How Does the Christian Deal with Sin?
a study series by Arthur J Licursi
Part 2 of
14 – Two Waysthe Unlearned Christian Looks At His Habit of Sinning.
Ignoring the truths presented in the first installment of this series, many Christians don’t really believe all their sins are forgiven by Christ’s one offering of Himself on the cross for us. Thus, they still live with the plague of unforgiven sin, thinking they surely must do something to at least add to what God has done in Christ for them - they think they must "do" something.
Many other Christians have heard the truth of “the dispensation of the grace of God” (Eph 3:2) that Jesus directly gave to the Apostle Paul for the Gentiles (Eph 3:2), and which Paul preached and presents in his epistles. They should thereby have come to know that they are free from the demands of “the Law,” and also free from the power of the Sin nature that has dominated their soul and their way of living, known as their “old man.”
What does Paul say about our "old self "or "old man” and how God has dealt with our old relationship to "the Law."
Romans 6:6-7 (NIV) For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with (kartargeo, made of no effect), that we should no longer be slaves to sin-- 7 because anyone who has died has been freed from sin (Being dead, they are freed from sin’s dominion).
Romans 7:4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
Colossians 2:13-14 (AMP) And you who were dead in trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your flesh (your sensuality, your sinful carnal nature), [God] brought to life together with [Christ], having [freely] forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 Having cancelled and blotted out and wiped away the handwriting of the note (bond) with its legal decrees and demands which was in force and stood against us (hostile to us). This [note with its regulations, decrees, and demands] He set aside and cleared completely out of our way by nailing it to [His] cross.
Romans 10:4 (KJV) For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
Romans 6:14 (NIV) For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.
Yet still, most Christians often find themselves struggling with particular sins. One reaction to their recognized failures is that they might excuse themselves by saying “Well, I’m not perfect. God doesn’t expect me to get it right every time.”
What can we properly say to this person?
1) If we say, “God expects you to live a holy, righteous, and blameless life,” we fall into placing that child of God into the bondage of legalism, we place “the law” upon them. As we shall see, the Apostle Paul tells us in no uncertain terms that this approach to re-enforcing “the law” is doomed to failure.
2) Or should we answer, “God knows you’ll sin, in fact he expects you to and it doesn’t really bother him,” thus handing him a “license to sin”? This “license” argument is ridiculous on its face since nobody has ever needed a license to sin. We seem to sin quite well both with and without that license.
In either case we fail to live as Christians. This is because we lose sight of two points
1. We lose sight of the basis of the Christian’s liberation from the power of Sin.
"Sin" is the fallen Sin nature that still resides within the flesh body of every Christian (Rom 8:3) as well as every person who has lived since Adam's fall. The Sin nature is passed on in the flesh bodies of humanity. Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: We as Christians were immersed into Christ - we are "in Christ." We are thereby free from Sin's power over us because we, as to our "old man," have died "in Christ." Christians are to "identify" with Christ on the cross as being representative of our crucified "Serpentine old nature" (John 3:14, allegorically seen in Numbers 20). A dead person is no longer influenced by Sin's temptations.
2. We fail to realize and believe that we are not under the penalty of Sin. Christ has paid the penalty for our sins by giving His life for us.
This series is to help us see the proper understanding of "Sin" as a noun, as a nature, that operates within the flesh body of Christian (Rom 7:17-23), as well as the unregenerate person.