Bible Basics: Sin is Progressive
James shows that God tempts no man, "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren" (James 1:13-16). In this, James pleads for Christians to awaken from carelessness, that they do not die in sin. This is an emphasis that must be heard constantly. Far too many so-called Christians just do not care what the condition of their lives is in God's sight.
If such an one should be approached by some interested Christian, the back-sliding one usually blames someone else for his condition. It is repeat of the Adam and Eve and Satan situation in the garden! Sin is man's enemy whether we think so or not (Rom. 5:12; 6:23, 3:23). Often we falsely label sin! This might be done because of the pleasures in practicing sin (Heb. 11:25). Or, we might feel some justification living in sin because, we declare, "Everyone else is doing it."
The Bible teaches that sin enslaves (Rom. 6:16). Men become servants of sin simply by doing the will of Satan (John 8:34; 2 Pet. 2:19). We then, like the alcoholic, say we cannot quit. One might not quit on his own, but the truth of God will free (John 8:32). Try to do the will of God as it is revealed in the Bible and then see whether you can quit or not!
God's people are to be without "spot or blemish" (Eph. 5:27), being a glorious people before the Lord. Sin makes of us spots, wrinkles, and blemishes. The prodigal son in Luke 15 illustrates this truth. However, one does not have to remain in this terrible mess; the blood of Christ continues to cleanse all who walk in the light (1 John 1:7). There are no substitutes for this blood, and there is no substitution for its utilization through obedience to God, either! It is either do willing the will of the Lord or continue in sin.
Sin leaves its scar. The sin in Peter's denial of his knowledge of Christ left its scar on him. His scars were sufficiently tender that afterwards he could remember every crow of the rooster! Are you tender enough to be forgiven?
Truth Magazine XXII: 37, p. 599