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Living In Grace

A Christ inspired work dealing with American Christian Culture in the New Century.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Can Christians Sin?

I have been going the rounds of the Internet the last few days and I have seen something that is rather alarming: The notion that Christians cannot sin. 

I have been aware of the doctrine of sinless perfectionism for quite some time but I did not know that it apparently had become so prevalent.  I have seen quotes ranging from " those who are in Him are unable to sin " to " I have not sinned for weeks ".  This sentiments are both dangerous and unbiblical.  They place a burden upon the believer that they are in no way capable of carrying to its logical and practical conclusions. 

We are not yet perfect brethren and we are still living in the confines of this flesh.  We are not yet ultimately glorified and as such we must deal with the curse of sin.

Tomorrow I am going to deal with this more thoroughly so please read Here to find out more!!

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Anonymous Cherylmcwilliams said...

On what are the basing this heresy?  I had a Sunday School teacher when I was in high school who claimed she had never sinned since she was saved.  We had some hot discussions back then (the sixties).

June 13, 2011 at 2:20 PM  
Anonymous Luther@Living In Grace said...

They base it mostly on 1 John 3 where it states:4 Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. 5 You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. 6 No one who abides in Him sins

they are also diving into the more modern concept of moral government theology.  Some of the people are quite bizarre and would be hard pressed to form a logical and consistent argument. 

They continually confuse practical justification with our current position in Christ...but if I keep commenting here I will have nothing to say tomorrow  :)

June 13, 2011 at 2:33 PM  
Anonymous stephen porter said...

I don't want to steal your fire from tomorrow, but 1 John also says, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us."  (1 John 1:8), "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:" (1 John 2:1), and in the passage often used like Luther pointed out, those verses are proceeded by "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:2).  Clearly the passage of abiding in Him is referring to a future state: after "seeing Him as He is".

June 13, 2011 at 4:19 PM  
OpenID strengthrenewed said...

Wow! I know many perfectionists (myself included) but we'll be the first to tell you we are far from perfect. We just expect a lot of ourselves. I had no idea there were those who truly believe they can be perfect. That just shows the importance of knowing scripture so we aren't misguided by such beliefs.

June 13, 2011 at 5:54 PM  
Anonymous Amanda Daubenmeyer said...

I saw that discussion on LinkedIn. It's crazy people think that. James 4:17 says, "Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins." I wonder what people view as sin. As we see in this verse, sin is more than just breaking the ten commandments.

Hebrews 10:26-27
also says, "For if we go on deliberately and willingly sinning after once
acquiring the knowledge of the Truth, there is no longer any sacrifice left to
atone for [our] sins [no further offering to which to look forward]. [There is nothing left for us then] but a
kind of awful and fearful prospect and expectation of divine judgment and the
fury of burning wrath and indignation which will consume those who put
themselves in opposition [to God]." AMP

Did these people miss these verses in the New Testament? It's perfectly clear to me.

June 13, 2011 at 8:01 PM  
Anonymous Mark@3-foldCord said...

I don't think it is a question of can Christians sin...for that is a no brainer! Everyone can sin. The real question should be: "should we be slaves to sin/ruled by sin?" For there is also this element of weak-minded Christianity that believes that we are always going to sin, so why worry about it? Just confess and move on. The sad thing is Christianity, like the world, ends up going to extremes on this issue. Both miss the boat.

June 13, 2011 at 11:04 PM  
Anonymous Luther@Living In Grace said...

Agreed Mark.  If sin was no worry there would have been no need of a Savior

June 13, 2011 at 11:36 PM  
Anonymous Luther@Living In Grace said...

If we know to do something good and neglect to do the good we know it is sin.  If we are agree without cause it is sin.  Generally anything that is contrary to the nature of God is sin.

June 13, 2011 at 11:37 PM  
Anonymous Luther@Living In Grace said...

We all have sin....that is a simple fact.  If there was no sin there would be no need of an advocate. 

June 13, 2011 at 11:39 PM  
Anonymous Donald Borsch Jr said...


If I said, "I have no sin, since Jesus took it all, and for me to sin means I need to take some back from Him", would that make me look insane?

Not saying I am "sinless", no, because I am yet sinful this side of Heaven.  But I don't have sin attached to my name anymore since He took it.

Again, do I sound like I'm insane or can this actually fly?

June 14, 2011 at 12:37 AM  
Anonymous Luther@Living In Grace said...


I think it goes back to the Practical vs. Positional aspect of our salvation.  When Christ died for all sins it included past, present, and future ( they were all for us chronologically future ). 

We are positionally as sanctified as we will ever be but practically we must deal with this flesh and dwelling in a sin cursed world.  This in no way excuses our sin and anyone who continually, casually, and willfully sins has little assurance of salvation. 

This is not legalism but the practical sanctification that we must all work on as we do travel on our way to that Heavenly .City.  Legalism demands something other than Grace as a means of salvation while we who claim to know the Lord should also to varying degrees have a desire to serve Him.  He is our Master.  He is our Redeemer.  He is the One who justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies those whom He has called.

So yes I do believe that it can fly.  The saints are never referred to as sinners but are admonished and disciplined for their sins.  I would much rather have a Father who loves discipline than a Holy God who is a consuming fire judge.

June 14, 2011 at 1:35 AM  
Anonymous Donald Borsch Jr said...

I really enjoyed this answer, Luther.  Nicely said and easy to follow.  Thanks!

June 14, 2011 at 10:14 AM  
Anonymous Luther@Living In Grace said...

Thanks Donald it was written late and I am glad that I was as coherent as I was.

June 14, 2011 at 3:09 PM  

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