SINNING CHRISTIAN – NOT A PRETTY PICTURE, IS IT?
Readers, I received comments on my “guilt” subject yesterday.
Worth your time to go see. guilt
Can a born again Christian sin? Of course. In the same sense that Adam and Eve could sin. Adam and Eve were created perfectly without sin natures, but with a free will which was open to making sinful choices. However, John’s writings definitely indicate that a Christian should not sin. “Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither knows him” (1 John 3:6). Also, he says “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God” (v. 9). A common interpretation of these verses is that a Christian cannot walk in a pattern of habitual sin. John also says that we have an advocate to intercede for us if we sin (2:1).
Consider this. Committing sin does not make a Christian a sinner any more than a sinner doing good can make him a Christian. Sometimes sinners do good; sometimes Christian do bad. That is true in actions. However, the nature of a Christian is to do good and the nature of a sinner is to do evil. If one receives Christ into his life (he is reborn), he will begin to hate his sin; he will not be comfortable in his sin. If he settles down comfortably in his sin, it may be an indication that he is not reborn.
If one can be “wholly sanctified” is it possible for him to sin? Again, of course, in the same way that Adam and Eve sinned. Even Lucifer was created perfect, but he sinned.
Is it possible for a person not to sin? It must be possible because Jesus said, “Go and sin no more” (John 8:11). Further, 1 Peter 1:15-16 says, “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, ‘Be ye holy; for I am holy’.”
If the old man (sinful nature) is crucified and if as Paul says, we are dead to sin (Rom. 6), why do sanctified Christians have continued battles to “mortify the flesh” (Col. 3:5)?
I propose three answers.
“But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust…”, (Jam. 1:14). This is the same lust that was present in Lucifer, Adam, and Eve. God created them without sin but with a free will. They could choose to sin.
Second, we are fighting old habits and companions brought about by the sinful life lived before our rebirth. This is fairly obvious when you look at the advantages those have who gave their lives to God as children. They do not have to fight the addictions, mental and emotional conditions, bad habits, etc. that plague those who are saved after years in sin. This is a great advantage to those who “remember the Creator in the days of their youth.”
Last, we are tempted by the devil, as he tempted Eve. He tempted her from the outside in; that is, he offered something that pleased the eye, and she said “yes.”
We have no good reason to continue in sin even though we are humans in this world. Jesus purchased our victory for us if we cooperate and learn to say “No” to sinful temptations. We are tempted by our own lusts, by old habits and companions, or by the devil. Which of these can you not overcome with the help of Jesus?