January 5, 2018
A large portion of the church believes that even when you’re saved, you’re still a sinner who needs to constantly repent. I find that so many people can get caught up in a cycle of shame, guilt and self-punishment if they’re of the mindset that they’re constantly sinning. The truth is that Jesus came to set us free from a lifestyle of proving our own innocence. At the cross the work of the blood of Christ finished the story for us. It’s non-negotiable—once you’re saved, your new nature is that of a saint (who has moments of sin, not a nature of sin).
The devil wants to convince us that sin, wickedness, addictions and every other form of bondage are rooted in our nature. That way, he can torment us and then blame it on our old man. But in the parable of the lost sheep, Jesus said that “there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance” (Luke 15:7). Jesus said ninety-nine out of a hundred people in God need no repentance! The normal Christian life is not supposed to be an exhausting wrestling match with a dead man, but is an abundant, joy-filled life with God, salted with an occasional season of strong resistance from our archenemy.
Check out today’s Flashback Friday video for more:
[Click here to watch the video in a separate window.]
In a nutshell:
- You can’t sin by mistake. There’s a difference between a mistake and a sin.
- The only way you can sin is to know that what you’re doing is wrong and do it anyway.
- I had a young man ask me one time if I can go a whole day without sinning. I answered, “Yes. I’ve gone a whole week without sinning.”
- I went on to define what sin is—knowing something is wrong and doing it anyway.
- Sin is a heart issue, so a mistake and a sin aren’t the same thing. I can back my car up and run over somebody and kill them by accident. There’s grief and consequences and a mess to clean up but I wouldn’t have to answer to God on it.
- This is difference from me seeing someone I hate walking on the sidewalk and deciding I’m going to run over them and break their foot. In that case, I’ll have to answer to God on my actions.
- It’s not about the depth of the damage that determines whether I sinned or not. It’s about my heart and intention.
- So can you go a whole day without sinning? Absolutely. It’s likely you can’t go a whole week without making a mistake, though, as these happen unintentionally.
- Both sins and mistakes leave a mess to clean up, but you only have to answer to God for the sin.
Why Does It Matter?
In 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV) Paul says that we are a “new creation”—not just a new spirit, but an entirely new being. Our very nature has been completely transformed. We have been changed from those who were hostile toward God, into saints who love Jesus with their entire being—spirit, soul and body!
In fact, God has done so much to set us up for a holy life that if (not when) we sin, we actually need an advocate to help plead our case. Thus, after we have confessed our sins, the second way we can deceive ourselves is by saying that we know God while continuing to practice sin. And one of the best ways to do this is to embrace the belief that we are still sinners by nature. If we believe we are sinners, we will continue to sin.
Spiritual Warfare and Sin
Let me be clear that I am not saying we will never choose to sin or never need to repent once we are born again. All it takes to sin is a free will and the capacity to believe the lies of the enemy, and believers possess both. We may indeed choose to sin, and consequently need to repent. What I am saying is that we don’t naturally sin because we no longer have a sin nature that is married to the Law. Our old nature has been crucified with Christ, we are new creations married to Christ in the New Covenant.
Those of us who know God are not in a war with our flesh, however we do have a devious, evil enemy who is a sinner. He is endlessly accusing the Body of having his own wicked nature. He is trying to get us to believe him, to forget who we really are and to disqualify ourselves from our divine destiny of putting him under our feet.
Embrace Your True Identity
So today I want to encourage you to embrace your identity as a saint, repent from any partnership you’ve made with the lie that you’re a sinner, and begin walking in the freedom that Jesus purchased for you! If this is a new revelation for you, I encourage you to declare this over yourself today: “I am a saint. I am a new creation. My natural tendency is to please God. I am free from the life of sin and shame! I bless my soul to be lead by my spirit and Holy Spirit into all righteousness!”
Is it easy for you to believe you’re a saint? I’d love to hear your insights in the comments!
Topics: All TopicsFreedomIdentity