…the following question:
What are the Christians’ deterrent from sin?
The Holy Spirit is the Christian’s deterrent from sin. While there is debate as to the precise point at which this happens, the Holy Spirit is given to the believer and begins a “new creation” in him. This new creation is a process which is completed at the return of Jesus or the resurrection, whichever comes first. Throughout this process, the “old man” is “put to death” while the “new man” grows in life. The new man loses his desire for sin. It no longer appeals to him. Yet, he sins because he is not yet fully a “new creation”. When he sins, he is sorrowful and repents. God graciously forgives him and the relationship remains firm. As the Christian grows, a deterrent in the form of external punishment isn’t necessary. The threat of Hell or of any other punishment is motivational in direct proportion to the maturity of the Christian. The more immature the Christian, the less he understands the love of God and the more easily motivated by fear of punishment he is. Conversely, the more mature the Christian, the more he understands the love of God and the more he values the relationship with God, so that he flees from sin.
Remember, the Christian knows that God did not make man sinful, therefore the sinful state must be reversed for mankind to be what God originally intended. This is only possible through a new creation, which (like the first creation) involves the Spirit of God.