The Dangers of Presumptuous Sins


“Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.” Psalm 19:12-13

David, who was known as a man after God’s own heart, prayed this asking God to keep back His servant from presumptuous sins. What are presumptuous sins? While hidden faults or sins tend to sneak up on us, presumptuous sin is thought out, premeditated, and carefully planned. Presumptuous sin is purposeful in its defiance and rebellion. This type of sin springs forth from a corrupted heart; it’s an overflow of pride, arrogance, or lust. It flows from already evil thoughts and desires. The intent to sin is there, and the sin is deliberately carried out. We set our minds to commit presumptuous sin.

Sin is an offense to a holy God, no matter how you look at it. Even as believers, sin still lurks inside of us. We are all capable of falling into sin, and that sin contradicts what we know is true in God’s word. The danger of presumptuous sin is that it is more thought out–it’s a scheme we have willfully intended to do. We know what we are about to do is sin. The conscience warns us, the Holy Spirit convicts us, yet we still commit with absolute deliberation. In all actuality we are telling ourselves we know this sin is against God, but we are doing it anyway. It shows a carelessness for God’s word and His commands.

Presumptuous sin is very self-destructive. While every sin is traitorous to God, presumptuous sin is bold rebellion.

When we are convicted over something that happened once, we are quick to ask the Lord for forgiveness. For instance, I find myself on a phone call and the conversation quickly escalated and my mouth got the best of me and I lashed out and said something unkind. Once off the phone, I immediately asked the Lord to forgive me. I certainly didn’t intend that to happen when the conversation started, but it ended that way, and I knew the Lord was convicting me of it even before I hit end call on the cell phone.

The problem with presumptuous sin is that we often hold onto it. We don’t confess it. It can cause a breach between us and God. The longer we hold onto that sin, the more we continue deliberately committing that sin, the harder it is to yield and repent. We often think we can stop committing that particular sin before it gets worse than it already is.

Do we have control over our own sin? Do we have enough strength on our own to keep a sin from absolutely destroying us as we go down that slippery slope? When we are sinning presumptuously, we are already living in that moment like God either does not exist or does not see every bit we are committing. We are ruled by that sin if it’s something we continue deliberately doing.

Charles Spurgeon said the following regarding presumptuous sin:

“Presumptuous sins are just the chief of all sins; they rank head and foremost in the list of iniquities.”

”Oh, that God would keep back his servants here from presumptuous sins! And if any of us here have committed them, may he bring us back, to the praise of the glory of his grace.”

Under Levitical Law, atonement was provided for every sin except presumptuous sin. Numbers 15:30 says: “But the person who does anything with a high hand, whether he is native or a sojourner, reviles the Lord, and that person shall be cut off from among his people.”

The King James Version of this verse says: “But the soul that doeth ought presumptuously, whether he be born in the land, or a stranger, the same reproacheth the Lord; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people.”

I am thankful for the New Covenant. Atonement was made for all sin, including presumptuous sin. This certainly does not mean we are free to continue in sin of any kind, hidden or presumptuous. We need the Gospel daily. We are sinners and accept the reality that sin dwells in us. But the Gospel gives us the assurance that our sin is forgiven. Christ lived a perfect life, He died for us, and He was raised for our justification. For God to forgive us, it cost Him His only Son. From the moment we were justified, God now sees His Son when He looks upon us, those who are born again. But we still sin, and sin should grieve us when we commit it. We should be quick to repent and ask the Lord for forgiveness. We should pray God would preserve us by His grace that prevents us from falling into sin.

Let’s look at the sins we commit. Do we commit presumptuously? Pray God will keep us back, just like David prayed. Confess our sins.

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” James 5:16

Let’s not live according to the flesh: “For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Romans 8:13).

“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” Colossians 3:5

I believe the more we keep our hearts and minds on Christ, the less sin we see in our own lives. We will never be free from sin completely until the day we are with the Lord, but we should not willfully, deliberately, and presumptuously sin.

“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” Romans 6:1-2

Instead, let’s set our minds heavenward.

“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:2-3



Kelly Smith is one of our devotional writers and also a writer for Women’s Hope Project. Kelly is a wife, mother, and grandmother. She works full time as a virtual business manager. Her hobbies include writing and baking. Kelly has a passion for studying the Word of God, doctrine, theology, and sharing what she learns with women around her. Kelly lives in Florence, Alabama, with her husband of 15 years and her rescued fur babies!