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Why Do People Sin?
By Ron Boatwright

     We are free moral agents.  God could have made us as robots, but He didnít.  We have a choice in the matter.  "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).  There are several reasons why people sin.

     People sin because, "There is no fear of God before their eyes" (Romans 3:18).  They have no respect for God, our Creator.  But the "whole duty of man" is to "fear God and keep His commandments" (Ecclesiastes 12:13).  Before we can keep Godís commandments we must know what they are.  But God says, "My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge" (Hosea 4:6).  We must study Godís word because, "Your word, I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You" (Psalms 119:11).  We must develop an awesome respect for God and His word so we will not sin against Him.

     People sin because we are deceived by sin.  We are to, "Exhort one another daily, while it is called today, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin" (Hebrews 3:13).  We can even deceive ourselves by denying we have sinned.  "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us" (1 John 1:8).  Because of the deceitfulness of sin, we are to, "Beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked" (2 Peter 3:17).  We are warned, "Let no man deceive you with vain words" (Ephesians 5:6).  Yes, sin is deceiving.

     People sin because there is temporary pleasure in sin.  Moses chose "rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season" (Hebrews 11:25).  Because of the pleasures of sin, we are tempted and enticed.  "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.  Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin, and sin when it is finished, brings forth death" (James 1:14-15).

     People sin because, "The soul of the wicked desires evil" (Proverbs 21:10).  Jesus asks, "Why do you think evil in your hearts?" (Matthew 9:4).  People sin because they "love evil more than good, lying rather than speaking righteousness" (Psalms 52:3).  And because of this they "call evil good and good evil" (Isaiah 5:20).

     People sin because they are deceived by false doctrine.  "If anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let hem be accursed" (Galatians 1:9).  If one wanders away into the sin of denominationalism, he will be lost.  "Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God" (1 John 9).  We must be faithful to God and His word.

     People sin because of the influence of the people with whom they associate.  "Do not be deceived: evil company corrupts good habits" (1 Corinthians 15:33).  We must carefully choose our associates.  To protect ourselves from sin we must, "Abstain from all appearance of evil" (1 Thessalonians 5:22).

     We also sin when we donít do what we should do.  "Therefore, to him that knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin" (James 4:17).  One of the things some people fail to do is they fail to assemble for worship.  But we are not to "forsake the assembling of ourselves together as is the manner of someÖfor if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sin" (Hebrews 10:25-26).  If we continue willfully in our sin and donít repent, we will die in our sins and be lost (John 8:24).  Let us not be deceived by sin, because the wages of sin is spiritual death in Hell forever (Romans 6:23).