A Few Thoughts About Subconscious Sin
B1 Sermon I heard recently. Speaking about pride, the preacher mentioned, “If you have pride in your life, God will resist you. Right? Didn’t we just read that? (1 Peter 5:5—editor) We receive power from God, when we humble ourselves and that is called grace. Okay, so that’s why it is really, really important. Look back at your Bibles, if you still got it. Proverbs 16:18: Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall…back into that old sin that you used to get victory over. Right? Yup. Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. Haughty spirit before failure. Haughty spirit before falling back into sin. A haughty spirit before, quote, a relapse. Pride goes before it every time. The problem is we don’t see it. We don’t recognize it. Why? A lot of the time it is subconscious. It’s arrogance we don’t know we have. In fact, let me just put it to you this way. You can live by very humble means. You can have a plain Jane home and not have a whole lot and content to have little but still be arrogant and just not know it.”
C1 Later he speaks of sin coming from arrogance referring to King Saul’s sins in 1 Samuel 15. YET, the Holy Spirit makes it plain through Samuel that Saul’s sin is disobedience, not pride. Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 32:24-26) would have been a better example, but even there the Holy Spirit showed Hezekiah that his sin was pride.
C2 Pride is wrong. It is spoken against by God. But subconscious pride that we do not know we have and will be punished for it?
B2 Job 1:4-5
And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day…
Of course, we confess overt acts of sin, and also secret sins, directly we are aware of them. But our unconscious sins are vastly more numerous than our conscious ones, just as the elevations beneath the ocean waves are much more numerous than those which rear themselves above the breakers as islets. For every one sin you know of, there are perhaps ten of which you are ignorant.
1. Let us understand how unconscious sins come into existence. Old habits assert themselves, in the heat of life, without our noticing them, as a man may unconsciously give a nervous twitch. Besides, our sensibilities are blunt, and permit sins to pass for want of knowing better, as a clerk in a bank may pass a counterfeit banknote for want of longer experience. Moreover, our standard is too low; we measure ourselves against our fellows, and not against the requirements of God. Then, too, though we may resist temptation, we can hardly do it without getting some stain.
2. Let us learn when unconscious sins are most to be dreaded. During times of feasting and holiday. Because we then give less time to devotion. Because we relax our self-watch. Because we are thrown into light and frivolous company. Job was always anxious after such times, and said, “It may be.”
3. Let us see how to deal with unconscious sins. They are sins. They will interrupt our communion. They will work a deadly injury to our spiritual life; for hidden disease is even more perilous than that which shows itself. They must be brought beneath the cleansing blood of Jesus. We need to ask many times each day, Lord Jesus, keep me cleansed from all conscious and unconscious sin.
(F. B. Meyer, B. A.)
C1 Relating to thoughts and feelings that exist in the mind and influence your behavior although you are not aware of them. (Source)
C2 Acting or existing without one’s awareness (Source)
C3 The Hindu concept of subconscious:
D1 First Quote (Source): Hindu Concepts of the Subconscious Mind
Before the well-known French psychologists Charcot and Janet recognized the existence of the subconscious state of mind the west was interested only in the conscious state of mind. Later Freud, Jung and others concluded that the larger portion of the mind is like the submerged portion of an iceberg. It is unknown to us. But Hindu psychology, long before the birth of Christ, was aware of the subconscious or unconscious state of mind. Panatanjali explained this unconscious state of mind as a storehouse of all past thoughts or samskaras.
These samskaras have the ability to generate tendencies in the conscious plane of the mind. Borrowing a mathematical term, if we call each of these samskaras a vector then the resultant effect of all these will be seen as tendencies in the conscious mind. In the words of Swami Vivekenanda:
Every work that we do, every moment of he day, every thought we think, leaves an impression on the mind-stuff [the internal organ or antahkarana], and even when such impressions are not obvious on the surface they are sufficiently strong to work beneath the surface, man’s character is determined by the sum total of these impressions.
D2 Second (Source):
The conscious mind and the subconscious mind, sometimes also called the unconscious mind. The conscious mind is the “awake-mind” – which is only used when we are awake. The subconscious mind goes on working 24 hours of every day. It is not a physical entity, and thus not located anywhere in the physical body. It cannot be seen with the naked eye. It cannot be measured, it cannot be weighed and it cannot be taken apart for scientific research and study.
D3 Cleansing the subconscious is done by meditation and visualization.
D1 Conscious (AWAKE)—awake, aware of what is happening around you, and able to think: She’s out of surgery but not fully conscious yet.
D2 Conscious adjective (NOTICING)—noticing the existence of something: People have become much more conscious of the need to exercise regularly.
D3 Conscious adjective (INTENTIONAL)—determined and intentional: Was it a conscious decision to break up the group, or did it just happen?
D4 Conscious adjective (AWARE)—being especially aware of or worried about something: Consumers aren’t as conscious of prices as they were last year. (Source)
C2 Conscious—aware; capable of thought or will: a conscious decision; cognizant: She was conscious of the stranger standing close to her. (Source)
The evil conclusions of subconscious/unconscious sin
B1 Fear of sinning without knowing it
B2 Every morning, we wake up and wonder how many times I sinned subconsciously. Every evening before sleep, we lay in bed and wonder how many times I sinned subconsciously. We become anxious and self-conscious what we are doing and thinking. “I must ask forgiveness or God will be angry.”
B3 At the time of dying will we be able to ask forgiveness of subconscious/unconscious sins? When our awareness is fading as we get even closer to dying, will we still sin and not ask for forgiveness?
B4 The babies that die before birth (stillborn) or before the age of accountability have no opportunity to ask forgiveness.
B5 We might as well give up the faith, for there is no hope. We are founded on pride and always proud. If pride is not conscious, then it is unconscious (subconscious). If we think we are not proud, we are. If we think we are proud, then we will be proud when we repent. According to the preacher mentioned at the beginning, God resists us. Evidently, we are proud and always proud either with conscious pride or subconscious pride. Psalm 5:5 NLT Therefore, the proud may not stand in your presence, for you hate all who do evil.
B6 If an addict relapses, he is doing an old habit, so she/he is proud.
B7 Do you see F. B. Meyer’s comment? Even if something is done due to lacking experience, it is sin. Besides, our sensibilities are blunt, and permit sins to pass for want of knowing better, as a clerk in a bank may pass a counterfeit banknote for want of longer experience.
B8 Something is very, very wrong in this view.
B9 God have mercy; this belief is so wrong.
B10 There is no joy in forgiveness in this view, because we always sin, because we are continuously proud. On the other hand, the Psalmist rejoices at his forgiveness: Psalm 32:1-2 NIV Of David. A maskil. Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. 2 Blessed is the one whose sin the LORD does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit.
Definition of sin
B1 The King of the Universe, Jesus Christ, has laws. Sin is breaking His law, disobeying law, etc.
B2 Neglecting to do what we know is right is sin. James 4:17 GW Whoever knows what is right but doesn’t do it is sinning.
B3 These laws are summarized in 10 sets that cover all sins.
C1 No other Gods
C2 No idols
C3 No blasphemy
C4 Special day for rest and worship
C5 Honor parents
C6 No murder
C7 No adultery
C8 No stealing
C9 No false witness
C10 No coveting
B4 Sin can be committed in thoughts, desires, words, and/or deeds.
B5 Sin is punished: James 2:10 NLT For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws.
B6 Death is the sentence: Romans 6:23 NLT For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
B7 What is needed for something to be a sin?
C1 A standard. God is the standard.
D2 For the church (believers, not an organization) it is the approximate 1,000 rules in the New Testament. (Note, I do not know anything about that website, so beware. The list itself is from Dake’s Study Bible. Dake has some heretical belief).
D3 Both sets of laws are consistent with the 10 commandments. All types of lying or false witness are sin, for example.
C2 Sin requires an immoral action, sufficient knowledge, and sufficient consent. To the extent that it keeps us legitimately concerned about the welfare of ourselves or others, it is not an immoral action to worry. Even in cases of needless worry, most worriers do not purposely worry despite knowledge that they should not. Indeed, in some cases, excessive, compulsive worry may be a symptom of a legitimate illness, and therefore not a sin.(Source)
C3 Not doing what is right: James 4:17 NLT Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.
C4 Sin can be in thoughts, desires, words, and/or deeds.
Types of sins
B1 Of ignorance, that is, did not know or did not pay attention, but either way, it was not subconscious. Leviticus 5:17 NLT Suppose you sin by violating one of the LORD’s commands. Even if you are unaware of what you have done, you are guilty and will be punished for your sin.
B2 Willfully: Psalm 19:13 NIV Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression.
B3 Secret sins are those sins we are aware but wish for no one else to know: Psalm 90:8 NLT You spread out our sins before you—our secret sins—and you see them all.
Types of confidence that are not pride, nor sinful
B1 My wife pointed out this verse to me: Hebrews 13:18 CSB Pray for us, for we are convinced that we have a clear conscience, wanting to conduct ourselves honorably in everything.
C1 The word convinced is the Greek word πείθω peíthō. It means persuade, be persuaded, and to trust, have confidence, be confident.
C2 Adam Clarke comments on this verse: We are persuaded that we have a conscience that not only acquits us of all fraud and sinister design, but assures us that in simplicity and godly sincerity we have laboured to promote the welfare of you and of all mankind.
B2 1 Thessalonians 2:10 NIV You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed.
B3 God commands us to boast: Jeremiah 9:23-24 NLT This is what the LORD says: “Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom, or the powerful boast in their power, or the rich boast in their riches. 24 But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the LORD who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things. I, the LORD, have spoken! (see 2 Corinthians 10:17)
B4 Galatians 6:14 NLT As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died.
Is pride the root of all evil?
B1 Some think so
B2 Love of money is one root of evil. This would be covetousness. 1 Timothy 6:10 PickNT because the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil; in their greediness some have been led away from the faith and have impaled themselves on many distresses.
B3 Would the 10 Commandments be a guide to 10 roots of evil? I don’t know.
B4 Pride is not listed.
B5 Pride is disapproved by God.
C1 Proverbs 8:13 NLT All who fear the LORD will hate evil. Therefore, I hate pride and arrogance, corruption and perverse speech.
C2 Meekness is approved by God. Meekness is best defined by stating the opposite (the antonym) arrogance.
B6 Sin appears to come from 3 sources: 1 John 2:16 NIV For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.
C1 Sinful desires of the flesh: Galatians 5:19-20 NLT When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division,
C2 Sinful desires of the eyes. Much is said about the eyes. Consider this one verse: 2 Peter 2:14 NET Their eyes, full of adultery, never stop sinning; they entice unstable people. They have trained their hearts for greed, these cursed children!
C3 Sinful pride of life: Luke 8:14 NLT The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity.
C4 There is God’s worldview and lifestyle (labeled as “spirit”) and the opposite (labeled as “world”).
D1 John 1:12-13 NLT But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. 13 They are reborn–not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.
D2 John 8:44 NLT For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.
C5 Matthew 15:18-20 NKJV But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. 20 These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”
The rooting out of sin
B1 By God, the perfect physician, who works on the sin nature that every human has (except the Lord Jesus who never sinned).
B2 Is the work of the Holy Spirit. It is called sanctification. Sanctification is a separation from what is evil (as defined by any other standard) to what is holy (as defined by God’s standard).
C1 Proverbs 20:27 NLT The LORD’s light penetrates the human spirit, exposing every hidden motive.
C2 2 Corinthians 3:18 NLT So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
C3 2 Thessalonians 2:13 CSB But we ought to thank God always for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God has chosen you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth.
B3 Is God’s will for us. He wants us to be sanctified: 2 Thessalonians 2:13 CSB But we ought to thank God always for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God has chosen you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth.
B4 By giving our body, soul, and spirit to God and His ways: Romans 6:19 LEB (I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh.) For just as you presented your members as slaves to immorality and lawlessness, leading to lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, leading to sanctification.
B5 Romans 6:22 CSB But now, since you have been set free from sin and have become enslaved to God, you have your fruit, which results in sanctification—and the outcome is eternal life!
B6 We cannot be sinless in this life. God’s people are to be blameless. 1 Corinthians 1:8 NET He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Christian life
B1 We are justified, this is a complete sanctification. We have a new heart (core of our being), a new creation, this new heart is indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
B2 We are being sanctified, this is progressive sanctification. God works, chastens, leads, etc. us through life to be more Christlike is our desires, thoughts, words, and deeds. 2 Peter 3:18 NET But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the honor both now and on that eternal day.
B3 We will be glorified, this also is a complete sanctification. This happens for most Christians when we die and go to be with the Lord. Some Christians will be alive at the Rapture and will ascend to the Lord to never sin again.
B1 It can’t be done
B2 Ecclesiastes 7:16 ESV Be not overly righteous, and do not make yourself too wise. Why should you destroy yourself?
C1 John Wesley writes on this verse: Be not – This verse and the next have a manifest reference to Ecc 7:15, being two inferences drawn from the two clauses of the observation. Solomon here speaks in the person of an ungodly man, who takes occasion to dissuade men from righteousness, because of the danger which attends it. Therefore, saith he, take heed of strictness, zeal, and forwardness in religion. And the next verse contains an antidote to this suggestion; yea, rather saith he, be not wicked or foolish overmuch; for that will not preserve thee, as thou mayest imagine, but will occasion and hasten thy ruin.
C2 Adam Clarke: In other words, and in modern language, “There is no need of all this watching, fasting, praying, self-denial, etc., you carry things to extremes. Why should you wish to be reputed singular and precise?”
C3 It seems best to understand this passage as teaching to avoid extremes. People cannot be sinless in this life. As others have written, we are not to be like Pharisees who were overstrict in following ceremonial law and neglecting moral law.
D1 Proverbs 25:16 BSB If you find honey, eat just what you need, lest you have too much and vomit it up.
D2 Matthew 9:14 NRSV Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?“
D3 Romans 10:3 NRSV For, being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own, they have not submitted to God’s righteousness.
C4 We are NOT to rely on our own efforts to righteousness and lose sight of God’s grace.
B3 God’s grace is greater than ourselves.
C1 2 Corinthians 12:8-9 NRSV Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, 9 but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
C2 Hebrews 4:15 GNB Our High Priest is not one who cannot feel sympathy for our weaknesses. On the contrary, we have a High Priest who was tempted in every way that we are, but did not sin.
Titus 2:11-14 NLT For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. 12 And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, 13 while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. 14 He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.
Rejoice in God’s forgiveness, mercy, and grace.
Rest in His love for us.
Remain in His promises.
A Few Thoughts About Subconscious Sin—Part 1
A Few Thoughts About Subconscious Sin—Part 2
Sin, subconscious sin, unconscious sin, cause of sin, sinless confidence and boasting, sanctification, self-made righteousness, joy of forgiveness