“No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning”.
“No one who continues to sin has either seen Him or known Him”.
What does it mean when we repent from a sin (repeatedly) but just cannot seem to “shake it“, in light of these verses?
In Matthew 5 we have Jesus’ sermon on the mount. In v. 27, 38, and 43 we have this phrase ‘you have heard it said’… then He adds ‘but I say to you.’ Each time, Jesus is quoting the Law of Moses with three main sins in mind: adultery, talionic justice (eye for an eye), and love for your neighbor. Each time, He is not dismissing or doing away with the Law, He’s intensifying it, you might say, He’s making it more strict!
Let’s take Matthew 5:27–28 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. It doesn’t take a theologian to understand this. Who among you can measure the amount or degree of sin that indicates you are or are not saved?
Jesus is addressing the heart and mind, aka the “sin between our temples.” What we think about, dwell on, and day-dream about. Sin is a heart condition, not outward evidence-based. So, every time we look at another person and lust crosses our mind, we’ve sinned. Period. Can any Christian say, “I no longer lust”? No. Money, sex, and power is one way of describing 1 John 2:16. “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.”
Lastly, we can look at Romans 7 with acknowledgement that some Christians have a hard time with this chapter to the degree that they apply an odd conclusion that Paul is writing about his former state, before he was saved. This breaks many hermeneutical rules of Romans 6-8. To know sin is wrong and to hate it is a sign of the Holy Spirit inside of you.
Some will strongly disagree, but Scripture is clear that we will continue to sin. There is a corollary between time in the Word, in prayer, growing with other believers that helps keep the guard rails up. And if there are sins we continually do, we likely need some accountability help. Find one or two people you can trust to share your ongoing issues and have them pray with you. Read a book or two on the subject, memorize some helpful passages and remember Christ loves you. He died for you. You are His child. And He is and always will be a forgiving Christ.
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