The Cost Of Intentional Sin

In my daily readings from the Moravian Daily Texts I came across a passage in Numbers that I have never noticed before and that struck me deeply. It is in Numbers 15 and is about offerings and sacrifices for Unintentional and Intentional sins.Speaking to Moses God firstly deals with Unintentional sins for either the whole Israelite community or for individuals. If this happens then the sacrifice of a young bull will make atonement for the community or the sacrifice of a year-old female goat will make atonement for an individual.

So far so good.

But it is Numbers 15: 30-31 that caught my attention. “”‘But suppose someone sins on purpose. It does not matter whether he is an Israelite or an outsider. He speaks evil things against the LORD. He must be cut off from his people. He has made fun of what the LORD has said. He has broken the LORD’s commands. He must certainly be cut off. He is still guilty.'”

Under the Old Covenant if you sinned Intentionally there was no remedy, no atonement and no forgiveness. Not only that but there is lasting punishment for the remainder of your life here on earth, you are to be excluded from your family, your friends, your community and your nation: you are to be ‘cut off.’

Wow – that’s harsh! Under the Old Covenant the willfull disobedience that we have all seen in children, when seen in our response to God, results in permanent guilt and exclusion.

What struck me deeply was this question: How often do I sin unintentionally? – not very often. How often to I sin intentionally? – probably most of the times when I sin.

I am so glad that I live under grace and not under the Law, under the New Covenant and not under the Old Covenant. In the New Covenant there is no separation between Intentional and Unintentional sin, both are sin, both took Jesus to the cross, both are forgiven in the amazing love sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. But this passage opened my eyes a little bit more on how God sees sin, and it’s not comfortable.

1 thought on “The Cost Of Intentional Sin

  1. Amen, Amen, Amen…..the most wonderful thing God has done for me, is to open my eyes to the wonder of my salvation……the wonder of absolute forgiveness…… remember no more……..that unconditional love that I receive from Him…….the way He readily forgives, when I have found it difficult to forgive myself…..Does this make me flippant towards any sin I commit, because He readily forgives……absolutely not…….it makes me love Him more and more desirous to please Him……but when I fail, I thank God for His Holy Spirit, for reminding me and teaching me to walk in His ways…….sometimes needing to deny my selfish desires and choose to trust God’s ways…..have I learnt it all…..absolutely not………I am in a life long path of learning and living but I thank Him so much for bringing me to this path.

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