What Is Sin Consciousness?

Almost all Christians believe we should avoid being sin conscious.  Unfortunately, most Christians don’t understand what this means.  In fact, in an effort to not be sin conscious many Christians inadvertently increase in sin consciousness.  Sin consciousness is one of the most intimidating and misunderstood subjects in all of the Bible, however when we learn the truth about this difficult subject, we are able to live a life of freedom!

Most people think they are sin conscious when they think about actions of sin such as adultery, theft, lying, and so on.  They then think if they could just stop thinking about sinful actions, they would no longer be sin conscious.  Their focus on trying to not think about sin is actually what makes them sin conscious.  Look at Hebrews 10:

For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins.

A major theme of Hebrews is contrasting the Old Testament law with the New Covenant of grace.  These verses talk about how under the law, the people of God had to continually offer sacrifices for their sins in order for their sins to be forgiven.  These sacrifices included the blood of bulls and goats, incense offerings, peace offerings, heave offerings, wave offerings and much more. 

These sacrifices were required continually because as Hebrews 10:4 says:

For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.

As good as the old covenant sacrifices were, they could never permanently appease the wrath of God, therefore they had to be offered repeatedly.  The constant need to offer sacrifices made the people of God sin conscious.  They were always thinking about the next offering they needed to bring, which made them aware that they must be messing up somehow.  The whole focus was sin and what you are not….not permanently right with God.

Unfortunately, many Christians live that way today.  They begin their prayers asking the Lord to cleanse them of their sin….even when they can’t think of a sin they’ve committed.  This is a form of godliness that actually denies the power of what Jesus did at the cross!  Look at Hebrews 10 again:

11 And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, 13 from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. 14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.

These verses compare the ministry of the Old Testament priest who repeatedly offered sacrifices for sins with Jesus who offered one sacrifice for sins for all time and then sat down forever at the right Hand of God!  It goes onto say His one offering perfected forever those who are being sanctified.

Let’s look at verse 14 again:

14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.

When Jesus went to the cross, He made you and me and anyone else who will believe perfect forever!  It doesn’t say, we are perfect until the next time we sin.  It says we are perfected forever!  The minute we get saved we have accepted Jesus’s payment for our past, present, and future tense sins.  The debt is canceled and there is nothing else that needs to be paid. Understanding this truth is what sets us free from sin consciousness. 

I begin to learn this truth about 15 years ago and it has really set me free. Prior to learning that Jesus has paid for all of my past, present, and future tense sins, and that I am right with Him no matter what I do I was constantly aware of my sin.  And you know what I did?  I committed a lot of sin.  I didn’t want to, but I couldn’t help myself.  The condemnation I experienced never set me free.  It just made me focus on what I was doing wrong and that conceived a desire in me to do wrong even though my head wanted to do right (see all of Romans 7). 

Somebody reading this is thinking, Pastor Brian, you are just preaching greasy grace to empower yourself to live in sin.  That’s not it at all!  I sin less now by focusing on God’s unconditional, love, mercy, and grace than I ever did when all I focused on was trying to live holy and not sin.  When each of us get a revelation of what Jesus did for us at the cross and how guilt free He has made us, our only response is to fall head over heels in love with Him. From their we yield our entire lives to Him out of a free will response! 

I hope this article has blessed you by answering an important question about sin consciousness and also helping you see that you have been perfected forever!  Jesus loves you and so do we!

If you’d like to learn more about this topic, check out this teaching I did at Grace Life Church called, “Walk In Newness of Life.” If you want to learn about the New Covenant, check out this message called, “What Is The New Covenant.

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