Do Christians still suffer consequences for sins they have confessed to God?

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Do Christians still suffer consequences for sins they have confessed and received forgiveness for? This is the focus of our discussion today on Questions Christians ask

Bible-based answer

We are no doubt in the era of grace and not the law, and the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross offers remission for our sins. This notwithstanding,

God is a just God and He never compromises one aspect of Himself or his principles for another.  I would like us to take the following Bible verses into consideration

Romans 6: 23 AMPC –  For the wages which sin pays is death, but the [bountiful] free gift of God is eternal life through (in union with) Jesus Christ our Lord.

By virtue of the death of Christ, we have been set free of the cost or penalty for our sins and have been given the free gift of eternal life through our union or oneness with him.

Romans 6:6-11 – We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him.10 When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. 11 So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.

Asides being set free from the penalty of our sins, sin has also lost its power over us.

Before the sacrifice on the cross, we had no power to resist sin because we were its slave, so we were perpetual sinners, continually receiving penalties because of our sins and having to continually atone for our sins with sacrifices that had to continually be renewed.

Christ’s death gave a once and for all atonement for our sins and empowered us to live a life of righteousness (dominion over sin)

person holding bible with pen

In spite of this release from the curse of the law (sin’s dominion and damnation), because we are spirit beings in mortal bodies, there is still a contention between our spirit and our flesh that we must win moment by moment by the power of the grace that has been given to us by faith.

There are still desires (lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and pride of life) that we must leverage the grace of God to conquer by walking in the Spirit.  

Galatians 5: 16-18 ESV – But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 

Romans 6:12-13 NLT – Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. 13 Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God.

The sacrifice of Christ on the cross did not stop sin from being sin. What it did was to free us from its penalty and power. So, as a child of God, nothing can cause you to sin unless you permit it. 

If a slave of righteousness (a child of God) yields to sin (turn themselves in at the Police station ), once they confess their sin and repent, the shed blood would write off their case, wipe off the record at the police station and take them back home (restore their fellowship with God).

Let’s answer the following:

As children of God, do we still yield to sin occasionally?

Are there times we refuse to obey the promptings of the Spirit (walk in the flesh)?

Please note the words ‘yield’ and ‘occasionally’, they are different from ‘being dominated’ (having no choice) and ‘perpetually’.

As God’s child, sin cannot and should not be a pattern in your life (whether a pattern of the same sin or different sins), in fact you should live a sin free life by grace, but if at some point, you yield to sin, you must confess, repent and get your relationship with God restored.

Galatians 6:7-8 – Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.

Galatians 6:7-8 NLT –  Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant.

Here Paul mentions that there is a deception believers are likely to fall for, concerning God’s principle of sowing and reaping or God’s justice; and we are to shun such a deception.

God is a God of truth, and the truth is both tough and tender, or bitter and sweet. He is a good shepherd and he comforts his sheep with his rod and staff (discipline and defence)

Psalm 23:4 Thy rod and staff they comfort me

I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men” (2nd Sam 7:14)

Hebrews 12:5-13 And have you [completely] forgotten the divine word of appeal and encouragement in which you are reasoned with and addressed as sons?

My son, do not think lightly or scorn to submit to the correction and discipline of the Lord, nor lose courage and give up and faint when you are reproved or corrected by Him;

For the Lord corrects and disciplines everyone whom He loves, and He punishes, even scourges, every son whom He accepts and welcomes to His heart and cherishes.

You must submit to and endure [correction] for discipline; God is dealing with you as with sons. For what son is there whom his father does not [thus] train and correct and discipline?

Now if you are exempt from correction and left without discipline in which all [of God’s children] share, then you are illegitimate offspring and not true sons [at all].

Moreover, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we yielded [to them] and respected [them for training us]. Shall we not much more cheerfully submit to the Father of spirits and so [truly] live?

10 For [our earthly fathers] disciplined us for only a short period of time and chastised us as seemed proper and good to them; but He disciplines us for our certain good, that we may become sharers in His own holiness.

11 For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it [a harvest of fruit which consists in righteousness—in conformity to God’s will in purpose, thought, and action, resulting in right living and right standing with God].

12 So then, brace up and reinvigorate and set right your slackened and weakened and drooping hands and strengthen your feeble and palsied and tottering knees,

13 And cut through and make firm and plain and smooth, straight paths for your feet [yes, make them safe and upright and happy paths that go in the right direction], so that the lame and halting [limbs] may not be put out of joint, but rather may be cured.

God is a loving father and a just judge.  The verses above highlight the truth that his discipline and correction are demonstrations of his love for us.

So the consequences we get when we yield to sin and ask for forgiveness are not penalties in the full sense because that would mean spiritual death which gives sin power over us again, but godly discipline that gives life (Hebrews 12:9-11) and room for us to be partakers of God’s holiness, reaping the fruits of righteousness.

Psalm 94:12 -Blessed is the one you discipline, LORD, the one you teach from your law”

Psalm 119:75b – … “that in faithfulness you have afflicted me”

David’s sin with Bathsheba was threefold, murder, adultery and deceit 2Samuel 11 and 12 and even though he acknowledged that a man who commits such deserves to die, God made it known through Prophet Nathan that he would not die (sin forgiven) but he would be disciplined for scorning God by yielding to sin .

Knowing how great a price Jesus paid and how much He offered to us freely but not cheaply, yielding to sin amounts to scorning God, and we need godly discipline to ensure we learn the seriousness of sin.

If we go without discipline we would abuse grace by continuing in sin and expecting grace to abound.

Even in discipline, his love is present and if we submit to the discipline, he makes us yield the fruit of our new walk of righteousness.

Batsheba and David’s child of adultery died, David reaped sexual sin through his son Absalom, but God gave them Solomon who became heir to the throne and from whom Jesus descended.

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