Monday, July 15, 2013

Can Christians sin?

God is a God of EXTREME Grace and Mercy and Love. None of us can even fathom His Love for us. The Bible is full of stories of His love and mercy. Some people say that the God of the Old Testament seems so different from the God of the New Testament. They say He is all fire and brimstone  whereas Jesus is all about mercy and forgiveness, but I find that the more I read the Old Testament the more I truly see the love of God. Especially His incredible patience and faithfulness.  The reason I bring this up is that if you're a believer, it's possible you might be of balance on an understanding of God's grace. I think all of us are at one time or another in our walk with God. Here's two out of balance camps I've discovered.

Camp1:  You see God as a harsh judge and therefore you try so hard everyday not to commit any sin, lest He cast you from eternity forever. You are always judging yourself for every little infraction and coming to God for forgiveness over and over. You live in fear and you see your Christian life as a constant struggle to obey.

Camp2:  You love the idea of grace and forgiveness, and you enjoy the freedom you have in Christ. Therefore you don't worry too much about sinning. In fact, you often find yourself doing the same old sins you've always committed. Why not? You enjoy them!  You know that when you mess up, all you need to do is ask for forgiveness and voila! God comes through.

I used to have a Catholic friend who lived in constant fear of ending up in hell. Every week while he drove to confession, he was terrified he'd get into an accident and die before he could have his sins confessed and forgiven. You may chuckle at this, but I've met Christians who fear almost the same thing. "What if I tell a lie and I have a heart attack before I have a chance to ask God's forgiveness?"  These type of believers are the ones begging God to forgive them every second of the day.  Can you imagine how taxing that would be for the Father?   Can you imagine if your child followed you around all day and kept begging you to forgive them over and over? I'd stop them, grab a hold of their shoulders and tell them how much I love them, that they are already forgiven, and just to keep moving forward and learning. Do you think God does any less??

You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins.  He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. Colossians 2:13-14

God has already PAST TENSE forgiven us of ALL our sins.  When we confess our sins to Him, all we are doing is appropriating that forgiveness He has already provided, in faith.  We will all sin. I don't think there's a day that goes by that I don't sin: think unkindly of someone, complain, criticize,
feel jealousy.. etc.  Yet instead of beating myself up about it, I just say "Father, I'm sorry. Renew my mind and make me more like You."  Then I tell the Devil to beat it. I'm a new creature in Christ and there is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. And the guilt leaves!  The truth of the matter is, we will all sin, but if we are growing in Christ, we will sin less and less as the years go by!!  

But what about those in the "It's all about Grace" camp, Camp2?   If God has already paid for ALL our sins, then surely they have it right! Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die and go to Heaven! Right?  Well..... not so fast.

Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. There is only the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies. For anyone who refused to obey the law of Moses was put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.  Just think how much worse the punishment will be for those who have trampled on the Son of God, and have treated the blood of the covenant, which made us holy, as if it were common and unholy, and have insulted and disdained the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to us.
Hebrews 10: 26-30

and Verse 31:  It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Isn't this a contradiction of what the Bible says in other places??

The verb sinning here is the present participle of a continuous action. Translation: If we go on sinning willfully. In other words, if every day you get up and continue to commit the same sins over and over, on purpose and knowing full well that you are sinning. then you're in dangerous waters. You are in essence spitting on the cross of Christ.

Of course there may be occasions when we will willfully sin. We are tempted. We get that nudge from the Holy Spirit, but we don't listen and we go ahead.   We mess up. We feel horrible, We come to God and repent. We don't want to ever do that again. Perhaps it's something like pornography or even gossiping. We hate it! We don't want to do it, yet we seem to keep falling into temptation. I would say that this is NOT what the writer of Hebrews is referring to. He is talking about someone who feels no remorse, who keeps on sinning and keeps on ignoring God's gentle nudges. This person may even repent and ask for forgiveness over and over, but in their heart they don't really want to change. They love the sin more than they love God.

Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. John 14:21
Camp3: The balance we all try to achieve:  All my sins, past, present, and future are forgiven once and for all when I  received the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.  I now can come boldly before the throne of Grace to receive mercy and strength. I have communion with God, the Father. When I sin,
whether willfully or in ignorance, I immediately confess, repent and appropriate the forgiveness already paid for me. I ask God to continue to change me and renew my mind and help me overcome the next temptation. As the years pass and I grow to know the Father more, my sins will become less and less until that glorious day when God brings me home and I will never sin again. !!!   Can't wait!

6 comments:

  1. July 15,
    "Morning, MaryLu."
    The answer to your "title-question" is an absolute "yes" .... we can !
    Great post today MaryLu (again) ... Amen, and, Amen to all that you shared. You hit the nail-on-the-head.
    I tend to be one of those who is harsher on my own self, feeling guilty when I 'yet again' sin (gossip, being judgmental, saying an unkind word, etc).
    Knowing and continually learning about God's -- grace, goodness, mercy, forgiveness and amazing love ... is truly humbling. What a Father we have !!!
    Thanks again for a wonderful post, MaryLu !
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda

    ReplyDelete
  2. Amen, MaryLu! It really is a combination of the two! Where you still confess and mourn your sin, but you also bask in the glory of mercy and forgiveness.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks Ladies! I think some believers really struggle with this.. I've seen people in both camps and seen how their views have caused them much pain. For me, it's so wonderful to realize that ALL my sins are already paid for and I need to just walk in the mercy and grace of the Father. Have a fabulous week!

    ReplyDelete
  4. THE APOSTLE PAUL, THE SIN EXCUSE?

    Christians who are opposed to practicing repentance need a proof-text to support their sinful lifestyle. They open the book of Romans, skip a few chapters until they supposedly find the reason they are still practicing the same sins they were before they became a believer in Jesus the Christ.

    THE PROF-TEXT OF UNREPENTANT CHRISTIANS

    Romans 7:14-17 For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into sin. 15 For what I am doing , I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. 17 So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin dwells in me.

    The apostle Paul was sold to sin when he was trying to keep the Laws of Moses not when he was living under the grace of God.

    As a Christian, Paul was not sold into sin. As a Christian, Paul could resist sinning. As a Christian, Paul was not living a sinful lifestyle and then proclaiming the devil made him do it.
    Paul was not continually fornicating, stealing, practicing idolatry, engaging in homosexual activity, getting drunk, swindling others, murdering on a regular basis, he was not a member of a non-Christian cult like the Masonic Lodge? He was not living a unrepentant sinful lifestyle?

    WHAT DID PAUL SAY ABOUT CHRISTIANS AND SIN?

    Romans 7:5-6 For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. 6 But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.

    Romans 6:1-2 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin live in it?

    The apostle Paul did not live a sinful lifestyle.

    Romans 6:3-7...baptized into Christ Jesus...6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7 for he who has died is freed from sin.

    The apostle Paul was freed from sin when he was baptized into Christ for the forgiveness of his sins. (Act 22:16 Now why do you delay?Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.)

    Romans 6:14 For sin shall not be master over you,for you are not under law but under grace.

    The apostle Paul could not resist sin while he was under the Law of Moses. That was what he was talking about in (Romans 7:14-17).

    Romans 6:15-16 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? May it never be! 16 Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?

    The apostle Paul could resist sin. The man named Saul had a sin problem; because he was living under the Law of Moses.


    Christians sin by choice, not because the devil made them do it. Is there a way out? Yes! (1 John 8-9 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.)

    THE QUESTION REMAINS; WHERE WILL THE UNREPENTANT CHRISTIANS SPEND ETERNITY?



    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY CHRISTIAN BLOG. Google search>>> steve finnell a christian view

    ReplyDelete