John the Baptist saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world” (John 1:29). How thankful we are that Christ did His part to take away our sins! Once one is a Christian, however, he finds he still must cope with sin in such a way as to be well pleasing unto God. Along that line David said, “Who can understand his errors? Cleanse thou me from secret faults” (Psa. 19: 12). When we think of the issue of secret sins, three things may come to mind.
1. There really are no secret sins. Before Jericho, Joshua told the people to keep themselves from the spoil which was devoted unto Jehovah (Josh. 6:18-19); but Achan saw among the spoils, “a goodly Babylonish mantle, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold” (Josh. 7: 21). He coveted them and hid them. Thus with sin in the camp the Israelites could not be victorious at the battle of Ai. Tribe by tribe, family by family, man by man came by, and the lot fell on Achan. He confessed his sins before he died. No, there are no secret sins, “and there is no creature that is not manifest in his sight; but all things are naked and laid open before the eyes of him with whom we have to do” (Heb. 4: 13). Though secret to men, they are not to God.
2. Secret sin will make us hypocrites. God sees our sin and will punish it, but what devout Christian really wants to be a hypocrite also? Why make two mistakes? When we see how vigorously Jesus condemned hypocrites (Matt. 23). who wants to be one? A man might say. “Oh, but I am not hurting anyone but myself!” Yet there is no license to sin. Christians are told to put away all “wickedness, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies” (1 Pet. 2: 1). The Lord “shall cut him asunder and appoint his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 24:51). Can any of us believe that hypocrites, with all their secret sins, will enter into Heaven?
3. Secret sin, as any sin, must be warred with. Christians must rough up any sin, showing no pity on the sin even when it and themselves are bloodied. The Holy Spirit said. “Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving with sin” (Heb. 4:12). Oh, we may rid ourselves of those sins which are noticeable, but what of those that are inward. Can there be less motivation to agonize with those? The word strive (Greek agonizomai) is from a word which means to agonize, to strain every nerve. Paul said he buffeted his body (1 Cor. 9: 27). The word hupopizo literally means to strike under the eye. Paul gave his body a black eye!
The Christian has no real choice concerning secret sins, when he considers that in God’s eyes there are none. There is no choice concerning secret sins, when Scripture calls one out of hypocrisy and into a grand and sacred warfare with such wickedness.