We’ve heard the common scripture, so often twisted and miss quoted to justify ones desire to continue in their sin that sounds (from the mouths of many) something like this. “We are all sinners, the bible says that all sin and if you say that you do not then you are a liar.” How do we as Christians respond to such an un-biblical statement for we know that Christ came to free us from sin and from being a servant to it.
“Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin….If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” – John 8:34, 36
So first off, lets see what the bible really says in these commonly miss quoted verses and examine their context:
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;” – Romans 3:23-25
The first thing we must note here is that it states, “All HAVE sinned“. This is past tense, not continuing in the present. Therefor it is by no means an excuse to continue sinning after receiving the knowledge of the truth. This point is echoed again later in this passage very clearly when it says that Christ’s blood is only “for the remission of sins that are past”. Meaning that Jesus’s blood will wash us clean of our past sins but if we return to those sins in the present then we are no longer clean, no longer forgiven, and no longer saved.
“For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.” – 2 Peter 2:20-22
“For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?” – Hebrews 10:26-29
So now that we have established that we cannot continue in sin once we are saved, and remain saved, then why does the bible say that if we say we have not sinned then we are lying? Again, let’s examine the context:
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” – 1 John 1:9-10
Yet again we see the same vernacular, “HAVE sined“, in a state of being past tense. These passages are explaining the process of salvation, by which one must acknowledge that they have sinned, put their faith in the blood of Jesus, repent of those sins, and be saved. The point being made here is that because of our inherited sin from the fall of Adam, we are all counted guilty and therefor we all need a savior. No on is excused, be they Jew or Gentile, we all have inherited Adam’s sin. So even if we have not committed a sin we are still sinners (prier to salvation) because of Adam. This is why Christ came, to free us from that curse. Jesus did not suffer and die that we could continue in sin, but rather that we could overcome it and live righteously. To do anything less is a mockery of His sacrifice.
“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” – Romans 5:12
“Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.” – Romans 5:14
“Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” – Romans 5:18-19
“And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” – 1 John 3:5-8