I grew up in a church tradition which often said: “we all sin, every day, in word, thought and deed.” The idea behind this statement was that God is so holy – and we are so not holy – that we just can’t help it… “We are sinners, saved by grace – and as sinners, we are simply going to sin (but thank God, He always forgives us!).”
This idea was so prevalent, and said so often, that I was sure that it just had to be a main Scripture verse in the Bible. But I never found it – even after a diligent search.
That’s because it is not in the Bible. But here’s what I did find: “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you will not sin.” (1 John 2:1) And: “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? May it never be!” (Romans 6:1-2)
The Bible actually talks about leaving our sins, and our sinning ways, behind us. The Bible tells us that we are no longer imprisoned to our sinfulness – that Jesus has not only forgiven us our sins, but has enabled us to actually overcome sin. Because of what Jesus has done for us: “Sin shall no longer be your master.” (Romans 6:14)
So: “you… must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (6:11)
It is this last part that is the key point. If we still consider ourselves to be “alive to sin” then, we will just keep on sinning (and keep on relying upon God to forgive us [which He will!]). But, if indeed, Jesus’ work is all about providing a new way of living (without the encumbrance of sin) then we really should live our lives in the fullness of that truth.
That is exactly what the Bible is telling us.
Jesus’ work was not just to take care of our sins. His work was to take care of our sin nature – to make a way for that sinful nature to lose it’s death grip on our minds, and our lives. To put the old you (sinful you) to death – so that a new you could emerge… and live… and impact the world.
The apostle Paul said it best: “We know this: that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that… we would no longer be enslaved to sin.” (Romans 6:6)
Back to our question… Why don’t Christians care that they sin? Because, for the most part, they don’t believe they have a choice. “After all, we are only human, we are not perfect – and we constantly struggle with our selfish ways and thoughts.”
But the point of Jesus’ death and resurrection is that the power of God has entered our situation and made what was impossible, possible. According to the Bible: the old sinful you died with Jesus, the old sinful you was buried with Him – but a new victorious you, emerged from the tomb. And this new you possesses the capacity to live just as Jesus lived, every day of your life!
But what about the apostle Paul? Didn’t he talk about his constant struggle with sin, in Romans 7?
We will talk about that in our next time together…
Prayer focus: God, fix in my heart and mind that I AM new, and can leave my sinful thoughts and actions behind me.