Some one hit my blog the other day using using the title of this blog as their search. People want to know if Christians can still sin. And I believe this is something that needs to be addressed … and so, I will do my best here.
Before I go another step, the picture to the left is apparently real. Therefore, this lady must really believe she doesn’t sin. I THINK SHE’S WAY WRONG!
YES … Christians can still sin! The best thing I can do to support this is to take you to the scriptures.
Romans 7:14 – 25 (NLT)
So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.
This scripture alone should answer the question. Paul – the greatest missionary to ever live (in my opinion) – struggled with sin … AS A CHRISTIAN!
But then … we read scriptures like this one:
1 John 3:4 – 6 (NLT)
Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God. And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, and there is no sin in him. Anyone who continues to live in him will not sin. But anyone who keeps on sinning does not know him or understand who he is.
While we never want to ignore any scripture – even if we don’t fully understand it or it seems to contradict other scriptures – this one seems to stump a lot of Christians. Here is what I have learned over the years from other teachers and readings.
Check out what this excerpt from Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary says about 1 John 3:4 – 6:
Christ, shows an interest by faith in his obedience and sufferings. But a man cannot act like the devil, and at the same time be a disciple of Christ Jesus. Let us not serve or indulge what the Son of God came to destroy. To be born of God is to be inwardly renewed by the power of the Spirit of God. Renewing grace is an abiding principle. Religion is not an art, a matter of dexterity and skill, but a new nature. And the regenerate person cannot sin as he did before he was born of God, and as others do who are not born again. There is that light in his mind, which shows him the evil and malignity of sin. There is that bias upon his heart, which disposes him to loathe and hate sin. There is the spiritual principle that opposes sinful acts. And there is repentance for sin, if committed. It goes against him to sin with forethought.
While it is true that we should always strive to live without sin, it will just not happen. However, this scripture does tell us that we can make evaluations about a person’s spiritual life based upon their daily life. Are they are person who sins without any apparent remorse or guilt? Or are they a person who struggle with the sins they commit? This can tell us a lot about a person. Please note: this is not to be used as a tool for bringing down the hammer of judgment … but rather, as a tool to make us aware of a person’s spiritual condition so that we can be ready to present the Gospel when the time presents itself. That’s another blog on its own. ;-)
As I close this blog (I’m sure a lot more can be written about this subject), I would like to point out an earlier scripture in 1 John.
1 John 1:9 (NLT)
But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
The same author who gave us 1 John 1:9 is the same author who gave us 1 John 3:4 – 6. So, if he’s giving us a way to deal with our sins – GIVING CHRISTIANS A WAY – then we have to know that 1 John 3:4 – 6 is NOT saying that we will never sin again. Instead, it tells us that we will leave the life of sin.
Unfortunately, until Christ returns, sin will always be a struggle that Christians have to deal with. Fortunately, we don’t have to do it alone. Just read the Romans passage above again.
Go with God,