Sin and Its Effects

Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death – James 1:15

Sin may bring you pleasure. Sin may bring you wealth. Sin may even bring you a certain degree of satisfaction. But ultimately sin will only bring you death.

As the pastor James wrote these words of warning, he no doubt knew how easily we forget the consequences of sin. We are often tempted to violate God’s law, which is for our own protection, in order to receive some promised gratification. But James shines the light to the end of the road and reminds us that the end of every sin is death.

Are you flirting with a person other than your spouse, or committing mental adultery repeatedly in the privacy of your imagination? The pleasure of a forbidden relationship may seem tantalizing, but…

Sin, when it is finished, brings forth death.

Are you tempted to put your service to the Lord on hold in order to accept a much-desired promotion? The pay, the prestige may feel exciting, but…

Sin, when it is finished, brings forth death.

Have you been holding a grudge against another person, refusing to forgive them for some offense or injury? No matter how right or justified you may have made yourself out to be in your own mind…

Sin, when it is finished, brings froth death.

It is no accident, no wonder, then that James’ next words are simply, “Do not err, my beloved” (16). If sin is truly so serious, so dangerous, so deadly — why would we every toy with it at all?