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One Scripture that is usually used to support these kinds of statements is Romans 3:23. It says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We agree with this. EVERYONE has sinned at some point in time in the past, including us. This doesn’t mean that any of us ever had to commit any of our past sins. It also doesn’t mean we have to keep on sinning in the future either.
The other Scripture that is usually used to support such statements is 1 John 1:8. It says, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” People twist this verse to say that if you don’t admit that you always have sin in your life, then you are “deceiving yourself, and the truth is not in you.” This verse is usually misunderstood because people don’t understand who John is writing about. John is referring to a group of people called the Gnostics. The Gnostics were a group of heretics who claimed to be Christians. Among other heresies, they said that their flesh could sin all that it wanted, without defiling their spirit. So, even though they were sinning daily, they really “weren’t sinning” and were still in “good standing” with God. This is who John was talking about when he wrote 1 John 1:8.
The interpretation of 1 John 1:8 that says we always have to have sin in our lives, contradicts the rest of 1 John and the Bible. It specifically contradicts these clear verses in 1 John (please look them up and study them):
1:5-7, 1:9, 2:1-6, 2:15-17, 2:29, 3:3-9, 3:18-19, 5:3-4, 5:18
In the rest of the Bible, we see that Jesus commands you to go and sin no more (John 5:14, 8:11). Jesus commands you to repent or perish (Luke 13:3, 5). There are conditions for God to have mercy on/pardon a sinner: forsaking sin and turning to the Lord (Isaiah 55:6-7). In order for your sins to be blotted out, you must repent and be converted (Acts 3:19).
The whole point of the preaching of Christ, according to Paul, is that we “may present every man perfect in Christ” (Col 1:27-29). God called Noah “perfect” (Gen. 6:9) and Job “blameless” (Job 1:1, 8; 2:3). Jesus commands you to be perfect just like God is perfect (Matt 5:48). You don’t have to “be Jesus” to be “perfect”. You just need to have your sins forgiven by the blood of Jesus and then you need to take up your cross daily, deny yourself and follow Him (Mark 8:34-38).
The Bible makes it clear that true Christians obey God. If you don't obey God then, you don't love Him (John 14:15), you don't have the grace of God that brings salvation (Titus 2:11-14), you aren’t His friend (John 15:14), you are His enemy (James 4:4), you don't know Him (1 John 2:3-4), you aren't cleansed of your sins (1 John 1:5-7), you are of the devil (1 John 3:8), you are a slave to sin (John 8:34, Rom 6:16), you have a dead faith (James 2:19-20), your house is built upon the sand (Matt 7:26-27) and you will not inherit the Kingdom of God (Matt 7:21, 1 Cor. 6:9-10).
If you have been deceived by the lie that you can’t stop sinning or that you can’t completely obey God in this life, then you need to repent. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Phil. 4:13). If you walk according to the Spirit, you won’t fulfill the lusts of the flesh (Gal. 5:16). God doesn’t let you be tempted beyond what you are able to bear and always provides a way out of sinning (1 Cor. 10:13). God's commandments are not a burden to keep (1 John 5:3-4). The truth can set you free (John 8:31-36), so that you can walk in holiness and victory before God. God wants you to be Holy and provides all that you need to live Holy. The only thing left is for you to start living Holy today! Rejection of this teaching is rejection of God, not man (1 Thess. 4:3-8).
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