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 Unto Death 

There is sin leading to death.    1 John 5:16


Is this death physical or spiritual? What is the sin that leads to death? Can a person escape it? 


The different uses of the word “death” in the New Testament indicate that the death of 1 John 5:16 is physical. 


First John does not explain what the sin unto death is. However, two passages in the New Testament identify sins unto death. First Corinthians 11:19-30 shows that because they had turned the Lord’s Supper into a time of feasting and drunkenness, many of the Corinthian believers were asleep (had died). First Corinthians 6:18 seems to refer to another sin unto death. It reads:  


Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.


Likely, many of us have known of believers who engaged in sexual immorality dying an early death.


A person engaging in pornography may be only one-step away from living in sexual immorality. It is said that one can be as addicted to pornography as one is addicted to drugs or alcohol. If the passages above have been interpreted correctly and if addiction to pornography leads to acts of sexual immorality, it can lead to an early death.


The third question asked earlier is, “Can one escape the sin unto death?” Escape from the perversion of the Lord’s Supper should be only a matter of choosing to do so. Escape from an addiction would be difficult. However, it is not impossible.


There are several lists of the works of the flesh in the New Testament. Each of them places sexual immorality at the beginning of the list.


Galatians 5:24 says that the flesh has been crucified. This is good news to one who desires freedom from an addiction.


As the Lord leads, believers who understand the crucifixion of the flesh and how to experience it can be God’s messengers of freedom to one who may be on the road to an early death.