"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." - 1 John 1:8
I recently heard a story about two men who believed they were absolutely perfect, without sin. They told the preacher C.H. Spurgeon, “We can no longer sin, we are perfect.” Spurgeon, unsure he heard them right, asked them to repeat themselves. They replied, “We are perfect and cannot sin any longer.” Spurgeon gave them a “pop quiz” on their new found sinless perfection. He emptied a water pitcher on their heads. They responded like any other sinner would, with a few choice words, anger, and retaliation. Spurgeon discovered just how perfect they really were.
People who claim they are without sin commit one of the greatest sins of all – pride. No one is completely without sin. 1 John 1:8 says, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” Romans 3:23 says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Everyone has sinned.
But when you become a Christian, you should run from sin and to Jesus. Before Christ, sin had power over our lives. Our sinful natures decided for us our actions and reactions. But when we were saved, we changed. We became new creations once we gave our lives to Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says old things have passed away and all things became new. Our desire to sin is replaced with desire to please and worship God. While Christians are not incapable of sinning, they now have power over temptation and sin.
In Christ, we are no longer slaves to sin. For “our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin” (Rom. 6:6). Paul goes on to say, “Likewise, reckon yourselves to be dead unto sin, but alive unto God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body,” Paul urges, “but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead…. For sin shall not have dominion over you.” (Rom. 6:11-14). Christians have victory over both the penalty and power of sin because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.
While the Christian still has the potential to sin, sin does not have control any longer – Jesus does. The Holy Spirit gives you power to overcome and resist sin and temptation. We will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh if we walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16). Scriptures also says when temptation comes, you have a way out (1 Corinthians 10:13). While Christian may sin, there is a huge difference between those who sin and repent and those who sin and habitually and persistently continue in it without repenting. Repent means to turn away with the intent and action to never do it again. Those who continue in sin with no remorse or repentance should ask themselves if they have ever been truly saved. If we are truly saved, we cannot continue in sin (Romans 6:1, 1 John 3:9; 5:18).
In the words of Patrick Morley, “A change in belief must bring about a change in behavior. Revival in your life must include reform and repentance. You cannot add Christ to your life and fail to subtract sin.”