Everyone sins and breaks the spiritual law, even Christians.
Some will no doubt ask why this even has to be stated as a belief. I believe that the vast majority of Christians understands this statement to be true. However, many who are not Christians believe that the Christian never sins. Other non-Christians, when they become aware that Christians do sin, rely on that fact as "proof" that Christianity is false. They reason that since the Christian preaches against sin, and yet sins, then Christianity is a hypocritical religion that is powerless to make the Christian perfect.
Also, some Christians believe that we, as Christians, should be able to attain a state of sinless perfection, even in this physical life. Some of these people reject other Christians, because they view the other Christians' disagreement with, and non-adherence to, their personal beliefs as sinful behavior. Some Christians will also refuse to fellowship with certain other Christians because they have caught the other person in a sin.
To understand that all Christians sin puts us all on equal ground. We all are in need of forgiveness, and we all are instructed to forgive one another in order to receive forgiveness. If we understand these things, and understand them well, we will not refuse fellowship to those who stumble, but whose intention is to do right.
Some, at this point, will probably say, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions!"
I will reply, "That statement is not to be found in my Bible. If that is a spiritually inspired statement, then I will ask you to examine closely the spirit that inspired it!"
God looks on the heart. He judges the intentions of the heart. Good works without good intentions are all in vain, up to and including martyrdom (1 Corinthians 13:1-3). Works that sometimes seem to fall far short, but that were attempted with love and righteous intent, are the life of the saint. I suppose it could be said that the road to Heaven is paved with good intentions!
We must love each other, and accept one another, even if we are not yet perfect. Sin is common to us all, and is to be found in every one of us. It cannot be allowed to divide us.
Romans 7:15-25 "For that which I do, I do not understand, for what I will to do, I don't do. But what I hate, that I practice.  If I then do that which I do not want to do, I acknowledge that the law is right.  Now, then, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells in me.  For I know that there is no good that dwells in me, in my flesh, for even though the will is present in me to do right, I can't do right.  I do not do the good that I desire to practice, but I do the evil that I do not want to do.  But if I do the thing that I do not want to do, then it is no longer me who is doing it, but the sin that is dwelling in me.  I find, then, a law: that when I would do good, evil is present within me.  For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man,  but I see another law in my inner self, warring against the law of my mind, and leading me captive to the law of sin which is in my members.  O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me out of the body of this death?  I thank God: through Jesus Christ our Lord! So, then, I myself with the mind indeed serve God's law, but with the flesh serve sin's law."
(Paul, the great apostle and evangelist, deeply converted, a man that God used to pen much of the Bible, recognized that he sinned. However, he did not "walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit" (Romans 8:1).
As long as we are in these "earthen vessels," we will sin. However, "there is no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus" (same verse), because we do " walk " according to the Spirit. It is our desire, like Paul, to do right, not to do wrong.
When we fall short and sin, it simply drives home the fact that we have sin dwelling in us, and it serves to point out our deepest need for a divine Savior, the one who sets us free from this body of sin and death. It also serves to point out that the law is able to point out to us our sinful nature, and lay it bare.
It is a human tendency to ignore our spiritual poverty, but Jesus said, "Blessed are the poor in Spirit (those who sense their spiritual need), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:3). Paul was not ashamed to admit to his spiritual poverty. Any attempt to maintain a facade of personal righteousness is a fraud and a sham, for our righteousness is only derived from the blood of Jesus Christ, who died for our sins.)
1 John 1:8, 2:1 "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us....my little children, these things I write to you, that you sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous..."
(Sin is always a reality to a Christian.)
1 John 5:16 "If any man see his brother sin a sin not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give life for those who sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death. I do not say that he shall pray for it. All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin that is not unto death. We know that whosoever is born of God does not sin, but he that is born of God keeps himself, and the Wicked One does not touch him."
(A Christian brother can sin. Again, John stresses that even though a brother can sin, and we should pray for him when he does, that whoever is begotten of God does not sin willfully . Some would say that these verses contain a contradiction. They do not.
To say that "whoever is born of God does not sin," is simply to say that it is not the Christian , walking after the Spirit, who sins. This is concurring with Paul that there is sin dwelling in us, and when we sin we are doing that which we do not want to do. )
1 Corinthians 8:12 "But when you sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ."
(This admonition against causing a brother to sin is addressed to Christians at Corinth. Here the subject is the eating of things that had been offered in sacrifice to idols. Paul is explaining that an idol, of and by itself, is nothing at all, except that it is made to seem important by peoples' imaginations.
People create so-called "gods" in their own minds, but there is only one who is truly God. Paul explains that some people don't understand that this means that meat sacrificed to idols is the same as meat that has not been sacrificed to idols. Since they believe, erroneously, that eating the meat thus sacrificed is a sin, then a Christian who has a greater understanding is not to eat this meat around those who don't "get it." Why? Because it might encourage the less knowledgable Christian to sin by eating the meat before they are fully convinced in their own heart that it is ok. Thus it would cause the weaker brother to sin.
This not only illustrates that a Christian can and does sin, but it also illustrates quite well what sin is, and also what it is not.
Sin occurs when the conscience is violated. The act itself is secondary to the individual's perception of the act. This is not easily accepted by the person who has approached Christianity in a legalistic manner. The statement, "And he that doubts is condemned if he eats, because it is not according to faith; for whatever is not according to faith is sin" (Romans 14:23), along with the context in both Romans 14 and 1 Corinthians 8, if taken at face value, will clear up a lot of persistant misconceptions about the subject of sin.)
(I encourage you to carefully examine the context of these scriptures for yourself. In fact, we should always be aware of the context of every scripture that is used to teach truth. Everyone should prove for themselves whether these things are so, or whether the scriptures are being misapplied and misused. This should be a well-engrained study practice for every Christian and seeker of truth - John)
2 Corinthians 12:20-21, 13:1-2 "For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I wish, and I will be found by you not as you wish, that perhaps there may be strifes, jealousies, indignations, contentions, evil speaking, whispering, pride, and commotion. And lest, when I come again my God will humble me among you, and that I should mourn over many of those who have sinned before and have not repented concerning the uncleanness and fornication and licentiousness that they have practiced. This third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses every matter shall be established. I have declared before on my second visit, and I say now beforehand, as I write in my absence to those who have sinned before, and to all the rest, that if I come again I will not spare."
Again, Paul addresses sin among the Christians at Corinth.
Matthew 6:12-15 "...and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. For if you forgive people their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but, if you do not forgive people their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."
If we did not sin, then obviously there would be no need to instruct us about asking for forgiveness when we sin, and regarding our need to forgive and to be forgiven.
(Please click on any of the highlighted boxes ( ) below to go to the in-depth study of each statement.)
To love God and to love our neighbor is the fulfillment of all spiritual law.
God's forgiveness is ongoing and limitless, and available to all who truly accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior.
God will never leave us, nor forsake us.
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