What to Do When You’ve Sinned

What to Do When You've SinnedText: 2 Samuel 12:13

David was a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22); yet in our text, he admitted to a terrible sin. This can happen to God’s people – we commit sin even though we have been called to righteousness. We often talk about the need to overcome temptation, but what happens when we fail to do this? In this lesson, we are going to discuss six things we need to do after we have sinned.


  • First, we need to see our sin – if we don’t recognize it, we won’t do anything about it
  • To recognize our sin, we need to honestly evaluate our lives (2 Corinthians 13:5)
  • At times, we may need to listen to others correcting us (2 Samuel 12:13; Galatians 2:11-14)
  • We need to spend time in God’s word – this is the standard that defines sin (Romans 7:7; 1 John 3:4)


  • Stop and turn from our sin – this is a mental decision that leads to a certain action
  • Once we recognize it, we cannot continue in it (Romans 6:1-2)
  • If we continue in sin after recognizing it, we risk searing our conscience (1 Timothy 4:2)
  • If we do not repent, we cannot expect God to forgive us (Acts 2:38; 8:22; cf. Luke 17:3)


  • We have to go to God in prayer – this is true for every sin
  • We are to confess our sins to God (1 John 1:9)
  • We are also to ask for forgiveness (Matthew 6:12) – He is faithful to forgive us when we do this (1 John 1:9)
  • IMPORTANT: This is for the Christian, not the non-Christian – otherwise, baptism follows repentance (Acts 2:38)


  • We need to figure out how this happened and how it could have been avoided / overcome
  • There is a way of escape with every temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13) – if we sinned, we failed to take it
  • Certain things may need to be removed from our lives (Matthew 5:29-30) – people, situations, habits, etc.
  • We may need to find others who can help us (Galatians 6:2)


  • Deal with the consequences – even when God forgives us, there are consequences to deal with
  • Whatever damage has been caused, correct it (Luke 19:8) – as much as possible, make it right
  • Seek forgiveness from those who were impacted by our sin (Matthew 5:23-24)
  • Patiently endure whatever punishment is due in this life (1 Peter 2:20; Acts 25:11)


  • Get back to doing what we ought to be doing
  • We are to be actively engaged in good deeds (James 1:22)
  • We cannot allow past sins to hinder us from our service to God in the present (1 Corinthians 15:9-10)
  • After forgiveness, God does not remember sins against us (Hebrews 8:12) – we need to put them out of our minds as well


  • We are to keep ourselves from sin
  • But when we do sin, we need to take the proper steps to deal with it
  • We have all sinned – but our goal must be to be faithful and forgiven

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