The Sinning Christian

The soul saved by faith in Christ is deemed righteous in the sight of God. Read Romans 4:5-8 The righteousness of Jesus is attributed to us, an underserved gift to those who believe. Read Ephesians 2:8-9 We are told that our old self has been destroyed Read Romans 6:6-7 and we are now free from the bonds of sin, Read Romans 6:18 and no longer slaves to sin; Read Romans 6:22 yet we all continue to sin until the day we die.

Why do Christians sin?

Christians sin because after salvation, they continue their mortal lives in wretched humanity, struggling with lust, covetousness, and pride until they depart this world. Read 1 John 2:15-17 The righteousness imputed to Christians by faith is a declaration; the grace of God adjudicates us as righteous. The miracle of Jesus’ substitutionary atonement for us is that we are clothed in his righteousness to avoid condemnation and the wrath of God at judgment. Read Romans 8:1   But the saved man is, by his nature, still a sinner.

What, then, does the Bible mean that “we are free from the bonds of Sin and no longer Slaves”?

If we are slaves to what we prioritize, seek, and serve, then secular man is indeed a slave to his sin. Read Romans 6:16 The profane man pursues his desires and exists indulging lustful self-satisfaction, coveting what he does not have, and being prideful in what he does has. Conversely, the faithful Christian submits to God, striving to serve him in faith, always mindful of the inheritance that awaits. The Christian is then a slave to the pursuit of righteousness, resisting the temporal, fleeting pleasures of the secular world. Therefore, the Christian is no longer a slave to sin, even though still enticed, tempted, and tormented by the desires of the flesh. Temptation is a trial, a persistent test of faith.

What is the difference between the saved Christian and the Profane man?

If everyone is out there sinning, what is the difference between a Christian and anyone else? Certainly, in our society today, it can be difficult or impossible to spot a Christian in a crowd. It seems there are few lives significantly transformed to cut a clear distinction, but there are meaningful differences between those in Christ and the rest of the world.

First, Christians are aware of their sin. Those who have come to Christ, whose spirit has come alive, become increasingly aware of their sin. As you mature in the faith, the more you recognize your persistent sin, the more grateful you are for God’s never-failing mercy. Those not in Christ do not feel this weight as they are spiritually dead, oblivious, and unconcerned with their error. 

Second, Christians struggle with sin as their conscience convicts them. Sin deeply bothers a Christian, and the repentant Christian is contrite. The good news is that the Christian will improve over time as the Holy Spirit works to sanctify. Sanctified is to be conformed to the image of Jesus as we diligently live in the word of God. The lost are not bothered by sin, though there may be pangs of guilt, warning, or alarm from a conscience not yet thoroughly seared and hardened. The profane man enjoys sin.

Third, Christians are forgiven. Thankfully, for us, God’s mercies are fresh every day. Read Lamentations 3:22-26 But the unrepentant, godless man is not forgiven. Instead, he accumulates offense that magnifies the wrath of God on judgment day. Read Romans 2:5-6

Forth, Christians fear God. To know God, to understand he is the ultimate authority who holds our lives in his hands, to be in awe of him, and to fear his wrath is an effective deterrent to sinning if we can keep that truth in view. The lost have no fear of God. To them, God is an irrelevant, fictional character to be dismissed and even mocked. In the end, they will learn the meaning of woe.

What is the impact of sin on the Christian?

If we are consistently forgiven, is it then OK to sin? Hell No! Read Romans 6:1 Willfully sinning without repentance most likely speaks of someone who is not saved. This life is a test, first to receive Jesus Christ, then to live according to his will and to spread the good news to the world. Read Matthew 28:18-20 When we sin, we fail at these things. Instead, we strive to resist temptation, to please God, and to succeed in our calling in this life. Read 1 Peter 2:11-12 The most regrettable consequence of sin in the life of a Christian is a tarnished or even destroyed testimony to the perfect will of God. To hear the words, “How can you call yourself a Christian and do or say those things?” grieves my soul!

Good People and Bad People

Know that Christians are no better than anyone else, as we are all sinners. Some unbelievers are decent people, striving to be good, charitable, kind, and loving. And some call themselves Christians who embody the rotten traits of the godless, evil man. The issue is that a good person in this life is deemed such relative to other people, but the best man in his humanity does not measure up to God’s uncompromising standard of righteousness. Read Isaiah 64:6-7 That is why we all need a savior! Coming to God in your good works alone ends in death.

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