Sins committed in Ignorance


Sins of weakness vs. High-Handed Sin


Exod 21:12-14

12         "Anyone who strikes a man and kills him shall surely be put to death.

13         However, if he does not do it intentionally, but God lets it happen, he is to flee to a place I will designate.

14         But if a man schemes and kills another man deliberately, take him away from my altar and put him to death.  (NIV)


Notice that God decrees that intentional (willful, deliberate, or high-handed) sin is a deadly sin (deserving the death penalty).  However, the un-intentional or accidental offender is spared death.  Mr. Fluffy was caught off guard and enticed, he was not scheming, as the murderer was in verse 14. 


            Proverbs 24

8 He who plots evil
will be known as a schemer
9 The schemes of folly are sin,
and men detest a mocker.
10 If you falter in times of trouble,
how small is your strength!
11 Rescue those being led away to death;
hold back those staggering toward slaughter.
12 If you say, "But we knew nothing about this,"
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who guards your life know it?
Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?


Ps 19:12-13

12         Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults.

13         Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression.  (NIV)


Notice that willfull sins were never covered by the blood of the new or Old Testament:


Hebrews 9

7But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance.


Notice that the priest did not offer blood for deliberate or willful sins, but only for “the sins the people had committed in ignorance”.  He did not offer blood for intentional sins, so they were not forgiven:


Hebrews 9

22In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.


Heb 10:26-29

26         If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left,

27         but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.

28         Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.

29         How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?  (NIV)




How many acts of adultery does it take to become an adulterer?   Is there hope for Mr. Fluffy?  My opinion is that it takes more than one accidental mental incident that is quickly repented of.  On the other extreme however, cohabitating with your girlfriend and calling the resultant fornication “accidental” is obviously a lie—and you are “Life Style Sinning”. You cannot look forward to an accident, or hope for one.  Furthermore, you definitely cannot plan on or scheme an “accident”.  Any of these attitudes show that the sin you are contemplating is the intention of your heart:


Acts 8
22   "Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that, (1) if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you.


Notice that the apostle said “if possible”.  He knew that if the man (Simon the sorcerer) was still cherishing his sinful idea in his heart, he would not find forgiveness:


Psalm 66:18
If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
(Whole Chapter: Psalm 66 In context: Psalm 66:17-19)



That is intentional or high handed sin. If you really repented you would avoid the sin, even at the expense of losing a limb (Matthew 5:28-30):


Matt 5:27-30

27         "You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.'

28         But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

29         If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

30         And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.  (NIV)




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