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Bible Study Discussions with Gary Panell

Question: I really need to find some verses on living up to our sins, paying the consequences of what we do even though God forgives us. Thanks!

Answer: You have a good point here and one that a lot of people, including Christians, don’t like to think about, and that is that whatever we sow we will reap. “7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” Galatians 6:7,8. These verses were written to Christians.

Even though we are forgiven in God’s sight, we still have to suffer the consequences of our sins. We will have those scares throughout our whole lives. For example, even though I have written a tract on how God forgives adulterers (it is called Jesus Forgives Adulterer), still this does not mean we are not held accountable for our actions. King David learned this principle the hard way. God forgave him for his sin, but He also allowed his baby to die and then he was told that the sword would not depart from his family.

Let’s look at those verses: 10 “Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife. 11 Thus says the Lord: Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house… 12 For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, before the sun. "
13 So David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the Lord."

And Nathan said to David, "The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. 14 However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die." 15 Then Nathan departed to his house.

And the Lord struck the child that Uriah's wife bore to David, and it became ill. 16 David therefore pleaded with God for the child, and David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground. 17 So the elders of his house arose and went to him, to raise him up from the ground. But he would not, nor did he eat food with them. 18 Then on the seventh day it came to pass that the child died.” 2 Samuel 12:10-18a

Remember what it says in Psalm 23:3b “He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” God’s reputation is at stake in our lives, we are called Christians, and that means ‘little Christs,’ so we are held accountable for our actions.

Also, because He loves us and wants to prevent us from doing something foolish like sinning again after we are saved. Look at what He says about why He disciplines us in this passage:
5 “And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:

"My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; 6 for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives."
7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?

10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:5-11

These are serious things we are talking about here, sometimes God does take Christians’ lives early for their carelessness, look what happened to these two:

5“But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. 2 And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles' feet. 3 But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? 4 While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God."

5 Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things. 6 And the young men arose and wrapped him up, carried him out, and buried him.

7 Now it was about three hours later when his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 And Peter answered her, "Tell me whether you sold the land for so much?"

She said, "Yes, for so much."

9 Then Peter said to her, "How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out." 10 Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. And the young men came in and found her dead, and carrying her out, buried her by her husband. 11 So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things.” Acts 5:5-11

By the way we have the complete study on these verses in our Acts Bible Study. You may want to go there to see if these two still went to heaven in spite of their sins that led to their untimely deaths. There is another passage of Scripture that talks about how our sinning can lead to a early death:

16 “If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that. 17 All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death.” 1 John 5:16-17

I believe I have seen these verses fulfilled in the lives of Christians, which have destroyed their bodies, the temple of the Holy Spirit. 16 “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.” 1 Corinthians 6:16-17

I have seen these verse fulfilled in the lives of Christians who have smoked themselves into an early grave. In one case a mother was not able to even see her daughter graduate from high school, which was a wish she had before she died. This lady was a fine Christian, but had gotten hooked on smoking as a teenager as a result of seeing her father smoke in the South.

Another man I could talk about went back to drinking even after he had been delivered from alcohol for some time. Both of these true stories are written up in more detail in our Acts Study chapter five.

So, yes, is God serious about the crops we produce from all the seeds that we are planting every day. This should behoove us not to take lightly the verse in Galatians that says whatever we sow we will reap.

You might say, what do I do if I have sinned after I am saved? We need to do as 1 John 1:9 tells us: 9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

We need to realize that we are not perfect and will not be until we get to heaven that is why, 1 John 1:10, was given to us. 10 “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”

When we sin we need to get up, dust ourselves off and keep on going with the Lord. Romans chapter 8 gives the secret of victory in the Christian walk so you might want to check it out in our Romans Bible Study. I would like to leave you with this verse that tells us also how we can have victory in our lives over sin.

20 “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

I hope these examples from Scripture and everyday life will help.

Gary T. Panell

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To view other questions visit our Interactive Bible Study Page or read some of our Christian Literature at Bible-Christian.org

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Keywords: reap, sow, consequences, sin, forgiveness, confess