The Severity Of Sin
“But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:22-23
Have you ever really pondered upon the topic of sin? It is not a comfortable thing to do. Sin is everything that God is not. Sin is repulsive and disgusting to Holy God. He is so holy, He cannot allow sin to go unpunished, and cannot allow sin into heaven. But have you ever noticed the wording in our text above? Romans 6:23 tells us that the wages of “sin” is death. It does not say that the wages of “sins” is death. Why? It is because God does not see your sinful acts individually like you do. Rather He sees your sin as one collective act against Him. It does not matter how many sins you have committed in your lifetime, from God’s perspective it is simply sin. Without Christ in your life, it certainly is true that only one sin is enough sin to send you into the depths of an eternal Hell. From God’s perspective, sin is sin, and all of it is an offense against God. But disturbingly, the biblical, theological truths I have expressed above can birth a lackadaisical approach to sin if one is not careful. One might say, “Well if God sees my sin as one collective act against Him, then that gives me a little freedom to sin all the more.” But Paul warned against such an approach (Romans 6:1-3).
There is another danger that can be birthed out of this that I would like to go a little deeper with. It could also lead you down a path of abusing the statement “sin is sin.” Running with that statement too far could cause you to lose sight of the severity of your sin against holy God. Be careful of that and guard against that mindset! When you lose sight of your sinfulness, you lose sight of His holiness! Yes, no one can deny the fact that sin is sin, but what must not be forgotten is the fact that some sins have greater consequences. Allow me to use an illustration Dr. Adrian Rogers used to share. Oftentimes people equate gluttony with drunkenness and say that “sin is sin.” They will point out that gluttony and drunkenness both defile and abuse the body, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Yes, I will not argue the fact that gluttony and drunkenness are both sinful actions against God. But what must not be forgotten is the fact that one of those sinful actions, namely drunkenness, carries greater consequences. Think of this way; who would you rather meet on a highway about to pass you one dark night; a fat man or a drunken man? I have never heard of anyone be arrested for “driving fat.” I do not think there is an organization called MAFD, “Mothers against fat drivers.” I think you get my point. Yes sin is sin, but sin can result in greater consequences. The actions of a drunken man behind a wheel will bring more consequences than a fat man behind the wheel. Let me illustrate once more. If I tell you a lie, it is sin. If I break into your home while you are on vacation and steal your possessions, it is sin. Both acts are sin, but no one would argue that the latter would bring greater consequences. I cannot be arrested for lying to you, but obviously I could for breaking and entering, and theft. Both are sins and both are offenses against holy God. But one offense carried greater level of consequences. You ought to think before you sin about the consequences that might ensue.
You ought to be cautious instead of careless when it comes to your understanding of sin. Guard your heart from getting soft on sin! Keep before you the severity of your sin. Doing so will help you walk closer to God. Take time out and ponder upon the unpopular topic of sin!