Dr. Couch, I'm told by some legalistic Christians that believers no longer can sin. This does not seem correct from the biblical standpoint or from experience. How do you answer?
ANSWER: I answer by Scripture! I find it fascinating how many Christians do not read their Bible and therefore do not know what it says. For example, if I asked some of those folks who have never read their Bible, can believers practice idolatry? most would answer no! Again, they have not read what the Word of God says.
In Ephesians Paul writes about Christians being liars: "Be laying aside falsehood, speak truth" (v. 25). He adds "Do not give the devil an opportunity …" (v. 27). "Let the thief stop stealing" (v. 28), and "Let no unwholesome (spoiled fish) word come from your mouth" (v. 29). "Do not grieve the Holy Spirit" (v. 30), and "Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you" (v. 31). "Be kind to one another" (v. 32).
"Walk in love (5:2), and "do not let immorality or any impurity or greed even be named among you" (v. 3). "There must be no filthiness and silly talk" among you (v. 4). Here's the biggy: "Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret" (vv. 11-12). Concerning idolatry further: Paul says to believers, "Flee idolatry" (1 Cor. 10:14), and "Don't be an idolater" (v. 7)). In 1 John 5:21 we read "Keep from idols."
How stupid for believers to say they do not sin! How blind they are to their own actions!
The problem is that few believers have been taught by their lazy pastors to understand the difference between POSITIONAL and EXPERIENTIAL Truth! In our Position, we are saints in Christ, but in our walk in time, in our Experience, we can sin, and in fact DO SIN! Of course believers are not supposed to sin but the reality is that we do!
Ephesians 5:8 explains this clearly. Paul writes "For then in the past you were DARKNESS, but now LIGHT in the Lord; be continually walking as children of light." Paul does not write that we were IN Darkness but that we WERE DARKNESS! Now, we are not simply In the Light but we are LIGHT! This is a statement about our old and our new POSITION in Christ. Now, we are to be walking about in our EXPERIENCE in Christ, as children of Light!
Go to a church where you are taught the Word of God. Stop listening to sermonettes for Christian-ettes! Start being taught by teachers who know their stuff!
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch