Confronting the Sins in Your Family Line

You can inherit many of your sin struggles from your family.
You can inherit many of your sin struggles from your family. (Flickr )

There are very few in Christianity who disagree with the fact that we are born with what is referred to as a "sin nature." Yet, many fail to recognize this is not only just a generalized sin nature at work.

We must understand that many sin battles in our lives we have inherited. Some of the biggest battles you face in your life have been in your family tree for hundreds it not thousands of years.

Some of our sin issues come as a result of our own journey in coming into agreement with the enemy, yet most of our deepest struggles are inherited ones.

We are actually born with certain sin battles that have been undefeated in our family tree. Generational sin is not some generic sin floating in the sky. These specific sin struggles are waiting for the opportunity to repeat in us what has already been in our biological past. These inherited sins are the work of iniquity.

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Iniquity can be defined as the sins in our family line that have not been defeated. Because of inherited sin, not only are we born with a seed of sin, but we inherit the unconquered sins of the family.

Iniquity in David's Life

This is what David realized in Psalms when he came to repentance over the sin of adultery with Bathsheba. He said in Psalm 51:5, "I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me."

Iniquity can be defined as the sins in our family line that have not been defeated. He not only addresses the fact that he was born with sin, he was also born with iniquity, inherited sin. David realized that he had a generationally inherited lust issue that was passed down from his father. This lust was given more fuel through the rejection of his father. Unbridled sexual lust increased exponentially in David's son Solomon, who had 700 wives and 300 concubines! Clearly we see here how inherited sin has a compounding work.

Lying in Abraham's Family Line

In the Scriptures, Abraham had a lying problem. Because of his battle with a spirit of fear, it gave way to a lying spirit. This drove him to lie to King Abimelech, saying that Sarah was his sister, not his wife. Abraham's son Isaac years later ended up doing the same thing in the same situation. Isaac's son Jacob also delivered a bold-faced lie to his aging father, by deceiving him into thinking Jacob was actually his brother, Esau. This was all done to steal his brother's blessing. Even Jacob's name means deceiver!

So did Abraham take his sons and grandsons to lying classes each week? Did he sign them up for "How to Lie About Your Wife and Lie to Your Family?" This was ingrained in their spiritual DNA.

What Is Visiting Our Families?

Iniquity is what Jehovah spoke of to Israel in delivering the commandments of God. In Exodus 20:5-6, He said, "For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of them who hate Me, and showing lovingkindness to thousands of them who love Me and keep My commandments." The word "visiting" shows us that the same temptations and struggles will approach the next generation to repeat it. They will track down the inherited line.

If you notice, the sins traveled mainly through the fathers, because they represent the seed. This is why Jesus was born of a virgin. If He had been born through the natural seed of man, he would have been born with iniquity. Jesus could not be born with iniquity if He was to be the sinless Lamb who would take away the sins of the world; another proof of the inherited work of iniquity.

We love the idea of receiving an inheritance of blessing from God through our family history, but we despise the notion of receiving the iniquity of our family lines. We can either ignore the issue, blame our families for our problems or we can take a stand for our generation and the generations to come.

Nehemiah's Response

I love the heart of Nehemiah. He watched what the sins of his family did to his nation and his own personal life. If we would carry this same heart as Nehemiah, we would not only see our lives healed, but the land transformed too. Instead of whining or complaining, he had a prayer fest with God; addressing not only his own sin battles, but the ones he inherited that were still affecting the land. If we would carry this same heart, we would not only see our lives healed, but the land transformed.

"Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting and sackcloth, and there was dirt on them. The offspring of Israel separated themselves from all the foreigners and then stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers" (Neh. 9:1-2).

Daniel's Response

Daniel took the same approach in his time. He did not go into blame or accusation; he simply recognized how the agreement of his generation and past generations had affected his nation. His response was personal humility and repentance, for the sins of his own life and those of his generations.

Confusion Over Generational Sin

Many Christians believe that when they received salvation, all the inherited battles in their life were broken. We say this, but it does not prove true in the whole view of Scripture or in real life application. I have watched Christians of just about every background repeat the same exact sin battles of their parents, often at the same time their parents did. Most would say it is because they learned these sins from their parents. That is a contributing factor, but not the main reason. I have even observed this in children that did not live with their parents. Adopted children will repeat the exact sin issues of the parents, without ever being raised by them. It is an inherited struggle that must be faced and torn down.

Let's be honest. The battles of mom and dad that they could not or would not overcome are taking us on for size. The inherited iniquity will often manifest at a time in the person's life when it can do the most damage, to the person and to those around them. Everyone could make their parents turn red, white and blue in the face because of the sin battles they struggled with. Why? Because you struggle with the same ones! No one was taught all these temptations by a human being, but by an invisible kingdom that worked in the generations. This is the work of iniquity.

Editor's note: This is the first of a two-part series. Stay tuned for part 2 Friday.

Mark DeJesus has been equipping people in a full time capacity since 1995, serving in various roles, including, teaching people of all ages, communicating through music, authoring books, leading and mentoring. Mark's deepest love is his family; his wife Melissa, son Maximus and daughter Abigail. Mark is a teacher, author and mentor who uses many communication mediums, including the written word, a weekly radio podcast show and videos. His deepest call involves equipping people to live as overcomers. Through understanding inside out transformation, Mark's message involves getting to the root of issues that contribute to the breakdown of our relationships, our health and our day to day peace. He is passionately reaching his world with a transforming message of love, healing and freedom. Out of their own personal renewal, Mark and Melissa founded Turning Hearts Ministries, a ministry dedicated to inside out transformation. Mark also founded Transformed You, a communication platform for Mark's teachings, writing and broadcasts that are designed to encourage people in their journey of transformation. 

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