Response is Necessary

I encourage any response that you may have. PLEASE comment. Tell me if you agree, disagree, don't understand, whatever. Just let me know what you think.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Why do I sin Part II

Why is it so hard to choose not to sin though? Well, let’s be honest, sin feels good. God replaced our heart with a new sinless one, but our body is still the same sin soaked flesh that we started with. While we have it we are going to be hard pressed to keep from sinning. I want to make it clear though, that I don’t believe it is impossible to live a sinless life after becoming a Christian. Very difficult yes, impossible I’d say no. I believe this for two reasons. First, in Matt. 5:48 Jesus tells us, “be perfect as your father in heaven is perfect”. This is the standard, and I don’t take God as being the kind of Father that sets impossible standards. Secondly, Paul in 1 Cor. 11:1 asks the Corinthians to imitate him as he imitates Christ. He could only make such a statement if he were imitating Christ perfectly. This is aside from the point though. Before conversion our flesh influenced our mind which in turn dictated our emotions and will. Post conversion we have the choice of allowing our spirit or our flesh to influence our mind. Which is it going to be?

The hope in all this is that we won’t have this same sin tainted flesh forever. The fact that Christ resurrected physically gives me so much to look forward to. I can’t wait for that day when I hear Christ’s call and I am given that new perfected, resurrected, sinless body. There is so much to look forward to.


Peter P said...

Paul also says that 'the things I want to do, I don't do and the things I don't want to do I do'

I must admit I have never thought of that verse in Matthew 5 as a suggestion that we could be sinless.

I guess in some ways it's easy to justify your own continued sin by saying 'I still have a fallen body' and I know it is completely wrong to justify yourself in that way but I've never considered the idea that it is possible for us to live a sinless life after being born again.

Great post. Much to think about.

God bless.


Doah said...

I have considered Matthew 5:48 as proof that we can actually not sin. John and I have actually discussed this before. Also, Peter, I have often complicated what you quote from Paul in Romans 7, too often though we don't go on to the first part of chapter 8. Paul asks essentially, "Who will rescue me from this sin?" He answers: Jesus! "For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death." Powerful stuff. Actually, 8:1-11 blows my mind. What's it gonna be? Easy one: I'll choose to yield to the Spirit any day!

jasonS said...

Thanks for the conversation (and thanks Peter for telling us about the blog).

I think righteousness is an impossible standard, which is why we need Jesus. It's the paradox we see over and over in Scripture. I'm saved, but I'm in the process of being saved. I'm adopted as a son, but we're in the process of adoption. I have the mind of Christ, but I'm being perfected into Jesus' image. Sorry, I'd give all the references, but I'm trying to be quick.

In my view, it's because God is not bound by time. He is free in eternity and sees the finished, the completion. So we are there, but we are not there.

Through Jesus' blood we are perfect because the Father sees the Son. To me the verse in Matthew relays our need for a Savior through whom perfection is gifted to us. The more we give ourselves to Him, the more we reflect that image.

Thank God, like you said, that our struggle is not forever and victory has been won once and for all!

John said...

Jason thank you for the post, I love it.

I agree with you in as much as righteousness is definitely an impossible standard to achieve on our own, but with Christ’s help, I don’t think it is. The argument really boils down to whether or not sin is a choice. If, as I say, sin is a choice and we are no longer a slave to sin, then (at least theoretically) we can always choose not to sin. If however, we say that it is impossible to not sin, then in essence we are still in bondage to sin, and nothing has changed, we still do not have a choice to not sin. I think all too often we use sayings like, “I’m only human” as a cop out for unrighteousness. We are so used to sinning that it has become the default. I sincerely hope that by saying all of this that people aren’t drawing the conclusion that I feel that I have some how attained righteousness. Far from it. Thank you again for the feedback though.