.To return to work page.
of December 1998
Next up-date: January 1st 1999 (God willing).
Sinning and confessing, or not sinning at all -
which is the Christian norm?
"Whosoever abides in Him sins not: whoever sins has not seen Him, neither known Him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that does righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous. He that commits sin is of the devil; for the devil sins from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever is born of God does not commit sin; for His seed remains in him: and He cannot sin, because He is born of God".
Here is another problem which is at the heart of Christianity, but this word of God has surely settled the question? We have been told by Jesus in the quote below that we can live by every, and that means any, word that proceeds out of the mouth of God, therefore one word from Him should be sufficient.
"But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God".
Unfortunately, most of us have been trained to require more than one text (which can be seen as saying that we don't trust Him or His word), so here is another, which is actually the original. Moses said:-
"And He humbled you, and suffered you to hunger, and fed you with manna, which you knew not, neither did your fathers know; that He might make you know that man does not live by bread only, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD does man live".
The only reason we should need two or more verses is so that we as erring mortals may not misunderstand what God means.
However, to get back to our subject, here are some other statements from God.
2 Samuel 2:33
"God is my strength and power: And He makes my way perfect".
"Be you therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect".
Because the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23) and the fact that God does not want us to die as a result of sin (Ezekiel 33:11), and because He has even arranged a resurrection for those whom He cannot convince otherwise, we should honour His word by believing it and looking to see how we can fulfil it. He says:-
"Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby you have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dies, says the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live you".
Here He has said that we should make us a new heart and spirit and then we would not transgress or sin. Of course, that seems impossible to most of us for we have tried and tried and always failed. We have become accustomed to sinning and then asking for forgiveness. We may even have been aided and abetted in this thought by the church we attend for it is a common teaching among many professed Christian denominations that we cannot stop sinning. Indeed, in many other religions of the world the matter is not even discussed!
But we who believe in Jesus Christ as the Foundation of our lives have His example to follow as it is written:-
1 Peter 2:21
"For even hereunto were you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps..."
We believe that He was sinless, but How did He do it? Not by being the Son of God and using His own power for He says:-
"Then said Jesus to them, When you have lifted up the Son of man, then shall you know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as my Father has taught Me, I speak these things. And He that sent Me is with Me: the Father has not left Me alone; for I do always those things that please Him".
And that other verse!
"I can of My own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and My judgment is just; because I seek not My own will, but the will of the Father which has sent Me".
There is the answer! We need a Creator to give us a "new heart and spirit", and we need Him to live with (in) us day by day giving us the strength to do what He asks of us. It is that simple. He has promised to do that and all we need to do is believe His promise and live by it. This is what He means when He says that WE should make us new hearts ands spirits. It requires our conscious choice to accept His offer. Then we will know the power of His word as expressed in 1 John 3:6-9 and confirmed below.
"Let your conversation (conduct) be without covetousness (the 10th sin); and be content with such things as you have: for He has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you".
And there is the problem for most Christians. He will not leave us but we often choose to leave Him and CHOOSE to sin!
If you look carefully and prayerfully at our question text (1 John 3:6-9), you will see that we can remain sinless only by His seed remaining in us. When we leave Him after we have chosen to live with Him, as did the prodigal son when he left home, we do not cease to be Christians, but we become erring ones without the benefit of His power. BUT, like that son, we do not need to leave home. That is always our choice (even though in this case it is a stupid one!) and God will honour it. What this means in today's world is that we, even as Christians, often want our own way, and we want it now. But because we cannot save ourselves our action leads us to the pig's trough of sin and we become sad and ashamed, needing to return home. When we return He will forgive and cleanse, hoping that we will never again leave Him.
But where does the shame and guilt go? On to our Saviour for it was bearing the sins of the world that killed Him at Calvary we are told.
1 Peter 2:24
"Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes you were healed".
It is not only possible, but desirable, that we should stop sinning. Firstly, to cease adding to the burden that Jesus must bear for us and secondly, so that we can safely live in the house of God forever.
The word of God holds out to us the desire of God that we should stop sinning by using His strength and be able to live with Him continually. 1 John 3:6-9.
To return to Homepage.