Do Sins Build Up Over Time?
7th Grade Girl Wrote: “Before you’re forgiven, all your sins kinda build up, right? So after you’re forgiven, do they begin to build again or do they get automatically forgiven? Like when you delete all your texts, it’s not like afterwards you delete every one as it arrives. Every text stays in your inbox until you empty it again. So do you have to re-empty your inbox every once in a while?”
Fantastic questions—wow! Here are some thoughts:
I. When a person accepts Jesus as their LORD and Savior, all of their past and future sins are forgiven.
God literally forgets our sins and does not hold them against us anymore—Jesus already paid for them, so the bill/debt of sin is thrown away. What a BLESSING! 🙂
Hebrews 7:27 NIV: “Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.”
Hebrews 9:25-28 NIV: “Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”
Hebrews 10:10 NIV: “And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
Hebrews 10:17 NIV: “Then he adds: ‘Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.’”
II. So in the legal sense, yes, we are forgiven of all of our sins—future, past, and present—at one point in our lives of trusting in Jesus.
Romans 8:1-2 NLT: “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.”
III. But in the practical sense here on earth, there are still earthly consequences for sin (though not eternal consequences in the sense of heaven or hell). I do believe that on earth sins can accumulate over time and possibly have the following ramifications:
Disrupting Our Prayers.
Isaiah 1:15 NIV:“When you spread out your hands in prayer, I hide my eyes from you; even when you offer many prayers, I am not listening. Your hands are full of blood!”
Now this does not mean that after each sin God will not listen to our prayers—not at all.
But in this passage, the nation of Israel as a whole had been sinning for so long—they had been only honoring God with their words, but their actions showed that they did not really love God at all—that God finally said, “Enough. Why do you continue to pray to me asking for blessing, or scripted prayers before meal time, when you obviously don’t care about serving Me, about knowing Me and being in a friendship with Me. You only want Me for what I can give you.” So God stopped listening to their prayers to teach them a lesson—He wasn’t going to be their “Cosmic Vending Machine.”
Causing God pain.
Ephesians 4:30 NLT: “And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.”
Cheapening Our Witness to A World That Needs Jesus!
2 Corinthians 5:17-21 (NLT): “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, ‘Come back to God!’ For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.”
Once we give our lives to Jesus, we become His ambassadors on earth—we represent Him to the rest of the world! So when we sin over and over again without caring or without striving to stop, or when we live lives that look just like someone who doesn’t know and love Jesus, then some people may think that Jesus is like that. As much as we can, we want to do our best to show others how great Jesus is through our words and actions.
So it is important to confess/take responsibility for our sins on earth and ask God to help us not commit the same sins over and over again throughout our lives. He can and will set us free from a pattern or behavior of sins on earth if we ask Him and if we don’t give up!
Hope that is helpful—please let me know if this is confusing…
God loves you SO MUCH!!!