Sin Among The Saints and Its Consequences
Mr. JACK C. HULL.
1 Corinthians 6
8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that [your] brethren.
9 Know ye not that the
unrighteous shall not inherit the
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which
I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall
not inherit the
3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person,
nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the
have in the above passages a long list of persons who shall have no inheritance
The interpretation of most commentators accept that these referred to are the unregenerate, but we find ourselves unable to go in with this. After a long and diligent perusal of the Scriptures and comparing them with other Scriptures, our conclusion is that these spoken of are believers in the Lord Jesus who have deliberately and wilfully sinned whilst enjoying the state of grace.
immediately raises the question — "How is it
possible for a believer NOT to have a place in ‘the
A question that is pertinent to this study is an elementary one, yet it is necessary to ask it in order to bring home the truth behind the question. "Can a believer sin?" We believe one has but to search his own heart and the answer MUST be in the affirmative. Admitting then that a believer can AND DOES sin, we ask, "How does this affect him ‘in Christ’?" His position "in Christ" remains unchanged — his life is hid with Christ in God and nothing, but nothing, can alter or change this. Positionally then, he is unaffected because of the atoning work of Christ. Conditionally, however, it is another matter. He has sinned and his sin is a barrier between God and himself (Isaiah 59:2). He is out of touch and cannot commune with God, and will remain so until the sin is confessed and repented of. Once this is done, then the advocacy of Christ intervenes on his behalf and fellowship is restored once again (1 John 1: 9; 2: 1).
Sadly though, we cannot end the matter here, for there is yet another aspect to be considered. Admitting once again that the believer can and does sin — what then if the sin remains unconfessed and unrepented of? Scripture assures us that such cases occur (Matthew 18: 15-18) — how then do such stand before God? Well, we have seen that their sin is as a barrier between them and God, and as the advocacy of Christ is not called upon this barrier remains. That a coldness will soon envelope the believer can be easily appreciated and we subsequently have what is termed a "backslider." To be filled with such stubbornness concerning confession and repentance implies that the sin committed was wilful and deliberate — a path chosen to walk upon, and with the mind steadfast on not returning.
There are two very significant passages in Hebrews which deal with such people, but unfortunately the effect of this teaching is lost through watering it down and relegating it to the "unregenerate" or "false professors." We refer to Hebrews 6: 4-8 and 10: 26-31; and we shall deal with these at length later on in the series.
are convinced that much of the erroneous ideas that are present in our
Christian beliefs today begins with man’s conception
of God’s salvation. For instance, it is generally taught and commonly
believed that when a sinner is regenerated by the Holy Spirit that he is "entitled" to all that God has laid up for those
whom He has redeemed. This is not quite true. It would be more
accurate and Scriptural to say that he has "title"
to all the blessings of God through the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ
— whether he receives the fullness of those blessings at the end of the
journey will depend on his attitude to God’s (conditional) promises. The
blessed work of Christ brings the redeemed sinner into a new relationship with
God — it makes him a child of God (not a son, for he must grow to be a son), he
is now a member of the household of God, a subject in God’s Kingdom. His
position is similar to that of the children of
Prior to their redemption at the Passover, God had to take the initiative in calling their leader, Moses, and equipping him with power to overcome him who held them in bondage. All they had to do was to slay the lamb and shelter under the blood; and when the mighty work was done that night of the Passover, to step forward in faith depending on the word of Jehovah their Redeemer. We find that from this moment forward, Israel is given conditional promises; and in effect, God says to them, "If you do this...then I will do that" (see Deuteronomy 7:12; 8:11 — these examples can be repeated over and over). God is faithful to His word, and in the few instances the people did do the will of God, they were blessed with much blessing; but when they became stubborn and stiff-necked, they felt the effects of His chastisement.
position is similar to that of the Israelites. At our conversion, we
found ourselves with our backs to