Who Is Affected By Sin?

Text: 1 Corinthians 5:1-6

Many choose to ignore sin – sadly, even some Christians do this. They ignore the sins of others because they believe it is between them and God. They ignore their own sins because they believe God’s grace will cover them. Yet sin is described in the Bible as pollution (Isaiah 24:5) because it affects more than just the one who committed the sin. In this lesson, we want to consider this question: Who is affected by sin?

Sin Affects God

  • Though we may immediately think of the sinner, we need to start here – our sin affects God
  • When we sin, we sin against God (Genesis 39:9) – even though others are affected, this is of primary concern (Psalm 51:4; cf. 2 Samuel 11:1-21); when we sin we “fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) and fail to live up to what God wants us to be
  • Causes a break in fellowship with Him (Isaiah 59:1-2) – He wants to have fellowship with us (Genesis 3:8); sin prevents this (1 John 1:5-6)

Sin Affects the Sinner

  • Some sins are private, others are public – but they all affect the one who committed the sins; besides the physical consequences (Proverbs 13:15)…
  • Puts one’s soul in jeopardy (Hebrews 10:26-29) – it only takes one sin to cause us to be lost (James 2:10); if we are lost, we will end up in a place where no one wants to go (Matthew 13:42; Mark 9:48)
  • Hardens his heart (Hebrews 3:12-13) – our conscience can become seared (1 Timothy 4:2); difficult then to return (Hebrews 6:4-6)

Sin Affects the One Sinned Against

  • Some sins are private and have no “victim” but God – others are against someone else
  • Violation of the command to love others (Romans 13:8-10) – we should always be seeking to do good to others (Galatians 6:10); sin is the opposite of this
  • Makes it more difficult to encourage them to faithfulness (Proverbs 18:19) – we are to encourage our brethren (1 Thessalonians 5:11; Hebrews 3:13) and teach the lost (1 Peter 3:15)

Sin Affects the Witnesses of It

  • Some sins may not be against others, but are in the presence of others – this has an impact
  • Our sin encourages others to sin (1 Corinthians 8:4-12) – Paul was discussing a matter of liberty, but the principle applies to sin (1 Corinthians 8:7, 10; Romans 14:21, 23)
  • Hinders them from coming to God (2 Corinthians 6:3) – many cite Christians’ hypocrisy as an excuse to remain in sin; do not give them that excuse (1 Peter 2:12)

Sin Affects the Church

  • Finally, when we sin, it impacts the church – particularly the local church where we are a member
  • Brings reproach against the church (Romans 2:21-24) – just as the Jews could cause others to blaspheme God because of their actions, Christians can cause others to speak evil of the bride of Christ by our actions; people will speak evil of the church anyway (Acts 28:22); do not give them a real reason (cf. 1 Peter 4:15-16)
  • Makes it weaker (1 Corinthians 5:6) – sin and its influence are progressive (2 Timothy 3:13; Isaiah 24:5); we must not allow it to spread (1 Corinthians 5:13; 1 Timothy 5:20)

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