GO AND SIN NO MORE
IS IT POSSIBLE NOT TO SIN?
John 8:10-11 - When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
An often repeated command in the Bible is to "not commit sin", or in other words, "to live sinless". Yet preachers say that it is not possible to live without sin; if that is so, then why does God command us in His Word to not sin?
Romans 6:11-23 - Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The idea of a making a mistake, or committing a sin, is actually the exception and is not the standard way of Christ-like (Christian) living. If ever we do sin, then we are to immediately recognize our error, repent and ask forgiveness.
1 John 2:1 - My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
The Bible is very clear that once coming to the knowledge of Christ, to His full salvation and entering into a new life, that we are to live that new life without committing sins.
2 Corinthians 5:17 - Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
1 John 2:6 - He that saith he abideth in him (Christ) ought himself also so to walk, even as he (Christ) walked.
1 John 5:18 - We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.
Titus 2:12 - Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
Since we are to walk in righteousness, (not sinfulness), we need to know just what sin is?
1 John 3:4 - Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
Sin is transgression of God's laws, breaking commands, missing the mark of godly living; falling short of living life in righteousness and right doing; not measuring up to God's standards, (Jesus is that standard); unrighteousness or not in right standing; disobedience.
1 John 5:17 - All unrighteousness is sin...
There are two categories of sin. First is the sin of commission, that which you have done that you should not have done. This we all recognize as doing something wrong or unlawful. Second is the sin of omission, or that which you should have done but did not do.
Matthew 23:23 - Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
James 4:17 - Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
Both categories of sin comprise disobedience to the standard of right behavior.
Ephesians 2:1-5 - And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
Ephesians 5:6 - Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
Colossians 3:5-6 - Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:
Hebrews 2:1-3 - Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;
How does sin happen and what is the cause and the process by which it occurs? Sin is the result of being tempted by something, then yielding to or fulfilling the desire that is being tempted.
James 1:14-15 - But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
Please note that the temptation is not the sin. Temptation is the appeal to the base nature of mankind that must be guarded and controlled - that base nature is called lust. It is our human lust that is appealed to by a temptation. Therefore it is necessary to know what is lust.
1 John 2:15 -16 - Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
At the point in which you are tempted is the point in which you make a decision to either reject the temptation or to fulfill it. Sin is actually a choice! You choose to either do or not to do an act; to either obey or disobey God's standard of righteousness.
Traditional doctrine and teaching that you are only a sinner, and remain a sinner after your sins have been forgiven and washed away, is an absolute error. This teaching means that nothing has changed - this defies the new life in Christ that every true believer receives upon salvation. That changed life is what baptism in water symbolizes - your old life (old flesh nature) is dead, buried and then you rise up into a new life and way of living.
Romans 6:3-5 - Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
The doctrine of "only a sinner" does not encourage obedience and moving on to maturity in the Lord. That doctrine implies that you will continue to sin in this life and thus makes allowances for your sinning. It actually encourages disobedience by the profession, "you're only a sinner", implying you will continue to sin until Jesus comes and you go to be with Him. But what changes take place in us when we go to be with Him? Only the body is changed to be like His. Your spirit changed to be like His when you were born again by His Spirit. Your soul, which is your mind, thinking, attitude and personality are to be changed NOW, in this life.
Romans 12:1-2 - I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Look what the apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome and Ephesus:
Romans 13:11-14 -And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
Galatians 5:24 – And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Ephesians 4:23-24 - And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Being told you are only a sinner prevents a believer's spiritual growth to maturity; the "going on to perfection". Instead they keep on having to rehearse the same basic principles of Christianity, going over and over the same ground because "you are only a sinner saved by grace". They don't mature in the knowledge and life of the Lord.
Hebrews 5: 12-14 - For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Such Christians need to constantly go over the basics again and again because they are not being spiritually matured to perfection (the completion) of the believer's transformation into the image of Christ.
Hebrews 6:1-2 - Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
This writer has found that too many Christians don't even have these five basic doctrines as their foundation to build on. As a result they cannot mature in Christ since these are only the beginning foundations. The mature Christian has built on these basic foundations and moved on to live a life that is Christ-like; that's why they are called Christ-ians (Christ-ones).
Paul wrote the following as an example of a personal goal to the Church at Galatia.
Galatians 2:20 - I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
The lack of a believer's maturity is partially because the church has eliminated or refused to accept the vital ministry of apostles, prophets and teachers. Instead, the church relies solely on the ministry of pastors who are not equipped of God to do all the work that Christ ordained in order to build His church to maturity - in His image.
Ephesians 4:11-13 - And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect (completed) man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
So how do you overcome temptation and resist sinning? By dealing with that part of you that is vulnerable to temptation: the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. How do you deal with these three areas of human vulnerability? You die to self, or deny self. Self is referred in many scriptures as the "flesh"; the big "I" which consists of the "I want, I will and I am".
"I want" is lust of the eye, having the desire to acquire and possess things seen, also addressed as "coveting" in scripture. "I will" is lust of the flesh, wanting to satisfy and gratify what you consider as human needs and accomplishments. "I am" is pride; who you are and how you want to be perceived by others; your position or desire for recognition.
These are the three areas of temptation that the devil used on Eve in the Garden.
Genesis 3:6 - And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food (lust of flesh), and that it was pleasant to the eyes (lust of the eye), and a tree to be desired to make one wise (pride of life), she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat,
Since Satan found these three areas of human vulnerability to be so easy to tempt mankind with, he tried to tempt Jesus in the same three areas.
Mathew 4:3-10 - And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread (lust of the flesh). But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone (pride of life). Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them (lust of the eye); And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Note that Jesus resisted the devil with the Word of God. He used it as His shield and defense, and in so doing He gave us an example how to deal with the strongest of temptations. You don't resist in your own strength, but with the Word of God. However, you must first be able to deny your flesh of its vulnerability to the enemies tempting - DIE TO SELF. Laying down the forsaking the life of the flesh, the old carnal nature.
(Note: Jesus did not have the old human sinful nature that came though natural birth; He was divinely conceived and was just like Adam and Eve were before sin entered the garden. So He did not have the flesh nature prone to yield to the three lusts which is why the devil had to tempt Him as he tempted Eve.) We, being the offspring of Adam and Eve have that corrupt old nature in us that we inherited from them. Thus we need to "put off" that old man nature, which means to die to self - fleshly selfish desires.
Ephesians 4:21-22 - If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
We are commanded to put off the old nature by dying to it, and then pattern your life after the rightousness that Christ put in you when you were born again.
Colossians 3:8-10 - But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
Denying self is the first step that is required to be a true disciple of Christ - something that is not being taught in most churches today.
Luke 9:21 - And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
Luke 14:27 - And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
The apostle Paul learned this and used himself as an example for others to show that it is possible to live righteously.
Philippians 3:7-8 - But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
Self denial is a daily exercise because the selfish flesh will resurrect itself constantly. The apostle Paul was familiar with this as he acknowledged the fact.
1 Corinthians 9:27 - But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
Intimacy with the Lord in prayer and the Word is essential to learn of Him and helps you to conform to His image. Spending time in His presence helps bring the conformity. This requires turning off the things of the world and shutting yourself in with Him. Spending time with the world's affairs brings conformity to worldly ways. Believers are instructed by Jesus to seek first His Kingdom and righteousness and He will take care of what we need.
Matthew 6:33 - But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; all these things shall be added unto you.
Our responsibility as believers and followers of Christ is to actually follow His example and allowing His life to show forth in and through us as God's sons and heirs with Christ.
2 Corinthians 7:1 - Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Going onto perfection is a step by step process of spiritual growth that the apostle Peter summed up.
2 Peter 1:3-10 - According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called is to glory and virtue. Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged form his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.
Yes it is possible to live sinless once you have been born again, matured and conformed to the image of Christ. This is what God the Father is patiently waiting for - the manifestation of His sons, the heirs with Christ.
Romans 8:16-19 - The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
Sin has no place in the Kingdom of God, and it has no place in God's children.
Galatians 5:16-21 - This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
God's true children have forsaken the sinful nature. The sin nature came from the devil; it is actually his fallen nature that sinful mankind received after submitting to his deception in the garden. God’s sons have put off that old nature; they have died to it and put on Christ by conforming to His image. This means they have adopted His character and nature - also known as the Fruit of the Spirit.
Galatians 5-22-24 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified (died to) the flesh with the affections and lusts.
1 John 3:4-6 & 9 –Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. 9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.
Now go back to the first page and re-read Romans 6:11:23 as you will now see and understand it more clearly. So the command to all true believers is, "GO, AND SIN NO MORE"!
1 Peter 1:15-16 – 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.