How Can The Bible Help Us Avoid Sin?
Do I need to ask: ‘What is sin?’ Do we not, each of us, know in our hearts, what it is to sin?
‘If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.’ 1 John 1: 8-10
We are all sinners, but we can all be saved. You will sometime hear people speak of the ‘Seven Deadly Sins’, but it is not a phrase, which appears in the Bible. It is a list of sins first identified by Pope Gregory in the sixth century and later refined by Saint Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century. Sin is anything, which is a deliberate violation of the will of God, but the list of seven is a helpful way for us to reflect on sin, so let us consider them.
Pride – We are often encouraged to feel pride, pride in our accomplishments, pride in the accomplishments of our children, but when pride consumes us, we exclude God. We should instead, focus on humility. All that we have is the gift of God: humble gratitude should be our response.
Greed – We live in an age of greed, do we not? We are encouraged to want more and to keep on getting more. Charity toward others is what God expects of us.
Lust – Our social media is full of images of women and men, objectified as objects of sexual desire. Invitations to promiscuity are everywhere. Chastity and restraint are unfashionable, risible, but if we read our Bible we know how, as Christians, we should behave.
Envy – Consider how our social media encourages envy, encourages us to crave the lifestyles and possessions of the super rich. Rather than give in to envious thoughts, a Christian practises generosity.
Gluttony – ‘All you can eat, all you can drink.’ Such an invitation is an invitation to gluttony. The Christian should practise restraint.
Anger – Walk the streets of any city and it won’t be long before you encounter rage. We may feel justified, but anger is a sin.
Sloth – To be idle is to sin against God, for by doing so you are rejecting the gifts which to you have been feely given.
Bible Verses About Sin:
‘There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him, haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.’ Proverbs 6:16-19
The Bible concerns the relationship between God and his creation and therefore it has much to say about sin and sinners. Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden because of their sin and ever since, we have lived in a world of sin, but because of God’s love, there is reason to be joyful.
‘No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide a way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.’ 1Corinthians 10:13
King David committed the sins of adultery, deception and murder and yet God forgave him; Saint Paul, before his conversion, murdered and persecuted Christians and Peter, the disciple, denied Christ three times. As the parable of the Prodigal Son teaches us, God’s forgiveness is unbounded.
‘Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practises sin, is a slave to sin.’ John 8:34
Do not become a ‘slave to sin’; do not put yourself in the way of temptation. We are all tempted by sin, but you must confront your feelings, share them with your pastor, and share them through prayer. If you have sinned, recognize your sin and repent.
‘For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ Romans 6:23