Recently, while explaining the plan of salvation to a teen, I asked the question I regularly ask after determining that the individual admits that he is a sinner. Does the fact that you are a sinner mean that you deserve to go to hell? The response to this question is key in whether or not a person will subsequently trust Christ for salvation. Because God will not allow sin into heaven, it is clear that anyone with just one guilty mark on his record is disqualified from entering heaven. That truth is difficult for lost people to embrace, but once they do, it is not long before a majority of them will trust Christ for the forgiveness of their sin. While pondering this truth,
I had to come to the conclusion that Christians have just as hard a time admitting that just one sin, no matter insignificant it may seem, separates us from enjoying true fellowship with our Lord and Savior as well as with fellow believers.
Sadly, believers today label sins according to their own value system of acceptability. We maintain the concept that, since no one is perfect, God must have a degree of allowance that gives the believer a specific length of leash that allows us to cross the line in insignificant areas of life without truly disrupting our relationship with Him. 1 John 1 makes it clear that this is not true. James 2:10 reminds us that if we offend in just one point of Gods standard we are counted guilty of all. If that is true in regards to salvation, it is also true in regards to our daily walk with Him. Psalm 66:18 states, If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me. Therefore, we can be assured that just on transgression, no matter how insignificant will render my prayer life powerless. I John 5:14 says If we ask anything according to His will He heareth us. However, if we are holding on to an insignificant sin, we know He will not hear us. This describes many believers today who have a form of Godliness, but deny the power thereof.
Jerry Bridges, in his book Respectable Sins, lists as sins which believers regularly ignore, the following: Anxiety, Frustration, Discontentment, Unthankfulness, Pride, Selfishness, Lack of Self-Control, Impatience, Anger, Envy, Jealousy, Bitterness, and Worldliness. It is seemingly easy for us to rationalize this behavior by blaming it on justifiable circumstances, our early upbringing, or what our peer group has decided is acceptable.
God says in 1 John 1, if we say we have no sin, we lie and do not the truth. Lying to ourselves is the only way we can continue in broken fellowship and still not do what is right. What is right is Proverbs 28:13 Confess and Forsake. Powerless Christianity is killing the testimony of Christ and is allowing many lost souls to slip into eternity without Christ because we simply love our sin too much to get it right. There is no sin too small to confess and find Gods restoring grace. Lets power up through purity!