The Sin of Unbelief

Apr. 3, 2020 | By Creflo Dollar


Living life without the guidance of the Holy Spirit is extremely risky, because it leaves us open to the confusion that is widespread in today’s world. Not only does the Spirit bring us understanding when we let Him lead us, He also points out any pockets of unbelief we may have that hinder us in our Christian walk. Unbelief is the underlying root of every sin we commit; He shows us where we have issues, and He helps us to believe. Religion makes sin the central issue; however, Jesus dealt with sin on the cross. God has already forgiven us of all our sins—even the ones we have not yet committed. The real issue is a lack of belief in this. Choosing to have faith in the Holy Ghost, and letting Him get out in front of us, radically transforms us.

  1. The Holy Spirit convinces us to trust and depend on God. He leads us to the truth.
    1. Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come (John 16:7-13).
      1. We are living in a world filled with confusion; now is the time to learn to live according to the leading of the Holy Spirit. When He shows up, He brings clarity.
      2. The Spirit was not sent to convict us of our actions, but of our unbelief. A lack of trust in God’s Wordis behind all sin.
      3. Unbelief is the only sin Jesus’ blood did not take care of when He was on the cross. As free moral agents, we make our own decision about whether or not to believe.
      4. Trust and belief go hand-in-hand. The Holy Spirit convinces us to believe.
      5. Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths (Proverbs 3:5, 6).
    2. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me…By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins…For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified…Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin…Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water…For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?(Hebrews 10:5, 10, 11, 14, 18, 22, 26-29).
      1. Taking verse twenty-six out of context brings fear. We need to put it in context, and rightly divide the Word.
      2. All sin is willful; the unpardonable sin is unbelief that Jesus’ blood and body was the final sacrifice for sin.
      3. The law makes us sin-conscious; when we have a guilty conscience, we forget that sin has already been wiped away.
      4. If we still continue sinning after we get saved, it is either because we still have an issue of unbelief in some areas, or because we need to renew our minds.
  2. Through His Spirit, God will help us with any areas in which we struggle with unbelief.
    1. Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils. And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house. He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come (Matthew 12:22-32).
    2. Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
      1. People are not unrighteous because of their unrighteous deeds, but because they fail to receive the righteousness that comes from Jesus.
      2. Disbelief—not our actions—is what makes us unrighteous.
      3. Our transformation is due to the work of the Holy Spirit; we must believe this.
      4. Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent (John 6:29).
  3. Living by faith in Christ instead of by Mosaic Law frees us from negative behaviors.
    1. My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness. These two ways of life are antithetical, so that you cannot live at times one way and at times another way according to how you feel on any given day. Why don’t you choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic compulsions of a law-dominated existence? It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on. This isn’t the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God’s kingdom. But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely (Galatians 5:16-23, MSG).
      1. A life in the Holy Spirit distracts us from compulsions to be selfish.
      2. The Law of Moses produces sin when it dominatesour lives.
      3. What then was the purpose of the Law? It was added [later on, after the promise, to disclose and expose to men their guilt] because of transgressions and [to make men more conscious of the sinfulness] of sin… (Galatians 3:19, AMPC).
      4. It is our choice whether or not to let the Holy Spirit lead us.
    2. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you (Ephesians 4:29-32).
      1. Blasphemy and grieving the Holy Spirit are two different things. Unbelief is the issue with blasphemy; mistreating one another is what grieves the Holy Spirit.
      2. Negative emotions and evil speech block what the Spirit is trying to do in our lives.
      3. God’s will is for us to be blessed by the relationships we have with others. Bitterness, wrath, and anger impact the blessings that others were put in our lives to bring us.
      4. Forgiving ourselves, first, frees us to forgive others the way Christ forgave us.
      5. If we have an issue of unbelief in some area, we need to ask God for help in the same way the father of the demon-possessed boy asked Jesus for help.
      6. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief (Mark 9:24).
      7. We need to be transparent and honest in our requests to God for help. He is a very present help in in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1).

Scripture References

John 16:7-13

John 15:5

Proverbs 3:5, 6

Galatians 5:16-23, MSG

Matthew 12:22-32

Ephesians 4:29-32

1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Mark 9:24

John 6:29

Psalm 46:1

Galatians 5:18-24, NLT

For more on how unbelief itself is a sin, and how to change our minds and repent of it, click on the link  for the DVD, The Sin of Unbelief.

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