Doubt and unbelief were the very first sin and led to the first visible act of sin. Doubt and unbelief are what keep Christians sinning today. If we believed all of God’s promises, there would be no desire or need to sin. Acts of sin are manifested from doubt in God’s promises. This doubt leads to fear and worry, the idea that we need to take care of ourselves.
God has promised to reward those who seek Him.
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Heb 11:6 NAS
Our problem is that we become impatient and try and help God, just like Abraham and Sarah did when he fathered a child with Hagar. This is what I call a shortcut, and it starts with the sin of doubting God’s promises and then often proceeds forward with more acts of sin.
Abrahams actions led to many things we see in families today. All kinds of chaos, family turmoil, anger, resentment, bitterness, infighting, trust issues, heartbreak and finally separation of Ishmael from his father, Abraham. Ishmael is the father of the Arab nations and will always be at odds with the children of the promise born under Isaac. Wow, what one act of doubting God can lead to. It is what lead to the entire fall with Adam.
Like Abraham, when we doubt God’s promises, we have all taken shortcuts to try and help God out. So, we start with the sin of doubt and move forward with the acts of sin doubt generates. Acts that we think bless us as if we are helping God. If you are in business, this could be fudging on a deal to make it work, in sales not telling the whole story to make the sale, a waiter not declaring your tips to avoid tax, any action that we know is not right taken out of fear. In other words, sin. Fear as a motivator is the wrong motivation. It is devoid of faith and leads to acts of sin.
Then we go to God and ask Him to bless our shortcuts. Lord, make this deal work, help me make enough money to buy that new home, bless me financially so I will have peace, etc. The problem is we are asking God to bless our sin, and He cannot do this. Then we may get angry with God and further the mess we have created on our own.
We see with Abraham that God did help in making Abrahams mess better, but it was still a huge mess at the time that tore his family apart and still lives on today in a much larger scale. We also see that God did come through with His promise to Abraham even though he doubted and got all caught up in the after effects. But how much better it would have been then and now if Abraham and Sarah had just waited for the promised child. The birth of Isaac clearly told Abraham that he had made a big error. But it was too late. I believe his realization of the promised child was dampened considerably by his sin of doubt and the acts of sin it lead to, in his attempt to help God bless him. This happens to us too.
There is great news in the story of Abraham. Even though Abraham doubted God and took a shortcut, God’s promise was not affected by Abrahams sin. God keeps His promises even when we do not. Therefore, God will be faithful to Himself and keep the promise He has made to save us even when we are unfaithful. However, it is our doubts and unfaithfulness that makes our lives a mess here and now.
Do not doubt the forgiveness of all of your sins and your salvation, Christian.
Being established in the truth that we are forgiven much and loved by God the Father as much as he loves Jesus (John 17:23) are the only things that will produce the fruits we need to overcome outward acts of sin. These qualities are not works of the flesh. They are fruits of the Spirit—fruits of right believing that occur naturally once we are anchored in our Fathers incredible love and our complete forgiveness.
The following verses list the fruits we need to stop sin in our lives. Fruits that when they manifest actually replace sin in our lives.
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 2 Peter 1:5-7 ESV
Man would think that the reason we do not have these fruits in our life is that we lack discipline. But God’s ways are not man’s ways. God states that if we lack the qualities listed, we have forgotten we have cleansed of our former sins, have been forgiven and placed under grace where sin is not being imputed.
For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 2 Peter 1:9 ESV
If we do not think God has fully forgiven us, we will have a hard time believing God loves us.
Only Satan wants us to doubt.
The enemy is the only one who wants us to doubt our complete salvation. Over and over again Jesus said “Oh you of little faith.” He never said, “Oh you of little law keeping, little prayer, little fasting, etc.”
“O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matt 14:31).
The key is to believe the truth in the very clear scriptures that tell us if we believe, we are saved. Never let unclear scriptures override the very clear ones.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 ESV
The enemy will do all he can to twist unclear scripture and create doubt and he will use other well-meaning believers who doubt themselves to foster doubt in others.
I can guarantee you from experience that once you understand that God the Father loves you as much as he loves Jesus (John 17:23) and that you are totally forgiven, those other unclear scriptures will become very clear and fully confirm the clear and simple truth in John 3:16.
Once you understand and believe you are completely forgiven, you will realize how much God the Father loves you.
It even gets better
When we read in Hebrew 11, what we call the hall of faith in the Bible. We see Abraham and Sarah mentioned as pillars of the faith and not one mention of doubt or sin in the lives of either, almost as if God did not see their doubt or sin. Yet when we read the Old Testament, we see Abraham doubting God initially, doubting God's promise and sleeping with Hagar to father a child and giving his wife Sarah away twice to save his own life to name a few. We also see Sarah doubt God and laugh at the initial promise, then lie to God when He points out she laughed and say " I did not laugh." We also see her suggest Abraham sleep with Hagar to help Gods plan along. We see lots of doubt and sin in reality.
Do you want to know why Hebrews 11 does not mention the doubts and sin of anyone listed? Under the New Covenant of grace and truth, God is not counting or remembering your sins. He only see's your faith.
"I will forgive their iniquity, I will remember their sin no more.” Jer 31:34b
“…that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation” (2 Cor 5:19).
“For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression” (Rom 4:15).
...For apart from the law, sin lies dead (Rom 7:8).
...“I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” Heb 10:17
When we look at ourselves, our weakness and our inability, we doubt. When we look at Jesus, we have assurance and believe.
We are the children of God, ambassadors for our Father in this foreign land. God always takes care of His children and His ambassadors.
Further study in this area:
Did Jesus Sacrifice Provide Forgiveness for Our Future Sins Too? Yes
God Will Provide for His Ambassadors
What is The One Thing That Keeps a Believer in Sin?
Sins Are NOT Counted Under Grace
Christians are Blessed Because God is Not Imputing our Sins
God WILL NOT Erase Your Names from of the Book of Life Christian
Questioning Another's Salvation, Creates Doubt, Does Satans Work
Self Occupied or Christ Occupied,
I Am Holy, I Am Sanctified, I Am Perfected
God Said a Believer Can Never be Considered Unholy
Can a Christian Lose their Salvation by Sinning? NO,
Can We Lose Our Salvation For Not Confessing Our Sin 1 John? NO.
What is the One Unforgivable Sin?
Many more New Covenant Bible Studies HERE. Jesus poured out His blood for the New Covenant of grace and truth, replacing the Old Covenant law of Moses. Believers are exclusively under the New Covenant, the last will and testament of Jesus that began after the cross.
And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood. Luke 22:20