Living by Grace

Dedicated to providing guidance in daily living through the power of God's grace as experienced in our union with Christ.

Sin and Suffering

Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus answered, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.     John 9:1-3

Jesus clearly teaches here that all suffering is not caused by sin. However, to the man He healed at the pool of Bethesda Jesus said, “… Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.” (John 5:14).

According to these two incidents of healing, the man is correct who said, “All suffering is not caused by sin, but all sin does bring suffering.”  

On the one hand some of our suffering comes to us by the sovereignty of God for our benefit and for God’s glory. On the other hand we bring suffering on ourselves by our sins.

There is nothing we can do about the suffering that comes our way by the sovereignty of God for our blessing and His glory. We can, though, do something about the suffering we bring on ourselves by our sins. Colossians 3:5-7 says:

Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them (Colossians 3:5-7).

The words “put to death” explain how we can put away sin from our lives. This is a reference to Paul’s teaching about the believer’s spiritual crucifixion in the sixth chapter of the Book of Romans.

Guidance for experiencing that crucifixion is in verses 11-13. We will save ourselves from some of our suffering by obeying these commands.