Under the new covenant we sinners must now repent to Christ and accept him as our personal savior because he satisfied the judgment for all of us under the old law that would have condemned us. But did you know that without repentance and Christ’s gift of grace we’re responsible for the sin we commit BEFORE we sin?* It’s such a commonly known thing that it’s overlooked. For example:
Let’s say one day at work you contemplate taking a pen home from the office (I know it’s a pretty petty example but you get the idea) You’ve already violated God’s righteousness of the command “Thou Shall Not Steal.” It doesn’t matter if you don’t go through with it because you’ve still broken his holy righteousness. That sin alone without repenting and without God’s grace will condemn you! See how easy it is to go to Hell?
The best known example, from Christ himself, I think is an especially tough one for men in this sex charged culture we live in. It’s where he stated “I say unto you, that everyone who looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Matt. 5:28-29.
God knows that internal violations of his righteousness are a part of our daily lives; hence the need for sanctification. He knows internal sinful thoughts can lead to external sinful conduct. So, in the case of say homosexuals they violate God’s holy righteousness under “Thou Shalt Have No Other God’s Before Me” just by lusting for another. They haven’t even engaged in the sinful act yet, fornication, which is another sin. If the gay person never repents for having a sin of the heart alone that’s enough to condemn him under the old law. But straight people do it too!
In the case of a single male and female, both of the age of consent (that God will certainly know) who simply lust for each other they’re committing idolatry just like the homosexual. If one or both of them are married they’ve also mentally broken the righteous commandment of “Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery.” This is so no matter if the two of them never actually commit the act or not! If either of them dies without repenting of these sins they will be judged and condemned under the old law.
I hope you see that we’re so sin ridden that we do indeed sin before we sin. But we can always call on God’s Holy Spirit to help rid us of any sinful thought or steer us from a sinful act. He always provides a way.
Fruchtenbaum, Arnold G., Th.M., Ph.d., Yeshua, The Life of Messiah from a Messianic Jewish Perspective, Ariel Ministries, Vol. 2, pp. 295-300.
Stern, Daniel H., Jewish New Testament Commentary, Jewish New Testament Publications, Inc., 1992.