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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Does the Bible really say that? Excerpt from my book, 36

A person who is saved is not a habitual sinner.

What is sin?

Note: To some people, sin is anything short of perfection – to them, honest mistakes, and memory lapses, are sin. However, I am using a more restrictive definition, as found in the Free Dictionary:
1. A transgression of a religious or moral law, especially when deliberate.
2. Theology
a. Deliberate disobedience to the known will of God. b. A condition of estrangement from God resulting from such disobedience.

Newly saved people don’t instantly become mature Christians. The Holy Spirit works to develop us. (Psalm 86:11a “Teach me your way, Yahweh.”) By the definition of sin given above, a new, undeveloped Christian who doesn’t know that behavior X is required of believers is not a sinner because of this, unless she becomes aware that such behavior is a requirement, and deliberately decides not to do X, whatever X might be.

There are sins of omission – things that we should do, but don’t – as well as sins of commission. See James 4:17 and Matthew 25:40-45.

Here is some scripture about the possibility of deliberate sin in the life of the believer:
1 John 2:1 My little children, I write these things to you so that you may not sin. If anyone sins, we have a Counselor with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous. 2 And he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the whole world.

1 John 3:3 Everyone who has this hope set on him purifies himself, even as he is pure. 4 Everyone who sins also commits lawlessness. Sin is lawlessness. 5 You know that he was revealed to take away our sins, and in him is no sin. 6 Whoever remains in him doesn’t sin. Whoever sins hasn’t seen him and doesn’t know him.
7 Little children, let no one lead you astray. He who does righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. 8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. To this end the Son of God was revealed: that he might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whoever is born of God doesn’t commit sin, because his seed remains in him; and he can’t sin, because he is born of God. 10 In this the children of God are revealed, and the children of the devil. Whoever doesn’t do righteousness is not of God, neither is he who doesn’t love his brother.

John doesn’t seem to really mean that a believer never sins, which he seems to have said in 3:9, because, in 1 John 2:1, and also in 1 John 1:9, he indicates that there can be forgiveness for a believer who does sin. But we aren’t supposed to sin, and one aspect of that is that we are to “do righteousness.” (3:10) Not doing righteousness is a sin of omission.

Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 May it never be! We who died to sin, how could we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him through baptism to death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we will also be part of his resurrection; 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be in bondage to sin. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. 8 But if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him; 9 knowing that Christ, being raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no more has dominion over him! 10 For the death that he died, he died to sin one time; but the life that he lives, he lives to God. 11 Thus consider yourselves also to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 Therefore don’t let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 Also, do not present your members to sin as instruments of unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God, as alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin will not have dominion over you. For you are not under law, but under grace. 15 What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under law, but under grace? May it never be!

The passages above strongly discourage sin in the life of a believer. However, should that occur, there is a remedy. That remedy is repentance – being truly sorry for our sin, asking forgiveness, and asking God to help us avoid sin in the future.

The above material is an excerpt from my self-published e-book, Does the Bible Really Say That?, which may be obtained free of charge, or purchased from Amazon for $0.99, which is the lowest price Amazon lets an author set. Scripture quotations are from the World English Bible, which is in the public domain.

The previous post in this series, which began this topic, is here. God willing, the next post in this series will continue the topic of this post. Thanks for reading.

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