Sin is a Heart Issue

Matthew 5:27-28 ESV

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

Sin is a heart issue. “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander” (Matt 15:19).

And often these sins are rooted in other sins such as hate, bitterness, unforgiveness, pride, envy, and the like. For when people hate others they might also do evil to them out of that hate. And when they refuse to forgive others, they might do evil to them out of spite and to get even with them.

So, for example, if someone habitually cheats on his/her spouse, even if it goes no further than the mind/heart, that does not come from a heart of love for one’s spouse, but it comes from a heart filled with hate, pride, selfishness, envy, bitterness and/or unforgiveness.

For, love does no harm to its neighbor (to spouse or to anyone else). So, if we habitually sin against God, deliberately, and premeditatedly, and that also includes habitually sinning against one’s spouse or family member or neighbor or friend, we do not love God or those people, but we hate them.

I am not saying we all are going to be perfect, though. I am just saying what God says about us living in (practicing) sin deliberately.

If we love him, we will be obeying him, not perfectly, but as a matter of lifestyle. But if we go on deliberately sinning against him, we are guilty of trampling underfoot the Son of God, of profaning the covenant by which we were sanctified, and of outraging the Spirit of grace (Heb 10:26-31).

And if we continue living in sin, we will not have eternal life with God, but we will die in our sins, and we will face the wrath of God, instead (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Lu 9:23-26; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; 1 Co 6:9-10; Gal 6:7-8).

Matthew 5:29-30 ESV

“If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.”

God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Pet 3:9). It is not God’s will nor is it his desire that any of us should die in our sins and spend eternity in the fires of hell. And that is why God the Father sent God the Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins.

Jesus died on that cross for our sins so that we would die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. Jesus made the way for us to be delivered out of our slavery (addiction) to sin so that we could live holy lives, pleasing to God, empowered by the Spirit of God living within us.

For, “No temptation has overtaken you except something common to mankind; and God is faithful, so He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it” (1 Co 10:13 NASB).

So, we need to know that way of escape, and we need to take that way of escape which God provided on that cross through Jesus’ sacrificial death to take away the sins of the world.

And first and foremost, that is by faith dying with Christ to sin, being reborn of the Spirit of God, and now walking no longer according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24).

It is then daily dying to sin and to self, and daily following (obeying) Jesus Christ with our lives, and by the Spirit putting to death the deeds of the flesh, saying “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly passions, and living self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s soon return (Lu 9:23-26; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Tit 2:11-14).

But this also includes cutting out of our lives all hindrances to our walks of faith and all that is leading us into sin, as well as cutting out the sins which so easily entangle us (Heb 12:1-13).

For example, my husband and I used to be avid movie watchers. At first we watched movies that were family friendly, but over time we allowed a little dirt in with what was wholesome for the sake of entertainment. And we became addicted to being entertained, which then involved compromise.

The Lord began working on my heart about this and one day my husband and I went through all our movies and we examined them in light of Philippians 4:8, and we ended up throwing out all of them except for maybe 2 or 3 of them, which eventually went in the trash, too.

I had really stopped watching most all of them years before this, but this was a time (2008) when my husband and I agreed together on this action. And then we got rid of our television, too, which has been a wonderful blessing. I don’t miss TV one single bit, only except during times of serious live national news which is a little harder to come by on the internet.

Matthew 5:43-45 ESV

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.”

Love is the fulfillment of the law. We are to love God with our whole being, and we are to love our fellow humans as we (agape) love ourselves (Matt 22:37-40). And this love comes from God and it prefers what God prefers which is what is holy, righteous, pure, honest, trustworthy, and kind.

So, even if other humans are our enemies (by their choice, not by ours), we are to love them, pray for them, do good to them, and say to them what is beneficial for them, especially spiritually speaking (Lu 6:27-28).

If others sin against us, even habitually, deliberately, and premeditatedly, and even over a long period of time, we are to love them in return, forgive them, and do good to them, not harm. But this doesn’t mean we tolerate or placate sinful behavior, especially coming from those who profess faith in Jesus Christ. We should speak the truth in love: “Go and sin no more.”

Seek the Lord

An Original Work / July 20, 2012
Based off Isaiah 55

“Come to Me all you who thirst; come to waters.
Listen to Me, and eat what’s good today,
And your soul will delight in richest of fare.
Give ear to Me, and you will live.
I have made an eternal covenant with you.
Wash in the blood of the Lamb.”

Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him.
Let the wicked forsake his way, in truth.
Let him turn to the Lord, and he will receive mercy.
Freely, God pardons him.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,”
declares the Lord, our God.

“My word that goes out of My mouth is truthful.
It will not return to Me unfulfilled.
My word will accomplish all that I desire,
And achieve the goal I intend.
You will go in joy, and be led forth in peace.
The mountains will burst into song… before you,
And all of the trees clap their hands.”

2 thoughts on “Sin is a Heart Issue

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