I just made this response to a post on the Shovel Shack and then realized that it would make for a good follow-up to last week's Shoveletter. Jim
"We are sinners to the day we die...I believe in Christ, but I still find myself sinning. Maybe I'm not 'In Christ' after all? ... Well, the bottom line is this...I know I still sin on a day to day basis, does it mean I'm not saved?
Maybe you've just been listening to somebody else's demands regarding the miracle that has happened to you in Christ. Maybe you've learned to define yourself according to the intimidation of the one who would destroy your confidence in Christ.
Do you guys sin? You may not be condemned, but does that mean you've become perfect? I realize we are on our way to being perfected, but the Bible also says that if someone says they are without sin they are a liar
Once you get past the bait-n-switch styled theology that uses Bible verses to reinforce the lies of the deceiver you might notice two glaring discrepancies about the whole sin issue.
First, those who are most confident in the reality of no longer being sinners are the ones who have been truly aware of the all-encompassing power of sin in their experience so that they find they can put no confidence in the flesh-life, especially that which is overwhelmingly promoted by the religious machine. These are the ones who are being thoroughly convinced they can no longer live their lives according to the law - especially so-called Christian laws - because it is too painfully obvious that nothing but condemnation has been or can be found in the realm where law is king. Those who stand most confidently on the reality that Christ has truly removed them from sin know that the law would love to re-convince them that Christ has done no such thing.
Second, those who are determined to convince other believers of their sinful condition might seem to be following the Biblical pattern (owning up to one's sins), but in effect the pattern only causes them to find confidence in the fulfillment of a requirement, and not in Christ. Ironically, in the process of trying to not violate Scripture...
If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us 1 John 1:8
...one ends up having to ignore or denounce the overwhelming realities that follow...
No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 1 John 3:9
And yes, I know the game played with the added word, "practices", which is so clearly understood by the remainder of the statement.
Those who claim to have no sin (according to what John wrote) are not the ones who find their confidence in the sinlessness of the seed of God that has been put within them, but they are those who still struggle to overcome what can only be (and has been) overcome in Christ. Do we really have to be afraid that such bold confidence in Christ of being without sin (he cannot sin, because he is born of God) can possibly deceive us regarding the reality John wrote in leading up to this amazing grace? No, it is another gospel that would have us pretend to forget we already know, and are constantly being reminded, that there is no confidence in the thing that religion is trying so hard to resuscitate (bring back to life) ... which is the very reason we are so confident in CHRIST.
Don't you find it rather odd that we would ever fall for an interpretation of a Bible passage such as 1 John 1 that makes it seems as if the ones who build systems of fleshly comparison and performance based upon degrees of and/or regularity of sins could ever be those who regard sin the way God does? How is it then we could ever imagine that in regarding sin exactly as God does - done away in Christ - that we would ever suggest that we are being deceived?