Click to Change

Return to Top

Return to Top

Printer Icon


The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: What Are Some of the Effects of Sin on the Life of the Believer?

Choose a new font size and typeface
Don Stewart
The practice of sin is not to be the normal lifestyle of believers. When we sin it has an effect upon us as well upon others. For one thing, it robs us of our ability to understand spiritual truth. The Bible says that it is the Holy Spirit that helps us understand the will of God.

But, as it is written, What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love Him. These things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For what human being knows what is truly human except the human spirit that is within? So also no one comprehends what is truly God's except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God (1 Corinthians 2:9-12).

The Christian is completely dependent upon the Holy Spirit if he or she expects to learn anything of permanent spiritual value.

1.Quenches Holy Spirit's Ministry

Sin quenches the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit.

Do not quench the Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19).

Quench means to throw a wet blanket over. Sin is not acknowledging the will of God through preaching (1 Thessalonians 5:20), not being thankful in everything (1 Thessalonians 5:18), not praying spontaneously (1 Thessalonians 5:17), not rejoicing in whatever circumstances we find ourselves (1 Thessalonians 5:16), and not abstaining from evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22).

All these small things quench the Holy Spirit's teaching ministry in our lives and takes away our sharpness to understand spiritual truth.

2.Bible Study Becomes Unfruitful

Bible study is not a rewarding experience. The Psalmist wrote:

Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers; but their delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law they meditate day and night (Psalm 1:1,2).

Bible study does not accomplish anything:

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a person observing their natural face in a mirror; for they observes themself, go away, and immediately forgets what kind of person they were (James 1:22-24).

We are supposed to let God's word act like a mirror to point out areas in our personal life that need changing. Instead we make excuses or forget to apply Bible teaching to our everyday situations and decisions.

3.Robs Us Of Joy

The Bible says that God wants our joy to be full:

These things we write to you that your joy may be full (1 John 1:4).

Joy is a deep satisfaction that stems from the knowing the channel is open between us and the Lord. We are in the place that He approves. It is an inner happiness not dependent upon outside circumstances. Sin will rob us of that joy.

4.Takes Away Excitement

Another problem with sin is that it takes away the excitement of the Christian life. An example of this would be King David. After his sin of murder and adultery he asked the Lord for restoration of his joy.

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me with your generous Spirit (Psalm 51:12).

Sin causes us to lose the joy of our salvation. We do not feel too saved right then.

The Christian then looks to worldly pleasures to fill that void. It is like an anesthetic to deaden the pain of an empty heart.

5.Robs Us Of Our Peace

Sin also robs us of peace. The believer is to be characterized by an inner calm and contentment.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard you hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful Colossians 3:15).

Sin causes anguish of the heart - which is complete loss of peace:

When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was turned into the drought of summer (Psalm 32:3,4).

6.Hinders Our Fellowship With God

Sin robs us of fellowship with God.

That which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ . . . If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth (1 John 1:3,6).

Fellowship can be defined as consciousness that everything is right between God and us at any moment. The same things that make God happy make us happy. Likewise the things that make God sad make us sad.

7.Causes Feeling Of Separation

Sin can cause a feeling of separation between ourselves and the Lord.

If we say we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we live a lie and do not practice the truth (1 John 1:6)

Live a lie means trying to live the Christian life in the energy of the flesh. Do not the truth refers to those who are ignorant or willfully disobedient of God's commandments.

The believer experiences a lost or alone feeling until they get things right with God.

8.Loss Of Confidence In Prayer

Sin also robs us of confidence in our prayer life.

And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight (1 John 3:19-22).

Notice that the final promise is qualified. The Christian must be obedient - they must keep God's commandments to have their prayers answered. Thus the Holy Spirit controls only those who ask to be under His control. The things the believer prays for are what the Holy Spirit directs them in the will of God.

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered (Romans 8:26,27).

9.Unanswered Prayers Until Confession

Sin can cause our prayers to be unanswered.

If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear (Psalm 66:18).

When believers sin, God does not answer their prayers with a, Yes. God wants to first hear a prayer of confession.

10. Lose Anticipation Of Christ's Return

Sin also robs us of our boldness and anticipation of Christ's return.

A Christian should be able to stand before the judgment seat with confidence.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:8).

The judgment seat can be a time of vindication where all the little things that we have done behind the scenes, that have gone unnoticed by people, will come to light.

11.Become Fearful

Sin will cause us to be fearful of what is uncovered when Christ judges our works.

Looking for that blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13).

And now little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming (John 2:28).


When we sin it has an effect on us as well as others. We lose our spiritual sharpness. Confession is the only thing that can bring that back. Therefore it is vital that Christians confess their sins.

BLB Searches
Search the Bible

Advanced Options

Other Searches

Multi-Verse Retrieval

Daily Devotionals

Blue Letter Bible offers several daily devotional readings in order to help you refocus on Christ and the Gospel of His peace and righteousness.

Daily Bible Reading Plans

Recognizing the value of consistent reflection upon the Word of God in order to refocus one's mind and heart upon Christ and His Gospel of peace, we provide several reading plans designed to cover the entire Bible in a year.

One-Year Plans

Two-Year Plan


The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.