The Progressiveness of Sin

By Lewis Willis

None of us would doubt the “fact” of sin. The Bible tells us that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). If this scriptural testimony is not sufficient, all we need to do is look about us to see the presence of sin everywhere in the world. Those blessed with intellectual honesty do not argue the question of sin; they simply acknowledge and confess it. It is not something of which we are proud, but sin is a part of our lives. Unforgiven sin will be the cause of our condemnation (Rom. 6:23). However, because of the grace of God, and on the condition of our faith and obedience, sin can be forgiven. The hope of the Christian is to go to Heaven, in spite of his sin. This requires that the. Christian be realistic about sin and forgiveness.

This article is about the progressiveness of sin. That is, unforgiven sin does not get any better w e passage of time. To the contrary, it progressively gets worse. Some seemingly think that they can sin “just a little” but that they will not permit it t go very far. This is one of the deceptions and traps of sin. We dare not allow ourselves to become sin’s victim. look with me at the way sin gets worse.

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night” (Psa. 1:1-2). I want you to notice the progression in this passage. (1) A person can listen to the counsel or advice of those who are ungodly and walk in it. (2) When he does, he stands with other sinners. (3) In the passage of time he finds himself seated comfortably with the sinners and looking with scorn upon the things of God. The sin gets progressively worse. The passage says that we are “blessed” if we never start down that path.

Consider with me the case of Peter when the life of Jesus was drawing to a close. The Saviour tried to tell the Apostles of his death and of how they would be scattered abroad when process of his trial began. Peter confidently affirmed, “Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended. . .’Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee” (Matt. 26:31-35). Luke says that Peter affirmed, “Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death” (Lk. 22:33). Here was a man who was convinced that he would not fall into sin as the others did. One is reminded of Paul’s warning, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10:12). But, we know the story of Peter too well.

This confident disciple only thought he would stand. When the enemies of Jesus came to capture him, “all the disciples forsook him, and fled.” Peter apparently went only a short distance for it is said that he “followed him afar off” to the palace of the high;priest so that he could see what would happen to the Lord (Matt. 26:56-58). When an effort was made to connect Peter with Jesus, he started a process of sin. (1) He denied the Lord with a lie. (2) Again he denied the Lord, this time with an oath, and lied again. (3) Finally, he began to curse and to swear, saying he did not know Jesus (Matt. 26:69-74). His first sin was bad enough, but we see how it got worse as it remained unforgiven.

Another example of the progressiveness of sin is seen in 2 Timothy 4:3-4: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” Look again: (1) These people would adopt an attitude in which they would not endure or tolerate sound doctrine. (2) Next they would only want to hear teachers who told them what they wanted to hear. (3) They would not abide Truth, they would turn away their ears from Truth. (4) Finally, they would turn aside unto fables, or, they would be gone. Sin would progress from an attitude to apostasy.

Nothing more needs to be said. The man of Psalm 1, Peter and the Apostates of 2 Timothy 4 prove the case we have under consideration. Sin does not get better. Instead, if it remains unforgiven, it gets worse. This information is presented in the hope that we all might guard ourselves against Satan’s evil trap. Let us stay as far away from sin as we can get so that it cannot enter our lives and progress unto our damnation. When we sin, let us be resolved to obey God’s Word quickly and expel sin from us.

Guardian of Truth XXXIII: 19, pp. 577, 299
October 5, 1989