Before the main context, let’s understand that we were born in sin:
We’re saved by faith in Christ alone. Yet faith without works is dead. Even the demons believe in God and tremble. Acknowledging that we have sinned is essential to be saved, because when we’re convicted of our sins, that is when we would know what to repent of and turn away from those sins.
1 John 1:8 “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
1 Kings 8:46 “If they sin against thee, (for there is no man that sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them to the enemy, so that they carry them away captives unto the land of the enemy, far or near;”
Psalm 51:5 “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.”
Romans 5:12 “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”
Christians are Dead to Sin and Commanded to “Sin No More”?
Romans 6:11 “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”
To be dead to sin means the follower of Christ no longer needs to be controlled by his sin nature. Before being born again, we were slaves to sin and now even though we will still sin, but we are no longer dominated by it.
John 8:11 “She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”
Luke 13:3 told us to repent or perish. We must have true remorseful repentance of ALL sins. Yes, we as followers of Christ are to aim towards in living a sinless life, but we will not reach such perfection until we will be changed incorruptible in our sinless bodies for the rest of eternity.
Can Christians Achieve Sinless Perfection?
Until we have our incorruptible sinless bodies, in this current corruptible flesh we live in, we will still sin.
Proverbs 24:16 “For a JUST man FALLETH seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.”
Ecclesiastes 7:20 “For there is not a JUST man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.”
Even Apostle Paul showed his imperfection:
Romans 7:14-24 “14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. 16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. 17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”
Overcoming Sin is a Process
We can successfully conquer sins through the power of the Holy Spirit. Our own righteousness are filthy rags. Although at times, it is not an overnight change to overcome a certain sin. It is a PROCESS as the Holy Spirit refines and sanctifies you. A true Christian hates sins and will gradually stumble less overtime because of their persistence of pressing into God. Being saved by faith in Christ doesn’t give us a ticket to keep sinning blatantly. As long as you did your best not to sin, being repentant and remorseful for all sins–The Lord Jesus Christ knows your heart and is full of mercy upon those who would repent to Him! After you’re forgiven, there’s no point to feel guilty and it is not of God for He convicts not condemns. There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus; who walk after the Spirit. Remember, it is by faith alone we’re saved and doubt has no place for a believer’s mindset. If you’ve sinned, confess your sins to God in prayer for forgiveness. (1 John 1:9) Repentance of sins is not a one-off experience, it is continuous.
Frequent repentance is essential for we do not even know all the ways we sin daily before a Holy God. There are unknown sins that we may have committed against God that we should ask for forgiveness in repentance. We are always learning from the scripture and could learn about certain sin we don’t know of.
Backsliding Christians are Possible
The scripture has mentioned about “backsliding“.
Jeremiah 3:22 “Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou art the Lord our God.”
Jeremiah 3:14 ” Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:”
Jeremiah 31:22 “How long wilt thou go about, O thou backsliding daughter? for the Lord hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man.”
A true Christian can backslide continuously as long as he lives if he wants to, which means the doctrine “once saved always saved” is false that it shows how a true Christian would NOT always be sinless in this flesh and has the ability to fall back into sin and become lost to eternal damnation if not repentant.
Hebrews 6:4-6 “4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall FALL AWAY, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.”
Luke 8:13 “They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation FALL AWAY.”
Work your Salvation with Fear and Trembling!
We have to work our salvation with fear and trembling. We have to endure until the END to be saved, only until the end. This has admitted that there is a possibility to fall away back into the sinful world.
Matthew 10:22 “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.”
Our parent Lord would discipline His children back into obedience. If a person is a true child of God, he would likely to experience discipline to bring him into repentance when he disobeys God sinfully.
Hebrews 12:7-8 “7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.”
Scriptural Examples of Children of God who Sinned:
We can see the example of Solomon, who sinned against God later in his life after being in submission to God for a while. He wrote Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon.
1 Kings 3:3 “And Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of David his father: only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places.”
1 Kings 11:1-9 “1 But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites: 2 Of the nations concerning which the Lord said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love. 3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. 4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. 5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 6 And Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and went not fully after the Lord, as did David his father. 7 Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. 8 And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods. 9 And the LORD WAS ANGRY WITH SOLOMON, because HIS HEART WAS TURNED FROM THE LORD GOD OF ISRAEL, which had appeared unto him twice,”
Moses had a very intimate and personal relationship with God; he saw God’s back (Exodus 33:21-23) and talked to God (Exodus 34:29), even the skin of Moses’ face shone after the encounter! Moses was able to persuade and change God’s mind about destroying the Israelites (Exodus 32:11-14). At one point of Moses’ life, he did not trust the Lord and did it his own way by smiting the rock twice violently other than speaking to the rock as God has commended. He smote the rock as like unto punishing Christ who is our rock for the nourishment of His people. He used the word “we” other than “God” to fetch the water, as though he was on the same equation as God but God is only one truly who are the original source of the supplies.
Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”
Psalm 18:2 “The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.”
Numbers 20:8-12 “8 Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink. 9 And Moses took the rod from before the Lord, as he commanded him. 10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? 11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. 12 And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.”
Peter was a follower of Jesus Christ and one of Jesus’ closest friends. The true children of God are friends of God. Though, he had denied Jesus thrice (John 18:15-27); he did not love Jesus wholeheartedly at that moment and also was afraid when walking on water. Thus, a follower of Christ is still prone to still sin.
Matthew 14:30 “But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was AFRAID; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.”
Philippians 4:6 “DO NOT BE ANXIOUS about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
Revelation 21:8 “But the FEARFUL, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
David who was a man after God’s own heart, yet he had sinned against God as His child and then he had repented his sins. He had an adulterous relationship with Bathsheba and slain her husband (2 Samuel 11). Therefore, backsliding is possible. David had the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as he is the child of God.
Psalm 51:11 “Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.”
Job feared God and was called by God a blameless and upright man who turned away from evil, yet he also sinned being the child of God and repented. For example, Job complained to God. Ingratitude is a sin (1 Thess. 5:18). When you repent, you would have sin beforehand in order to come into repentance. Therefore, it is possible for a child of God to sin.
Job 7:11 “Therefore I will not refrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will COMPLAIN in the bitterness of my soul.”
Job 33:13 “Why dost thou STRIVE against him? for he giveth not account of any of his matters.”
Isaiah 45:9 “Woe unto him that STRIVETH with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?”
Job 42:6 “Wherefore I abhor myself, and REPENT in dust and ashes.”
Common scriptures that some said how Christians do not sin anymore:
1 John 3:6-9 “6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. 7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. 8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.”
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.”
There is harmony in the bible when we look at both things and balance the perspective. We can see a few real examples of Moses, David, Job, Paul, Peter and Solomon were all prone to stumble upon sins. There were also many other evidences as stated above to support that as long as we’re in the flesh we will still sin. Therefore, it is incorrect to understand this verse as saying that Christians can live a sinless perfection in this fleshy life. The born-again Christian loves righteousness and hates sins, practices righteousness and has no desire to sin repeatedly as he once had been driven by his fleshy fallen sinful nature with compulsion. Temptations still exist and born-again Christians is still prone to sin.
A Christian may struggle with stronghold(s); certain sin(s) for a long period of time, but through the power of the Holy Spirit he can conquer the sin(s)–His yoke is easy and burden is light. It is a process to change and continuous pressing in would likely give positive result. Christians are in a spiritual warfare daily; a battle against the flesh in clinging to walk in the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 “3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of STRONG HOLDS; ) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”
My Personal Testimony:
Personally, I tell you I sin daily. I try hard not to sin daily through the Holy Spirit’s help, confess my sins for forgiveness daily, remorsefully repent all my sins and surrender all my will to God throughout the day. I’m a born-again Christian and have the complete filling of the Holy Spirit. I can say that JESUS CHRIST is my LORD, my GOD and SAVIOUR forever through my best friend HOLY SPIRIT.
1 Cor. 12:3 “Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that NO MAN CAN SAY THAT JESUS IS THE LORD, BUT BY THE HOLY GHOST.”
To those who disagree, before replying:
Tell me in all honesty–Are you sinless every moment every day? Examine your heart carefully. I asked this question quite a few times and all the time has been “avoided to answer” me surprisingly! And, if you think you’re a sinless born-again believer, I do wonder how you may have missed repenting of your sins throughout your Christian walk because you think you’re sinless–which is very dangerous to your very salvation.