Generational sin can be a foothold for sex addiction and other forms of spiritual bondage. The Bible tells us that curses from one generation’s sin can be passed down to subsequent generations. The results of these curses may appear in different ways, including character flaws, illnesses, financial difficulties, addictions, sexual problems, emotional problems and demonic oppression. If you suffer from one or more of these problems, you may want to investigate the possibility that generational sin could be a factor.

Origin of generational curses: God is perfect in justice (Deuteronomy 32:4). One of the aspects of God’s perfect justice involves retribution (repayment) of sin upon the guilty and their descendants. The Bible’s descriptions of God often mention this generational affect of sin. Consider these examples:

“For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me” Exodus 20:5

And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.” Exodus 34:6-7

The LORD is longsuffering and abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He by no means clears the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation.’ Numbers 14:18

So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of the sin of your forefathers! “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town.

And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Matthew 23:31-35

Other examples: Jeremiah 2:5-9, Jeremiah 32:17-18, Deuteronomy 5:9-10, Malachi 2:1-4

Sins causing generational curses: Any sin can potentially cause a generational curse, but some stand out in particular:

  • Sexual sin (2 Samuel 12:9-14)
  • Murder (2 Samuel 12:9-14)
  • Theft (Zechariah 5:3-4, Habakkuk 2:9)
  • Lying (Zechariah 5:3-4, 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12)
  • Idolatry (Exodus 20:3-6, Ezekiel 14:6-8)
  • Hating God (Psalm 21:8-10)

The scriptures tell us that Jesus redeemed us from the “curse of the law” (Galatians 3:10-14), so that we may partake of the blessing on Abraham and his descendants (through faith in Christ). Even so, it seems that faith in Christ does not always automatically release a person from the effects of generational curses. When we look to the scriptures for an answer to this problem, we can see several instances where people confessed and repented from sins of their ancestry. Here are some examples:

  • King Asa repented from his father’s sin by destroying the idols in the land and serving the Lord (1 Kings 15:11-14).
  • King Josiah humbled himself and mourned his forefathers’ sin before the Lord. God spared him of the disaster He was bringing on Judah because of the earlier generations’ sin (2 Kings 22:11,13,19-20).
  • Nehemiah confessed fathers’ and Israel’s sin (Nehemiah 1:5-7)
  • Ezra confessed forefathers’ sin (Ezra 9:5-15; 10:1)
  • The Israelites with Nehemiah confessed their fathers’ sin (Nehemiah 9:1-37)
  • Daniel confessed forefathers’ sin (Daniel 9:4-19)

Using scripture’s precedent, we can take our place in Christ and confess our ancestors’ sins. We can then receive God’s forgiveness and healing from the effects of any generational curses that may have been over us.

To get started with this, you can prepare a family tree noting all known sin issues in your family. Once those sins have been identified, confess them to God and pray for healing and release of any generational curses.

Sexual abuse & generational sin: Sexual abuse is all too common among families of sex addicts. Sexual abuse can provide an entry point for oppression from evil spirits, emotional trauma and sexual perversion. If you are a victim of sexual abuse or are committing it, we strongly recommend that you seek healing prayer and Christian counseling as you proceed in your journey to freedom from sex addiction.

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