Why are there still consequences for sin if Jesus already paid the price?

Jesus' death on the cross paid the price for sin. Romans 6:23 makes it clear that eternal life is a free gift to all who believe. But why do we still suffer the consequences of sin?

As a loving Father, God disciplines those He loves. Hebrews 12:7 teaches, "It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?" The fact that Christians suffer consequences for sin helps show God's love for us as a father.

Second, there is a difference between forgiveness of sin and the consequences of sin. God forgives our wrongs, yet the sins we commit often naturally lead to negative consequences. For example, if a person robs a bank, God can forgive him for the sin, but he may still face consequences, including arrest and jail time.

Third, the consequences of sin are part of what the Bible teaches concerning reaping and sowing. Galatians 6:7-9 shares, "Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up." Those who do wrong suffer the consequences for those wrongs. This keeps God from being mocked and highlights the importance of doing good as a believer.

Fourth, suffering the consequences of our sin points us back to God. For example, in Luke 15, Jesus told the story of the lost son. This son wasted his father's inheritance in selfish pursuits until he was out of money and his work consisted of tending pigs.

Facing the consequences of his actions, he was reminded of the goodness of his father. This caused him to return home in hopes to become a servant, yet his father embraced him in celebration. God likewise uses the consequences of our sins to draw us back to the Father.

The Bible frequently teaches that believers are forgiven of sins, yet sin continues to yield negative consequences in this life. Yet God even uses these negative consequences in many ways. These ways can include discipline, enduring the natural consequences of sin, to keep God from being mocked, and to draw people back toward Him.

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