Regret is a bear. There are very few of us who get through life and can honestly say, “I have no regrets.” In fact, since we’ve all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory, then surely we all have regrets. Thankfully, we don’t have to be condemned any longer because Christ paid for our sin at Calvary.
Is Sin Serious?
Sin is indeed serious. Sadly, we often approach sin as “not ideal” instead of taking it as seriously as God does. Sin always has repercussions and always leads to death (does that sound just “not ideal” to you?). Death entered the world when Adam and Eve sinned. Sin is not simply something we do and then shake off. Christ paid a huge price to cover our sin. Romans 6:1-2 (ESV) says, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” We will still fall into sin, even as believers, but if we have been changed by the power of God (regenerated), we will not continue to live a lifestyle of sin (i.e., sinning whenever we feel like it and then passively asking God for forgiveness without any regret or conviction) (I John 1:6).
One time, Eric Ludy addressed a group of young people with a message about purity and God’s standards. He preached the message he believed God gave him to share with the kids and the leaders of the event were angered. In fact, one leader took the microphone and said, “Well, I’m not going to preach to you about holiness.”
Later, he was confronted by these leaders and shamed for talking about purity when so many of the kids had already fallen into sexual sin. It is sad to me that so many of these youth leaders are running around, afraid to preach the truth. God does have standards. Sin is serious. In fact, if sin was not so serious, then Christ’s death on the cross would not have been so amazing and remarkable. He didn’t die to save us from an annoying cold. He died to saved us from eternal punishment. His sacrifice is priceless because the penalty for sin is so severe.
Chris Tomlin’s version of Amazing Grace is one of my favorite worship songs. Tomlin’s chorus sings, “My chains are gone. I’ve been set free. My God, my Savior has ransomed me. And like a flood His mercy rains. Unending love, amazing grace.” God’s forgiveness is so sweet because we don’t deserve it and without it we are dead in our sins.
When the woman was caught in adultery and was flung before Jesus by angry men (possibly even men who had engaged with her sexually), Jesus didn’t angrily join in with their fierce condemnation of her. Instead He bent down and drew something in the sand, and then he told them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7b, ESV). One by one her accusers walked away. “Jesus stood up and said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ She said, ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.’” (John 8:10-11, ESV)
There is forgiveness at the foot of the cross. We cannot earn it, but it is available to us. There is nothing sweeter than Christ washing us white as snow. Sexual sin is not the one sin God will not forgive. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9, ESV) Cry out to God and confess your sin and your need of His redemption. As He draws you to Himself, repent and receive His forgiveness – His complete forgiveness. Then go and do not continue in your former lifestyle of sin.
Love Story After Failure
He is risen! Recently, I heard a woman on the radio say she was amazed by how many people are still clouded by the shame of their former sin – as if Jesus never died. We have hope! Christ has risen! He has paid the price for us. We can be forgiven and set free! We can be redeemed, restored, and forgiven!
Our sins do have consequences and they should never be taken lightly, but God doesn’t desire that we wallow in our guilt after He forgives and frees us (Romans 8:1). If you strive after righteousness, He will bless your life. It may not always seem like He’s blessing you, but His hand of protection is on those who trust in Him (Proverbs 18:10).
In another book I read recently, there was a story of a young couple. They began dating and then entered into a sexual relationship. When they became convicted about their lifestyle, they repented and began living righteously. It is difficult to stop having sex after your body becomes accustom to it, but by God’s grace they overcame and began relating in a way that pleased the Lord. A little while, before their wedding day, they went shopping for something special for her to wear on their wedding night. She looked at some revealing clothing, but then her fiancé held up a nightgown he liked. It was pure white. It was a symbol that God had washed them white as snow. He not only redeemed them, but he redeemed their relationship. Even though they had not lived righteously, He forgave them and restored their love story. You can have a God penned love story even after sexual failure.
If you’ve fallen into sexual sin, have you received Christ’s forgiveness?