We had a great discussion this week at our men’s Bible study group and we talked about how do you know when you’re living in sin as a believer or you’re just a normal Christian like everybody else that commits sins from time to time. It led to a very deep and almost heated conversation but the first thing that I thought of as the question was imposed to the group was that the Holy Spirit should let us know immediately how we are living, if we are fully vested, living for and connected to God.

Put It To The Test

As with just about everything else that we’ve discussed, our Bible study leader was able to use the training that he got as a biblical scholar to help us understand five ways to decipher whether you are living in sin, or if you are just a normal human being with a sinful nature like everyone else. I thought there was a ton of great insight in that, and I would like to share those things as well as some of my personal experiences about this topic.

The first test that you can use to decipher whether you are living in sin or not is are you experiencing conviction or remorse or feel bad for the choices that you have made or continue to make but do them anyways (Galatians 5:17). This coincides with my first thought when this question was posed to the group. If the Holy Spirit is alive and well, and you, it will be impossible for you to commit a sin and not feel immediate remorse. A perfect example for me personally is that my mouth used to cuss like a sailor. And now, shortly after if I do say a cuss word, I am convicted so deeply that I have to apologize to those that are around me and say that I should not speak that way. If you have any feelings of remorse or regret, for what you were doing and continue to do, you can guarantee that whatever it is is living in sin.

The second test that the Bible defines is Are you justifying or making excuses for your sin (Proverbs 28:13)? If you find yourself saying things like well I had to because I had no choice. Or I needed to do it because I can’t afford not to do it. A perfect example, for this for me could be “ I know that working in this industry does not honor God but because the money is so good and I need the money I have to do it”. The moment we start making excuses about how we need the money or we are so broke that we have no other choice than to sin to get that need taken care of, we immediately remove God and tell him that he is not able to meet our needs, unless we sin against him. When you think about it from that perspective, it makes absolutely no sense and is in and of itself a sin against God. Stop making excuses for the sin that you are committing. Rest assured that if you are making excuses for why you are committing a sin, you for sure are living in sin against God.

The third test is Do you make plans to sin or plan to continue to do things that are a sin (Proverbs 6:16-18). This is a big one. The example that our pastor and Bible leader gave that he runs into all the time in his life is that people who are either engaged to be married, or are single make plans to move in together either in preparation of marriage, or to save money each and every month not living in two places. God is very clear that that is an abomination and a sin against Him. It falls under the category of sexual immorality and is mentioned about 45 times in the Bible (1 Corinthians 7, 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5, Ephesians 5:31). Many can argue that God takes it very seriously. More serious than the other sins that are committed. Read Roman’s 1:18-32 if you don’t believe me. Anytime you make a plan to sin against God for whatever reason and continue that sin, you can be assured that you are living in sin actively against God.

The fourth one is the one that I struggled with the most personally. Are you living on a false sense of the grace of God (Romans 6:1). In the past, I have written a few blogs where I have mentioned this, but I used to have a tattoo of just a cross on my left forearm with the words Romans 5:8 underneath it. I got that tattoo because it gave me comfort, knowing that God loved me even when I was at my worst, and he love me so much that he even died for me while I was actively sinning against him. As I’ve said before, God loves us all the time, but he hates in condemns and judges our sin. Make no mistake about it. If you are sitting back like I was and said it doesn’t matter God loves me just the way I am no matter what I do, you can be assured that you are living in sin against God.  Becasue of this realization, I added my kids names to that tattoo because I knew i needed to show them differently than I used to believe.

The last test can be summed up like this. Are you encouraging others or including others in your active sin or plan to sin (Romans 1:32)? If what you are doing is a sin, and you are telling other people that it’s OK and allowing them to believe it’s OK because of your choices or you’re actively including them in that sin, you can rest, assured that you were living in sin. The example that was used here piggybacked with the example above is a prime example. If you believe that you do not need to be married to live together and sleep together with somebody else that is not sure wife/husband and never plan to be married to them you are making a choice to live forever in a sin against God. Now, what about if you tell your children or show your children that that lifestyle is OK and they grow up to learn that it is OK to sin against God in the same manner and never repent. God calls that causing our children to stumble (Mark 9:42). According to our pastor, this is such a large problem in the state of Florida that we live in, as well as other places where divorce rates are skyrocketing, that people “shack up” together (as our grandparents used to day), and choose to not ever marry again but refuse to live according to God’s word and remain abstinent (Hebrews 13:4, 1 Corinthians 7, 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5, Ephesians 5:31, John 4:17-19 and so many more …).  You can be assured that this is living in sin and is in fact where this phrase came from.  Everyone in out grandparents era knew this to be true and only in the past 30 years has it become more and more “acceptable”.  Not in God’s eyes.  He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.


The best summary, for this blog can be that even though you may be living in sin, there is hope! God says in 2 Peter 2:21 “It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them”.  That means If you actively are sinning against God and you are supposedly a believer you should be concerned. God says we need to repent for all of our sins and ask for forgiveness. Part of asking for forgiveness is not continuing to sin in the same manner. God can forgive any sin (1John 1:9). So why do we choose to not confess that sin to him as believers. I think that answer a simple, we don’t trust God with our whole heart and that He can meet all of our needs.  We take many things upon ourselves to try to fill our needs, fill our voids, and take care of our finances. God is our only one true source, and he will provide everything that we need through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19).  The summary is, stop the perpetual sin in your life, give your entire life to God and live for Him if you want to be set free!

2 Corinthians 5:17

 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!