Worship The Lord Jesus

In Jesus Is True Joy!

A Biblical Perspective On Sin

I have been a Christian since 1980, or, for nearly thirty-two years.  I have spent much  of my Christian walk thinking that the main goal of the Christian life is to stop sinning so that I may be pleasing to my God.  I have spent so much energy seeking ways to stop sinning that it is sick!  Perhaps you have done the same.  If so, I will ask you the question that I was asked today.  Has it worked?  Have you been successful in removing the sin from you life?  If you are like me, and if you are being honest with yourself, you will likely have to admit, as I did, that no, it has not worked.

So, I ask myself, why do I want to stop sinning?  Is it because I fear that God will punish me if I continue to sin?  God’s word says,

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.  1 John 4:18

Or, do I seek to stop sinning because I feel guilty about my sin?  God’s word says,

Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.[g] 12 He says,  “I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters;  in the assembly I will sing your praises.”  Hebrews 2:11-12

Jesus certainly is not ashamed of me, so why would I feel ashamed of myself?  Am I better than He?

Those have been the big motivators in my life, fear and guilt.  But not everyone is motivated to stop sinning because of these things, another reason people want to stop sinning is that they want to make sure they don’t miss an opportunity for God’s blessing.  God’s word says,

Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.  His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.  Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.  2 Peter 1:2-4

God has already given us all that we need for life and godliness.  In expecting further blessing, am I saying that maybe God missed one?  That if I just get rid of this one sin, maybe He will realize His error and bless me with some new blessing that He withheld previously?

Or perhaps we expect that if we get rid of sin that God will reward us, either in this life or in heaven.  But God’s word says,

…and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain.  1 Timothy 6:5

The Bible says that if we expect gain from our godliness then we are depraved and deprived of the truth.

Many people will pursue one or more of the courses I have outlined above, even as I did for many years.  But be honest, have they worked?  No!  They have not, because they cannot!

What I have finally had beaten into my head is that my Father in heaven loves me and accepts me just as I am, sins and all!  When Jesus was on the cross and said, “It is finished!”, that is exactly what He meant.  From that point on,

ALL, every last one, of my sins have been FORGIVEN!

I cannot make God like me more than He already does by not sinning because every sin that I commit is as far from God as the east is from the west, behind God’s back, and never to be remembered again and never to be held against me! (see Psalm 103:12, Isaiah 38:17, etc)

As I learned today, all of my attempts to remove my guilt or shame, or my attempts to make God happier with me by keeping myself from sin, have only kept me in bondage to sin and prevented me from getting to know the depth of God’s love for me, the depth of His acceptance of me, the depth of His forgiveness, and the true immensity of the work that Jesus did on the cross on my behalf.

I have had the privilege of listening to Aaron Budjen of Living God Ministries on the way home from work for the past several weeks.  Aaron’s teachings are straight from the Bible, but with all the religious trappings removed.  His voice is refreshing, and many times, challenging, as I find myself having to reconsider things that I thought I knew, through prayer and reading of the scriptures.

On the Living God Ministries website is a radio archive of all the radio shows that he has produced.  This morning I listened to Aaron’s series on Overcoming Sin.

I urge anyone who is reading this to listen to the series on overcoming sin.  For me it was a transformational experience.  And perhaps you have found what I have written today to be controversial, or even threatening.  In that case, I especially urge you to listen to the series.

My goal for the past thirty-two years has been to get a handle on sinning, but no more.  As of today, my goal is to trust God in everything and to have a deep and personal relationship with the One who loved me enough to die for me.

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January 14, 2012 - Posted by | Forgiveness, God's Grace, Godliness | , , , , ,

24 Comments »

  1. Haha! I like that! It is true that we are all cracked vessels, but God is Super Glue! 🙂

    It is wonderful that we may have confidence, as Paul did, “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil 1:6. Praise the Lord!

    May you and Ron be richly blessed as well!

    Comment by johnconstitution | February 19, 2012 | Reply

  2. Anne, I have freedom in Christ now, in this life, as you do. Freedom in our Lord is what I have tried, albeit imperfectly, to express in my writings in this blog. So, I guess we are in agreement then.

    Comment by johnconstitution | February 17, 2012 | Reply

    • Sorry John I must not have made it clear enough, the freedom we have is over sin when we are Born again as the Scriptures I shared with you show clearly, we no longer sin. Jesus died not just to free us from the punishment of our past sins but to free us from the slavery and bondage of sin, which means in Him so we no longer sin or choose to because we have his Nature and His Mind… God tells us He conforms us into the image of His Son and Jesus Christ did not sin and so we walk as He walked.

      Also if we claim we do not sin so we don’t need Salvation which many do we are calling God a liar but when we have heart repentance God will cleanse us from all unrighteousness by the Holy Spirit empowering us to put our flesh to death as we choose to walk in The Fruit of The Spirit, meaning we are turning from evil and doing good not because we have to but because we want to, when you Love someone you don’t want to hurt them and nor will we when we Love God and others.

      Good and evil cannot co-exist they are not in unity, we need to be Born again of The Spirit and perfected in Love.

      John 8:34-36 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

      Christian Love Anne.

      Comment by Freedomborn | February 17, 2012 | Reply

      • Hi Anne,

        Thank you for clarifying! I’m not sure what happened, but it seems we have been misunderstanding each other, or at least, I have been misunderstanding you, because, as you express it in this comment, I agree completely.

        Comment by johnconstitution | February 17, 2012 | Reply

        • Hi John, I’m sorry I do not always explain things as clearly as needed, with Ron having been a Pastor he has this gift, still as my Husband’s helpmate I seek to be faithful but be assured I’m a cracked vessel but thankfully God is the Super Glue!

          The most wonderful thing about Freedom in Christ Jesus is it is a sure thing God knew us in the flesh from the time we were conceived but in His Spirit from eternity. He knew we would come to true hearts repentance and not fall away by rejecting Jesus as explained in both Hebrews and Peter and some other Scriptures . We can be assured what He started He will finish and in Christ Jesus He will keep us strong to the end…. How good is that!

          Thank you my dear Brother, may you be greatly blessed in your Ministry.

          Christian Love Anne- Ron sends his blessings too.

          Comment by Freedomborn | February 17, 2012 | Reply

  3. Anne, this is a response to your last post. WordPress won’t let me reply directly.

    I would be interested to hear how you respond to certain passages. First, Romans 7:1-6, which says:

    “1 Do you not know, brothers and sisters—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law has authority over someone only as long as that person lives? 2 For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him. 3 So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man.
    4 So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. 5 For when we were in the realm of the flesh,[a] the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death. 6 But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.”

    Paul seems to be saying that we are dead to the law. He does not say that the law has been abolished, but that we no longer serve the law. As believers we serve, not in the oldness of the letter, but in newness of The Spirit.

    Are we saying the same thing here?

    Regarding your statement that we no longer sin though, I have a great deal of trouble with that one, unless you are saying that since Christ died for all of our sins then our behavior is no longer sinful.

    Other than that, I direct you to Paul’s dilemma as I call it, found in Romans 7:7-25:

    “7 What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”[b] 8 But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead. 9 Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.
    13 Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! Nevertheless, in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it used what is good to bring about my death, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.

    14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

    21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

    So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature[d] a slave to the law of sin.”

    I can’t help but feel when I read these verses that Paul still struggled with the reality of sin in his life. It is passages such as this that make me think that the possibility of sinless perfection is not open to us in this life. In glory, that’s another matter.

    Comment by johnconstitution | February 16, 2012 | Reply

    • Hi John it is very hard to respond to all your questions at once because of time and wordage, so if it is ok with you would you mind if we take one at a time and when you feel we need to move on, I will trust your leading to do so, as I pray God will lead me in what and how to answer as He does with all of us in Christ Jesus by His wisdom and Authority. 1 Corinthians 2

      Romans 7 has been used to confirm we sin till we die but Paul is not saying this but is describing the battle with the evil flesh nature which we have and which has to put to death by The Spirit, Colossians 3:4-6. In Romans 8 & 6 Paul tells us why. Paul recognised that he was wretched with the evil flesh nature and could not walk as Jesus walked and be perfected in Love, so he called aloud… who will rescue me and he said but thanks be in Christ Jesus we have been set free John 8:34-36

      People then claim but there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus and this is True but what does this verse say in context…

      Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

      So what does it mean to be Born again of God’s seed… 1 John 3: 9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.

      When we are Born again we no longer have Adam’s sinful nature the old has gone the new has come so we have God’s Nature which means we have the mind of Christ and do not choose to sin either 1 Corinthians 2 ( 9 – 16 ) but we are not talking about weaknesses and shortcomings.

      John if you would like my testimony in regard to Freedom in Christ Jesus, I would be happy to share it with you… we are indeed a Chosen Generation but we can’t walk in holiness unless we walk in The Fruit of The Spirit with His empowering – Galatians 5

      Christian Love Anne

      Comment by Freedomborn | February 16, 2012 | Reply

      • Anne,

        Thank you for taking the time to share with me here. And while you and I may differ on certain of our peripheral views, I praise my Lord that we can agree on one thing, that we are saved by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ as Savior.

        God bless.

        Comment by johnconstitution | February 17, 2012 | Reply

        • I’m wondering John what Scripture that I shared you didn’t agree with because I didn’t offer my own our peripheral views, but what is very important and is confirmed in the Scriptures and yes we may agree that we are saved by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour but we need to show that in our lives as the Scriptures tell us.

          1 John 3 1-11

          God never told us to agree to disagree John but said to bring our differences to Him and He would show who is in error, I have showed you only a few Scriptures, there are many that confirm Freedom in Christ Jesus, like those above.

          As I said you are the Authority on this Blog and I am willing to submit to your request to no longer share with you John but it is sad that you can’t see what is in the Scriptures and deny what God has promised from eternity – Freedom not when you die but now.

          Christian Love Anne.

          Comment by Freedomborn | February 17, 2012 | Reply

  4. Hello John thanks for joining up with us but you may find me a bit controversial, most do, but what I share is the Scriptures under God’s Authority, if you reject me that is ok but you need to really consider if you reject the Scriptures what you are really Trusting in, man’s understanding or God’s.

    It is in error to say we go on sinning as Freedom in Christ Jesus teaches us and this teaching is confirmed by Scripture, I will only share a few Scriptures now but if you are interested in knowing more John about this wonderful Truth please contact us on our private e-mail or private Blog both are on my About. Please feel free to delete this comment if wanted.

    John 8:34-36 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

    1John 3:4-10 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that He appeared so that He might take away our sins. And in Him is no sin. No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen Him or known Him. Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. This is how we know who the Children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not Love his brother.

    1 John 2:4-6 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth His word, in him verily is the Love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him. He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.

    This teaching John is nothing to fear or is it about earnimg your Salvation, as we know this is a free gift accepted by heart repentance. In regard to 1 Timothy 6:5 you need to read the whole Chapter to get the full picture.

    Christian Love Anne.

    Comment by Freedomborn | February 15, 2012 | Reply

    • Hi Anne,

      Thanks for writing and sharing. I really appreciate you taking the time to do so. I am not altogether sure what your concerns are, so if I seem to be missing the mark with my response perhaps you will help me out by filling in some details.

      First, I do not believe that our freedom in Christ should in any way be taken as license to sin. I hope I did not give that impression in my writing.

      I do believe however that, since sin is a finished issue, that God does not judge us based on our behavior. Relationship on that basis, I believe was done away with along with the old covenant.

      Let me give an example, I do not remain faithful to my wife because I am fearful of being found out if I should stray. I remain faithful to her because I love her with all my heart and would go to great lengths to avoid hurting her.

      In the same way, I do not abstain from sin because I am fearful of God, I abstain because I love Him. Inevitably though, I fail at times. When I do, there is no sin to confess, Jesus already died for that sin as well, so there is nothing to confess.

      Comment by johnconstitution | February 16, 2012 | Reply

      • Hi John, if you want me to share on your Blog I will as your the Authority on it and if I continue to comment I need to respect you as such. But having said they my comments have been deleted and I have been blocked and have received abusive e-mails and people have slandered and back stabbed me, that is why Ron took a greater role on my Blog and why I asked for you to reason privately.

        I’m not saying John you would be as rude and disrespectful as these people but I don’t want to embarrass you as you are indeed in error, not in all you said but in some and this is according to Scripture.

        Yes I do agree with you, we do not sin because we Love God and others and not because of fear punishment but as I shared with you before 1 John 3:9 shows very clearly as do many other Scriptures we do not continue to sin after we have been Born again of God’s seed the Greek word for can – not means absolutely never, we can’t sin and having the mind of Christ we won’t choose to sin, rejecting these Scriptures will not change that Truth.

        The new Covent in Christ Jesus did not do away with the Law but we are empowered to keep it not in the flesh which must be put to death but by the empowering of the Holy Spirit. Jesus did not just die so we would be forgiven of our past sins but so we would no longer sin.

        Christian Love Anne.

        Comment by Freedomborn | February 16, 2012 | Reply

  5. Hi John,
    Thank you for these timely reminders. As for myself, I know in my mind that all of my sins are forgiven and that God loves me no matter what, but sometimes it is hard for me to put that into practice. I struggle with feeling as though I need to earn God’s forgiveness even thought it was already earned for me at the cross! But then God bursts through my self-sufficiency with his overwhelming grace and I remember his incredible love for me.
    May God continue to bless your writing!
    – Aimee

    Comment by Aimee | January 27, 2012 | Reply

    • Hi Aimee,

      Thanks for stopping by and for your comments. It is always a blessing knowing that someone else has been blessed by my writings.God is so awesome! He’s done it all. All we need to do is receive what he has given us and thank Him for it.

      Comment by johnconstitution | January 28, 2012 | Reply

  6. Hi

    I have nominated you for the ABC Award. you can have a look on my page for the details

    Comment by Bernadette | January 24, 2012 | Reply

    • Thank you Bernadette! I am honored that you would nominate me for this award.

      Comment by johnconstitution | January 24, 2012 | Reply

  7. I have nominated you for the genuine blogger award!!!!! congrats! keep doing what you are doing…putting Christ first

    Comment by princessnadielala | January 23, 2012 | Reply

    • Thank you so much for the nomination. It is a true blessing, which I very much appreciate.

      God bless you!

      Comment by johnconstitution | January 23, 2012 | Reply

  8. So true, thank you for the post. God Bless

    Comment by Bernadette | January 19, 2012 | Reply

    • Thanks for stopping by Bernadette, and God bless you too!

      Comment by johnconstitution | January 19, 2012 | Reply

  9. Good post John. I think the closer we get to God and focus on what pleases Him we automatically start sinning less just because we are living our lives differently. I will admit the one that I have been working on and just can’t seem to control completely yet is swearing. It is so frustrating because I really want to completely illiminate those words from my vocabulary but never fails, I slip up like when I drop something, or cut my finger, etc. I keep trying to do better in this area and try to recognize it immediately and confess my sin as soon as I slip. God bless!

    Comment by byhisgrace211 | January 15, 2012 | Reply

    • Absolutely Michele! It is like being in a relationship with another person. Our behavior changes as a result of our love for another person as we try to please them. And so it is in our relationship with God.

      I used to have a temper problem that used to come out, especially when I was cooking. When something didn’t go just right, I would tend to fell myself fill with rage and I would slam a door, throw something, or swear. For me though, swearing was a last resort to be used only if I couldn’t find something to throw, or there were no doors that needed slamming.

      Eventually though, I found myself no longer doing those things, not even the emotion of rage affects me any more.

      Comment by johnconstitution | January 15, 2012 | Reply

  10. John I have to admit, your post is controversial. We were not brought up to talk like that. I am almost sure you are in for a good rubbing. However, I agree with you. I have been saying for years, That that which Jesus did on Calvary has taken care of my sins once and for all. If that were not so, then Jesus would have died in vain.

    Thanks for sharing. God bless.

    Comment by Noel Williams | January 14, 2012 | Reply

    • Exactly right Noel! Jesus work on the cross was once for all sin. If there are sins not covered by His work on the cross then He really did die in vain.

      In fact, to say that there are some sins for which He did not die is to diminish the severity of sin. If I can, through my works, cleanse myself of sin, then why did Christ have to die at all?

      Comment by johnconstitution | January 15, 2012 | Reply


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