What Sin Is and How to Cast Off the Bonds of Sin
Many believers in the Lord want to know what sin is and how to cast off the bonds of sin. This is because these issues are directly related to the important matter of whether we can be saved and enter into the kingdom of heaven. We will now fellowship about these two issues.
- What Is Sin?
- Can We Stop Sinning by Praying to Confess and Repenting?
- Why Are We Unable to Get Rid of the Bonds of Sin in Our Faith in the Lord?
- How Can Christians Rid Themselves of the Bonds of Sin?
- How Does God Cleanse and Judge Man?
What Is Sin?
When it comes to what sin is, we may very easily think of this verse recorded in the Bible, “Whoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4). Like homicide, arson, robbery, theft, idolatry, and so on, these are visible sins which violate God’s laws. Besides these, there are invisible sins in our thoughts. For example, the Lord Jesus said, “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies” (Matthew 15:18–19). From these verses we see that whether behavioral sins or sins within our hearts, all the thoughts and actions that go against God’s words and the truth and rebel against and resist God are called sin by God.
Now we know what sin is, let’s look at ourselves. We will easily see that we are full of sin and can resist and rebel against God anytime, anywhere. For example, we often lose our temper when something touches upon our interests. When others offend us, we not only cannot forgive them but develop hatred in our hearts. We put our interests first in all things, and in our interactions with others, we scheme against them and engage in jealous disputes. For the sake of our own interests, we cannot help but tell lies and deceive others. We not only cheat people, but even cheat God: We say whatever sounds pleasant before God, wanting to gain God’s grace and blessings. But once illnesses, natural or man-made disasters, tribulations and trials befall us, we blame and betray God. These are just a few examples. People who often live in sin and cannot practice the truth are the servants of sin. The consequence of sinning is being judged, cursed, and destroyed and being unqualified to enter the kingdom of heaven. This is determined by God’s holy and righteous disposition.
Many Christians often pray to confess their sins before the Lord, yet continue to sin afterward, living in a state of sinning in the daytime and confessing in the evening, which causes them great pain. The Lord Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, Whoever commits sin is the servant of sin. And the servant stays not in the house for ever: but the son stays ever” (John 8: 34–35). The Lord’s words tell us that if people cannot rid themselves of the bondage and shackles of sin, and they continue to commit sins, then they are the servants of sin and shall never enter the kingdom of God. Reading this passage of Scripture, many faithful brothers and sisters feel confused: “We believe in the Lord, so why can’t we rid ourselves of sin? Just how can we rid ourselves of the shackles of sin?”
Why Are We Unable to Get Rid of the Bonds of Sin in Our Faith in the Lord?
When it comes to the question of why we believe in the Lord yet are unable to rid ourselves of sin, let us first read this passage of God’s words: “For all that man may have been redeemed and forgiven of his sins, it can only be considered as God not remembering the transgressions of man and not treating man in accordance with his transgressions. However, when man, who lives in a body of flesh, has not been set free from sin, he can only continue to sin, endlessly revealing his corrupt satanic disposition. This is the life that man leads, an endless cycle of sinning and being forgiven. The majority of mankind sin in the day only to confess in the evening. This way, even though the sin offering is forever effective for man, it will not be able to save man from sin. Only half the work ofhas been completed, for man still has a corrupt disposition”” (“The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)” in ). God’s words show us that though we have undergone the redemption of the Lord Jesus and our sins have been forgiven, and though, after sinning, we pray, confess and repent to the Lord and the Lord no longer looks upon us as sinners, our sinful natures continue to exist; we are still liable to often sin, to expose our corrupt dispositions, and to live in sin in the day only to confess at night. For example, when other people say or do something that harms our own interests, we hate them; we know full well that God loves those who are honest, yet we often lie and cheat for the sake of our own interests; when blessed by God, we constantly thank God; when beset by disaster, we begin to grumble about God, and we might even rail against God, openly hurling invective at Him. And so it can be seen that although our sins have been forgiven, the corrupt dispositions within us have not been cleansed, for what the Lord Jesus did was the work of crucifixion and mankind’s redemption, not the work of judgment and purification of the last days to completely save people. We have been corrupted by Satan for thousands of years and our satanic dispositions are firmly rooted within us. Arrogance, craftiness, hardness, viciousness, evil, and detesting the truth —all of these are more intransigent than sin and can make people directly oppose God. If these root causes are not addressed, then we will sin today and likewise sin tomorrow, utterly incapable of getting rid of the bonds and constraints of sin.
How Can Christians Rid Themselves of the Bonds of Sin?
So just how can we fully rid ourselves of the shackles of sin? The Lord Jesus prophesied, “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come” (John 16:12–13). “And if any man hear My words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejects Me, and receives not My words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:47–48).
God’s words also say, “Fully saving man from the influence of Satan not only required Jesus to become the sin offering and bear the sins of man, but it also required God to do even greater work to rid man completely of his satanically corrupted disposition. And so, now that man has been forgiven of his sins, God has returned to the flesh to lead man into the new age, and begun the work of chastisement and judgment. This work has brought man into a higher realm. All those who submit under His dominion shall enjoy higher truth and receive greater blessings. They shall truly live in the light, and they shall gain the truth, the way, and the life” (Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh).
The words of God tell us that God shall return in the last days to speak His words and perform the work of judgment, utterly resolving man’s corrupt dispositions and saving him from sin. Today, the Lord Jesus has returned in the flesh asincarnate. Upon the basis of the Lord Jesus’ work of redemption, Almighty God has carried out a stage of His work, that of judgment beginning in the house of God. He has expressed all truths for the cleansing and salvation of mankind, resolving our sinful natures from the root up and enabling us to understand the truth, rid ourselves of sin, cease to commit sin and oppose God, and become people who obey and revere God, at which time we are truly gained by God. Only when we accept Almighty God’s work of judgment of the last days will we have the chance to rid ourselves of our corrupt dispositions and be cleansed.
How Does God Cleanse and Judge Man?
So just how does Almighty God of the last days perform the work of judgment to cleanse and save man, enabling man to free himself from sin? Let us read another passage of Almighty God’s words. Almighty God says, “In the last days, Christ uses a variety of truths to teach man, to expose the essence of man, and to dissect the words and deeds of man. These words comprise various truths, such as man’s duty, how man should, how man should be loyal to God, how man ought to live out normal humanity, as well as the wisdom and the disposition of God, and so on. These words are all directed at the essence of man and his corrupt disposition. In particular, the words that expose how man spurns God are spoken in regard to how man is an embodiment of Satan, and an enemy force against God. In undertaking His work of judgment, God does not simply make clear the nature of man with a few words; He exposes, deals with, and prunes over the long term. These methods of exposure, dealing, and pruning cannot be substituted with ordinary words, but with the truth of which man is utterly bereft. Only methods such as these can be called judgment; only through judgment of this kind can man be subdued and thoroughly convinced into submission to God, and moreover gain true knowledge of God. What the work of judgment brings about is man’s understanding of the true face of God and the truth about his own rebelliousness. The work of judgment allows man to gain much understanding of the will of God, of the purpose of God’s work, and of the mysteries that are incomprehensible to him. It also allows man to recognize and know his corrupt substance and the roots of his corruption, as well as to discover the ugliness of man. These effects are all brought about by the work of judgment, for the substance of this work is actually the work of opening up the truth, the way, and the life of God to all those who have faith in Him. This work is the work of judgment done by God” (“Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
At the mention of the work of judgment, some people may think: Is judgment not condemnation by God? How could one then still be saved by God? That we have such thoughts is because we do not know God’s work of judgment in the last days. God’s words tell us that the work of judgment performed by Almighty God in the last days is chiefly the expression of the truth to judge and cleanse man, thereby allowing us, from the revelations of God’s words, to recognize our own corrupt dispositions and behold the factual truth of our corruption at the hands of Satan. God’s words are like a two-edged sword; when we read God’s words, it is as if He is judging and exposing us face-to-face, allowing us to recognize our own satanic corrupt dispositions, dispositions that are arrogant, crafty, evil and so on. When we start believing in the Lord, for example, we enjoy the Lord’s grace, there is peace and joy in our hearts, and particularly after we see the blessings and promises given to us by the Lord, we become even more passionate in expending ourselves for Him. We never miss a gathering or skip reading Scripture; we often support brothers and sisters who are weak, spreading theeverywhere we go, persevering in our devotion and charity, trusting that if we expend ourselves thus, the Lord will ensure that everything goes safely and smoothly for us, and that afterward we will be able to enter the heavenly kingdom and gain eternal life. But when misfortune befalls us, when the Lord does not watch over us and protect us, we regret how we expended ourselves for the Lord before, and even start to blame God in our hearts. When we have accepted Almighty God’s work of the last days, we see that He says, “These days, most people are in this sort of state: ‘In order to gain blessings, I must expend myself for God and pay a price for Him. In order to gain blessings, I must abandon everything for God; I must complete what He has entrusted me with, and perform my duty well.’ This is dominated by the intention to gain blessings, which is an example of expending oneself entirely for the purpose of obtaining rewards from God and gaining a crown. Such people do not have the truth in their hearts, and surely their understanding merely consists of a few words of doctrine which they show off everywhere they go. Theirs is the path of Paul” (“How to Walk the Path of Peter” in Records of Christ’s Talks). “Man’s relationship with God is merely one of naked self-interest. It is a relationship between a receiver and a giver of blessings. To put it plainly, it is akin to the relationship between employee and employer. The employee works only to receive the rewards bestowed by the employer. There is no affection in such a relationship, only transaction. There is no loving or being loved, only charity and mercy. There is no understanding, only suppressed indignation and deception. There is no intimacy, only an uncrossable chasm” (“Man Can Only Be Saved Amidst God’s Management” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
The words of Almighty God get straight to the point in exposing the erroneous motivations and perspectives of our. Only through reflecting on ourselves do we realize that we are not working hard out of our love for God and because we wish to satisfy God; instead, we are looking to expend ourselves in exchange for the blessings and promises of God—our good behavior and actions are only to achieve our own goals. At such times, we see how selfish and ignoble we are. We live by the satanic law of, “Every man for himself and the Devil take the hindmost”; everything we do is for our own profit, and even when we expend ourselves a little in our faith in God, this, too, is to gain benefits and blessings from God. We want to exchange some minor expenditure for great blessings, and we seek to gain a hundredfold in this life and to gain eternal life in the world to come. We do not at all expend ourselves in order to perform our duty as created beings and repay God’s love. When our own intents and desires are unfulfilled, we can become negative, complain, rebel against and oppose God. When we see how filthy and corrupt we are, that we are bereft of conscience and reason and totally unfit to receive the rewards and blessings of God, in our hearts we feel regret and self-recrimination. We despise ourselves, and are compelled to fall before God to confess our sins, hoping to begin anew, willing to expend ourselves for God, and no longer asking for anything in return. Through experiencing the judgment and chastisement of God, we come to recognize our own satanic dispositions, and we see that God despises the sins of man. We see that wherever there is filthiness, there is the judgment of God, and we come to know God’s holy substance and His righteous, inviolable disposition, and thus a God-fearing heart is born in us. Under the guidance of God’s words, we gradually come to understand the will and requirements of God, we stand fast in the position of a created being to perform a little of the duty of man, there is less and less of a transaction in our involvement with God, our relationship with Him becomes closer and closer, our corrupt dispositions undergo some change, and we ultimately live out the semblance of a true human being.
That we have been able to change as we have today is entirely the effect achieved in us by Almighty God’s work of judgment. All who have experienced Almightyand chastisement in the last days and who truly love the truth, after several years they clearly see a change and reap a harvest; in their hearts, they are able to sense just how great God’s love for man is and how great His salvation of man is, and they come to have a profound appreciation of how real the work of God is. They perceive that only the judgment and chastisement of God is the truest salvation, and that only by accepting Almighty God’s work of the last days and experiencing the judgment and chastisement of God, can they be cleansed and changed—this is the only path by which we can rid ourselves of sin.
Editor’s Note: Has this fellowship solved your confusion? Have you found in this fellowship the path to utterly ridding yourself of sin? If you feel this has been of help to you, keep an eye on this website and we’ll continue to update it with new content. If someone you know is just as confused as you, please share this article with them. If you have any questions or difficulties, feel free to contact us at any time, and we can look into them and seek together!
Finally, we’d like to recommend several videos: The True Light Appears, True Repentance, and An Officer’s Repentance. From these videos, you can learn how Christians truly repent and change after experiencing the judgment of God. We hope they will be of help to you!