Do Christians Still Sin?

I know this can be a “thorny” question and if anyone tells you that the answer is simple, I would have to disagree. There are a lot of implications in this question, necessitating a number of things that need to be considered. I am of the personal opinion, that with the exception of Jesus Himself, no one, no one, has ever been perfectly without sin. And because of the implications that are addressed within the following multiple links, I personally believe that no one will ever, while residing in these bodies that we inhabit, upon this earth, prior to Christ’s return, be without sin. 

My reasoning is contained within the links below. The multiple links are necessary because of the scope contained within the title question.  For those who may disagree, my opinion is my own and we can respectfully agree to disagree. For those who may take into consideration what this detailed study encapsulates, I hope this study helps.

https://www.gotquestions.org/definition-sin.html
https://www.gotquestions.org/physical-death.html

https://www.gotquestions.org/why-do-people-die.html
https://www.gotquestions.org/do-Christians-sin.html
https://www.gotquestions.org/forgiven-why-not-sin.html
https://www.gotquestions.org/still-sin-after-salvation.html
https://www.gotquestions.org/surrender-to-God.html
https://www.gotquestions.org/besetting-sins.html

https://www.gotquestions.org/dead-to-sin.html

Our bodies still die because as Christians we still sin.
Our bodies still get sick because as Christians we still sin.
Our bodies still degrade over time because as Christians we still sin.
There is only one man in the history of the world who died and did not sin and that is Jesus.
And God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) raised Jesus from the dead. Jesus is our hope.
Peter died.
James died.
Paul died.
We all die unless we are taken up into heaven by God before we die, or are among those who are alive and taken up during the rapture.

Why do Christians still have to physically die?
https://www.gotquestions.org/original-sin.html
https://www.gotquestions.org/sanctification.html

https://www.gotquestions.org/progressive-sanctification.html

Post Note: If you have read through the comments on this post, you will note that there is some discussion pertaining to the correct focus or goal we Christians should have, of continually moving forward in Christ. And I believe that the discussion of this focus that was raised is valid because as Christians we do not continue to deliberately live in sin, and we do indeed endeavour to walk in holiness and in righteousness and we have or should have ceased from deliberately living in sin. But there is a difference between habitually living in sin and acknowledging the sin that still resides within us and so easily besets us. While our perfection in Christ is our continual goal, it is a goal that none of us will achieve while we are here in these bodies, because of sin that still resides within. Having died with Christ to sin, we have indeed have been raised with Christ, to walk in newness of life in him, so that this body of sin might be brought to nothing, because we are no longer enslaved to sin, but rather we are enslaved to God. Sanctification is a process whereby we are set apart, to function as intended by our Creator. I personally call sanctification, the onion process, because the closer we come to God, the more and more we become aware of the layers within, that this sin within touches. These layers touch on our motives, our self pride, our self centered desires within, if you will. Most of us acknowledge that there are layers within us that still need to be brought into this sanctification process. What also is true is that most of us are not aware of how big this onion actually is, nor the multiple layers that lie within. Our goal is not abandoned but neither is our acknowledgement that our perfection has not yet been completed. Two sides of the same coin.

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!

30 comments

    • Hi Gary, thank you for commenting. I agree, casting that first stone becomes much more meaningful as we progress in age. About now, I frequently hesitate in even holding one. Strange how picking a hill to die on becomes much more simple as we age! Blessings brother!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. It says somewhere in 1 John that anyone who claims they are without sin makes God a liar. That’s evidence enough for me.

    There will always be modern day gnostics who claim they don’t sin. This is nothing more than a re-baked version of the lie Satan told Eve, “You can be equal with God.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi David, a good number of years ago I actually encountered a group of Lutheran Christians who thought they didn’t sin at all, which kind of caught me off guard. And they were quite adamant about it! I learned from that encounter to never assume. Blessings brother!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the resources, Bruce. I know that believers from the Wesleyan-holiness tradition teach the possibility of Christian perfection aka full/entire sanctification, but the longer I read God’s Word the more I realize how much I need Jesus Christ the Savior, the only sinless Person to have ever walked this planet. I thank God for the imputed perfect righteousness of Christ because I don’t have one, single plea. I had a dialogue with someone not too long ago who argued that she had reached a state of full sanctification.

    Like

  3. I sin everyday, more times than I even realize. I have major perfectionistic tendencies. This can actually become quite debilitating and a hindrance to enjoying freedom in Christ. For me when perfectionism becomes overwhelming and I worry about not doing something in excellence, I remind myself that I am not God. I am not perfect, I will never be perfect this side of heaven, and mostly God doesn’t call me to be perfect, He calls me to follow Him, to grow in Him etc. Thank you for this list of resources! Praying for you and Peggy!!!!!

    Like

    • Hi Mandy, it’s good to hear from you! Just the mere thought of always treating everyone, as I myself would like to be treated; usually brings the realization of my own shortfalls to the forefront of my mind. And because we do indeed follow and grow in Jesus over time, the older we get, the more that we see these shortfalls in ourselves, that we didn’t always see before. I’m of the mindset, that it is presumptuous on our part, to think that we even get close. But God’s grace and my dependency on His grace, can oftentimes, make such a difference. Thank you for your prayers Mandy and know that I lift you and Nathan up in mine. God’s grace, peace and blessings to you and yours!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Are we still capable of sin? Surely! Are we still tempted to sin? Absolutely! But as followers of Jesus we are to no longer walk in sin. Sin is to no longer be what we practice. For if sin is what we practice, i.e. if we deliberately and habitually sin against God and our fellow humans, the Scriptures teach that we will not inherit eternal life with God unless we repent and we turn to God and we follow him in walks of obedience to his commands, in practice (Rom 6&8, Gal 5:16-21; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Eph 5:3-6; etc.).

    So, I think the question to be focused on for believers in Jesus is not “Do we sin?” But “Should we sin?” For, although those people do exist who think Christians cannot sin, they are rare. The big problem today is that too many Christians are being given carte blanche to live in deliberate and habitual sin because they are not being taught the truth of the gospel but lies intended to tickle itching ears. And so they believe God’s grace gives them the liberty to keep on sinning, but it doesn’t.

    God’s grace, which brings salvation, trains (instructs, teaches) us to renounce (to say “No!” to) ungodliness and fleshly lusts (worldly passions) and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s return (Titus 2:11-14). So, again, I don’t believe our focus should be on “Do we sin?”, for I don’t believe many people today would argue with the fact that we are still very capable of sin and that not one of us has reached sinless perfection.

    But we need to all be focused on walking in obedience to our Lord and on denying self and on daily dying to sin, by the Spirit, and on living holy lives, pleasing to God. For sin should no longer be what we practice. It should not be our habit. But righteousness is what is to be our practice, by the grace of God, in his power and strength. And it is possible to live holy lives and to no longer sin in practice, habitually and deliberately, for to this purpose Jesus died on that cross (1 John 3:4-10; 1 Peter 2:24; Romans 6:1-23).

    Like

    • Hi Sue. If I told you that you didn’t cross my mind as I put together this overview, I would not be telling the truth. I just carefully read every word you just wrote and there is not one word in your comment that I believe is not Scriptural. That is indeed what we aim for, without a doubt. But we still sin, that also is the reality. Either intentionally or not intentionally, it still happens, every single day, to every single one of us and that reality also needs to be recognized for what it is. You’re not wrong in your perspective, but neither am I. I do not condone sin, we are called not to sin, clear and simple, “Be holy as I am Holy”. But these bodies die because sin still dwells within us, even though we have been reborn to serve God. We are under God’s grace because Jesus did for us what we in and of ourselves could not do, only He is perfect, we follow yet we do still fall short at times. There are still many ardent followers of Jesus who grieve because of the sin in them that surfaces from time to time. They also need to be spoken to, they also need to be lifted. It’s not all about those who don’t, it’s also about those who do earnestly strive to follow Jesus in all of their ways and all of their thoughts. I grieve when I do not give of myself more when I should. When my patience isn’t what it should be or my words are more cutting than I meant. I am not God. Jesus is. That is why I follow Him and ultimately He will bring me to completion in Him and that is God’s grace. There is a danger of being over critical and there is a danger of not being critical enough. Compassion is also a trait that we are to show because God shows compassion to all of us. Those who grieve because of the shortfalls in themselves that they do see, also need to be spoken to. God answered my plea to Him many years ago when I yet had many of my ways to change. He loved me then no less than He loves me now, even though there have been many many changes along the way, in what I think, in what I say and what I do. And the reason for that is simple, my righteousness is Jesus, God’s only begotten Son. I am changed more into His likeness day by day, some days I just tread water, some days I make progress, infrequently somedays I take a step back. It happens, I confess my sin and I continue to move forward, knowing my course is set and I know to whom I depend on and I know to whom I trust to bring me to completion in Him. The overview I provided touches on all of this, and there is a balance within it that also needs to be heard. I am not critiquing your perspective, just saying the same thing from a slightly different angle. Love in Christ – Bruce

      Like

      • Bruce, thank you for your response and for your kind reception of my response to you, and thank you for sharing with me your perspective. Love you in Jesus. Sue

        Like

      • I do have a follow-up question, though. How do you reconcile your statements stating that everyone sins every day with the Scriptures that teach that if you practice sin or if you continue in sin, as a habit, that you will not inherit the kingdom of heaven? How do you differentiate between someone who sins every day and someone who practices sin? The word “practice” is related to the word “habitual” which is customary, regular, usual, which sounds like every day.

        Like

      • Hi Sue, Sure, I will answer those questions. For Christians, I am not talking about deliberate habitual sin such as continuous stealing, lying or fornication etc, I am talking about our motives, false pride, prejudice, selfishness and thinking too highly of ourselves etc, to name but a few of the ways in which our thoughts and ways can differ at times from God’s thoughts and ways. 

There are also many things in God’s Word that we don’t always do, such as give honour and respect where it is due, unwillingness to forgive others, bearing false witness about others by spreading rumours that we haven’t taken the time to thoroughly verify, lack of compassion, causing unnecessary dissension among the brethren and having one set of rules for ourselves and a different set of rules for others. The mere fact that God makes all His judgements without partiality, should stop our normal humanistic behaviour, but it rarely does.

        When I say that I sin every day I am not talking about deliberate sin, where I know something is not God’s will for me and I just go ahead and do it anyway. I am talking about sin which I am often not aware of, or that I do something without thinking or the words come out of my mouth before I stop to think. Sin is still sin, whether intentional or non-intentional.

        And yes, sometimes, albeit I would hope infrequently, I know I should not do something, like make an important decision without talking to God about it, or respond with concern about my own feeling, over my concern for the one to whom I am conversing with. Speaking the truth for someone else is relatively easy. Speaking the truth in love from me, towards them, where I take my own shortfalls into account, is not. The world would be a much quieter place if we all did that, but most times we don’t.

        And you asked the question “How do you differentiate between someone who sins every day and someone who practices sin?” I consider the source. Are they a new relatively weak Christian? Are they a non-believer? I consider what is of paramount importance, like the Samaritan woman at the well that Jesus addressed who was living in sin. I have learned to differentiate a lot of things, hopefully, some of which, are like Jesus did.

        Words are indeed important but how they are conveyed is even more important. I hope I have answered your questions to your satisfaction, Sue. Blessings!

        Like

      • Bruce, I have been praying over how or if I should respond to you, and this is where I am. The Scriptures do not teach that, as believers in Jesus, that we will sin every day. They teach that we are to cease from making sin our practice, and that we are to no longer live in and walk in sin. My passage for this morning is 1 Peter 4:1-2:

        “Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.”

        Now, we are told in I John 2:1 that we are not to sin but that if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. So, the plan for us is that we not sin, but we might sin. But then we read on in 1 John that if we say we have fellowship with God but we walk in sin that we are liars who don’t live by the truth (1 John 1:5-10). And we are told that if we say that we know God but we do not obey his commandments, we are liars and the truth is not in us (1 John 2:3-6).

        And then we read in 1 John 3:4-10 that if we abide in Christ that we don’t keep on sinning, i.e. sin is not what we practice, and that it is whoever practices righteousness who is righteous, as God is righteous. And then it goes on to tell us that if sin is what we practice that we are of the devil and that we are not born of God. And Jesus and Paul taught the same message, that if sin is what we practice that we will not inherit eternal life with God, but if obedience to our Lord is what we practice, that we have eternal life.

        [Lu 9:23-26; Jn 15:1-11; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; Rom 12:1-2; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Eph 4:17-24; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; Heb 10:26-31; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Jn 15:1-11; Matt 7:21-23; Tit 2:11-14; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

        So, my concern here is if you are teaching that all Christians sin every day, which I believe was your premise, that just is not what the Scriptures teach. I believe they teach us not to sin and not to make sin our practice but that righteousness and holiness should be what we do every day. Now I am not saying that you are intentionally promoting sin, but that you may be leading some people to feel as though they can continue in sin as believers in Jesus by you stating that we all sin every day, as though that is to be the norm.

        For, while you may feel as though you are able to differentiate between someone who sins every day and someone who practices sin, it is not that clear cut since “every day” assumes that it is something which is the norm for us, it is our practice, our habit. And I believe it opens the door wide for the potential that some of your readers might see the idea that all Christians sin every day as a green light for them to continue in willful sin.

        Now, you are correct that not one of us is perfect, for we all live in flesh bodies and so we are all susceptible to sin, but to claim that we all sin every day I don’t believe is supported biblically. And I believe it is contrary to what the Scriptures teach on sin to those professing faith in Jesus Christ. So, shouldn’t you rather be teaching that we all need to not sin every day and that we need to cease from sinning as a matter of habit? And I don’t mean to be combative here. I am genuinely concerned for what message you may be giving your readers, that it might give the opposite message of what the Scriptures are teaching with regard to how we are to live every day.

        Love you brother in Jesus, sister Sue

        Like

      • Hi Sue, I do understand your concern and I do seriously appreciate you voicing them.

        One of the reasons why I had a good number of links in this particular post, was that it covered many of your concerns. No where, in any of the links provided is it advocated that we give in to sin or pass our sins off as being acceptable. Not one. If I post it, I have read it, from start to finish.

        And I can appreciate the Scriptures you quoted and I agree with them. The goal that the Scriptures focus on is always to not sin and to always walk in the Spirit. And here comes one of the “buts . . .”. But the reason why there are all these links in the first place, is that from a practical and progressive walk reality, that goal we are encouraged to focus on is not continually (key word), realized for many Christians, and that would include myself and the vast majority of other Christians that I know. Perfection does not leave any room for less than, as in none. Paul said he had not yet reached perfection and few there be that are as determined as Paul.

        Plus as you are acutely aware, there are other Scriptures that tell us not to deny that we sin, and encourage us to acknowledge our sins that can so easily beset us, and to confess and seek forgiveness from God for our sins, so that God can and will cleanse us from all unrighteousness etc.

        I will give you an example. Let’s say that God’s Word tells us that we can fly if we stay thoroughly focused on Him. But when we stand in His promise and jump off of the building, we find that we fall to the ground. To deny that reality does one of two things. It either makes us doubt God’s promise or it makes us doubt ourselves. The purpose of this particular post is to address when we doubt ourselves, not God’s promises. Just because we may fall does not invalidate God’s promises. What is does do is validate our inherent condition. Our bodies die because we still sin, (or can’t fly), irrespective of our goal.

        Is there a potential danger that someone will use the reality of us all sinning from time to time as an excuse to keep sinning? Of course there is and one of the links I provided covers that, quoting Paul extensively where he stops that perspective cold. Conversely, there is also a danger that where a Christian acknowledges his or her sin, and then becomes discouraged because he or she doesn’t measure up per se. There are always dangers, they cannot be avoided, no matter which side one looks on. We are both aware how Satan often uses these shortfalls to get us to give up.

        The reason why I posted this particular post is that there is a need to both acknowledge the goal we aim for and at the same time, a need to acknowledge that this goal is not always continually met. Plus we have the reality of what constitutes sin in the eyes of God and that scope is all inclusive, multi-layered and most times, much deeper and extensive than we realize. I gave some examples to you in a previous response.

        Christians can get discouraged when they do not measure up, it happens to all of us, because if we search God’s Holy Word, being like God, in all His ways and all His thoughts is not something that we can attain to, while we are in these bodies. That is why God gives us a new body when we are completed in Him, after this body dies.

        The goal we are given is to be Holy like God is Holy. Only one person in the flesh that I know of ever perfectly did that and that is Jesus. There is a need to acknowledge the difference between our goal and reality. No, our goal does not change but neither does our reality. This post, in particular, addresses that reality, because is can be problematic to many, if not understood.

        Once again, Sue, I hope this helps. Like I previously said, I do believe that I am saying the same thing that you are but from a slightly different angle. If you disagree, I can live with that. You are a dear Christian sister and I really don’t mind you asking or challenging my thinking.

        Love in Christ – Bruce

        Like

      • Thank you, Bruce, for your kind, detailed, and thoughtful response. I agree we are not sinless, but that does not equal that we sin every day or that sinning every day is acceptable to God. And regarding the sin that can so easily beset us, we are to cast it off so that we can run the race God has for us to run. Yes, we may still sin from time to time, but daily by the Spirit we are to be putting sin to death. The point is, as followers of Jesus, we are to no longer walk in sin. Sin is not what we are to practice. So we should not be sinning every day. Yes, Paul had not yet reached perfection but he beat his body into submission, I think he may have said daily, so that he might not be disqualified for the prize at the end of the race. So, all I am saying is that the focus needs to be on us not sinning, but yes, understanding that we might sin from time to time, and then having teaching on what to do if we do sin so that we don’t keep repeating the same sins over and over again. And I think I will leave it there and hope the best for you and Peg. Praying for you both.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Greetings Bruce, my friend. Great post and well balanced. I, too, have encountered those who claimed they now walked in sinless perfection and that any who don’t are under condemnation. I recently fell down a Charles Finney rabbit hole and ended up banging around in his “Systematic Theology.” He denied original sin and the concept of the “sin nature” and made astonishing statements such as, “But can he be pardoned and accepted, and then justified, in the gospel sense, while sin, any degree of sin, remains in him? Certainly not.” and “God justifies no one, but upon condition of present sinlessness!”

    He also had some mighty strange and nuanced views of the atonement as well. Enough so that I would put him squarely outside of orthodoxy in my opinion. Anyway, I hope you and Peg are doing well. You remain in my prayers.
    Blessings to you,
    Craig

    Like

    • Hi Craig, you’ve been on my mind a lot as of late. I think it is a bit of guilt for not getting back to your last email but things have been a tad on the hectic side as of late. But …. I always remember you and yours in my prayers! Key word being “always”! I’ve never read any of Charles Finney’s books (although I have heard of him) and by the sound of it, I’m thinking I don’t want to. Peg and I are both doing OK although it is touch and go sometimes. God’s grace is so amazing but there is a sadness that lingers. My wife is actually amazing too. I couldn’t possibly love her more and that too is a gift. Hoping you and yours are also doing well, Craig. Love you brother!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s