This is a question that seems to ‘pop up’ more than I care to answer, but here I am again; attempting to give the same answer to the same question for the ‘zillionth time.’ The answer is, “Yes” and “No.”
My Sin Does Not ‘Cause’ Me to BE a Sinner
Yes, I do sin, but, “Does this make or ‘cause’ me to be a ‘sinner?’” Some will errantly say, “Yes, because of the very act itself.” Sometimes, I give this answer which may or may not satisfy. I happen to be a sports fan of all things ‘sports’ at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, and this includes Women’s and Men’s sports teams. But because I live in the DFW area and before that in far away places such as Chiclayo, Peru I have not been able to attend one sporting event there for more than 50 years. Anyway, I am a Red Raider fan, but this does not make me a member of the TT Women’s soccer team; a Red Raider participant. In fact, I do not like the game of soccer, but I want those RR women to WIN!! “GunsUP!!” In reality, I am NOT an actual Red Raider, only a fan.
I Do NOT Practice Sin
In like fashion, I do sin, but I do not ‘practice’ sin at every turn. The Apostle John writes, “This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” 1 John 1:5-10 ESV.
Our Problem is NOT the Sin but the Temptation Leading to Death
James writes, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, I am being tempted by God, for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” James 1:12-15. Our issue is not the sin, but the real problem is the immediate result of the temptation to sin. Each of us is tempted and often. At the moment one fails to be faithful toward God desire then conceives, and “gives birth to sin” which results in spiritual death. This is a very powerful and real issue for everyone who claims to know the Christ as Savior and Lord. This illustration of death provided by James should get the attention of everyone who gives attention to Scripture. This should stop sinners where they are because death can be terrible and life-ending for those who practice sin, not just an occasional result for some. John writes, “If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life—to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death.” 1 John 5:16-17.
Powerful words, yes? Absolutely. Sadly, there are many who claim to know Christ as Savior, but do not and live in sin which demonstrates their lost condition. Their daily practice of living in sin can cause physical death without Christ which will result in eternal damnation. For we find this warning, again from John in his revelation, “And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. 14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:13-15.
Christ Lives in Every Believer
What must be understood is that every Follower of the Christ does sin, but this does not mean that sin is a daily and ongoing activity. Paul encourages us, “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. 11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.” Colossians 2:8-14.
Struggle With Temptation
Christ lives in me just as the Apostle states and in Romans 7:13-20 the struggle with temptation toward sin is a daily battle, “Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.” The daily spiritual battlefield is found in the heart and mind of every Believer; this is virtual and it is real. Some may think this is ‘spiritual imagery’ of which Paul speaks and if one thinks this Satan has won the battle for the soul.
In Romans 6:1-4 we find that a Follower of the Christ does not live in sin, but walks in newness of life with the Christ there Paul write of spiritual victory accomplished at the Cross by the Risen Christ, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” The old hymn ‘Victory in Jesus’ speaks to what Paul writes as truth. “Victory in Jesus, My Savior forever…”
Today’s Final Answer
This is my final answer today for a question asked many times and will be answered again and again. I am a saint saved by grace, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:4-10.
Jesus is Lord.