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Saturday, October 4, 2008

Do normal Christians sin every day?


They were born sinful--at God's command. Christians still sin. They even admit it. So why aren't Christians going to hell too--if sinning is the reason people go to hell? If everybody sins, but only non-Christians go to hell, then sin isn't the reason people go to hell. Not being a Christian is the real reason. Being a member of the wrong religion is the real reason.

For now, I just want to set aside the complaint you have against God's judging and focus in on this part of your post. Because if this indeed were true, then it wouldn't be righteous or right to judge man when he could easily irradiate this "sin nature."

The term "sin nature" is not one place in Scripture. It was a term that Augustine, who was a very Godly man, came up with to describe man's problem with sin. I have been saved for 36 years and my understanding of this term from many teachings was that we were born with a wicked evil heart and that we can't help but sin. This is not exactly the truth.

The heart becomes wicked when we entertain sin and act on it. James said that when lust is conceived it brings forth sin and when sin is finished it brings for death. At this point, if by no other place than in the mind, we become a slave to sin. So you see, there is a beginning that can quickly be put down. The temptation to sin is not sin. That is why we are called to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

This one part of Scripture is the most misunderstood aspect of the message of salvation. We are not born sinning or with a sin nature. What we are born with is a conscience and innocent of evil. Jesus said that He lights every man that comes into the world. He said that unless we become as little children, we will not inherit the kingdom. We have to become pure like a child to enter the kingdom.

Also, 1 Cor. 6:9-11 states very clearly that not to be deceived that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom. God is not going to pollute heaven with our sin. We must be pardoned and set free.

Collecting convictions does not set us free. This freedom gives us a liberty to be in and around the world without being drawn back into the sin.

Romans 1 states that God is manifest in man and made known to him.

Romans 2:14 states that there are people outside the church or Judaism (aka Gentiles) who don't know the Law that walk in it BY NATURE and their conscience bears witness. And guess what? We are going to be judged against those kinds of people.

So then do all men sin and fall short of the glory of God? Yes. But the reason for this is not a sin nature but a very weak flesh. The thing that Adam traded for the love of his wife was a body of death. He decided to love her more than God. Bad idea. He failed to realize that she was deceived because he didn't know all the facts.

Paul explains the problems with sin in Romans 7 when he was under the Law. He said that he delighted after the law and wanted to do the law within himself but something else was bringing him into captivity and he said it was his flesh and that this is where sin dwells.

I personally believe that when God says that sin is passed down to our children it is because the DNA is effected by sin, which in turn effects our subsequent offspring. Our flesh is controlled by DNA. This has been proven at least through alcholoism. But... does each person with this propensity HAVE to start drinking and become an alcoholic? Absolutely not. We do not have to give into sin and take the first drink which is why we are accountable.

We usually give into sin when we are in a tough situation. Then we are more tempted to do the next wrong thing to bring us happiness and that is our failure. I know what it is like to make it through suffering with tears doing the next right thing. I give God the glory for that.

Now in Jesus, we can turn the tables on this and then be led of the Spirit of God instead of our flesh. See Romans 8. Romans explains how man is set free from sin by the power of God.

Now many people do not come to God with this knowledge. The teaching we receive is important but what is even more important is that we spend time in the Word daily because today there are so many teachings that are false teachings. The only reason I know more than many is because I have embraced that Book daily for the last 25 years because I was so hungry for God and embraced Him. Before that, my walk with God was shaky and I was sinning plenty and calling myself a Christian.

It wasn't until I repented and began to read the Word every day that my life changed radically. The grace, which is what this power is called, comes through faith and faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. So it is a duel dynamic. When I have this in my life, every decision that I am faced with has a biblical answer and I seem to walk through naturally without really thinking about it. It is unconscious for the most part until there is a suffering moment. Then I can be tempted to do the wrong thing. But the temptation isn't sin. I can dismiss the thought and do the next right thing.

Part of the confusion with this issue is the way people read the Bible. 1 John is a classic example that specifically says we are not Christians if we continue to sin. But he starts off by telling people that if you think you have no sin, you make Him to be a liar. So many folks read that only and nothing else and assume that then Christians who claim to be freed from sin are liars. That is not John's point and we can follow that logically because he tells us in chapter 3 that we are of the devil if we do. John therefore, I believe is prefacing his ultimate point with a sort of disclaimer just in case anyone would assume that, for example, their children are born without sin. He also wants people to know that repentance is a step away.

Hebrews is another book that few people touch on with the exception of the role call of the faithful. Hebrews contains some of the most profound pieces of Scripture that are hot to handle. It says that if you willfully sin, there remains no longer a sacrifice for sins.

Repentance is not an admission of evil and an "I'm sorry." It is a total change of mind about our actions in relation to God's holiness. It is a determination to do God's will while at the same time recognizing that it is His power because we ask for it. My prayers to God over my sin were sincere. I meant it. I wanted Him to cleanse my heart and soul from all unrighteousness and to change me and He did. I asked Him to take back the ground I had surrendered to satan. I confessed my sins and He was faithful and just to forgive me. The Truth set me free.

Please do not confuse this freedom with the term "sinless perfection." Sinless perfection implies something that I could never conjure up in a million years. God promises that we as Christians will suffer in this world. So a state of perfection is impossible. My car is getting old same as yours. My bones ache sometimes same as yours. But I am no longer inclined to covet other people's lives, belongings, money, friends. I don't want to have sex with anyone but my husband and him the same. I don't lie, cheat, steal. And the biggest one for me and the most insidious is that I forgave the people that had offended me and released them through my own forgiveness. That one act set me free of more sin than anything else. God can't forgive us if we don't forgive.

I know this is long but in truth, it is probably way too brief.

You are wrong about God. He is a loving God to those who love Him and keep His commandments and His commandments are not grievous or tough to keep especially when He pours out His Spirit into your heart.

Once a people group begins to tolerate sin more and more, CH, they ultimately become reprobate and heinously evil. America is headed in this direction. At that point, God will no longer suffer with them. He kills them and their kittens. The God I know is loving because I show Him my love toward Him by keeping His commandments. I am reconciled.

If you choose God, CH, we will stand with you and help you.


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