How do I know whether something is sinful?
This question is regularly being asked by our young people. Is it sin? / whether we are speaking of dancing, smoking, drinking, horseracing, gambling or something else. The answer is to test each of those things against the principles of the Word of God, so that we can know.
Before we come to the tests of the Bible, first of all you have to answer a few important questions:
1. Are you already a true child of God? If not, you don't have to read further. Everything that you do, even your "best actions are filthy through and through" before God (Isaiah 64:6). And the holiest life does not count before God if you haven't received Jesus Christ first of all (1 John 5:10-12).
2. Are you willing to be obedient? If you are not willing to be convinced by God / you do not need to read any further. But if you are willing to do the will of God,
please read on (John 7:17).
3. Is this matter mentioned in the Bible? If the Bible clearly talks about this matter (e.g. 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Ex. 20:1-17) it is not necessary to use the following ten tests. Then we know already whether it is right or wrong.
Are you still doubtful? Let us see what God says in the Bible. Everything that we do should pass the following ten tests. Anything that does not pass all the tests, should not be in the life of a Christian. Do not do it. There are
better things to do.
Ten Tests Whereby a Christian Can Know: "May I Do It Or Not?"
1. Do I wish to do it to God's glory? "Well, whatever you do, whether you eat or drink, do it all for God's glory"
(1 Cor. 10:31; also see Col. 3:23).
2. Is it a hindrance in my spiritual life? "So then, let us rid ourselves of everything that gets in the way, and of the sin which holds on to us so tightly, and let us run
with determination the race that lies before us" (Hebrew 12:1; also read Matt. 18:89).
3. Does this lead to sin? "But now I tell you: anyone who looks at a woman and wants to possess her is guilty of committing adultery with her in his heart" (Matt.5:28; also see Romans 13:14).
4. In whose company will I do this thing? "Do not be fooled. Bad companions ruin good character." (1 Cor. 15:33; also see Psalm 1:12).
5. Do I lead others into temptation
by doing this thing? "So then, if food makes my brother sin, I will never eat meat again, so as not to make my brother fall into sin." (1 Cor. 8:13).
6. Does it help me to win others to Christ? "While working with the Jews, I live like a Jew in order to win them ... So I become all things to all men, that I may save some of them by whatever means are possible" (1 Cor. 9:20-27).
7. Am I sure that this thing is not sin? "Anything that is not based on faith is sin." (Romans 14:23).
8. What is the end result of doing this thing? "A tree is known by the kind of fruit it bears" (Matt. 12:33; also see James 3:10-12; 2 Cor. 6:17).
9. What would Jesus have done in my place? "Be obedient to God, and do not allow your lives to be shaped by those desires you had when you were still ignorant. Instead, be holy in all that you do, just
as God who called you is holy.
The Scripture says: Be holy because I am holy" (1 Peter 1:14-16).
10. Do I help a weaker brother by doing this thing? "We who are strong in the faith ought to help the weak to carry their burdens. We should not please ourselves." (Romans 15:1).