Once A Sinner
Something happened in the Garden of Eden that was a clean miss. The Creator
gave man a little knowledge within His loving instructions [Gen.
2:15-17], but Eve (and then, Adam) wanted more. [Gen. 3:1-7] Please
note the results of this breach/sin [Gen. 3:14-24]: Death, eviction
and the Curse. The Father of creation does not condemn these violators to
a life of sin, for it was man who delivered the sin --- not God. So it continues
to this day. Just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death
through sin, and so death spread to all men, because truly all have sinned;
for sin was in the world both before and after the Law, but sin is not charged
(counted) when there is no law. [Rom. 5:12-13] Was John the
Baptizer correct concerning what he said about Jesus? Did the Lamb of God
really take away the sin of the world? [John 1:29; Heb. 9:24-10:4]
A firm 'Yes' should be heard. Then, what shall we say for all this sin and
talk of sin in man? Starting in Romans chapter 3: All are under sin. All
have sinned (I believe it's safe to say that in this world, at the present
time, we are surrounded by sin and sin's results.) Do you know that everyone
who commits sin is a slave to sin? [John 8:34-36] Still, no
mention of a 'sinning gene'; just sin in the world, the flesh, and death
as the outcome of sin. Then came Jesus Christ, full of grace and truth. The
deity of Christ [Heb. 1], the humanity of Christ [Matt.
8:20; Luke 24:39; Rom. 1:3-4; 9:15; Heb. 4:15], the sacrifice of Christ
[I Tim. 2:5-6], and the calling on His life. [Philp.
2:5-11] We are instructed to have the same mind (attitude) as Christ
Jesus. In the gospel of Christ righteousness (justification) is revealed.
[Rom. 1:16-17; II Pet. 1:1] There were attempts to convict even
this spotless One of sin [John 9], but He knew no sin, and thus
left us an example to follow in His steps. [I Pet. 2:21-25]
Those who have been born of the Spirit are now justified for the demonstration
of His righteousness at the present time by the 'law' of faith. [Rom.
3:24-31] Our faith is to agree wholeheartedly with God. We knew that
the knowledge of sin was enough to make our sin a reality [John 9:41;
15:22; Jam. 4:17], and we now know that faith in Christ is enough
to do away with the reality of sin for us. How? You have died to sin.
[Rom. 6:6-11; I Pet. 4:1] The Law would continue to convict
you of sin --- but --- you died to sin, remember? If you now practice evil,
it is not you, but sin in you. [Rom 7] (---and, notice how Paul
found that with his mind he was serving the Law of God --- vs.
35.) There is now a law of love and a law of liberty for us. [Jam.
2] As for the Mosaic Law, 'our tutor', we are no longer under it.
[Gal. 3:23-26] Where there is no (application of) law, there
is no violation. [Rom. 4:15; I Cor. 15:56-57] We who have died
to sin should not be living in it, as that old life we knew before has been
buried with Christ. [Rom. 6] He who has died with Christ is
freed from sin. [Rom. 6:7-10] If therefore the Son shall make
you free, you shall be free indeed. [John 8:36] Consider yourself
dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. [Rom. 6:11; II Cor.
4:11; 5:14-15] Sin will not be master over you, for you are now a
slave of righteousness resulting in your sanctification. [Rom.
6:18-19] The requirement of the law is fulfilled in us who do not
walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. [Rom. 8:2-4;
Gal. 5:16] For those in Christ, we were sinners and in shame, but
Christ has released us from the law of sin and death. [Rom. 6:7; Gal.
5:1; I Pet. 4:1-2] If you are still a sinner, what then has Christ
set you free from? If not from sin, then surely not from death. [Rom.
6:23] Think that you may be sinning every hour? Maybe that's what
you've been hearing from other voices. Only those apostate or lost are described
as never ceasing from sin. [II Pet. 2:10-15] If you've bought
this defeating deception of perpetual sin for a believer, then I plead with
you to hear the Apostle Paul as he invokes you and I to "... stop sinning."
[I Cor. 15:34] Does it seam unreasonable that Jesus instructed
individuals to cease from sinning? [John 5:3-15; 8:1-11] Walk
and live by faith [Rom. 14:22-23], and do not doubt. Look now
at the calling of God on our lives: We are to be holy, complete, perfect
and mature in our new life in Christ. [Matt. 5:48; II Cor. 5:16-21;
Heb. 12:14; I Pet. 1:13-16; II Pet. 3:14; I John 2:5-6; 3:3;
4:17; ....] But, "that's impossible," you might reply. Really? Impossible
for God to work righteousness in you for more than 24 hours? Truly, what
He has called us to, He is able to accomplish in us. [Matt. 11:28-30;
Rom. 8:27-39; Eph. 2:10; 3:16-21; Philp. 2:13] Being freed from sin
is a promise from God. Further, He promises us the power to accomplish this,
as He will accomplish it in us [I Cor. 2:5; I Pet. 4:11; II Pet. 1:3;
I John 4:4], and He has made us partakers of His nature --- the divine
nature (not a sinful nature') [II Pet. 1:4; I John 4:13-16]
What if the unthinkable does happen? I John 1:9. It is not the
normal Christian walk to presume or tolerate sin. [I Tim. 5:20; Heb.
10:26] For the Spirit man, sin should be excepted not accepted.
[Rom. 6:16; I John 2:1; 3:1-24; 5:18] In Paul's first letter
to Timothy, he describes himself as the 'chief of sinners'. Let us be sure
to read I Tim. 1:12-16 and I Cor. 15:9-10, where
Paul details some of the things that he formerly did to earn his introspective
self-title. Within the context of Paul's writing is the revelation that Paul
is no longer living as the "foremost" sinner he once was. As for this man;
my brothers/sisters, in writing to you now I make no proclamation for myself
concerning the absence of sin. [I John 1:8] I do know that when
a man or woman is unencumbered by sin, their thoughts are not found on
themselves. [Philip. 3:9-14] However, should you in your confidence
have a thought to announce your own maturity concerning sin, you will then
know pride. Be warned. [Prov. 16:18; 20:9; Mark 7:20-23; Rom
12:3; I Cor. 1:26-31; Jam. 4:10] Consider that our Lord never made
a direct personal claim to sinlessness within the gospels, and, He did not
need to. The works of God are revealed in and through Christ. [II Cor.
4:10] Though the curse does (at least in part) remain with us, it
too will be removed. [Rev. 22:3] As for the flesh with its desires:
We know that we shall be changed.