Can a child of God really not sin? What about the numerous temptations that surround us and cause us to sin? And what exactly do the scriptures mean when it says “we do not sin”?
These are some of the questions that plagued me as I began my journey into new creation realities. I hope that this piece helps answer the most pressing questions on your hearts concerning a believer and sin.
Let’s consider the word of God in 1 John 5:18; ”We know that the person who has been born from God does not go on sinning…” (ISV). “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not…” (KJV). “We are certain that the one who is a child of God will do no sin…” (BBE). This particular scripture makes a clear inference on the position of a child of God with reference to sin and what role our WILL plays in this regard. When the phrase “do not” is used in a statement; it speaks of a person’s deliberate action or decision or choice to not be involved in something. It is different from “can not”; which shows a person’s helplessness or inability to do something not because he has a choice but because he has not the ability to, he just cannot help it. Hence, 1 John 5:18 plainly makes us understand that as children of God, we do not sin; not because there are no avenues to sin (on the contrary, sin abounds in this world) but because we are not slaves to sin and we have the power within us to overcome sin.
When we became born again, that sin nature which dwelt in us and caused us to be separated from God was taken away along with all its power and control over us. We are no more slaves to sin (Rom 6:14). We have received a new life in Christ Jesus that has no record of sin and has the ability to overcome sin and also reconcile others to God (2 Cor 5:17-21).
Before then, we could do wrong and not have any sense of remorse. We could pay evil with evil and think that we were justified (and logically we were). We could sin even when we did not want to sin. We so badly wanted to forgive someone but we simply could not let go. We felt strongly held down by sin. We gave in to the pleasures of this world even when we knew they were wrong and were going to destroy us. WE WERE PLAIN HELPLESS (Rom 7:21-23).
Then Voila! Here comes Jesus. The one man with the power to give us life, and to restore us to a place of authority; over sin, death and the devil (Rom 5:12-19). All it took was for us to believe in our hearts and to confess with our mouth His lordship over our lives. We did that and although we did not see our complexion change or body size change, our spirit was made alive and reconciled to God. We realize that we felt the liberation inside. We actually felt our appetite for sin disappear. We did not feel the need to hold that grudge anymore and when we felt tempted to sin, we could hear this still small voice showing us a way out. Now, all we had to do was to obey that still small voice and follow His lead. We aren’t helpless anymore. We’ve got all the help we need and that help is His precious Holy Spirit living in us and directing us in what to do and how to do what to do always.
So, His word in 1 John 5:18 is true. We do not sin. Truth is, we choose (or let me say decide) to sin.
Let’s be honest with ourselves here. We realize that all the times we fell into sin, we actually had a different way out and yet we did not take it. We consciously saw the sin and walked into it, succumbing to our flesh (hormones or emotions). So the problem isn’t whether we can or cannot sin because we know that we do not. The real issue is about dying to ourselves and allowing the word of God to have its free course in our lives and be exalted in us.
Remember what God says in 1 Cor 10:13, “there has no temptation (enticement to sin) taken you but such as is common to man. But God is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted (enticed to sin) above that ye are able…”. So the next time you are faced with that temptation to lie, not forgive, fornicate, steal etc. know and remember that you are a child of God and you do not sin. You have that ability to speak the truth, forgive, not fornicate, not steal etc. because you’ve got the life of God inside of you and you have the help of the Holy Spirit.
Sin has been dealt with on the cross for us already. It’s got no power over us. We are overcomers. That means that something must come for us to overcome it. So sin will come in various modes, styles, themes, shapes and sizes but we overcome it by the power of Holy Ghost. WE DO NOT SIN! Shalom!