WHY DO CHRISTIANS SIN?

Many Christians do not deliberately sin, but we do sin. How do we know that we sin? The Bible tells us we do. Have you ever done or said something that you then wondered: “Why did I do that?” It could be a lie, spreading rumors, alcohol or prescription drug abuse and many others such as hate, unforgiveness, selfishness, anger, etc.

Romans 7:15–25 “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.”

Most sin committed by a sanctified Christian does not necessarily come from demonic influence but from man’s original nature. Part of that nature is rebellious and the desire of independence. The above Scripture is describing a Christian who loves the law of God and wants to please God, but is trying to do so by his own strength.

It is not uncommon for our old nature, from time to time, to seek to rebel and be independent of God. Too often, when we try to rely on our own strength, we slip into the grasp of sin’s power. Scripture teaches us that when we become a Christian it does not remove every temptation or the possibility of sinning. Conversion takes a moment of faith, but becoming a Christian is a lifelong process. We learn in Romans 7:9 that knowledge is not the answer. “At one time I lived without understanding the law. But when I learned the command not to covet, for instance, the power of sin came to life,”

This is why we want to emphasis that Christian growth is like a race. Winners do not give up and they are continually training and preparing. That is why Scripture is saying: “I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.” This can apply to a person who is desperately struggling against sin or trying to keep the rules and commandments in order to please God without the Holy Spirit’s help. We must never underestimate the power of sin and never try to fight it without realizing our chances of doing it on our own, mostly doesn’t work. Once we are tempted, it is easy to make excuses and rationalize.

God knowing mans carnal nature and provided to Christians His Spirit to live in us and provide us with power to overcome temptations. Yet, it is amazing when we fall or fail and then repent; He lovingly reaches out and helps us back up. Is our faith sufficient to trust God and believe this? Paul writes that we have two natures. One desires in keeping God’s laws and one wages war against God’s laws. We must not allow other Christians trying to live up to God’s standards in their own strength, become frustrated, disillusioned and depressed and close to completely giving up influence us. We learn that having a desire to live to please God indicates His laws and commandments are good.

Scripture goes on to say that it seems nothing good lives in me. Can it possibly be that all of my sinful mistakes that I commit are caused by demonic influence? No, but we like to blame someone besides ourselves because it is hard to accept responsibility. We may have good intentions, but our self-centered nature can still control us if we have not surrendered our lives to the Holy Spirit. If we are not allowing the Holy Spirit to guide and help us, sin can be stronger than we are.

Paul tells us he is an awful man, but Christ had rescued him. We too must realize that our self-centered natures are most often what cause us to sin. Our comfort zone may be to trust in ourselves rather than trusting in Christ or the Holy Spirit. Most of the time, we just do things without praying and asking for Spiritual guidance. Do you find yourself thinking: should I do it my way or God’s way? Chances are we do not take the time or think to ask God. Old habits are hard to break and many Christian are not willing to repent and change. These are the ones who are continually struggling with sin. It is only when real problems confront us; the ones we got ourselves into, that we realize: we need God’s help and pray and hope for an instant intervention by God. Don’t you think God is thinking: they will not learn to trust me unless He makes us wait for His answer or intervention?

The positive is: we know that God promises there will be no eternal punishment to those who have committed themselves to Christ and do not allow their self-centered natures to control their lives, but follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. God recognizes that a Christian’s self-centered nature will rise up from time to time. God does not expect perfection but He asks that we strive toward it and our example is Christ.

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