Have you ever taken the time to ask yourself exactly what sin is costing you? There is a price to pay for sin. The Bible tells us that the wages, the payment of sin is death.
Romans 6:23 NIV For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (emphasis mine)
In the context in which this scripture was written it means that those whose "work" is sin will receive a payment of spiritual death, which is ultimately eternal separation from God in hell. While this is a dreadful situation, the verse immediately includes an answer to this problem. Through faith in Jesus Christ as Lord, the gift of eternal life is given. It is not earned through human effort, but is instead freely given through God's grace because of what Jesus did on the cross, dying as a substitute for our sin.
Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.
In other words, prior to faith in Christ, we are slaves to sin, but the outcome is death. Often the death is experienced both in the present and for eternity. The sins of the moment may seem fun or liberating, but they are ultimately unfulfilling and do not result in the eternal outcome we desire. The solution is faith in Christ.
Man however, until we are united with Christ will struggle with sin because of the old nature still in us. Sin is not some one-off occurrence in our lives, happening randomly and sporadically on different days of the week. We struggle against sin every day, fighting what seems to be ingrained in our human nature. Anger, hatred, lust, sloth, avarice, and more. Our own sins may differ from the people we know, but we all struggle with sin just the same.
Romans 7:21-25 NIV So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
Our sins may differ from one another, but all sin ends in destruction. The destruction of something or someone, eventually.
James 1:13-15 NIV When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death (Emphasis mine)..
Ten Costs of Sin
Editor's Note: Aaron D'Anthony Brown gives us 10 ways sin could be costing you from an article written for Crosswalk.Com.
One sure way sin costs all of us is through time. We expend money and energy in our bad deeds, but those we can get back. Not time. For that reason alone, time is the greatest gift we can ever give someone, and the most unfortunate thing sin causes us to lose.
Sin steals our time during the act, and when we face the consequences. A man engaging in theft is using minutes, even hours, to commit a crime. However, more time is expended when he’s caught, tried, and does time behind bars.
One of the worst ways to ruin a marriage is through infidelity. That’s also a prime example of how sin destroys relationships. When we engage in sin, we promote our own desires first above what God wants, but also the well-being of another.
The adulterous woman values herself over her family. As a result, she fractures the bond shared with her husband, and damages her children more than she realizes when she first deciding to engage the act.
When we sin, we may not be thinking to ourselves that this act will hurt others, but that is part of the problem. We don’t consider all the consequences, namely the people we impact.
Where there is sin, there is a lack of peace. While sin disrupts the harmony we experience in relationships, we are also robbed of any internal peace.
Consider the porn-addicted man living two lives, one he shows to his family and coworkers, and the other he keeps behind a locked door. Indulging in sin requires commitment. And juggling different lifestyles, that is, sin and virtue, inevitably leads to a fear of being caught. Living on the edge is the opposite of living with God’s perfect peace.
Joy is long-lasting happiness, the sort of happiness that persists in the midst of unfavorable situations. Much like sin disrupts our feelings of peace, so too does sin affect our sense of joy. We may tell ourselves that copious amounts of alcohol, television, or social media feel good, but the feelings are ephemeral. Eventually, we return to the same place of longing where we first started. Sin ensures nothing good lasts, especially our joy.
Strong faith tends to keep us away from sin, while strong sin tends to keep us away from faith. This makes sense considering sin is a disconnect between us and God. When we choose sin, we are not seeing Him as a father, protector, or provider. Oftentimes in our sin, we don’t see Him as anything because we’re ignoring His presence. Acknowledging God would break our commitment to sin. In the same way, our sin breaks our commitment to God.
One long-lasting effect of sin is the inability to trust. Sometimes we figure that if we were so weak as to stoop to certain depths, lying, betrayal, deceit, why wouldn’t other people? Why wouldn't our wife cheat if we did the same? Why wouldn't someone lie to us when we ourselves are so accustomed to lying?
Trust requires time and experience to build, but indulgence in sin can undo all of that.
Some sins require money to keep going: prostitution, gambling, food and alcohol addictions. Sometimes we spend a little bit, and sometimes we lose all of our earnings. And sometimes, our treatment of money is the sin itself. This is why Scripture points to money as the root of so much evil in the world. Think of the corrupt politicians in government or the corporations that maximize profit over helping people.
1 Timothy 6:10 NIV For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Despite the dreams we conjure up for ourselves as children or as adults, sin has a way of crumbling our hopes and aspirations. This is because sin takes away our time, energy, finances, and more, all of which we need to bring our hopes into fruition. Moreover, sin hinders our relationship with God, damaging the hope we put in Him for a bright future. Believing in anything good is hard to do when covered in sin.
In sin, we don’t just lose confidence in God, but also ourselves. Shame accompanies bad-decision making and only compounds when we witness the consequences of our deeds. Without confidence, we don’t show up as the best version of ourselves at church, home, work, or anywhere.
John 8:34-35 NIV Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.
Those of us who find ourselves committing the same sins repeatedly are no doubt slaves to those sins. While Jesus paid the cost for our deeds and God has set us free, we choose to live in bondage. We aren’t free from the consequences of sin in this life, but we are free from living life in sin. We simply have to make that choice. If we don’t, we forfeit our freedom.
The battle we wage with sin is daily, but take heart. God is with us every step of the way. He doesn’t just offer forgiveness, He offers strength. He doesn’t just show us mercy, He offers us a way out.