lukewarm, lip service type, but a sincere, consistent, and obedient kind of love.

If you need to confess a sinful habit to someone, somebody in this congregation will be glad to pray with you privately and help you be accountable. One word of caution: your confidant, with whom you share intimately, should be of the same gender or a husband and wife team, unless it is your spouse or relative. Don’t delay setting up an appointment with that person or a giving them a phone call. Become prayer partners with someone you trust. You don’t have to suffer in silence or alone. Bring it into the light of Jesus and sin will lose its power over you. Jesus wants to set you free.

If you have never given your life to Jesus, then you are helpless against your sin nature. We can’t help you. You cannot save yourself. You cannot clean yourself up. Furthermore, God doesn’t expect you to do that. He wants you to come to Him—as you are—and let Him clean you up and fill you with Himself. Only through Jesus, do any of us have hope.

Are you tired of sinning and suffering the consequences of sin? You see, we have to get tired of being our own god before things will change.

Jesus said in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Come and give your life to Jesus by confessing Him as your Lord and Savior. Confess and repent of your sin and be baptized for the forgiveness of sin. Then, you will be born again of the Holy Spirit and He will give you power over sin, temptation, and the devil.