So many people determine “sin” according their personal choice. By this I mean, some people will accept the fact that anything (word, thought or deed – emanating from the mind, eyes, ears, nose, mouth and touch) could cause rebellion and disobedience to God. Others again would limited rebellion and disobedience to their choice of lifestyle … meaning they will lessen the gravity of sin or water sin down to only the “big” sins as actual sin. This latter position could well reject the Bible completely or be extremely selective in what sections of the Bible to them would be the Word of God. I would like us to look at what the Bible has to say about sin.
1) There are those who reject that they sin! They are bold and even adamant they have no sin. This might be declared by both the non-believer and the believer. One would understand when the non-believer says they don’t sin because until the Spirit convicts, few believe they sin … after all, what is sin if there is no faith in the God of the Bible? But there are believers who say they have reached a place in their spiritual life where they do not sin! Some would say they had a second experience … one after being born again and this experience brings them into a state of sinlessness. Once they have the so called second experience or second blessing, they don’t sin anymore. Yet in God’s Word we read there will be people like this:
1Jn 1:8 If we claim to be without sin …
People will claim sinlessness … yet the Bible tells us there was only one man … the Godman who was without sin. Sin is transferred from the father to the child in procreation. Jesus did not have a human father. The Spirit miraculously caused the virgin Mary’s pregnancy … no human father so not transfer of “original sin” passed down from Adam to the race. Remember Jesus’ Words to those wanting to stone the lady caught in adultery?
Joh 8:7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”
All are sinners! Yet, referring to Jesus we read:
Heb 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.
2) Those who reject that they sin are deceived! As a young Christian I prayed with a man who believed he had achieved the sinless state. He rebuked me because in prayer I asked God to forgive “us” of “our” sin. He said if I wanted to pray like that for myself it was okay but I needed to exclude him because he no longer sinned. What false doctrine. The man was deceived. You see, God’s Word is very clear about this matter … it says:
1Jn 1:8 … we deceive ourselves …
This illustrates the importance of knowing the Word of God. That man was in his 80’s and he was deceived. At that age he ought to have known he was a sinner if he was born again. Having a good understanding of the Bible will help you to avoid false teaching and heresy. There will come a time when Christians will be sinless … but that time is after death when in glory … the Home of Righteousness!
3) Those who reject they sin are without the Truth. Many people label us as fundamentalists or Bible fanatics because as evangelicals we believe the Bible to be God’s out breathed Word, fully inspired, without error, without contradiction, fully authoritative and God’s only way for Christians to live by! Be that as it may … as stated above, unless a person is convicted of sin by the Holy Spirit which leads to salvation, no one can believe because until that moment a person is void of Divine Truth.
1Jn 1:8 … and the truth is not in us.
You need to see this Truth in two ways. (a) The Holy Spirit is God. Having the Spirit indwelling you means you have the Truth and (b) He is the Spirit of Truth. Jesus said:
Joh 17:17 “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. Scripture is Truth.”
It’s not knowing what the Bible says … It’s having the author of the Bible living within the heart so that as you use the Bible He teaches you Truth in the inner man. That is when the Truth is in you. The person who rejects they sin and is deceived about their so-called “sinless” state does not have Divine Truth within.
Tomorrow we will look at what to do about this, but for today we need to understand sin is real, present and active in the life of all people, Christian and non-Christian alike. It is that single aspect of our existent that makes a person an enemy of God because there is absolutely nothing any person can do to deal with sin. Sin is enmity … enmity means to be in opposition or to war against … and in the human’s case it is warring against God. People without God are lost sinners, those knowing Jesus are saved sinners. All have sinned and all still sin. The difference between the two is Jesus! Through active, believing faith in Him and His sacrificial, substitutionary death, we are not just forgiven, we receive peace with God. For all in Christ there is no condemnation because Jesus became sin for us. He paid the sin price. He suffered in our place. He was punished for us. Wrath due to us was levelled against Him. So even though the believer sins (we will deal with this more tomorrow), Jesus stands between the believing sinner and God the Father. In this way, the Father does not see our continual sin … He sees Jesus’ righteousness. Our sin is blocked off from the Father’s vision. In this way Jesus becomes our righteousness!
Dear God, thank You for Your Spirit who has convicted us of sin leading to us turning to Jesus for salvation. Thank You for the Lord Jesus who paid our sin price to set us free and is our righteousness and that there is now no condemnation for us in Christ Jesus. Help us to sin less and focus on holiness, for Jesus sake. Amen.