“I Have Sinned”

Bill Brinkworth

The Bible clearly teaches that everyone, except Jesus, is a sinner (Romans 3:23, Rom. 5:12, Rom. 3:10).  Although we are no longer under the Old Testament laws, they still identify our sin.  All have transgressed the law (I John 3:4), and are guilty as sinners.

Some never acknowledge their sinnership, but many do.  In the King James Bible, the phrase “I have sinned” was used nineteen times.  In analyzing those verses, one gets a picture of what many do with the knowledge that they are sinners.

Some acknowledge that they have sinned, but nothing changes in their lives.  As:
Pharaoh.  After seeing what the real God could do through the many plagues and miracles He used Moses to perform, and knowing that he had broken his promises to Moses, Pharaoh knew he had sinned. He even admitted that he was a sinner, but still nothing changed in his life.
“And Pharaoh sent, and called for Moses and Aaron, and said unto them, I have sinned this time: the LORD is righteous, and I and my people are wicked.” Ex. 9:27   Also: Ex. 10:16.
Saul:King Saul was convicted of his hatred against David, when David spared his life. (David took Saul’s spear, and water, but would not harm the king).  Saul was convicted of his sin, but in the following verses, Saul continued in his sin and still tried to kill David.
“Then said Saul, I have sinned: return, my son David: for I will no more do thee harm, because my soul was precious in thine eyes this day: behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly.” I Sam. 26:21   
Many sin, feel guilty, and apologize, but nothing permanently changes in their lives.

Some acknowledge their sin when it is too late:
Achan.  Achan and all his family were stoned to death shortly after he was caught stealing from the Jericho spoils which he was commanded not to do. He admitted his sin, but it was too late. He and all his family were stoned to death!
“And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done:” Jos. 7:20  
Saul.  Saul disobeyed the Lord in taking things from a town he was not to take from, and he lost his position as king. His sin cost him quite a lot.
“And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.” I Sam. 15:24
Judas Iscariot.  Judas acknowledged he had sinned, but it was too late. His sin put the son of God, Jesus, on the path to His death.  The guilt of Judas’ sin was so great that Judas took his own life.
Saying, I have sinned  [Judas] in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.” Mat. 27:4

Some die in their sins:  I John 5:16 was directed to Christians, but all can die in their sins. God often gives us many opportunities to get our sins right, but there may be a time he takes us home, or we suffer the consequences of our sin
“If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.” I John 5:16

Some acknowledge their sin and change.  They may fall, but they get up and try to keep from sin.  However, changing one’s sinful behavior does not get anyone to heaven!
Balaam: Balaam learned the hard way that he had sinned, and he was willing to do as he was originally commanded.  He was repentant. True repentance is turning from one’s sin.
“And Balaam said unto the angel of the LORD, I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stoodest in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease thee, I will get me back again.” Num. 22:34   
David: David sinned in not trusting God, and numbered the people.  He was sorry, but he still had to pay the price when 7,000 of his people died from a pestilence God sent.  In most cases, there is a price tag for our sin.
“And David's heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the LORD, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O LORD, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.” II Sam. 24:10  
Prodigal son. The prodigal son recognized his sin and did something about it; he went back to where he should have never left. 
“I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,” Luke 15:18

Some call on the Lord to have their sins forgiven, repent, and have their lives changed. When one admits to himself that he is a sinner, trusts that Jesus’ death on the cross is the only payment God will accept to cover all his sin, and asks God to save him, one can be saved (Rom. 10:13).  He then will have the Holy Spirit indwelling him, and will have a changed life.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” II Cor. 5:17   Also: Acts 2:21


Since all (Rom. 3:23), including you, are sinners what have you done with that knowledge that you are a sinner.  Are you ignoring it, as you think God forgot about it, or are you doing something about it? Have you trusted in Jesus’ death on the cross to cover your sin and asked His help to turn from your sin?


Sin and hell are married unless repentance proclaims the divorce.”

This lesson was featured in The Bible View #441.

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