Living without sin are words which shock many people, but how otherwise can the grand purpose of Christ’s mission into the world be accomplished? He came to save people from their sins. But if Christians cannot be saved from sinning according to the teaching of some defeated teachers and church leaders, then the plan of redemption is a failure.
The New Testament distinctly teaches that the salvation which Jesus has provided includes grace to live without sinning. St. Paul said: “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we that are DEAD TO SIN live any longer therein?” Again he said, “Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe.” These are strong words for a mortal man to use but they were true. The life he lived was declared by the Holy Ghost to be holy and just and unblameable. St. John’s teaching exactly coincides with that of St. Paul. The purpose of his Epistles was to warn believers against sin, and to keep them from it. “These things write I unto you, that ye sin not.” John’s teaching in chapter 3 of his first Epistle is to the effect that as certainly as we may be saved from the consequences of sin by faith in Christ, so may we be kept from sinning by abiding in HIM. Because they need not, Christians must not sin. The possibility involves the obligation. The children of God are manifest and the children of the devil: He that committeth sin (that is, knowingly and willingly) is of the devil. No state of grace in the Christian life and experience permits the committing of voluntary sin. Even the lowest type of Christian does not continue in sin.
Another point is also made clear in this chapter, that permanent sonship and continual sinning are contradictions which cannot be combined in the same character. A person can no more remain born of God and continue in sin, than he can remain honest and steal, or truthful and tell lies.
If peradventure he fell in sin, he immediately cries out to God for forgiveness and shakes himself and gets cleansed forward again … just like a lamb when he falls into a ditch cries out for help … but if a pig falls into a filthy ditch, he enjoys it and keeps turning over and digging his nose in. So a person does according to his nature. A Christian with the divine nature of God imparted in him, will not continue in sin by any means … and if a person, who confesses to be a Christian, continues in sin, then it is evident that that person was never truly born of God, or he lost out with God and God’s Spirit was withdrawn from him as it happened to King Saul and others.
When a soul is truly born of God by the Holy Spirit, a new principle (the love of God) is admitted and takes up its abode behind the will. The attitude of the will can never be hostile or against God’s law, so long as it is swayed by love to the law-giver.
“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.” He cannot, because he will not; the impossibility is not physical but moral.
We recognize, of course, to some extent, a difference between sin committed as a result of momentary weakness or lack of watchfulness, and that which is committed deliberately, with set purpose. In an unguarded moment, the best Christian may be surprised into some single act of sin, but this does not involve in gross sins such as adultery or divorcement or lying, unless the person has lost God. But for this surprised sin there is merciful provision in our High Priest above. But even these ‘surprise sins’ as they may be designated are not a necessity. “IF any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father.” The “IF” clearly implies they are not necessary or expected! What nonsense it would be to use this word IF, if there were no room for a condition.
God’s word teaches clearly that Christians need not and do not sin, but capability to sin remains. Should one be overtaken in a fault, let him not despair. God in His mercy has made sufficient provision in Christ for his forgiveness and cleansing again if he confesses the wrong he has done.
What is commonly meant by COMMITTING SIN, in the New Testament, is a willing and known transgression of a known law.
Mistakes, infirmities and involuntary offences are inevitable so long as we are in the body. Sins, by the keeping power of Christ, are avoidable throughout every hour of our generated life. He will so energize the will, that it shall be able to stand against every suggestion to act contrary to the will of God. No power on earth nor in hell can compel a man to sin who relies upon God to be kept from it. Christ came not to cover up, make excuses for, or give liberty to sin, but to give us uninterrupted victory, to teach us that by continuous trust in Him we need never know defeat.
Thus was the prophesy of Zacharias: “That He would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him, all the days of our life.” “We are more than conquerors through HIM,” and, “Thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save His people from their sins.”
Through the blood and death of Christ we receive forgiveness, and through His stripes we receive healing; but through accepting the risen Lord, we receive overcoming life.
Dear Reader, this experience can be yours if you present your body a living sacrifice and consecrate your life to Him, and be dead to sin and enter the newness of life.
If you have Jesus enthroned in your heart and life, He will dwell within and subdue all enemies and no strangers will be allowed to come where He occupies. If you have accepted Him as your Saviour from the penalty of sin … accept Him as your Saviour from the power of sin and yield your members to be members of righteousness. Being crucified with Him, be dead to sin and alive unto righteousness and holiness. Christ will come and make His abode in you to conquer for you and through you. Go on your knees and confess your sins and surrender to Him once and for all and accept Him as your conqueror.
If man were left to himself, we should all admit the thing is impossible; but it is not a question of what WE can do, but of what HE can do. Is anything too hard for the Lord? Cannot we by the grace of God live one minute without sin? If one minute, why not an hour? If an hour, why not a day? If a day, why not a year? Shall we limit the Holy One of Israel? There can be no continuous victory over sin unless such victory is expected, and no Christian will expect what he believes cannot be experienced. We are weak, but through Christ Who strengthens us, we are able to do all things.
“All things are possible to him that believeth.”