Why Do Christians Continue to Sin?

“The chimes of time ring out the news
Another day is through
Some one slipped and fell,
Was that someone you?

You may have longed for added strength
Your courage to renew
Do not be disheartened
I have news for you.

It is no secret what God can do,
What he has done for others,
He’ll do for you.
With arms wide open,
He’ll pardon you
It is no secret what God can do.

There is no night, for in His light
You’ll never walk alone.
You’ll always feel at home wherever you may roam,
There is no power can conquer you,
While God is on your side.
Take Him at His promise,
Don’t run away and hide.

It is no secret what God can do,
What he has done for others,
He’ll do for you.
With arms wide open,
He’ll pardon you.
It is no secret what God can do…

Stuart Hamblen

The struggle for holiness is a real and constant struggle in the life of a Christian. It would be nice if a person found themselves to be free of an impulse or inclination to do wrong after believing on the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Savior, but that it not the reality. The reality is that Christians sin, sometimes grievously. It is not just some Christians who do wrong, it is all Christians. To deny that we sin is to deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us (1 John 1:8).

As a Christian I read the Bible and find many exhortations and commandments to deal with the sin I know is in my soul.
I am commanded to “put off the old man with his deeds” (Col. 3:9).

I am to mortify or put to death wrongful impulses of the soul, and for good reason. “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience” (Col. 3:5-6).

The practical problem is that more often than not, I do not obey the gospel commandments. With many others, I wonder why? I ask, “What do Christians sin?”

An honest answer might include the following reasons, at one time or another.

God is not believed. It is hard to believe that a loving God is going to cast a person into hell for being human. Some people reason within their heart this way. “I did not ask to be brought into this world. I did not ask to be born with a nature that has a propensity to do wrong. I cannot believe that a loving God will do something as horrible as to put me in a dark fiery pit for all eternity.”

Sin is denied, minimized, or dismissed. Sin is denied when a person says, “I have done no wrong.” Sin is minimized when a person says, “I am not as bad as others I know or read about such as the religious pedophiles or Hollywood actors such as Kevin Spacey.” Sin is dismissed when it is mocked and laughed at. When Christian Bale received a 2019 Golden Globe award for his despicable and unfair biographical betrayal of former vice president Dick Cheney, he openly thanked Satan. He laughed and walked off the spotlighted stage into eternal moral darkness of his soul.

From a theological perspective, there are some reasons that can be considered as to why Christians continue to sin.
Christians continue to sin because salvation is not glorification. One day all sin shall cease. One day God will remove every vestige of the sin nature in His children. After physical death, in the intermediate spiritual body, and then, in the resurrection body, there will be no sinful impulses. One day, those whom the Father has predestinated, those whom the Father has called, those whom He has justified, He will also glorify (Rom. 8:30). But unto then, Christians will continue to do wrong.

Christians sin because there is cross work to be done. When Peter tried to get Jesus to avoid the Father’s plan of redemption, he was not seeking to do God’s will, and Jesus let him know it by using strong words. “But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. 24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” (Matt. 16:23-25). Paul said, “I die daily” (1 Cor. 15:31). So must every Christian. There is cross work to be done.

Christians continue to sin to humble the soul. Those who believe in Christian perfectionism should beware. “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10:12).

Christians continue to sin to help them identify with others who are weak, helpless, and broken. Christians are to rejoice with those who are happy, and Christians are to weep with those who weep. “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep” (Rom. 12:15). Those who have experience a moral failure are not as prone to be self-righteous as those who can signal their own virtues. Those who have received grace are to show grace. The greater the grace God shows to a person, and they realize it, the greater the grace they should show to others. It is not enough to know the doctrines of grace. Christian are to display the grace of Biblical doctrine.

Christians sin in order to learn to depend upon God. Some people will put faith in resolutions, moral self-reformation, and principles found in self-help books. Christians learn not to rest on these broken reeds but to trust in Jesus to be their Sanctification. “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption” (1 Cor. 1:30).

In the struggle against personal sin, remember the divine provisions that will lead to the removal of the shame and guilt that will come to those who have a heart of flesh, and not a heart of stone.

Repent of every known failure. “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit” (Psalm 34:18).

Confess every known transgression of word, thought, and deed when they occur. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

Forsake every form of inappropriate behavior. “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Rom. 13:14).

Most importantly, believe the promise of God that He will sanctify you. The God who undertook the salvation of your soul is the same who will undertake the work of sanctification in your heart. What He has done for others, He will do for you. Here is the promise of Scripture. “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6).

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