Sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. James 1:15 (NIV)
If you smell smoke in your house, you don’t continue surfing the web and say, “I wonder where that’s coming from?” Why? Because it smells like fire and fire is incredibly destructive. You get up and track it down, because if you don’t your whole house may be destroyed.
Sin kills. It leads to death. You can’t mess around with it.
John Owen says in his excellent book The Mortification of Sin, “Be killing sin or sin will be killing you.” Being at war with sin does not make you at peace with God (that would be salvation by works). But being at peace with God makes you at war with sin (that’s the power of the gospel).
Sin that is allowed to grow in a Christian brings its own death. This can happen in two ways:
Sin weakens the soul
Sin saps your spiritual strength. If you do not weaken sin, sin will weaken you. When you see a sin forming, growing in your life, you must say, “If I am to serve Christ, I dare not let this grow! It will drain the life out of me.”
Sin darkens the soul
John Owen describes sin as “a thick cloud that spreads itself over the face of the soul, and intercepts all the beams of God’s love and favor.” Could this be why you have lost a sense of the love of God? Could this be why you have lost joy in worship? Vigor in prayer? Readiness in testimony? Sin is like a thick cloud that spreads itself over the face of the soul.
How would you describe the state of your spiritual life? Is your love for Christ vigorous, or has it been weakened as sin has taken root in your life?