The Effects of Sin

Austin Mobley
Xenia, Ohio

One brief verse of scripture in the life Of Samson contains a powerful sermonette on the effects of sin: "But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house" (judges 16:21).

Here we see (1) the blinding effects of sin; (2) the binding effects of sin; and (3) the grinding effects of sin. Today, sin has these same effects. Consider the following carefully.

Sin's Blinding Effects

Over 30,000 people (90 per cent adults) go blind each year in the U.S. and Canada for various reasons. How sad to see one who is physically blind. But a much sadder picture is that of one who is spiritually blind Spiritual blindness in the Bible was ascribed to the watchmen who failed (Isa. 56: 10); to the deceitful false teachers like the Pharisees (Matt. 15:14); and to those who willfully reject the truth (2 Cor. 4: 4). Today, spiritual blindness can be attributed to these and many more things, ranging from prejudice to tradition.

Sin's Binding Effects

That sin enslaves is made clear by the statement of Paul in Romans 6:16 where he states that one becomes a "servant" (slave) of sin by yielding to it. The Galatians had been "in bondage under the elements of the world" (Gal. 4:3). Even the worst of sinners would not deny that sin enslaves. It stifles noble impulses and leads men into captivity. It corrupts the affections and paralyzes the will. The bondage of sin is seen in the drunkard who says he cannot quit, the dope addict, the fornicator who knows he is doing wrong but continues in his sin. When a person admits that he is doing wrong but refuses to repent, he is a slave to sin.

Sin's Grinding Effects

Just as a large round grindstone becomes smaller and smaller as it is used to grind tools, man becomes smaller and smaller by sin. One definition of grinding is "to wear down" (Webster). The burden of sin becomes so heavy that it wears one down to the lowest state. Sin will grind a husband or wife into a cheater; a truthful man into a liar; a zealous Christian into a lazy one, etc. The stream, the fire and the storm leave their marks on the landscape. In like manner, sin, as it courses its way through one's life, grinds one down to the lowest possible state moral , social , and physically.

When we ponder these threefold effects of sin, it ought to cause us to take inventory of our own lives. No doubt we will realize that sin has its effect upon us as it did upon Samson of old.

When man cries out for deliverance from the bondage of sin, God answers by providing for us a Savior (Matt. 1: 2 1). From the threefold effects of sin, He offers a threefold salvation. From its blinding effect, God offers the light of the gospel and Jesus Christ, the Light of the world (Psa. 119:105; John 8:12). From sin's binding effect, Jesus provides the truth which He said will "make you free" (John 8:32). From sin's grinding effects, God offers forgiveness. Obedience is the condition (Rom. 6:17-18). When one obeys "that form of doctrine" he is free from sin; its power, its stain, its guilt.

TRUTH MAGAZINE, XV: 47, pp. 9-10
October 7, 1971