Coming to Christ is like getting a whole new wardrobe. What fits now? Love, joy, peace fit. Compassion and mercy fit. Justice and concern for others, holiness and righteousness fit. Those spiritual clothes are tailor-made for you. And those sins you used to wear so comfortably? They just don’t fit any more. But what if you go back to the closet and put those old sins back on anyway? What happens to a Christian who chooses to sin? Let me give you four things to think about in response:
1. You won’t feel right. You’ll sin, but you won’t receive any personal satisfaction. You may have temporary happiness in the flesh – people wouldn’t sin if it didn’t satisfy “something.” But you won’t know ‘soul’ happiness – the deepest joy we can experience.
2. You won’t grow spiritually. Because when you sin you are not looking for God to act in your life, you are consumed with yourself. The release of the Spirit is hampered by self concern. Your appetite for the sweetness of Christ and the Word of God is diminished. And without responding to the Spirit or being in the Word, we won’t grow spiritually. Eventually we become joyless.
3. God will stop you. If you refuse to surrender your body to the Lord, but uses your members for sinful purposes, then you are in danger of being disciplined by the Father. It’s a discipline of love much like a parent who disciplines their children so they understand what is right, noble, and pure. Those whom God justifies, He sanctifies. That is, He grows us to conform to the character of Christ. If we persist in sinning, He will certainly arrange the circumstances so that your sin eventually turns out to your own disadvantage. If you persist, He may even take your life prematurely (cf. 1 Corinthians 11:29-30; Hebrews 10:26-31; 1 John 5:16-17; Hebrews 12:5-11).
4. If you persist in sin in a way without a direction change from sin to sanctification, it may demonstrate that you were never truly saved. You will change if Christ is in you and it will affirm your salvation.
Jesus said, “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). We have been delivered from sin and set free indeed through Jesus Christ.
Let’s prevail together through Christ who gives us strength to live for His glory and resist temptations to sin that diminishes joy. Remember, you are able not to sin!
What has happened in your experiences when you have continued in sin? What has God used to set you back on a path of growing in the likeness of Christ?