A what point does sin take root in a person? Examples: I get cut off in traffic and immediately I get upset but refuse to think negative about the other driver. Or I see a very pretty girl and think about my carnal days and what I would do then but stop and refuse to go any further. Or I see a beer commercial and again think about the old days and getting buzzed but stop and turn the channel. These things come at me all day long and honestly as the day wears on and I get tired I have a tendency to think a little more but again I stop. Do I need to repent as soon as the thought crosses my mind?
I believe Matt. 5:28 and James 1:14-15 tell us that as soon as we detect in ourselves a desire to commit what ever sin we’re being confronted by, we’ve begun sinning, even though we have no intention of following through. The desire itself is a sin.
But to repent means to change our mind. If we already know something is a sin we’ve already repented, because there was a time when we didn’t think of it that way. In that case, all that’s left to do is confess and be forgiven (1 John 1:9).
By the way, it’s not a sin to have a beer. It’s a sin to habitually drink to excess. The only people who shouldn’t have the first beer are the people who can’t stop until they’re drunk.