Yet we DO sin....I think the stumbling block here is the definition of sin- We do not make a habit of sinning. It is not our intention to sin- (yet because we are not perfect just forgiven and living in a state of Grace and kept by God,) but we do sin. However, we are seen by Him to be perfect. But we are not. We are seen by God to be perfect by what Jesus did for us. There is only One Who is perfect- we battle sin constantly. That is why Ephesians tells us how to put on the armour of God. We battle against the flesh and the devil daily. We are to continue in prayer and resist evil. Why? Because we are still in the world. And until the day of Glory, Christ's work in us is not finished. If we say we have no sin, then the Truth is not in us. Now the definition of sin is falling short of the mark of the Glory of God. There are none of us without sin YET. Not ongoing sin, but repented sin. We cannot live without sinning.
Can you say before God that you never have a sinful thought? A tiny bit 'testy' or short with others when tired or overwhelmed or premenstrual? Have you ever had a moment's irritation at traffic lights and thought evil of a driver who cuts you off on the freeway? Have you never ONCE rolled your eyes as you strip the wet bed off after your child has had an accident twice in the one night? Wished that you had some help around the house and felt testy because DH gets to watch TV and you are laundering the sheets? Of course you have. We all have! Why? Because we are human. We are not perfect- only in God's sight! Our family and friends have seen the true us- unless they are blind! Do they still love us? Of course- at least one would sincerely hope so.
Sin is sin- but it is covered by the Atonement of Christ. We all need the keeping power of God. Praise God, He does it for us. Christ is the author and finisher of our faith. He keeps us and helps us daily. One of my favourite verses is this one here. "For the eyes of the LORD range thoughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him." 2 Chronicles 16:9 Why does the LORD strengthen our hearts? Because He knows our frame- He knows we are but dust. He has compassion on us because He too was human- yet without sin.
If you can honestly say you never get selfishly angry, complain or have had ONE evil thought cross your mind- or been irritated at the check out operator's slowness, then perhaps you would be right in saying you do not sin. But if I make you angry by saying that we do sin - and you really want to 'show me' something- then perhaps a close look at your heart will reveal that you are not perfect. That's precisely what I mean. It is a definition of terms. Certainly not the type of sin which would preclude us from seeing our Saviour.
I have written in this way merely to point out that we do sin- not to make you hate me or upset you! Let us rejoice in our celebration of God's love and enjoy our salvation. There is NO ONE SIN that cannot be covered by the blood and forgiven. Praise God! The Blood Of Jesus can save the vilest sinner if they will only believe, repent and confess.
I am going to quote a friend who helped me understand forgiveness and God’s mercy- a godly lady and a wonderful teacher. She told me: and I quote:
"If you are concerned about your spiritual state, then God is still speaking to you. He is still leading. The very fact that you are concerned about it, tells that you have not committed the "unpardonable sin". I don't believe that any child of God need spend sleepless hours fretting and wondering about their security. God promises eternal security of all believers, and I believe it! I don't believe that it is at all that easy to lose your salvation though. The unpardonable sin (the ONLY sin that is unpardonable ) is a spiritual condition in contrast to a specific sin. It consists of an attitude that continually says "I will continue to sin because I know that God will forgive me". Hence the warning: "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? " Romans 6:1-2Because of God's rich mercy and understanding of our human frailties and struggles- those Christians who seem (to us) unreachable to God, in every case, have the watchful love and concern of God over them. They were redeemed on the cross and belong to God. It is not up to us to judge how far they wander before they go too far. That is for God to know and decide. For which I praise and love Him even more- We all need our Saviour- He won't kick us out of the Kingdom unless WE decide we don't want it- EVER! Praise God for His mercy!
For by us having free will, we have the option to turn from God. Becoming apostate. Then no matter how much God speaks to you, no matter how often He wounds your heart and draws you near to Himself, no matter how much He softens your heart and troubles your mind, you continue on to a certain point and God says He is finished with you and will not speak to you again.
Being apostate and losing your salvation and "backsliding" are two totally different things. Backsliding is allowing the old man- carnality- to take over in our lives and committing sin. Backsliding is curable when the backslider repents. But at what point do we become apostate and lose our salvation? When does the liar become one of the liars who will not inherit eternal life as mentioned in Revelation? I don't know. None of us does. God's mercy extends a long way, longer than we can imagine. I contend that God's Word ways that where there is true repentance there is forgiveness, no matter if it's after one time of sin or a thousand times. But there is a time according to scripture when God will not speak to a person any more. I don't think it's the norm, but I do think it happens.” End of quote. (by Sylvia Britton)
Let us rejoice that we have a God Who intercedes for us- no matter how soiled by the world we have become or how far we have strayed- yet He through His mercy finds us! Rejoice in Him...walk in integrity and faith, don't give way to fear. And if you see your Brother or Sister sinning, lovingly go to their aid- don't stand by in judgement- for by the grace of God go I...and you...and you too. When we enter the Kingdom of God, I think we will all be holding each other up. With the world getting steadily darker and godless, let us support each other, pray for each other and learn to live as the Body of Christ in the bond of love and peace!
I was saved in a Pentecostal church where the preaching was often fearful and the general consensus was that if you so much as looked sideways- you could lose your salvation! So then I went to the other camps- Episcopal and Baptist. Much more comforting- but in stark contrast to what they had said. So I studied about if for myself and it has taken a long time to actually relax in the LORD to the point where I am no longer in fear of losing my salvation through misunderstanding the Word or feeling unforgiven. I really feel that I don't want other Christians to go through the anxieties I went through, and yes, I am wordy. When you are trying to stand up for something or someone, it often becomes that way. And I am standing up for any here who are afraid of sinning and losing their salvation like I once was! I don’t want that for you! That is torment!
We all have to base the ultimate authority on God's Word, not a specific denomination or leaning. I think where there is no fruit of salvation, it would have to be asked if that person has had a true regeneration of his/her spirit ie. born- again experience. Because it is written that by their fruits we will know them. If true regeneration of our spirit has taken place there has to be a natural outward flow of fruits of the spirit- salvation. So to 'lose' one's salvation may possibly be that there wasn't a true salvation experience to lose anyway.
Anyway, I believe that it is the person's turning away from God- not God chucking him or her out of the Kingdom. Only God knows a man's heart really...after all, not all who say Lord Lord will be saved. Personally, I have finally come to a place in my own walk to know that in everything, I have God's watchful eye of concern over me! And for that I am very thankful! And I try to live beyond reproach, be honest and fair, be loving to all, both saved and unsaved...not to earn my salvation- but because I want to please Him Who saved me! That's the key in this, I feel- self-will. Both to know and love or to deny and curse.
I believe that for all of us who meditate on the things of God, who search doctrines and yearn for knowledge and to be like Christ- have no need to fear sinning too much and turning away- and for the brief periods that we do unwillingly sin- we can rest secure that God's Hand is still on us and His love and salvation are still with us.
© Glenys Robyn Hicks
"What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? " Romans 6:1-2