Sin is Progressive

Posted: January 6, 2010 in Sin

One of the attributes of sin is that it is progressive. Sin starts as a seemingly harmless snowball, but before long that snowball gets momentum and starts plummeting down the hill. It becomes larger, faster and more destructive. Tim Challies says, “This is the very nature of sin, isn’t it? Sin is al­ways progressive in nature. If you give it an inch, it soon seeks to take a mile. Sin is never content, but always seeks and desires more.”  Hebrews 3:13 warns us not to get “hardened” by sin, implying that it’s usually an ongoing process of becoming calloused by sin’s deceitfulness. And James 1:14-15 shows the progressiveness of sin clearly, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”

The implications of this particular attribute of sin are vast. One huge application would be to fight sin at its earliest stages and at the root. Wouldn’t it be easier to stop a baseball size snowball than to try to corral a 1 ton snowball that is moving rapidly down a hill? Wouldn’t it be easier to pull a sapling of sin from the ground (root and all), than to try to take-down a mature oak tree? At sin’s first disquieting it must be fought and not taken lightly.

I’ll leave you with a quote from J.C. Ryle:

Young men [and women], resist sin in its beginnings. They may look small and insignificant, but mind what I say, resist them, make no compromise, let no sin lodge quietly and undisturbed in your heart. There is nothing finer than the point of a needle, but when it has made a hole, it draws all the thread after it. Remember the Apostle’s words, “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough” (1 Corinthians 5:6)…

There are two ways of coming down from the top of a ladder; one is to jump down, and the other is to come down by the steps: but both will lead you to the bottom. So also there are two ways of going to hell; one is to walk into it with your eyes open–few people do that; the other is to go down by the steps of little sins–and that way, I fear, is only too common. Put up with a few little sins, and you will soon want a few more. Even a heathen could say, “Who was ever content with only one sin?” If you put up with little sins then your path in life will be worse and worse every year. Jeremy Taylor very clearly described the progress of sin in a man:

“First it startles him, then it becomes pleasing, then easy, then delightful, then frequent, then habitual, then a way of life! Then the man feels no guilt, then obstinate, then resolves never to repent, and then he is damned.Sin starts out as a ripple on calm waters, but before you know it will turn into a tidal wave that can’t be controlled.”

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