This topic is important because there is a pro-active group of Christians that believe true Christians do not sin.

They believe that if you are a part of what they call the sinning religion you’re going to hell. You may have never come in contact with any people from this group. Don’t make the mistake of being prideful, thinking they’re just wacky and don’t know their Bibles. If you’re not well prepared they will make you look like the unsaved wacky nut.

A good place to start in showing the error in this false teaching is by asking these simple questions:

Do you…
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind; ...and your neighbor as yourself?

Because if you don’t, you are sinning and breaking the Lord God’s commandments.

Matthew 22:37-40
And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38) “This is the great and foremost commandment. 39) “The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40) “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

My identity before God is that I am a saint not a sinner.
The issue is, can a saint sin and still be a saint?
I take the approach that holiness is a process.

That does not mean that I am promoting sin; but rather, I am attempting to properly represent the Scriptures. One problem I have found with people that promote sinlessness is that they think others may sin and fall away, but pridefully believe they will not.

The sin of many promoting sinlessness is that they have redefined what constitutes sin.

They have a very narrow view of what constitutes sin, with far less opportunities for sin then the normal Christians. You see, they play by one set of rules for themselves and another set of rules for everyone else. They will judge a fellow Christian to hell or refer to him as a non-Christian for sinning in a way that they do not even consider sins for themselves, which is sin in itself not to mention the dissension they cause.


No where in the Bible does it teach that a Christian has to sin, although much of the Bible admonishes Christians not to sin, indicating Christians do sin.

I am aware that many churches have violated the Scriptures in their teaching that Christians cannot even go a minute without sinning. Nonetheless, I have to pledge my allegiance to the proper rendering of the Scripture, rather then to attempt to correct a wrong with a greater wrong.

So let’s take a look at what the Scriptures say.
Keeping in mind the words of ...

PROFESSOR, ED GOODRICK: “I would rather be comfortable with my Bible and uncomfortable with my theology, than comfortable with my Theology and uncomfortable with my Bible.”

The following are a few of many verses admonishing Christians not to sin, indicating Christians do sin.

Galatians 5:15 and 26
But if you bite and devour one another, take care lest you be consumed by one another. 26) Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.

Colossians 3:8-9
But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. 9) Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices,

1 John 2:1 and 28
My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, “we” have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 28) And now, little children, abide in Him; that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. = Not be ashamed as a result of SIN

Here are a couple cases of sinning.

Matthew 16:23
But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

Matthew 26:74
Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.

The point is that Peter spent more personal time with Jesus and knew Him better than any of you.

Not only did Peter sin, but also denied Christ.

Examples of Christians sinning:
Keep in mind that all you need is one example to make my point.

Acts 15:39
And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus;

1 Corinthians 5:1-2-5
It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father’s wife. 2) And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. 5) I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

1 Corinthians 11:29-30
For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself, if he does not judge the body rightly. 30) For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep.

2 Corinthians 12:20-21
For I am afraid that perhaps when I come I may find you to be not what I wish and may be found by you to be not what you wish; that perhaps there may be strife, jealousy, angry tempers, disputes, slanders, gossip, arrogance, disturbances; 21) I am afraid that when I come again my God may humiliate me before you, and I may mourn over many of those who have sinned in the past and not repented of the impurity, immorality and sensuality which they have practiced.

Galatians 1:6
I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel;

Galatians 2:11-13
But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12) For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision. 13) And the rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy.

Galatians 3:1-3
You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? 2) This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? 3) Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?

Galatians 5:7
You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth?

Philippians 2:20-21
For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.
21) For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.

2 Thessalonians 3:14-15
And if anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of that man and do not associate with him, so that he may be put to shame. 15) And yet do not regard him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

1 Timothy 3:1-7
This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. 2) A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 3) Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; 4) One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5) (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) 6) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7) Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
Note: Some do not qualify as overseers because of sin, but remain Christians and members of His Body the Church.

Colossians 4:14 Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.
Philemon 1:24 Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers.
2 Timothy 4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica;

2 Timothy 2:13
If we are faithless, yet he He remains faithful: for He cannot deny Himself.

James 4:1-4
What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? 2) You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. And you are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. 3) You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4) You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

James 4:7-8
Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8) Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

James 4:16
But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.

James 5:14-16
And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. 16) Confess your faults one to another,

2 Peter 1:9
For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having
forgotten his purification from his former sins.

1 Corinthians 3:11-15
For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12) Now if any man builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13) each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 14) If any man’s work which he has built upon it remains, he shall receive a reward. 15) If any man’s work is burned up, he shall suffer loss, but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire.

Note: What is a foundation of wood, hay, and straw?
Yet they are saved!

Some people would like to say that sin is not a result of a sinful nature.
In other words man is not born with a sinful nature, yet he chooses (free will) to sin.

People hold this view in order to protect their doctrine of “free will” rather than to properly represent the Scriptures. All people from the beginning of the world have chosen to sin shortly after being born. Why, if it is not a result of a sinful nature? Jesus is the only exception. With no sin nature and a free will, a person should have a 50-50 chance of not sinning.

But that is not the case. We do not even have a 10% chance of not sinning before the age of 15. As a matter of fact, I have not heard of even one person that has gone his first 7 years without sinning. It certainly wasn’t my brothers.

John 7:19
Did not Moses give you the Law, and yet none of you carries out the Law?

Romans 3:23
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

What Is Sin?

Anything contrary to the will and ways of God; both the evil we do and the good we fail to do.

Desire for wealth, laziness, fornication, immorality, jealousy, dissension, drunkenness, pride, desire for fame, doubts, unforgiveness, silly talk, hypocrisy, abortion, outbursts of anger, filthy language, worldliness, impatience, unkindness, apathy, obscene jokes, overeating, lust of the eyes, lust of the mind, lying, gossip, critical spirit, no self control, hatred, getting even, disrespectfulness, unfaithful, stealing, not using God-given gifts, worrying, false doctrine, backbiting, wrong attitudes and idols.

Thoughts can be Sin.

Isaiah 59:7
Their feet run to evil, and they hasten to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; devastation and destruction are in their highways.

Matthew 15:19
For out of the heart come forth evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, railings:

James 2:4
Do ye not make distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?

Sin is missing the mark

James 4:17
Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

Romans 14:23
For whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

I John 5:17
All unrighteousness is sin.

I John 3:4
Sin is transgression of the law.

All 613 laws were in effect for the Jews moments before Christ’s death. Being under the Law means being under all the Law, not just the Ten Commandments. When under the Law it means you’re also under the consequences of breaking the Law.

Exodus 35:2
For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day you
shall have a holy day, a Sabbath of complete rest to the LORD; whoever does any work on it shall be put to death.

Exodus 35:3
You shall not kindle a fire in any of your dwellings on the Sabbath day.

James 2:10
For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.

Hebrews 9:19-20
For when every commandment had been spoken by Moses to all the people according to the Law, he took the blood of the calves and the goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20) saying, “this is the blood of the covenant which God commanded you.”

Galatians 3:10

For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, “cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the Law, to perform them.”

W. E. Vine: “LAW”
While the Mosaic Law is actually divisible into the ceremonial and the moral, no such distinction is made or even assumed in Scripture.
(An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, p. 314)

The Law is a package deal. You’re either under all of them, or you’re under none of them.

Galatians 2:21
I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.

You see the Law is a covenant deal.

Hebrews 9:15
And for this reason He is the Mediator of a new covenant, in order that since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
Out of the 613 Laws, not one of them was ever given to a Gentile.

We do sin and Christ does forgive.

1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Hebrews 7:25
Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.

Our identity and position in the Lord is fixed upon Jesus, the One who intercedes for us; but our relationship with the Lord is based upon our desire to conform to who and what we are.

You see, we still have two natures, one fleshly and one spiritual. Therefore, we have one that will be put to death and should be inoperative and one that will live on forever.

Colossians 3:9-10
Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10) And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him...

Galatians 5:17
For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. = SIN

Romans 8:10
And if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.

Romans 6:11
Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. (It’s an act of the will.)
Therefore not automatic, but possible.

The sinless perfection promoters love to use some of the verses in the book of 1 John to attempt to prove their point that true Christians don’t sin.

1 John 3:9
No one who is born of God commit sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

I John weaves positional truths and personal reality together.

1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Our new nature that is spiritual will live on forever and is seated with Christ right now in Heavenly places.

Ephesians 2:6
And raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the Heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, Raised us up and seated us with Him”
(Past tense; its already taken place.)
The real us is up there right now, not sinning. The reason the born again Christian cannot sin is because of what Peter says: ...not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible.

1 Peter 1:23
Having been begotten again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible,

And what does 1 John 3:9 say? “... because his seed abideth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is begotten of God.”

We have the incorruptible seed, Christ, living in us and a part of us, never to be separated from us.

That is eternal life. 1 John is talking about a positional reality, which should be a personal reality.

I believe 1 John 5:18 is talking about a positional truth:

1 John 5:18
We know that no one who is born of God sins; but he who was born of God keep him and the evil one does not touch him.

If this is not talking about a positional truth, it would make Ephesians 6:10-18 and many other Christian warning verses ridiculous to have recorded in the Bible.

Ephesians 6:11-13
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12) For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13) Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Also: The sinless perfection bunch has to believe in “once saved, always saved.”

I John 3:9
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.

“Doth not commit sin”… “Cannot sin”

Anything a person could do to lose their salvation would be sin.
But a Christian cannot sin and a Christian doth not sin.
Once saved, always saved.

I John 3:6 is the same, if you sin, you have not seen Jesus or known Him, which is equivalent to once saved always saved.

I John 3:6
Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him. (KJV)

1 Corinthians 1:30
But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption;

Hebrews 10:14
For by one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.

Now there are those from the non-sinless perfection promoters that will tell you that what I John 3:9 is talking about is the “practicing of sin.”

1 John 3:9
No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. NASV

Many Christians think that the book of 1 John is saying; no one “practicing” sin is born of God.

Many are the same Christians who say that Christians cannot live a day without sinning. Are they not practicing sin, therefore, not born of God if they’re sinning every day?

How long have you been continuing in the practice of sin, all your life? The verses do not say the sin has to be the same sin. The verses seem to be talking about practicing sin, which could be any and all.

Note: the Greek word for “practice” Strong’s 4238 is not used in the book of 1 John.

The Greek word used in the NASV, is Strong’s 4160, in each of the verses. (1 John 2:29 - 1 John 3:4 twice - 1 John 3:7 - 1 John 3:8 - 1 John 3:9 - 1 John 3:10)

But read what the Strong’s 4238 says about Strong’s 4160.

4238 prasso (pras’-so);
a primary verb; to “practice”, i.e. perform repeatedly or habitually (thus differing from 4160, which properly refers to a single act); by implication, to execute, accomplish, etc.;

I John 3:9
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.
Since we know that Christians sin based on the many Scriptures already quoted, I hold to my position that 1 John 3:9 is referring to a positional truth.

John 10:27-30
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28) and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. 29) My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30) I and the Father are one.

The real us, is in Jesus’ hand and in the Father’s hand and there’s no sinning going on.

An old Methodist evangelist names Dr. Morrison taught the doctrine of holiness, and it was said that he came closer to practicing it than most folks do. Someone said to Dr. Morrison jokingly, “Dr. Morrison have you gotten to where you cannot sin?” Dr. Morrison said, “No, my brother, I have not yet gotten to where I cannot sin, but I have gotten to where I cannot sin and enjoy it.” That is where I am. I cannot sin and enjoy it. Can you? (Exploring 1-2-3 John, page 118)

CHAS G. FINNEY, He who does not habitually overcome the world is not born of God. In saying this, I do not intend to affirm that a true Christian may not sometimes be overcome by sin; but I do affirm that overcoming the world is the general rule, and falling into sin is only the exception. (Sermons on gospel themes, page 373)

“There may be occasional transgressions or brief lapses into sin in the life of a saint, but as he grows in grace and knowledge, such incidents will be less likely.” (Who Will Rise Up?, page 189)

In the book of Romans:
Chapter Six, we see not sinning is an act of the will.

Romans 6:11
Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. It’s an act of the will, therefore, not automatic, but possible.

Romans 6:12
Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lust... It’s an act of the will.

Romans 6:13
And do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
It’s an act of the will.

Christians do sin, that’s why this is written.

Now we see in Romans chapter seven:
Even though Paul himself knew all the principles of victory in Christ, the battle still goes on. He does not “identify with” the old self, but the new man as he observes the warfare within him.

Romans 7: 6
But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.

Romans 7:14
For we know that the Law is spiritual; but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin.

Romans 7:17
So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which indwells me.

Romans 7:20
But if I am doing the very thing I do not wish, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.

NOTE: Only a born-again Christian could make a statement like this and be correct.

In other words, no one except the born-again Christian has two different natures living within the same person.

1 Timothy 1:15
This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

Paul in 1 Timothy 1:15, is talking about His life as an unsaved Jew. He certainly identifies himself as a sinner, which is the opposite of what is being said in Romans 7 “I am no longer the one doing it.”

Why is he no longer the one doing it? Because He has the incorruptible seed, and is seated with Christ in heavenly places, born of God and does not sin and cannot sin. The born again believer’s life is far different for Paul than the life he had as an old covenant Jew prior to the new covenant and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
No Jew that had not been regenerated could make a statement like, “I am no longer the one doing it.”

That is only possible when you have two different natures living within the same body, which the Jews did not have!
The Jew was living under the old covenant.
There was no “old self” and “new self.” There was no “Holy Spirit” warring against the flesh and flesh warring against the Spirit. He was not seated in heavenly places. He was not a temple of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 5:19
For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners,
even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made
righteous. (New covenant)

Romans 7:21
I find then the principle that evil is present in me the one who wishes to do good.

Romans 7:25
Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.

In Romans eight:
God knows what is in us, and He lives within us and that’s why:

Romans 8:1
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:10
“And if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.”

Romans 8:26
And in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness;

Romans 8:34
Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. (Our Sins.)
Peter knew the truth...

1 Peter 1:16
Because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am Holy.”

Even though Peter knew the truth, he demonstrated a double standard of hypocrisy. (SIN). That’s why Paul rebuked him.

Galatians 2:11-15
But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12) For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision. 13) And the rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy.

We should approach sin from a conquerors point of view, rather than a defeatist point of view.

We as Christians can never out sin God’s ability to forgive.

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