In this sermon, we are going to see what the Bible says about thoughts being a sin.
While outwardly watching for the occasions of sin, in order to avoid them; many Christians unknowingly continues to commit sin, just because, they didn’t watch out for the inward occasions of sin; that is, the thoughts that give rise to sin.
And we all know that the thoughts come from the heart.
And for that reason, we are going to look at the scripture which talks about how sin comes from the heart.
Afterwards, we will also try to look at those kinds of sin that gradually begins from our thoughts.
What the Bible says about thoughts being a sin.
While Jesus was eating with his disciples, the Jews noticed that they did not wash their hands before eating.
And so they schemed on how to trap Jesus with that, But He realized it immediately and said.
“For out of the heart proceeds evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.(Mathew 15:19).
And with the above words of Christ, we can get the understanding that it is our thoughts that give rise to sin in our lives.
Kinds of sin that comes from our hearts.
Beloved, the truth is that, there are so many sins we commit by mere thinking.
The sin of fornication.
For instance, you meet a very beautiful woman, and even while you are already married, you start to wish in your heart that had it been you were unmarried; you would have took her as a wife.
And then you walk away thinking it is nothing, not knowing that you have committed two sins at asa time.
The sin of fornication in your mind as Jesus said:
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘you shall not commit adultery’. “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.(Mathew 5:27-28).
The sin of complaining.
The Israelites were guilty of this sin in the wilderness as we see in Numbers 21:4-9.
God was angry withghem to the point that He sent fiery serpents to bite and kill them.
Holding a grudge against someone.
For example, if you have a Christian brother or sister you are working together with in the ministry who lives in the same house or close to you, and whenever he or she is around you, there are certain things he does that makes you angry.
This sometimes is not directly a sin, but you can end up sinning in your heart by not letting him or her know that you are unhappy with what he or she has done.
Wishing your enemy was dead.
And let me quickly add that, if you see your enemy and wish in your heart that he was dead, or should die; you are guilty of murder.
Now most people confuse themselves with this scripture:
For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our hearts, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence towards God.(1 John 3:20)
Concluding that it is only when our heart condemns us that we are guilty of sin.
Therefore, whatever is going on in our hearts can never condemn us so long as we have not committed the sinful act.
Yes I can agree with that because the scripture even tells us:
“Be angry and do not sin’. Ephesians 4:26a.
Which means that, anger is not a sin if one is able to control himself to the point of not taking an action.
But the scripture advises further that we should expel whatever thoughts that goes along with the anger; before it leads us into sin:
Do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Ephesians 4:26b-27
Beloved, I want us to understand that the above scripture was trying to tell us that, anyone who does not commit sin by keeping God’s commandment will never be condemned by his heart.
You can seek proof of what I am saying by reading the whole of that chapter i.e. 1 John 3.
That was why the scripture concludes in the last chapter
“now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know He abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given to us”.
And we all know that the Spirit of God can never dwell in a heart where evil thoughts always proceed. Because that can only be the work of the sinful father, even Satan as it is written.
You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.(John 8:44).
Therefore, never let that little thought that begins in your heart cause you to mistakenly put into practice what you have been thinking all the while; because, you will be condemned by the very heart where that evil proceeded from?
It is sad to know that many Christians live their life soaked in fear, especially fear of the unknown.
There are many Christians who will never go out at night alone, even to ease themselves in the toilet. If they want to go out, they must be accompanied by their spouse, brothers, sisters or friend, all because of fear.
Many will wake up at night to pray and sprinkle holy water in the house when the rat walks on their roof, thinking it is the witches and wizards.
But the scripture helps us to understand that fear is not given by God
For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.(2 Timothy 2:7)
Therefore, since the spirit of fear does not come from God, it is sinful for a Christian to fear.
And the devil has succeeded to trap countless Christians with this occasion of sin.
Doubt or unbelief.
A doubtful Christian can never please God because; he lacks faith which is needed to do so as it is written:
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.(Hebrews 11:6).
Beloved, to me the worst believer is a doubting believer because; he will never believe what is written in the scriptures unless he sees their manifestations.
And since he does not believe, he will not be able to put the words into practice and in so doing continues to transgress.
The scripture is the foundation of Christendom, and without believing all that is written therein; one can never lay claim to being a child of God begotten by Jesus Christ.
These kinds have toed the line of Thomas, one of Jesus disciples; who doubted His resurrection saying that he must see and touch Jesus in order to believe.
And when he did, note what Jesus said to him:
Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed”.(John 20:29)
Moreover, these kinds of believers are the ones that can obtain nothing from God as it is written:
But let him as in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.(James 1:6-8).
Therefore, if you want to be free from sin, while watching for the outward occasions of sin; and trying to avoid them; you must pay more attention to the thought that goes on in your mind.
And immediately expel those thoughts which leads to sin; before they make you lose control; and drives you to a point where your heart will condemn you.