26. If we have been set free from sin, how is it that we still sins sometimes?



The reason why we Christians still sins sometimes is that we were set free from the bondage of sin (or from the dominion of sin), but we were not made infallible. If we were sinlessly perfect, there would be no need for us to aim for perfection, as the Scripture commands us to do (2 Corinthians 13:11), don’t you think so? There would be no need for us to pursue holiness (Hebrews 12:14), don’t you think so? There would be no need for us to hinder sin from reigning in our mortal body that we should obey its lusts (Romans 6:12), don’t you think so?

Therefore, we who have believed have the assurance that sin will not have dominion over us, for we are not under law but under grace, but we are also sure that not always we will manage to avoid sinning even though we wants to obey the Lord in all things.

The apostle Paul, who was a man who loved and feared God and strove to have a conscience without offence toward God and men, even though he was fully convinced that he had been set free from sin through faith in Christ and made a servant or righteousness, recognized that he was still fallible, for he wrote to the Romans: “For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin” (Romans 7:15-25).

James, the brother of the Lord, who was a holy man like Paul, wrote in his epistle that “we all stumble in many things” (James 3:2 – NKJV).

And John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, wrote in his first epistle: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (1 John 1:8-10). As you can see, the apostle John says very clearly that we can’t say we have no sin, nor can we say that we have not sinned. However, thanks be to God because if we sin we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, who is the propitiation for our sins (1 John 2:1-2). Obviously, in order to receive the remission of our sins and to be cleansed from all unrighteousness, we must confess our sins to God; that’s what John says very clearly (1 John 1:9). On the other hand, Jesus also taught us to confess our sins to God, when He taught His disciples to pray, in that among the things we have to say to God are these words: “Forgive us our debts” (Matthew 6:12). So Jesus took for granted that we would incur some debts toward God, that is to say, we would sin, for these debts are nothing but sins.

However, we children of God must make every effort to have a holy conduct and not to sin. We must not pursue sin, but we must flee it; we must not caress sin, but we must strive against it. We must not yield to the allurement of sin, but we must resist it. We must never take pleasure in it, but we must hate it in all its forms. As Paul well said: “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” (Romans 6:1-2 - NKJV). Yes, we died to sin, we died with Christ because we were crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with. As Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more because death no longer has dominion over Him, so we, having been raised up with Him, know that spiritual death no longer has dominion over us because we died to sin, of which we were slaves.

Thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ, for He enabled us to have part in this glorious resurrection. Amen.