I cannot begin to tell you how many times I’ve heard this exact phrase come at me as an accusation despite me never having said it in my life.
Many people when they read my stuff totally misunderstand me and accuse me of saying all sorts of weird and wonderful things.
The most common accusation that I seem to come across is this – When I say in light of what Christ has done that we no longer have a sinful nature, and now have a pure and righteous nature. I must be claiming to never sin myself and stating that if someone is truly a Christian then they cannot sin any longer.
This is most definitely not what I’m saying.
Let me break down for you what I believe on this topic.
Some recommended reading
First of all if people read what I am saying and not what I am not saying they would find a lot of clarity.
In light of that I’d highly recommend that you read my article addressing Romans 7 followed by my article which addresses 1 John 1v8 which are the two main passages that people use to argue that we still have a sinful nature. This will give you some great understanding on the context of these passages and shed the light of the gospel on these historically very misunderstood and abused scriptures.
You can find lots more great articles that will only grow your understanding of where I am coming from on this website. I can’t guarantee that you’ll agree with me when you read them but they should at least result in you knowing where I am coming from.
So back to the question
“So if we are righteous then how on earth can we possibly still sin?” I hear you all ask.
Let me start with a story, it began in a garden that God created. He put two people in there, the Bible tells us that He called both the garden and the world/universe that contained it, “very good”. Not only that though, He then went on to say that those two people were “very good”. (Gen 1:31)
What’s my point? Adam and Eve were “very good”, God didn’t screw up when He made them, He made them perfectly. Nobody would begin to suggest that God created Adam and Eve with a sinful nature. Rather they were pure and had a righteous nature.
Can you see where I’m going here?
Adam and Eve were perfect, with a righteous nature. (Gen 1:31)
Adam and Eve sinned. (Gen 3)
And again I say… Adam and Eve sinned.
A big spanner in the theological works
Wait, you mean that perfect people can sin?
Of course they can.
God gave Adam and Eve a free will, and we still have one now! The difference is that as 1 John 2:1 says, we now have an advocate for if we mess up. His name is Jesus.
You see Jesus has NOT given us a second chance, He has made us utterly new creations (2 Cor 5:17). We are perfect and righteous.
Now I will say this, we are still figuring out how to walk out in that perfection. But that is not something we are to try to change ourselves, rather it is something we do by focusing on our beliefs (see “4 Ways to Radically Renew Your mind“). (Romans 12:2, Romans 4:16, Romans 5:2, Eph 2:8)
I’m not going to labour this point and I’m certainly not going to repeat myself, I’ve lots and lots of resources on here that say the same thing. I just want to make sure everyone knows where I stand on this issue, as it seems despite me never saying it people still think I am saying it is impossible for believers to sin.
This is what I am saying:
I am not saying it’s impossible for a Christian to sin. I am saying it’s possible for them to stop.
I’ll leave you with another great resource, if you are wondering, “well, why do I still sin?” then the article “Why Do I Sin?” may well be interesting to you.