12 Oct 2006

Do Believers Sin?

Submitted by theshovel
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Recently I was asked…

If we are no longer under law then does that mean that we don’t sin anymore?

…to which I responded:

Folks have gone back and forth on questions as to whether or not believers sin, and I suppose there are verses that can support either view. But what are “views” (especially those that seem to pit one “Biblical truth” against another) other than positions people hold to in order to make their perceptions tie together? To those who see their life as being an improvement or a new (aka, resurrected) version of their old life I would not try to convince them that the “we” as they perceive themselves don’t sin anymore. However, if “we” really have been made alive in Christ, if it really is “not I, but Christ who lives in me” then it’s a whole different matter, isn’t it? That’s why you don’t hear me making blanket statements like these in an attempt to simplify matters, for it actually confuses the matter by trying to bleed one realm into another.

Are we what we have been delivered from? If it was simply a matter of viewpoint or belief the question would be bogus, wouldn’t it? But in Christ it is a matter of reality, for he actually accomplished something. He brought us INTO life, INTO himself, INTO God. He has become our very life, for our life is found in HIS resurrection from the dead, not OURS. His resurrection IS our resurrection. His life IS our life.

The question of “Do we sin anymore?” only makes sense in view of that former separation between us and God. That is where it is to be understood. And that is where Jesus and his sent ones put it in their discussions. It is MEANT to create a disharmony, a tension, a conflict when referring to the sins of those who are in Christ, for such a contrast demands that those who are caught up in sins are caught up in the elementary principles of the world … despite the miraculous reality that has happened to and in them. There is a purpose in referring to the workings of the law (which are according the same fleshly principles that make this present world go around) and of the works of the flesh (which is according to those principles) in contrast to the real truth of the spirit of God within us. It is meant to draw us to the conclusion,

So then, with my mind I myself serve the law of God, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. Romans 7:25

and

Stop being deceived; God is not to be ridiculed. A person harvests whatever he plants.For the person who plants in his flesh will harvest decay from the flesh, but the person who plants in the Spirit will harvest eternal life from the Spirit. Galatians 6:7-8 ISV

So, I ask again … what person have we been made to be? Are we the new creation? Are we truly alive from the dead? As long as we see ourselves as functioning according to the principles of the world we will also perceive our options and choices according to what we were delivered from and we will find that Christ has no real effect in such a world. But then, how could he have any real effect in a world that is built upon lies and deception? He did not come to change the world built upon principles but to destroy it.

It was for freedom that Christ set you free! Galatians 5:1

Jim

Shoveletter: 

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These comments were all transferred over from the original website


Posted: Oct-12-06 by Nannette

Shovelfuls of love and grace back at you. Good to hear from you. I like your answer. It is good to hear an answer that answers more than the question. Give your family a big hug for me.

Thanks for writing, Nan! Consider the family hugged. :) And you pass my love on to yours. Jim


Posted: Oct-13-06 by phil

Wow Jim, I had forgoten about the shovel letters. No joke I really did. Enjoyed it and I tell you in some ways it was very well timed. Thanx.

Phil ... it seems I almost forgot about them, too! :) Good to hear from you. Jim


Posted: Oct-13-06 by Joanne

Hi Jim,

So great to be blessed again by your emails. Blessing with His love always in all ways, Joanne

Thank you so much for responding with the good word! Love, Jim :)


Posted: Oct-13-06 by Joanne A

Dear Jim,
Yes, PTL and thank you for this writing. I enjoyed your "preface", where you mention those who are not happy if you are not busy judging yourself, and others (John 12:47, Rom. 14:13, and 1 Cor. 4:3-5 are all interesting in this context. Hurray for you!).
As for whether a believer sins or not, Paul makes a most interesting statement , in Rom. 6:1-2, "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?" I shall be rereading what you wrote, to absorb it more carefully; however, I do appreciate what you share, and am thankful for you and your freedom in Christ. After all, is that not what we are called to, in Christ? (Gal. 5:1) You are a refreshing breath of fresh air!!!
As a matter of fact, I rest in knowing that I have been forgiven - once and for all; I confessed my sin before God (1 John 1:9), and He has forgiven me and has cleansed me of all unrighteousness (how many times can something be totaled?). If His word is true, and it is, then I now walk in the freedom of what He has done, and there is no longer an "obsession with confession." Those times when I stumble, I pick up myself, thank Him for what He has done, and move on. Some see that as licence - I see it as trusting Him who is my life, to BE Himself in me and as me, teaching me all things, and leading me into all truth. If a correction is needed, His Holy Spirit is more than able to focus light on any area where that correction must come.
Thank you again for your clarity in teaching (sharing, confirming, illustrating) what the Spirit is saying. Amen.
Was glad to see Shoveletter in the subject box. It has been too long!
God bless always,
Joanne A

Thank you, Joanne! It is most excellent to hear from you. I thank you for your testimony of life in these words for you have indeed seen the reality in who we are. Jim :)


Posted: Oct-13-06 by Bruce

OK...so you don't sin anymore...

I get it!

Do you want me to fall down and worship you...or what???

Oh...but I don't have a problem with that...for I see you as CHRIST.
The same as I see myself...

Why would I not LOVE MYSELF?

Not the "self" that I once was...alienated and separated from God...and from the rest of the universe...

But the "SELF" that I AM now...is the ONE who gave HIS LIFE for his enemies...whom I once was...as a separated "self". Boy this gets confusing doesn't it? Sounds like double-talk...

It is double-talk to those who are separated. But to those who have been "swallowed up"...of HIS LIFE...there is no confusion at all. For SELF and self are as different as night and day. The ONE SELF...is the CHRIST...who is ALL and IN ALL...the FATHER OF LIGHTS...who is ABOVE ALL and IN ALL. In some...he is "Christ crucified"...but in the others...he is the "RESURRECTED CHRIST"...but it is CHRIST...all the same.

We preach "Christ crucified" to those who are lost...for that is what they have done with His Life that is in them. He is crucified, dead and buried, beneath the foundation of their own will. But thank God, he doesn't stay that way. He said...I AM he that liveth and was dead...and behold I AM alive forevermore. And when we acknowledge that we have usurped his place of authority in our lives...then the lamb slain from before the foundation of "our own personal and individual" world...rises up and takes his place on the throne of our lives...to rule and reign as the Lion of the tribe of Judah.

So...my dearest brother Jim...as you are known in the earth realm...
You cannot hide from me...for I see you as I AM. For AS HE IS so are we in this present arrangement of this world. And when I LOVE and WORSHIP and ADORE YOU...I am actually worshipping Him...and serving Him. For we cannot love God whom we have NOT SEEN until we can love our brother whom we CAN SEE. For when we see the CHRIST in our brother then we are actually worshipping Him who is UNSEEN in our brother who is seen. Then we don't have to go around and "prove" to anyone how much we love God. We just love our brother...and in so doing are fulfilling what seem to be "two commandments". But in reality when we LOVE GOD we are loving our brother, and when we love our brother...we are LOVING GOD. You can't do one without fulfilling the other. There really is just ONE commandment.

When you love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength you WILL love your neighbor as yourself! When you love your neighbor as yourself you are loving GOD as he is in your neighbor...and you are loving Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength!
Loving God and loving your neighbor are ONE and the same...inseparable. And this includes those who we might mistake as our "enemies".

Worshipping in spirit and truth in the ever-present NOW is so much simpler and easier than what the religious system tried to teach us to do with all its laws, commandments, creeds and doctrines.

Whew...it sure is good to be free...

Free to LOVE those who see themselves as our enemies. For we AS THE BODY of CHRIST, have no enemies. And those who are peceived as our enemies, are only those "like we once were" lost and deceived by the principles of the world. They came forth from the same One we did...and as "prodigal sons"...we all left Father's house. We all "fell" from our heavenly estate by partaking of the fruit of the knowledge of the tree of "good" and "evil". And religion took up from there and in trying to take us back to the "tree of Life" (CHRIST) all it did was to reinforce the concepts of the knowledge of GOOD and EVIL in us. It separated the world into those who were GOOD and those who were EVIL. The GOOD being those who believed the right doctrines, or kept the right laws and commandments. You have the goats and the sheep, the wheat and the tares, and usually only those of your particular group were the "in" crowd...being the sheep, wheat, chosen ones, etc. But this produced nothing but MORE DEATH and SEPARATION in us...and PRIDE...and caused us to be lifted up in our "self" or "selves".

The truth of the matter is that there is only ONE righteous...and He gave His LIFE for the whole world. He is the one who "separated" Himself from His glorious estate and took upon the form of a man. And by doing so took upon the sin of the whole world. He is the one who LOWERED himself to the depths of the earth. The Most High...became the most LOW. The Son of God became the son of man. His LIFE is the only LIFE there ever has been for (OUT)OF HIM, and THROUGH HIM, and (UN)TO HIM are all things.

He took upon Bruce's form, Jim's form, Ray S's form...all of us. And never ever at one moment in time did "our sin" or corruption ever change or detract from the Incorruptible Seed that was within us. GLORY!

To be found IN HIM...not knowing ourselves or each other after the flesh any longer. This is truly everlasting LIFE...and the glorious "heaven" that we fell from. We are now able to walk with God in the garden in the cool (spirit) of the day. For the Day of the Lord IS COME...and WE ARE that day...for it is HIS LIFE in us that is establishing His Kingdom in the earth.

Jim, thank-you, for all the time and sweat and effort you put into your web-site and writings. They truly are LIGHT and LIFE. In your writings you "bring down" the New Jerusalem, the city of God, to the earth. You are bringing "righteous judgment" and causing those in darkness to stand before the glory of His Presence (in them). This judgment is not condemnation but reconciliation. It is not imputing "sin" into any man but freeing them of their sin and imputing HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS!

It is truly a wonder that even 2 former FBC-ites ever came to this understanding. I wonder if there are any more???

Oh well...forgive me for my preaching...
I hate being religious...and my boys tell me to "shut up" about it all the time. There are very few people I can relate to and that understand me so I guess when I get the opportunity I go way overboard...

Blessings Overflowing to you!
Bruce

Bruce!! It is indeed amazing that we have seen what we have coming from where we've come, strange ones that we are!! :) I'm always glad to hear from you and to know that you stand in his freedom. Thanks for your continued encouragement. Love, Jim


Posted: Oct-15-06 by Howard

Jim ,

Glad to hear from you , since I left the Depot, I lost touch. However it is great to be the reading those wonderful words.

Howard!! It's great to hear from you as well. :) Jim


Posted: Oct-18-06 by Mike

Amen Jim. Well said.

Thanks Mike! Jim


Posted: Dec-03-08 by guest

Where in the NT does it even say that the believer is "convicted" by the Holy Spirit? I've found or been shown verses that are said to be the same as conviction of the believer...but the word conviction itself was not used.

My answer to this is posted here

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Random Shovelquote: The Word Received (view all shovelquotes)

The understanding of what it would be for the very word (expression) of God to be made flesh can only be received if that same Word is now within us. source