Saved Sinners Are Sinners Still
I John 1:8-10
Those who teach the doctrine of sinless perfection, or even the possibility of sinless perfection in this life, are simply dishonest men who do not know God and refuse to acknowledge the truth about themselves. To make such a statement as that is neither harsh nor judgmental. It is simply telling the truth (I John 1:8-10).
The fact is, God’s people in this world are sinners still. To say otherwise is to speak in direct contradiction to the Word of God and the constant experience of God’s elect in this world. No true believer has to be convinced of this fact. It is painfully obvious to all who know the Lord. There is in every believer’s heart a continual warfare between flesh and spirit (Rom. , 20; Gal. ). Without question, God’s saints do not live in sin and are no longer under the dominion of sin; but sin still lives in us.
There is in every
regenerate person two opposing natures, the one flesh and the other spirit, the
one is a principle of nature and the other a principle of grace. It is our
responsibility to mortify the outward actions of sin, but we cannot rid
ourselves of sin. We are to “put off
concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to
the deceitful lusts” (Eph. ). Yet, the old man never improves. The old man is never renewed.
The old man is not removed. The old man does not die until this body of flesh
dies. “That which is born of flesh is
flesh!” The old man no longer reigns; but he will never surrender. Therefore,
we are constantly at war with ourselves. Sin does not crop up in us now and
then, in unguarded moments. Oh, no. Sin dwells in us. Paul says, “Sin dwelleth in me!” It dwells within
us, not as an idle old resident, but as an active, corruption defiling all that
we are and all that we do. Sin dwells in us, like an enemy who has entered the
very heart of the city of
Not only does sin dwell in us, not only is it true that we are sinners and that sin mars everything we do, we all commit sin constantly “There is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not” (Eccles. 7:20). I know that the apostle John declares, “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin, for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God” (I John 3:9). That new man, that new nature, which is born of God, cannot sin. But, as we have already seen, the believer is a person with two natures, the old man and the new, the flesh and the spirit. Our sins, everything evil in us and everything evil done by us, are the works of the flesh. Our goodness, (if I may use such language), everything good in us and everything good done by us is the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. -23)