This post is for Christians only.
This question was raised to me a while back and I posted this here to share with you what I think and more so what Christ taught us, because the guy who asked this question was troubled and confused regarding his salvation.
To start I think it is a vague question, a wrong question to some extent, because it doesn’t define the extent of the meaning of the words “God”, “sin” and “Christians”. Many people can have a lot of different views and definitions of these words which may or may not form a cohesive frame of logic.
To start with, God wants to save all but remember he is holy and he wants his people to be holy as well. So at the end, what counts the most is what is in your heart. If you enjoy your sin, God will know that, if you fight your sin and fail or succeed, God will acknowledge that too. Yes, we all sin, but I think we are derailed when we think Christ compromises on our sins. He doesn’t, that is the only reason he came all the way down to earth and died a horrible death so that we could be free of sin. He wants to abolish the sinful nature in us and though sin we may, it is paramount to know what is working in us. If it is the spirit of God and nature of God then we are assured that we can overcome our weaknesses and God saves us from our sins. But if it is the sinful nature that rules us and we are lip-Christians, then we need to seriously look into our spiritual life and the void which only Christ can fill.
What do I mean by Sinful?
When I say “sinful” I do not mean people who sin. For everyone sins, now, then and often. What I mean is, has Christ has done his work in you? Are you a new creature, does the spirit of God dwells in you? These are the most important questions. And if Christ has not done his work in you then are you willing to let him rule our heart? And the beauty is that he can rule your heart despite your weaknesses. Sanctification is a life long process. But what does develop, is the love and intimate relationship with Christ and through that we can learn to overcome sin. Christ is not looking for people who never sin, rather the people who, being in him, changed, do not want to sin. The ones who realize that their heavenly father abhors sin.
We can sin and be forgiven or we can sin and continue to sin and think we are forgiven. Faith in no way is an umbrella for sinning. And the beauty is that if you ask God to deliver you from your weakness you will be delivered.
Does sin condemn us or the lack of faith thereof?
We all sin, that is fine, I believe God forgives us for everything, we don’t have to bow down over and over for something,. However there is a difference between a God fearing attitude and a bold to sin attitude. In fact one could sin all their life (and we do) and yet still be justified in Christ. For it is not the amount of sin or repentance which counts but faith in Christ. In my observation, people who tend to be bold to sin without considering the atonement of Christ to be a gift, tend to have a hardening of heart and there by their faith is reduced to no more than a superficial veil of righteousness, where no amount of sin matters as long as they are “Christians”.
For it is not sin which ultimately leads to death as Christ forgives us our sins but the lack of faith, the lack of agreement that we need Christ to be saved, the lack of fear of God and also the same thing that John points out in:
1 John 1:8 “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”
It is vital to understand that sin is a hindrance in our relationship with God, it is wrong.
Do you have the spirit of Christ?
I don’t think it is a fair way to say that God is gonna punish us for every single sin we do, nor do I think it is fair to say that we can be children of God and sin all we want. I do however think it is a good question to ask yourself if you hate sin or not? I think that pretty much decides the camp you are in. No child of God can love God and love sin at the same time. He will either love one and hate the other. Paul speaks of something close when he mentions his weakness at doing something he wants to do but can’t and what he doesn’t want to do, he ends up doing exactly that. And in this scenario where we know but can’t overcome by ourselves, is the point where the grace of Christ can help us. And the same Paul wrote
“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived:”
I think there is a fine line between sinning as a born again believer and fighting it and then asking God for grace and his love to overcome the sin OR being a Christian by name, loving the wickedness, the acts of the sinful nature and think it is okay to sin as long as you are a Christian you are just saved. You can’t fall in both groups at the same time. If you are a child of God and you sinned, you would know the grace of love of God and being a child of God and having the nature of Christ, you will know how terrible sin is and may I say, you will detest sin even though you fell for it. But if we have not been born again, nor is the spirit of Christ in us then we will be okay with sin, because at the core we do not fully realize the work of the Cross neither God’s nature and his dislike of sin.
Now who is a Christian? Not the one who was born, or raised as a Christian but one who believes in Christ as his Lord and savior and therefore has the spirit of Christ which is given to those who believe in him through grace and the work of the cross. Because at the bottom of it all, it is of utmost importance to know whether we are Christians by name or Christ’s spirit is in us.
Fighting sin and addiction is not a very easy task but it helps most when it comes with an understanding of God’s love and his nature. Once you get to know Christ, that is the moment of change and then it becomes easy rather then trying to change with your own efforts.
So next time you are worried about your weakness to sin, you only have to answer this, “Do I have the spirit of God. Am I a new creature in Christ? has Christ done his work in me? Do I have faith in Him?
Remember God loves you, even when you do not deserve it and you sin. God’s love is not dependent on your good performance but on his ever lasting will to love you as his Child. Even when we receive punishment for our mistakes, it is not because God hates us but because he loves us too much to see us lost in sin.
That is the only reason God sent his son that whosoever shall believe in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.
Be strong, it is faith in Christ which absolves us, not our good deeds (they are a result of our spiritual life and not vice-versa ).