Temporal Consequences of SinThe Problem: Many Christians deny sin's dual effect. They insist that Christ's death not only removes our guilt, but also removes the temporal consequences of sin, consequences which flow through creation, bringing evil.
The Truth: Christ's Passion, Death and Resurrection atones for the guilt of our sin, our co-operation with Satan, but the consequences of that cooperation, the consequences which bring evil into the world, can only be removed through our positive, active response to and cooperation with the grace of forgiveness brought to us through the Cross. God forgives us, but requires us to
mortify ourselves in imitation of His Son in acknowledgement.
2 Sam 12:13 David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the Lord." And Nathan said to David, "The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die.
2 Sam 24:10-13 But David's heart smote him after he had numbered the people. And David said to the Lord, "I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O Lord, I pray thee, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly." 11 And when David arose in the morning, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Gad, David's seer, saying, 12 "Go and say to David, 'Thus says the Lord, Three things I offer you; choose one of them, that I may do it to you." 13 So Gad came to David and told him, and said to him, "Shall three years of famine come to you in your land? Or will you flee three months before your foes while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days' pestilence in your land? Now consider, and decide what answer I shall return to him who sent me."...
David sinned by taking a census of the people when the Lord did not command him to do so. A census is only useful for two things: counting the people for war or for levying taxes. David intended to inflict one or both on the people, but repented of it.
The Lord forgives his sin, but requires restitution. After the plague sweeps the land, David repents even more greatly, and acts to stop the temporal consequence of the king's sin, which is calamity among his people.
2 Sam 24:22-25 Then Araunah said to David, "Let my lord the king take and offer up what seems good to him; here are the oxen for the burnt offering, and the threshing sledges and the yokes of the oxen for the wood. 23 All this, O king, Araunah gives to the king." And Araunah said to the king, "The Lord your God accept you." 24 But the king said to Araunah, "No, but I will buy it of you for a price; I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God which cost me nothing." So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. 25 And David built there an altar to the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the Lord heeded supplications for the land, and the plague was averted from Israel.
Deut 32:51-52 because you broke faith with me in the midst of the people of Israel at the waters of Meri-bath-kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin; because you did not revere me as holy in the midst of the people of Israel. 52 For you shall see the land before you; but you shall not go there, into the land which I give to the people of Israel."
1 Cor 5:3-5 For though absent in body I am present in spirit, and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment 4 in the name of the Lord Jesus on the man who has done such a thing. When you are assembled, and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5 you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
Dan 4:27 Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you; break off your sins by practicing righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed, that there may perhaps be a lengthening of your tranquillity."
We atone for our evil through our own fasting, prayer, alms-giving and suffering.