Bible Question:

You mentioned in a previous response that we cannot live a life free from sin. It is because of this that Jesus came to save us from our sins. How can we be saved from something and still be in it? If I am drowning and you pluck me FROM the water, I am not still in it. Do you get what I'm trying to say? The Bible says in Rom. 3:23 that, “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. ” The key word in this scripture is “have”. Past tense! The Bible also says in 1 John 1:9 that, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness. ” There are many examples, one of which can be found in John 8:1-11, which clearly shows that when Christ gives a commandment, He is able to help us to go through with it. This woman was caught in the very act of adultery. His judgment: Go and sin no more. If that was impossible, or she could not help it, then don't you think Christ would have chosen words such as “go and try not to do it again. If you slip, then just repent and you'll be on good ground again. ” Does this make any sense to you? Furthermore, over in 1 Pet. 2:21-23, Peter exhorts us to be modeled after our perfect example, Christ. He did NO sin, neither was any guile found in his mouth. Verse 21 states that “...that ye SHOULD (not might, or try your best) follow in His footsteps. I am thankful that I serve a God with which NOTHING is impossible. To say He cannot give us the grace to live lives pleasing to Him (free from sin), that is limiting God. The God I serve, the one true God, cannot be put in a box. It is not up to man to say what God can and cannot do. You are implying that God cannot keep us from sin. That right there puts a limit on Him. Is this what you truly mean to say?

Bible Answer:

Yes, everyone has sinned and we all still sin! That is the message of the Bible. A person sins before becoming a Christian and after becoming a Christian.

Peter Sinned

The apostle Paul tells us that the apostle Peter sinned when he showed a preference for the Jews and not the Gentiles. As a result, Paul publicly rebuked Peter.

But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision. The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, “If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?” (NASB) Gal. 2:11-14

Paul Sinned

The apostle Paul admitted to the world that he struggled with sin in 2 Cor. 12:7-10. The key thought is captured in the following verse.

Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me – to keep me from exalting myself! (NASB) 2 Cor. 12:7

The Greek phrase translated as “to keep from exalting” has the idea of stopping Paul from boasting. Paul was committing sin. So God gave him the thorn in the flesh to motivate him to stop. In Romans 7:15-20 we also find the apostle Paul admitting that he sinned. Here he admits that he is struggling with sin in his life.

For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. (NASB) Rom. 7:15-20

Paul is already a Christian and yet he admits that he does that which he does not want to do. He sins! In the next four verses, v. 21-24, Paul reveals again that his conflict is with sin. He says,

I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin. (NASB) Rom. 7:21-25

Corinthians Sinned

The opening two verses of 1 Corinthians read as follows:

Paul, called as an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, to the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling . . . (NASB) 1 Cor. 1:1 -2

Paul addressed the letter to the saints – Christians – in the city of Corinth. He said that they were called of God. This is a reminder of Eph. 1:3-5 where we are told that God selects us for salvation. What is amazing about this passage is that the Holy Spirit then proceeds to rebuke them for their sins. The entire book is filled with a discussion of the sins that they are committing: conflicts within the church, taking legal action against one another, sexual sins, gluttony at the communion table, disorder in the church, and doubts about Jesus. Yet, the Holy Spirit called them “saints.”

Conclusion:

Lastly, it should be noted that 1 John 1:8-9 was written to Christians (1 John 1:1, 4),

If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (NASB) 1 John 1:8-9

The Greek word that is translated as “confess” is a present active verb. This means that the ones who are habitually confessing their sins are the ones who are being forgiven.They are Christians. That is, Christians are characterized as people who repent of their sin (Matt. 5:4) and admit to God that they sin. Sin is an issue that every Christian will struggle with until he or she leaves this earth and goes to heaven. Jesus set us free from the bondage of sin. After we trust Jesus and yield ourselves to Him, we are free for the first time in our lives to do what is holy. We are free to stop sinning. Yet, we will lapse. 1 John 1:9 is a reminder that forgiveness is still available by simply admitting to God that we sinned.

Reference Links:

God’s discipline of His children (Hebrews 12:10-17)
Healing Starts Here
Are a Christian’s future sins already forgiven?
Should we continually mourn over sin?
Power Living
Blessed are the mourners
Peace With God