Will I sin as a new believer?
John the Baptist declared Jesus Christ as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29 NKJ) If Jesus came to take away the sin of the world, then will I sin as a new believer? Some believe that you will sin, but if you sin too many times, you really weren’t saved in the first place. Or, if you sin consistently, then you really weren’t saved. Your confession of faith was just an empty profession that did not mean anything. The reality is, everyone will sin, before and after salvation, until God removes the genuine believer in Jesus to heaven.
Will you sin as a new believer? Yes, you will sin, all your life. You have a sin nature in your flesh and you will choose to satisfy your flesh rather than please the Lord. You will choose to lie, rather than admit you were speeding or had too many drinks. You will take a pen from the office and consider it no big deal. You will look at some gal with wandering eyes and think you could be satisfied with her rather than work on your relationship with your own wife. Paul wrote,
<!–[if !supportLists]–>· <!–[endif]–>And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ.
<!–[if !supportLists]–>· <!–[endif]–>2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able;
<!–[if !supportLists]–>· <!–[endif]–>3 for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not. carnal and behaving like mere men? (1 Cor. 3:1-3 NKJ)
Paul wrote to the Corinthians, who were acting like immature babes in Christ. They had not learned spiritual self-control. They were living like mere men, rather than spiritual men. They were living after the flesh, rather than the spirit. There are three ways we sin. Each of the ways can be sins of the thought (mental attitude sins), sins of the tongue (verbal sins), or overt sins.
The first type of sin is active rebellion. An example of active rebellion would be violating the Ten Commandments. Additionally, Paul gives a large inventory of active rebellion and called them “deeds of the flesh,”
<!–[if !supportLists]–>· <!–[endif]–>19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,
<!–[if !supportLists]–>· <!–[endif]–>20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,
<!–[if !supportLists]–>· <!–[endif]–>21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Gal 5:19-21 NKJ)
The second type of sin is passive indifference. Passive indifference is knowing that God has standards for living, but living indifferent to them, especially in a passive way. They are sins of apathy, neglect and complacency. James wrote, “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” (Jam 4:17 NKJ) This person knows there are godly standards, but just does not care enough to walk in dependency upon God. He lacks humility to be submissive to God.
The third type of sin is acting independent. Independence from God is living on personal wisdom and power, rather than on God’s provision through the Holy Spirit. At salvation, every person is dependent upon Jesus’ sacrifice for their sins (Eph. 1:7). In life, every person depends on the moment by moment empowerment of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:16,17). Every believer is dependent on the Father’s choice, which results in a heavenly destiny (Eph. 1:2-5). Even Jesus was completely dependent on the Father during His earthly walk on earth (John 5:19, 30). Therefore any actions independent of God is sin. Paul confirmed this when he discussed with the Romans the basis for choosing what foods to eat or what holidays to celebrate, He wrote, “But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.” (Rom. 14:23 NKJ)
In fact, you will sin as long as you have your body of death. Paul wrote,
<!–[if !supportLists]–>· <!–[endif]–>23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
<!–[if !supportLists]–>· <!–[endif]–>24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? (Rom. 7:23-24 NKJ)
In other words, you will sin until God removes you to heaven and gives you a resurrection body, which will not sin.
Fortunately, God gave you a system of forgiveness to deal with sin.1 John wrote, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9 NKJ) This is a sobering, but simple procedure. When the Holy Spirit convicts the person of sin, he confesses or “agrees with God” that the sin is sin. God will then restore fellowship with Him and help him to continue to grow spiritually.
The key is to abide in Jesus. John wrote,
<!–[if !supportLists]–>· <!–[endif]–>“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.
<!–[if !supportLists]–>· <!–[endif]–>2 “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
<!–[if !supportLists]–>· <!–[endif]–>3 “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.
<!–[if !supportLists]–>· <!–[endif]–>4 “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
<!–[if !supportLists]–>· <!–[endif]–>5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. (John 15:1-5 NKJ)
While you are abiding in Jesus, you will not sin. You cannot sin, because your life blood comes from Jesus. However, when you choose to rebel against God, act independent or become passively indifferent toward God, you disengage from Jesus and any works are burned up.2
If you are abiding in Jesus, it is because you are filled with the Holy Spirit. You are filled with the Holy Spirit when you have confessed your sins and are living in dependence upon the control of Him. Paul wrote, “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.” (Eph. 5:18 NKJ)
As you abide in Jesus and are filled with the Holy Spirit, it will be because you are in the Word. Paul wrote to Timothy, “Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.” (1 Tim. 4:16 NKJ) As you continue in the Word (the doctrine), you will, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (Col. 3:16 NKJ) Because you let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly, you will seek how to hide God’s Word in your heart, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You!” (Ps. 119:11 NKJ)
Will you sin as a new believer? Yes, you will sin, but God has provided a great mechanism by which you can grow in grace and the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ and not give yourself to living in sin. As a child of God, you will pursue a holy lifestyle and present the members of your body as instruments of righteousness (Rom. 6:12-13).
1See the following link regarding what happens when a Christian sins: http://renewingtruth.blogspot.com/2013/07/question-what-happens-when-i-sin.html
2See the following link to understand what does not happen when a Christian sins, especially related to works that are burned: http://renewingtruth.blogspot.com/2013/07/question-what-happens-when-i-sin_13.html