Being a Christian does in no way make you become perfect – it’s a huge myth! Christians are still very far from perfection! The only difference to set us apart from any other human being on this earth is our personal relationship with the God of the universe. We do not lose our ability to sin once we come to know Christ. With the help of the Holy Spirit we can live a life closer to that of Christ’s – who was perfect, but alone it is not possible.
This is an excerpt from my recent blog titled The Duggars are not perfect and I thought it deserved a blog all of its own.
Sadly the world has a distorted view of Christians, or who they should be. Even some Christians share this view. We will continue to dishearten and shock many in this world with our sin because we should be free of it, or so they think. We are expected to be perfect; to never sin, falter in our faith, slip up in our Christian walk or diverge down any questionable paths. As I stated above, we do not lose our capability of sinning once we become Christians. We still have a very alive and strong-willed sin nature residing inside us just as everyone does. The difference they will see is when the Holy Spirit transforms our sinful nature into righteousness. Without the Holy Spirit’s help though, we are as wicked as any other human being on this earth.
The battle between actions of right and evil is a great one. It is even a daily battle – one that will never be won this side of heaven. My mind knows what is right but my heart is corrupt.
So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 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. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
God knows the battle that rages in our heart and mind. He does not condemn us when we have succumbed to sin. Romans 8:1 says, There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. God sees me as holy and righteous. I am a child of God. He does not see my dreadful, wicked sin anymore, but instead He sees His Son, Jesus’, righteous blood as the atonement for my sin.
There can be so much guilt and torment over sin. It can, for some, last for years or even a lifetime. The focus of our life is not winning this battle over right and wrong, as it will always be fruitless; instead it should be living a passionate life for Christ. I should be faithfully reading and studying His word, praying and serving Him. I cannot do these things without being changed at least in some way, if not in a drastic way. Because of my efforts my relationship with God will begin to grow. The bigger the effort from me the stronger the relationship will be with Him.
As my relationship with God matures the Holy Spirit becomes more alive and active in my life. This is the evidence of Jesus in my heart. This is our difference from the world that others should see. There is life and peace when the Holy Spirit is active in one’s life.
For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus form the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba Father!”
I will not be a perfect Christian but a genuine and joyful one. I will still fall into sin because I am a still a human with a sinful heart. It’s important how we deal with our sins. When I sin I need to ask for forgiveness from the one I offended and ask God for forgiveness, not because He needs to forgive me – He already has – but to restore my fellowship with Him.
Striving to be perfect – or to look like a model Christian – is to be dishonest and only to make ourselves look good. When we show our weaknesses, faults and sins, we show how great our need for a Savior is and how much God loves us that He sent His Son to die for us. The perfection should be taken off of us and put on our perfect Savior and the perfect love He has for us, despite our imperfection and sin!
Just to be clear
I want to clarify that the impossibility of living a perfect, sin-free life, does not justify our sinning. When tempted to sin, the view should not be: well, God will forgive me, so it doesn’t really matter. Romans 6:14-18,20-22 says, For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under the law but under grace. What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become salves of righteousness. For when you were slaves to sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.
When you see another Christian sin do not cast a stone. No one is without sin, even the believer – the Christian. Instead, pray for them; pray for you to not be overcome by pride; deal with your sin and shower them with God’s merciful and non-condemning love.