The popular false teaching of the day says that we don't need any active righteousness of our own life, Jesus did it all. Well, the Bible lets us know that if Jesus is truly our righteousness, it will show in our deeds of righteousness, the obedience of faith. Only in Christ can we serve and please the Lord, but it is not by sitting around saying, "Jesus is my righteousness".
I do believe that this kind of maturity is possible if we would keep letting God mature us in Christ, but Paul said that he had not yet attained that at one point in his life. If Paul had not yet attained that, then I was just saying that I don't believe that the Bible is talking about any kind of absolute perfection in our obedience or sinlessness. I do believe that we should aim for that kind of perfection, but I don't believe that comes immediately upon belief. However, God does make us able, upon our first believing in Christ and being born again, to obey Him and to do what is right. His grace is always sufficient for us. Later Paul said that he had finally attained, he had fought the good fight, he had finished the course!
Maturity in our obedience and sanctification does not come immediately we all realize. But it is amazing how hypocrisy works: One the one hand someone can admit being a sinner, admit they try to live a daily repentance, and in that way admitting their daily slavery to sin, yet then they can get offended when I call them a sinner! I do believe that God desires and rightfully expects us to live like Jesus, in absolute obedience, but I believe He knows we are learning to become mature and that He is a very practical God. According to your beliefs that perfection is impossible, Paul would not have been able to say that he had not yet attained perfection yet. All who are in Christ would automatically be considered perfect who are in Christ, like some people now believe and teach, and even trying to attain the impossible would not even be an issue.
So there is a righteousness that we work by the grace and power God gives us in and through our union with Christ. That is why the Bible says that only those who actually do what is right are
really righteous. 1 Jn 3:7 The sinners don't like that truth, so they ignore it and say, "OHH nooo! We can't be righteous enough, so why even try? God demands such unattainable perfection in
righteousness, only Christ could do that! So why even try? That would constitute trying to achieve your own rigtheousness! Well all I know is that I am not alone doing any good deed, Christ is living
in me. The righteous life I now live I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not obeying God apart from Christ's righteousness, but in union with Him. My new
self was created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Remember, there would be no need for daily repentance unless there were daily sin going on in your life. And that the Bible speaks
no where of us aiming at daily repentance, and quite the contrary, it warns us against laying again the foundation of repentance from sins that lead to death. The righteous are barely saved, where
does that leave the godless and the sinner?" 1 Peter4:18
The sinners don't make it, only the saints. The Bible ties being righteous in with not sinning in 1 Jn 3:7-10. Read it please. The believer who ...sins, who sins regularly (it doesn't mean constantly), daily, has shrunk back and become a child of the devil again, and if he doesn't repent he will become twice dead, plucked up by the roots. "My brothers, If one of you (saints) should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins." Jms 5:19,20
The Bible says, IF we sin, not when we inevitably sin. Thank God that if we sin we do have an advocate, but sin is very addictive and habit forming. If we choose to deliberately
sin, it will be easier to do it again, next, here comes slavery! We have to be alive to sin to decide to do something evil or wrong. Remember, Jesus says that the slave has no permanent place in the
family. That implies that there are still some in the Body of Christ who still sin, who are learning to have Christ formed in them, who are still needing to repent and reckon themselves dead to sin.
Jesus told us to go and sin no more. If the sin promoting teachers were teaching truth, that would be impossible, and therefore Jesus would be impractical, unrealistic and unjust to tell people to do
something impossible. Jesus said, 'stop sinning lest something worse happen to you'. The Lord never tells us to do what we cannot do. That would be wrong, mean, and unjust. "Come to your senses and
stop sinning..." 1 Cor 15:34
We must overcome. God told Cain that sin was crouching at the door, and its desire was to have him. Do not go the way of Cain, or Esau, who gave up his birthright for some temporary sexual immorality. That is why he ended up not recognizing his great privilege and spiritual birthright. Are we watching sin as our entertainment on TV? No wonder we don't believe God's word. He says, "YOU DIED TO SIN ONCE AND FOR ALL, WHEN JESUS DIED TO IT, IF YOU ARE IN CHRIST AND JOINED TO HIM BY BAPTISM INTO HIS DEATH, SO SET YOUR HEARTS AND MINDS ON THINGS ABOVE, WHERE CHRIST IS SEATED AT GOD'S RIGHT HAND. HOW CAN WE GO ON IN IT ANYMORE?"
We are talking about deliberate willful sin that leads to death. There is a kind of sin that does not lead to death. The Bible, in Hebrews chapter 6 and 10 describes willful deliberate sinning that will cause us to shipwreck our faith by giving up a clear conscience. When will you overcome, when will you finally repent, and what damage will you do and suffer, what loss will be irreparable?
I myself actually got up in a home church where they all knew me, lived with some of the elders, and admitted my sexual sin to them all. They didn't really respond properly because many of them
were battling similar sins. That church was destroyed by some of the same sins, and God graciously delivered me. But not when I confessed. I still had to overcome. That is what fasting and prayer and
seeking God and learning obedience of true faith and overcoming and sanctification is about. Romans chapter 6 says alot. "But thanks be to God that, although you used to be slaves to sin, YET YOU
OBEYED FROM THE HEART THE TEACHING OF THE TRUTH. BEING SET FREE FROM SIN, YOU BECAME THE SLAVES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS." 6:17
The Holy Spirit says we are to be set free from sin. We don't aquire sinlessness overnight, but we can obey God and live sinlessly from the beginning of our conversion, IF we are taught the truth that we died to sin, that we can do it by God's grace, and that there will be some sufferings as we learn to share in Christ's sufferings. Listen, "whoever suffers physically IS FINISHED WITH SIN and spends the rest of his life doing God's will (not for his own desires). 1 Pet 4:1,2 If we are not helping orphans or widows right now, if we are not giving our all for God right now, that doesn't mean we are necessarily sinning. We are to do the good God leads us to, as we have opportunity. This, 'we are all sinners' false gospel is so common, when will we repent from our sins and wake up and stop looking for excuses and encouragement for the sinning that kills us?
Sadly, it is true: most modern Christians who are part of this great falling away do sin daily, but Christians are not supposed to sin daily. It is the exception rather than the rule, even though now days it is the reality of the great majority. You will make many friends as you keep identifying with sin and being alive to sin. God's people have always hated being reminded to repent from their sins, but go ahead and stay a slave of sin if you insist. Jesus is the One who said, "Whoever sins is a slave to sin, and the slave has no permanent place in the family." Jesus said, "Go and sin no more." The Holy Spirit teaches us, "Come to your senses and stop sinning." 1 Cor 15:34 In fact the Bible says that this is how we will know who the real Christians are and who the pretenders, the children of the Devil are: whoever continues to sin is of the Devil. 1 Jn 3:7-10 Chad, I am in fact dead to sin. I have been set free from every sin that leads to death, by my union with Christ in His death to sin and His resurrection life living in me every day. I am in Christ, a new person, no longer that wretched slave of sin that doesn't do the good I know to do, and keeps doing the evil I don't want to do. "Sin shall have NO dominion over me, for I am not under law but am under grace."
"Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is DONE WITH SIN. As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God." 1 Pt 4:1,2 We who are really in Christ are members of one another, and we walk in the light. If anyone is going to admit their sins, then those who love them will urge them to repent of their sins, or we are not real Christians.
Why admit your sins and then get angry and accuse someone who, based on the information you gave, loves you by urging you to repent before Judgment Day is here? We can be completely sinless, free of sin completely. Jesus commanded us to be perfect, even as our Heavenly Father is perfect. Paul said by the Spirit to aim for perfection. Jesus nor Paul would have told us to do something that is impossible, or the Lord would be unrighteous. This is not talking about some ABSOLUTE PERFECTION where someone never forgets or loses or breaks something, but it is possible to live like Jesus lived ("Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did." 1 Jn 2:6) Paul said that he had not, at the time of that writing, become completely perfect, but he lived a completely sinless life. Paul lived completely free from sin, by God's grace. I believe that Paul was perfected before he went to be with the Lord.
Many of you admit to be wretched and in bondage to your flesh, and I am responding to you based upon the things some of you yourselves have admitted. You are battling with sin instead of reckoning yourself dead to it. Dead is dead indeed. We should fight to overcome sin, but when some of you say you are battling sin, that means that sometimes you give in and keep sinning, simple as that. Be honest, pretending doesn't help anything. Either you are a slave to sin or you are a slave to obedience which leads to righteousness which leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life (Rom ch 6). Only the man on the road to destruction cannot do the good that he wants to do, and keeps doing things that he doesn't want to do. Unless he learns that He is in union with Christ, and exercises his faith to overcome the world by faith in the Son of God, learning to obey the leadings of the Spirit to become more than a conquerer through the one man, Jesus Christ (Rom 5:17,19).
Yes, "when we were still sinners, Christ died for us". Yes, none of us were righteous and it is only by God's grace through our faith that we obeyed the gospel and turned from our sins in true repentance. But "WHEN WE WERE STILL SINNERS" CLEARLY IMPLIES THAT WE ARE NOT NOW STILL SINNERS, WE WHO ARE THE TRUE SAINTS OF GOD IN CHRIST! Jesus said, "...even sinners do that (love those who love them)" The sinners don't make it, so I will not waste the Lord's time in my life arguing with a child of Satan. I hope you will humble yourself and repent and "stop sinning" and "go and sin no more"!