“Are You Saying You’re Sinless?!”
December 12, 2013
There is a trick question people often ask those who preach holiness. Because of our teaching, they direct their question to us personally, asking, “So, are YOU sinless?” They know that if we say we are sinless, then we are liars, but that if we say we are not sinless, then we discredit our claim that Christ has set us free from sin (as numerous Scripture passages teach). With a triumphant tone they ask it.
But it’s an inappropriate question. It’s as if a surgeon-in-training or a pilot-in-training asked his teachers if they ever disobey the instructions, methods, wisdom, etc., that they claim to adhere to. “Why should you tell me to do things this way?” that trainee complains. “I bet you yourself don’t always follow what you teach.” The question is rude, but more than that, it reveals that the trainee does not really believe what he is being taught. Any good teacher would tell that trainee not to come back until he has decided he is going to believe the teacher’s words.
God’s Word gives us clear directives. It says that if we step into Christ with genuine hearts of gratitude and commitment, and abide there in Christ’s love by obeying His commands, then we are walking free of sin. Sin is wickedness, but it is also a force, a controller, and an enticer. Those who abide in Christ, the Word of God, are walking free of that Evil’s control and persuasion. Why wouldn’t we be?! We walk in the Spirit of the all-powerful glorious God who created the universe by His word/Word. And some “Christian” trainees want to deny that this gives us continuous freedom and victory over sin? –Just because they are still experiencing Sin’s control? Well, such people are simply unbelievers. They do not believe Christ’s words or the rest of Scripture.
Like these two verses: “Because His divine power has given us all things for life and godliness, through the full knowledge of the One having called us to His own glory and virtue, by which He has granted to us His precious and very great promises, in order that through these you might become sharers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by lust.” (2 Peter 1:3,4) Yes, this is a cumbersome sentence, but it should be meditated on, and while using various versions. For these two verses sum up what the Gospel offers to those who walk in it.
Or like these two verses: “But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.” (Rom. 6:17,18) Does that sound like anyone who claims to be a Christian should be wondering about how much or how often they or other Christians might be sinning?
Or like these two: “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct.” (1 Peter 1:14,15) Any “Christian” who says he is not able to be consistently obedient to the Lord’s commands is regressing to the ignorance unbelievers live in. For “No one who abides in Him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen Him or known Him.” (1 John 3:6) Such a person may have begun the training, but somewhere he turned away –turned away to follow his own lusts.
These are the people who divide us and who do not have the Spirit. (Jude 1:19) By denying Christ’s power available and applicable, they deny Christ’s teachings, and thus deny Christ. (v. 4 // Luke 6:46-49) Their denials should not be tolerated as true Christianity. (Rom. 16:17,18)