Dishonorable conduct always comes at a high cost. It could cost reputation, relationships, alimony, jail time, lost endorsements or contracts, jobs, and sanity. Just the weight of a man’s thoughts about what should have been and if it will ever be better can bury him.
Consider the men in Genesis 34: Jacob, Jacob’s sons, Shechem, Shechem’s father, and the men of Shechem. Every single one of them committed something foolish or outlandish or horrific that he would have to live with. Or, in the case of Shechem, his dad, and their people, they didn’t live with it very long. There is always a price to pay, and it can be steep.
What is really amazing is that any of these sort of men can be saved because a higher price has been paid. Jacob could not out-sin what Jesus did. Levi could not out-sin the work of the great High Priest. Simeon could not out-sin the substitutionary sacrifice of the Savior. Men are ransomed “with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot” (1 Peter 1:19).
Paul wrote to the Corinthians:
Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9–11)
Paul himself was a murderer, one who authorized the execution of Christians, but then he was washed. All of this shows that we are not saved because we have avoided certain sins. And even though not every temporal consequence is removed, Jesus died and rose again for the sake of our forgiveness, our fellowship, our cleansed consciences, our increasing sanctification, and our eternal life. This is good news worth celebrating, which we do together around His Table.