How can a Christian deliberately keep on sinning?
news. How do we know what that is? Well, the bad news is only known by the use of the Law. The Psalmist said, “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple” (Psalm 19:7). Paul wrote in Galatians 3:24, “Therefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” “...through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.” Romans 3:20
by Don Barber on Monday, December 19, 2011 at 11:05am · How can a Christian deliberately keep on sinning?
believe there is a severe misunderstanding of the definition of the word Christian, so in order to answer this properly we need to do just that. This is going to take a while, for there’s a lot of foundation to be laid. Let’s start with Salvation...and this is a fantastic phenomenal tremendous momentous occurrence. For in order for one to be saved there is a miraculous Holy induced simultaneous string of events taking place, and the resulting transformation are just as spectacular. Here we go…
It is the mirror of the Law that enables the natural man to see who he really is, that he has been living in rebellion to a Holy Just and Righteous God. Day after day he has broken God's law, and he is charged with those crimes. That’s the bad news. This realization causes the natural man to cry out to God begging for forgiveness (this is a legal action, you've just plead guilty and the trial begins) as an avalanche of sinful memories overwhelms his mind. He is remorseful, and determined to make things right yet knows he can’t. He is spent, totally wiped-out - striped of all his efforts of righteousness, and is in desperate need of a Savior. He is humble and contrite. He is dead to self; he is ready to be born again.
Faith comes from hearing. Hearing what? The word of God (scripture). And scripture is not heard (with understanding) by the dead, so the Holy Spirit provides the understanding needed in order to respond, as well as changing the heart (Eph 1 18-19, John 16:7-15). The Spirit applies the truths of God to the mind of men to convince them that they are sinners. In response to that conviction He brings men to salvation.
At this point Jesus (the only way unto salvation) steps in to the courtroom. He legally adopts you as His child (you even got the paper work…for your name is written in the Lambs Book of Life), and pays your debt (your sins are legally transferred from your account to His account).
There are many popular portions of scripture that can and are used in sharing the gospel with the natural man, but it MUST include the Law. The Gospel means good news, and if you have good news, that surely means there is bad
As a natural man you were born into the law of sin and of death. That is now
broken, Christ Jesus has set you free, and you are now born into the law of the Spirit of life (Rom 8:2). God considers this case closed, and declares you Justified.
* Have a new view of the Bible, study of the Bible, worship, and giving * Have new affections, what you used to love you hate, what you used to hate you love
You're now regenerate or born-again, a Christian.
* Have a new love for Virtue, Godliness, and Holiness
(And now we have Conversion. This is immediate...the old man is dead and the new man is quite different.)
(and if that wasn’t enough)
As a Christian, you now…
* God Sanctifies you. And you can’t do that on your own it is a joint effort, if you will, with the Holy Spirit.
* Have a new standing with God, are now counted as righteous by the work of Christ Jesus. That is; God see's you just as he saw Adam and Eve before the fall, blameless without sin.
(As for Sanctification, much could be written. But I don’t think I need to other than to say... as a result of your conversion your life can’t help but be significantly different right away. And this process will continue till the day you die.)
* Have a new relationship to your sins, completely forgiven by Christ’s death for them.
Ok, now you’re Born Again...now what? * Are a new creation in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5)
When you are bornagain, the Spirit resides within you (Rom 8:9; 1 Cor 6:19-20, 1 Cor 12:13). Jesus said He would send the Spirit to us to be our Helper, Comforter, and Guide (John 14:16).
* Will desire and establish new friends, a new family (…the local church) * Have new goals: to glorify God, to evangelize, to pray * Have a new master (Jesus, not Satan) * Have a new eternal destiny (heaven not hell)
Among those functions revealer of truth…
* Have new priorities, that is, the Lord masters them, they are no longer your own
* The Spirit’s presence within us enables us to understand and interpret God’s Word. Jesus told His disciples that “when He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13).
* Have new longings…Spiritual longings. Not so much earthly or temporal anymore, and they are all put in the right priority
* He reveals to our minds the whole counsel of God as it relates to worship, doctrine, and Christian living.
works of our flesh, for we are incapable of producing such fruit, but they are products of the Spirit’s presence in our lives.
* He is the ultimate guide, going before, leading the way, removing obstructions, opening the understanding, and making all things plain and clear.
Now we have a firm grasp of who we’re talking about, for although we just skimmed the surface…we now have a good definition of a regenerate (born again) Christian. Sadly there are many who profess to be a Christian, yet have no comprehension of what was just defined. These people may show evidence, but what we see is nothing more than artificial fruit…but I’m getting ahead of myself.
* He leads in the way we should go in all spiritual things. Without such a guide, we would be apt to fall into error. * A crucial part of the truth He reveals is that Jesus is who He said He is (John 15:26; 1 Corinthians 12:3). The Spirit convinces us of Christ’s deity and incarnation, His being the Messiah, His suffering and death, His resurrection and ascension, His exaltation at the right hand of God, and His role as the judge of all.
In Matthew 7:13 & 14 we find only have two options. There is a narrow gate that goes to heaven and there is a broad road that says heaven but goes to hell. The narrow gate is hard to find and hard to go through because it demands denial of self, denial of self-righteousness, recognition of sin, full repentance, submission to Christ, commitment to obey Him and follow Him no matter what the cost. And that right there is the core of the problem. You see, we are so in love with self…that many just can’t die to it, and that’s exactly what’s needed in order to be born again.
* He gives glory to Christ in all things (John 16:14). Another one of the Holy Spirit’s roles is that of gift-giver. 1 Corinthians 12 describes the spiritual gifts given to believers in order that we may function as the body of Christ on earth. All these gifts, both great and small, are given by the Spirit so that we may be His ambassadors to the world, showing forth
“The Spirit also junctions as fruit-producer in our lives.” His grace and glorifying Him. The Spirit also functions as fruitproducer in our lives. When He indwells us, He begins the work of harvesting His fruit in our lives—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). These are not 4
Jesus said…“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy or preach in Your name? And in Your name cast out demons and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you, depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’ Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts upon them may be compared to a wise man who built his house upon the rock. And the rain descended and the floods came and the
winds blew and burst against that house and yet it did not fall for it had been founded upon the rock. And everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act upon them will be alike a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended and the floods came and the winds blew and burst against that house and it fell and great was its fall.” (Matt. 7:21-27)
false understanding of their spiritual condition because they don’t even understand what saving faith and the saving gospel are.
1) Easy Believism. This is, “if you’d like to be saved, just repeat this prayer after me”. This is followed by a congratulatory assurance of your salvation. Often times this has come after a message of how Jesus can fix your life, or a message on hell. Nobody wants to go to hell, of course they’ll say a few words if it will keep them safe. These folks have come to God with an ulterior motive. They’ve come for benefit and they’ve been sold by a salesman in a preacher’s suit. They have placed their trust in God for salvation, but in this teaching… repentance has been left out. They’ve been seduced into the dream that they are right with God, yet they’re far from it.
“Many will say to Me on that day”, and back to verse 13…“Many are those who enter on the broad way through the wide gate”, these are the same “many”. These are religious, seemingly Christian folks… but they are lost. And when they get to the end of the road they think they will be admitted to heaven only to find the contrary. How are they deceived? How could you possibly get to a place where you’re so comfortable in your own deception, your own self-deception, and even be unaware of it? I suggest these folks have…
2) A failure of self-examination, they have yet to look into the mirror of the Law to see who they really are, how God see’s them. Without this, they have an illusion of being righteous before God, when in reality they have not dealt with their sin and are still unrighteous.
* A superficial understanding of the gospel. (And this permeates Christendom today) * A failure to understand the true terms of the gospel.
Boy o boy, that’s a lot of words and you haven’t really answered the question yet! I know, but this foundation is needed to be heard, and needed in order to understand my answer. Ha! And I’m not done yet.
* Are missing the real definition of salvation and saving faith. (We have such a weak, shallow, superficial, trivialized, emotionalized, psychologized approach to the gospel that most people who call themselves Christians couldn’t give you a meaningful explanation of the doctrines of redemption. They don’t know them, and they’re not expected to know them because in many cases the people who teach them don’t know them either. And so people have a
A pastor I served with years ago became born-again while serving on a pastor search team. Yeah, how about that? He had been living in the faith, serving in the church many years as a natural man when at last he became regenerate.
That story is one of many of the like that I’ve heard lately. In fact, I have a friend that had been living for Christ many years, had gone through Christian schooling, and had served in many leadership positions. He believed he had been living his life as a Christian, but on the contrary, he was found lacking. Well, a couple of years ago he heard the gospel, repented, and became bornagain. He now shares the gospel at every opportunity (I’ll share the Gospel at the end) ...and my story is much the same.
Our charge has been satisfied, and with that we can not be charged of those crimes again (think double-jeopardy). But that doesn’t mean we are now above the Law, on the contrary, the Law is still in place and we (the Christian) are still expected to obey it. Remember, as a natural man you were born into the law of sin and of death. At the point of regeneration that curse is broken, Christ Jesus set you free and you’re now born into the law of the Spirit of life (Rom 8:2). In fact, just as sure as you’ve experienced the law of gravity, so too will be the effects of the law of the Spirit of life. I’ve already outlined some of the aspects of the Spirit of Life, yet another gift wrapped into this… is ability to obey. In fact, now obeying the law is no longer a chore, it is a joy.
Back to the question, “How can a Christian deliberately keep on sinning?” First of all, I’m not saying a Christian doesn’t sin; the key words are deliberately keep on sinning. At last, here is my answer...
2) Given the reality of what happens as a result of salvation, I don’t see it possible that one can blatantly continue in sin. It is contradictory to the facts. Those who profess Christ as their Savior and have not dealt with their sin have yet to plead guilty in God’s courtroom, and the proceedings are delayed till they do (and after death it is too late). These are “Lord, Lord” folks walking on a broad road practicing lawlessness. And I think it’s important to point out in the verses mentioned above; we’re talking about preachers…folks working in the church. They thought they were secure, yet were surprised to find otherwise. How incredibly important it is to do the will of the Father, to make sure you know what His will is, and to make sure your calling and election is secure.
1) “...do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the s e x u a l l y immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who p r a c t i c e homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). Man, it doesn’t get any clearer than that. A dog returns to its vomit and an unrepentant sinner will return to lawlessness. Back to the courtroom. You are charged with breaking God’s law, but not just a few…scripture tells us if we have broken one of them, we have broken them all. Jesus steps in and pays our debt, that is, our unrighteousness is applied to Him and His righteousness is applied to us.
3) The wise man built his house on the Rock, the foolish man built his house on sand. The same storm hits both houses but only one survives as the victor, and it’s all due to the foundation (that is salvation). The heart of the matter is in
the foundation; their house is built upon the sand. These folks can have all the credentials, have a way with words, and the fruit can look so authentic, but it’s all built on a foundation of folly. These people are not saved, they are falseconverts.
say “make sure your calling and election is secure”. Often we audit our checkbook, and we audit our taxes annually…when was the last time you audited your salvation (or theology)? Do so today; your soul is counting on it. What’s the Gospel? Well, the following is something I wrote a while back and will provide the basics thereof.
4) The key to understanding all this is found in the study of Romans 8:2. This lesser known verse is right up there with the other great ones. It is there, as I’ve alluded to already, we find “the law of sin and of death” and “the law of the Spirit of life”. It would behoove EVERY believer to do a study contrasting the two…for the differences are enormous.
One fast overview of the Gospel. Here we go… There is a God, He created the heaven and earth as well as provided laws for man to live by (Exodus 20:2–17 & Deuteronomy 5:6–21). When you break one of those laws, it’s called sin. God created the Bible using the pen of man (2 Timothy 3:16), and in it we read “for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). There will be a day when we will be charged for the laws we broke (Rom. 2:16) and the penalty is death (Rom. 6:23). Wait there’s more…the price for your sin is the shedding of blood of something pure, and that’s not us. We have nothing acceptable to God that will pay the penalty of the sins we’ve committed.
5) I believe the “narrow road” is much smaller than we think it is. It’s been said, the greatest mission field we have, is right there in the pews of the church… and according to scripture, that statement is dead on. We must be diligent in proclaiming the Gospel accurately to those in and out of the church. We must pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give them the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him, to have the eyes of their heart enlightened, that they may know what is the hope to which He has called, and the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints (Ephesians 1:17–18).
The good news is…In the Old Testament a spotless lamb was sacrificed in order for sins to be forgiven (Leviticus 4:32). God loved us so much He sent His son Jesus to earth to pay the price for our sin (John 3:16). Jesus was the only man that lived a totally sinless life (2 Corinthians 5:21), He was pure; He IS our spotless lamb…the only living thing worthy to pay the price for sin. Out of obedience to His Father, Jesus gave His
I’ve presented quite a definition for the word “Christian”. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says it quite simply, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come”! Brilliant! If you are in Christ EVERYTHING has changed, the core motivating driving force that makes you who you are, and what you do has changed. Contrast yourself against what I’ve presented of salvation and the life in Christ, how did you do? Is it time to do more than just ponder this? Several times the scriptures
life as a living sacrifice (Acts 8:32), the payment for our sin.
faith comes from hearing (Romans 10:17), so look up these verses and spend time reading them. Over and over - till God gives you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. Over and over - till the eyes of your heart are enlightened. Over and over - till you know what the riches of His glorious inheritance is. Over and over till God saves you…and provides your assurance.
His payment is not credited to your account until you “repent and trust Him” (Acts 20:21). You see, you've been living in rebellion to God and you have to turn from it…you have to die to self in order to be born-again. It is a change of the mind that results in a change of action. The realization of what Christ did for you should cause such heart-wrenching sorrow and conviction that with a humble heart and a contrite spirit (Psalm 51:17) you beg for forgiveness from your creator. You die to self, proclaim your faith in Him, and remain faithful. That is, out of love and devotion to the one who paid your debt, the now born-again believer makes every effort not do the very thing he was found guilty of… as he lives his life being faithful to his Savior.
May God bless you in your studies and the search for truth.
So that’s the Gospel, and if this is the first time you've heard it…spend some time pondering it. All the information needed to get right with God, to be forgiven, to be found righteous on the day of judgment, to have everlasting life is found right there. The scripture says