“See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worst thing come upon you”, John 5: 2-14” This was the charge that Jesus Christ gave the man he healed man by the pool of Bethesda. Can anybody imagine anything worse than being plagued with an incurable infirmity that rendered one incapacitated, stagnated, useless, helpless and wasting away for thirty-eight years?
There is every possibility for many to see this charge, “see, you have been made well. Sin no more, so that a worst thing does not happen to you” as only applicable to the individual spoken to, yet it is not. This admonishment is a very important one applicable to all true believers; all that have met Jesus Christ and have embraced God’s gracious salvation that they totally avoid sin, so that more terrible afflictions/bad experiences than what they experienced before embracing God’s gracious salvation do not happen to them.
True as it were, through God’s gracious salvation by Jesus Christ, believers (those who put their faith in Him and His finished works on the cross of Calvary) have received by forgiveness of sins (Acts 10: 43; Romans 4: 6-8; Colossians 1:14). They have passed from spiritual death to spiritual life-eternal (John 3:16; 2 Peter 1:4; 1 John 5: 11; 1 John: 3:14). They have passed from power of sin to the power of the Lord (Romans 6:17-23) and from the dominion of satan to the dominion of God (Acts 26:18; Colossians 1:13). They are in new personal relationship with God as sons (John 1:12; Romans 8:16-17; Galatians 3:26) and are rescued from the penalty of sin (Romans 1:16; 6:23; 1 Corinthians 1:18). They are new creatures created after God in righteousness and true holiness (Ephesians 4 : 24; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Colossians 3: 9-10). After salvation, it is expected of Christians to deny ungodliness and worldly lust, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world. This is because Christ gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from all iniquities and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works (Titus 2: 11-14).
However, Jesus knowing that there is possibility for the healed man/believer to relapse in faith due to careless living and not being mindful of the powerful forces capable of leading one to sin around him gave the healed man at the pool that charge. These powerful forces are:
(i) The World: believers are still living in this sinful world described as lying in wickedness, 1 John 5:19. The world it controlled by satan and exists independent of God. Many things of the sinful world such as the worlds ideas, morality, music, governments, culture, education, entertainments, mass media, religion, sports, philosophies, science, art and medicine are under the influence of satan and are in opposition to God and His righteous standards.
(ii) Satan the untiring evil and wicked impostor, the arch-enemy of man’s soul is still very much around in the world going about with his bag full of lies, temptations, old tricks, deceits looking for who to devour (2 Corinthians 11:13; 1 Peter 5:8). He does not act alone but with his cohorts and human agents
(iii) The Flesh: Believers are still having the fallen nature of humans that predisposes them to sin and makes them leave out God in their lives. The flesh is always at war with man’s spirituality (Romans 8: 6-8,13; Galatians 5:21 Galatians 5:19 -21). According to 1 John 2:26, Satan influences the flesh to resist the believers enslaved to old habits and sinful ways using the enticing things of the sinful world in three aspects to create open hostility to God and His people.
(a) The lust of the flesh- impure desires, sinful pleasures and sensual gratification 1 Corinthians 6:18; James 1:14; Philippians 3:19.
(b) The lust of the eyes – coveting or lusting for things that are attractive to the eyes but are forbidden by God (Exodus 20: 17; Romans 7:7).
(c) The pride of life – the spirit of arrogance, pride and self sufficient independence that does not recognize God as Lord,. to seeking to exalt, glorify and promote oneself as the center of life.
Jesus gave this charge secondly, because of the complex nature of sin in itself which makes it easy for one to commit knowingly and unknowingly. Sin is just a little deviation from the right thing, thereby making it very easy to fall into without realizing it. Sin is subtle yet powerful in the sense that it looks harmless on the surface; yet has a very strong grip on its victim, it pulls down. One small sin leads to another. Sin fascinates, it entices, it trills and it has sweet feelings, yet it is addictive. It is a dragnet satan uses to lure people. Sin most times has sweet feeling yet is a slow potent poison that gradually and systematically spreads and destroys the immune system of the body, spirit, soul and life of man. It is harmful, it is deadlier than AIDS, consumes than cancer and its end result is eternal damnation. It is a snare, a trap and an evil projection secretly laying in wait for its victim. It assassinates, the wages of sin is death. Below are the definitions given to sin in the Scripture;
The Bible defines it in several ways such as in 1 John 3:4, sin is defined as, “the transgressions of the law”. Talking about the law, the Lord God has given us ten commandments to observe and keep as recorded in Exodus 20:3-17. Any break or deviation from one of these is not only a break of that particular sin, but also a contravention of all the other laws (James 2:10) “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all”.
“A high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked is sin” (Proverbs 21:4). In Proverbs 14:21, we have it that,“He that despiseth his neighboursinneth.” Proverbs 10:19 contributes to this, “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.”
Proverbs 24:9 have this to add to the definition of sin: “The thought of foolishness is sin.”
The Bible in Romans 14:23 says, “…whatever is not of faith is sin,”
In James 4:17 “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”
“Every act of unrighteousness is sin” (1 John 5:17).
Last but not the least, Jesus gave this charge to save the believer from the grave consequences going back to sin might cause.
CONSEQUENCES OF SIN
The Bible contains stories of believers who despite their relationship with God continued in sin as well as the consequences that they faced for their sins. They are written for us to learn from to avoid their mistakes, 1 Corinthians 10: 11. We shall study the life of Samuel to learn more about some of the consequences of sin on the believer. The story of Samson is recorded in Judges Chapters 13 to 17.
Samson was an individual that could be said to have operated under God’s special anointing and grace. His conception was divine and with instructions to his parents on how he should be brought up, Judges 13: 5,7, 24-25. Samson was one of the judges of Israel. He was a Nazarite, a man separated for God unto holy living and services for life, Numbers 6: 1-8; Judges 13:7. He was a man of physical powers and endowed with the Spirit of God Judges 13:24-25; 14; 6, 19; 15:14.
SINS OF SAMSON:
Samson as a Nazarite for life and one destined to deliver the Israelites from the Philistines was supposed to be a man totally devoted and committed to God and His people in addition to being an example for others to emulate. As such, he was expected to live a life of holiness, sanctity, and commitment. He must not shave his hair, drink or eat anything made of the vine tree for life or any unclean thing. He must live in the midst of the people of God, marry from among them and must not come near any dead body be it of man or animal, Numbers 6:1-8.
However, he took the grace upon his life as a license to live carelessly and he sinned in the following areas:
(1) As a Nazarite, self-denial and love for God was supposed to be his lifestyle. However, he chose to pursue his own interest, emotions and desires.
(2) He disobeyed God’s commandments on mixed marriage, Exodus 34:16; Deuteronomy 7:3. All the women in his life were non-Israelites Judges 14:2-3; 16:1, 4.
(3) He disregarded his parent’s God-given instructions on how he should live as a Nazarite in total dedication and commitment to God, in self denial and personal purity all the days of his life. He ate unclean food (honey found inside the carcass of the dead lion he killed and defiled his body by contact with dead bodies, Judges 14: 8-9; 19.
(4) As a Nazarite and a judge over Israel he was expected to stay and be in the midst of his people however He was found of going to the Philistines’ side outside God’s designated place.
(5) He misused God’s gifts and empowerment for personal gain and advantage.
Sins create openings for satanic to invade and attack. Luke 11: 24-26. If he had stayed within his place of jurisdiction, he wouldn’t have fallen into the hands of all the strange women that caused him great pains, afflictions and his life. God’s unbreakable hedge of protection is upon the lives of His children and all they have, keeping them safe from Satan and all his works. Satan/demons cannot force their way into any believer’s life and attack as Satan himself testifies in Job 1:10. Satan couldn’t attack Job and had to seek for God’s permission to do so because Job was a righteous man, Job 1:1. However, sin in the life of anyone breaks and creates an opening for satanic invasion and attack. Sin is Satan’s property and it attracts satan to anywhere it is. Satan could not enter and operate in Jesus’ life because there was no sin found in Him, John 14:30. Jesus was Holy and without sin. Samson’s love for self-gratification was his undoing. “His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins” (Proverbs 5:22).
Sins lead to captivity. Samson was free and safe in the Land where the Israelites dwelt and among his people. However, his love and desire to gratify the desires of his flesh made him to go into the territory of the enemy and into captivity. Truly, “…for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage” (2 Peter 2:19).
Sin. as already mentioned is a very powerful dragnet that Satan uses to draw people to his captivity. With sin, Satan will lure every weak and even the unsuspecting giant and the sleeping saint into captivity. The words of the Psalmist in Psalm 10: 7-10best describes the operations of Satan against the innocent one. Samson signed his own death warrant when he went outside the territory of God’s people’s to the enemy’s side in the name of love and he did not come back alive. Things in the enemy’s territory seem always attractive, cheap and enticing but no child of God should go there! God’s grace would not cover anyone who deliberately walks out of God’s territory to the terrain of darkness in search of anything at all on the claim of operating under grace. Everything anybody wants can be found in Jesus. Going for things outside is walking into sin and danger. No matter how beautiful anything in the enemy’s territory appears, it is a snare or bait of Satan to get across to the child of God. For this reason, we are warned not to love this world or things in it. Stay where the grace of God covers you and stop wandering about.
Sin leads to weakening of spiritual life and powers, Romans 8:6:15-23; 8:5-13. Samson was a man greatly gifted and with spiritual empowerment as a judge and a deliverer of Israel, Judges 13:5. However, he mingled with the heathens and this led him to fall in love with one of them named Delilah. She deceived and lured him to reveal the secret of his power which he did. In the process, “She made him to sleep upon her kneels; and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him, “and she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson, and he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the Lord was departed from him.
For Samson to have fallen into a very deep sleep that made him not to wake up or know when his hair locks were cut off, that sleep must be strong- wine induced sleep! Imagine a Nazarite given strong wine to drink? This was an abomination, Judges 13: 5,7, 24-25. She went ahead and made a man to cut off the seven locks off his head, Another abomination committed. She destroyed two things of great significant to his spirituality. She destroyed his anointing and ministry. She did other things not mentioned to afflict him and his strength departed. His sins robbed him of his spiritual gifts and empowerment.. Samson compromised his faith by having a love relationship with an unbeliever which he shouldn’t have done as a Nazarite – one separated unto God. Love or any other relationship at all with an unbeliever is a compromise of God. Truly, adultery turns a man to piece of bread, Proverbs 6:26 “For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life”. In fact illicit sex and all the sins associated with it are the undoing and ruining of so many great people in life, Proverbs 7:26-27 “For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chamber of death”.
Anyone that involves in adultery surely hates himself, Proverbs 6:32 “But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul”. Satan uses sin to destroy anointing, steal miracles and blessings. Many who lost their healing, spiritual gifts, destinies, strengths, beauties, God-given potentials, gifts and abilities did so when they returned to their sinful ways after being born again. Sin destroys dreams, homes, marriages and all yearnings. A believer should not love or partake in worldly practices, 1 John 2: 15-17; John 17:16.
Sin made the Lord to depart from him: “and she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson, and he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the Lord was departed from him but” (Judges 16:20). The Lord departed from Samson without him knowing it, because of the sins in his life. Sin is one thing Satan knows the Holy and Righteous God hates, the thing that would make him turn his back at man, the thing that creates a barrier between God and man, the thing that arouses God’s wrath. Whenever a believer sins, the spirit is grieved and leaves. From this story, we can see that those who think the Spirit of God will remain with then even while they continue in sinful and immoral conduct are deceiving themselves.
Sin leads to severe affliction and sufferings. The Bible says that after she had made his hair locks to be cut off that, “she began to afflict him and his strength departed from him.” What sort of affliction could she have subjected him to while still asleep on her knees that could have made his strength to depart from him? Most probably witchcraft manipulations and afflictions. Many powerful great men including men of God powerfully used by God have been rendered useless and powerless by sin due to sexual immoralities with daughters of Satan. Most of the sickness and other afflictions many in Christendom are going from one deliverance house to another for, are repercussions of sin. Apart from that, the Philistines suffered him and subjected him to more afflictions; “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”. The best thing anyone can do for himself or herself is continue to pray not to enter into the snare of Satan as Christ taught us in the Lord’s prayers. Once one enters the snare of sin, Satan will reveal his real self and his three cardinal points, which are “to steal, “to kill” and “to destroy”(John 10:10). He pounces on the helpless sinner in the bondage of sin and takes him into captivity as a slave according to the scriptures,John 8:34; Romans 6:16.Once in bondage, Satan is at liberty to do anything he wishes to those he has taken captive. He attacks, terrorizes, afflicts, oppresses, torments and mercilessly lashes out his vengeance and wrath at them.
Sin causes reproach. Samson was called to be brought out to make sport for the Philistines Lord having merriment in the house of their god, Judges 16:23-26. What an insult and disgrace to the servant of the Living God! Samson was a judge and a superman. Imagine the man who killed a lion with his bare hands, the man who killed a thousand men with ordinary ass jawbone (Judges 14:6; 15:16) being turned to a laughing stock and made to grind and go through unimaginable and ridiculous sufferings. Anyone that says there is pleasure in sin is definitely foolish. Sin defiles, it pulls down, it binds, it afflicts, sin destroys, it disgraces, it brings one to ridicule and mockery. It reduces one to nothingness. It brings one down from grace to grass. Sin is truly a reproach to any people, Proverbs 14:34.
Sin trills and kills. The wages of sin is death. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death”, James 1:15.
I am sure that, if Samson had been told that he would die prematurely he wouldn’t believe it. The grace he had was that he repented and was with a renewed faith in God as symbolized with the growth of his hair; however the enemy had done a lot of irredeemable damage to him. He prayed to God and God answered him and he died, Judges 16: 28-31. “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Death is the ultimate price for sins, “…the soul that sinneth shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4).
SIN NO MORE
God from the beginning of time has been warning mankind about sin because of the great havoc it causes. For this reason. He gave humanity His laws to guide and protect us from sinning, Consequently, this charge given by Jesus like all other charges and commandments in the Bible are for the benefits of the believers, to prevent them from experiencing satanic attacks and afflictions. As a result, it is very necessary for believers to desist/refrain/abstain from every appearance of sin for their own good so that things worst than what they had experienced before becoming believers don’t happen to them. Jesus gave an illustration to this effect in Luke 11:24-26.
Conclusively, I am aware that any talk about sin offends a lot of Christians who claim that there is no need for such since Christians are under grace. Yes, we are under grace. However, from the definition of grace according to Titus 2:11-12, grace is not liberty to sin; neither does it mean cancellation of sin. Rather, grace is empowerment to deny ungodliness, worldly lusts, to live soberly in this generation we are. Each individual Christian and the Church at large need to heed this charge now that many Christians have thrown caution to the wind and sin indiscriminately. Many are drinking from the fountain of iniquity and sin while claiming to live under grace with no regards to the standard of sinless life Jesus our master laid down for the believers. The situation in the Christendom now where terrible sins not even mentioned among the unbelievers are committed even right on the altar of God and in the house of God by Church leaders and workers is worrisome. Repent and turn away from sin, Revelations 21: 8.
If you are reading this write up and you have not given your life to Jesus Christ, please do so now. Heed God’s word now and live, “For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye” (Ezekiel 18:32). Hell is real and heaven is also real. Spending eternity in hell is not a thing to be desired. Son of man, think of your life.
Come to Him now by taking the steps written below;
1) Admit you are a sinner. Romans 3:23; 6:23.
2) Repent of all sins. Acts 3:19, 1John 1:9
3) Believe that God loves you and that Jesus His only Son died for you. Romans 5:8, Acts 10: 40 & 43
4) Invite Jesus into your heart, Revelations 3;20
GOD LOVES YOU AND SO DO I. Please drop your comments or questions and if you need someone to talk to or to pray with, kindly send me a message.