I recall expecting as a child that because our flatware (i.e., knives forks and spoons) was made of stainless steel that meant they would never rust or become tarnished. However, when we first acquired an automatic dishwasher (yes, that dates me!) some of the flatware came out of a wash cycle stained. This caused me to re-evaluate my understanding of the term "stainless" which had over time become synonymous with the concept of never staining. However, in reality it meant that it "stained-less" than ordinary steel but was not "stain-free."
Similarly, the world has expected Christians to live "sinfree" lives when in reality there has only been one human that has accomplished that feat - Jesus the God-Man (1 John 3:5. 1 John 1:8. Ecclesiastes 7:20. Romans 3:23). Nevertheless, those that are genuinely born again AND have chosen to become disciples of Christ will live "sinless" lives. That is, they will see a decreasing frequency of sin in their lives as they mature in Christ.
If a person is living a lifestyle of sin and their conscience does NOT bother them then likely they are NOT born again(1) (1 John 3:6,9. 1 John 5:18 - the phrase "does not sin" in these verses could be translated "does not habitually sin" due to the present participle in the Greek).
However, if you are NOT experiencing a reduction in the amount of sin in your life and your conscience IS bothering you - but perhaps less and less over time (Hebrews 3:12,13) - it could be that you are born again but need to learn and practice the following ABC's of Sinless Christian Living!
Strategies from The ABC's of Sinless Christian Living series which will be the subject of this blog over the next few weeks:
Avert your eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin from enticing people or things - immediately!
Completely effective against visual sexual attraction to those you do not have to interact with like strangers (e.g. joggers, lingerie ads, magazine covers, billboards, movies, etc.).
Using your senses lustfully is only a bad habit that you developed from poor choices.
You are fighting hormones and habit.
Habits can be completely eliminated in six weeks.
Meditate on the Word of God.
Put on the whole armor of God (dress for spiritual success!).
Worship God privately and corporately.
Change the environment where you live and work.
Change how you spend your spare time.
Be accountable to others.
Change with whom you associate.
Have a firm personal commitment to being pure.
Starve the attractions by continually averting your senses from people or things that foster sinful thoughts.
Pray for your pastor when you are being tempted!
Play the rest of the tape (i.e., what are the long term consequence of the sin if I commit it).
Prepare a strategy for the “temptation period”. That is, do not wait to be tempted to figure out what to do - have a plan for avoidance and escape.
Cultivate a deep, intimate, personal relationship with our Father God through Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit.
Hate (i.e., completely separate from) sin realizing you have no rights to it!
We must “reckon” ourselves dead to sin.
We must live our Christian life based upon the fact that the power of the sinful nature was broken for us by Jesus at Calvary.
Consequently, we are under no obligation to obey its orders.
We have been set free from sin and the proper response is to read God’s emancipation proclamation to the insistent demands of the flesh.
We must realize we are responsible for all sins that we commit after salvation.
The believer must know that before salvation we could not help but sin.
After salvation we sin as a free choice (similar to Adam in the Garden of Eden).
We must count upon the fact of our possession of the divine nature.
This will free us from depending upon our own strength to live Sin-free.
We will then recognize the necessity of being moment by moment filled (controlled) by the Holy Spirit.
There are just two things that the believer must do in order to be moment by moment controlled by the Holy Spirit:
1. Sincerely desire His control.
2. Trust the Lord Jesus for that control.
The Holy Spirit will then do two things for us:
1. He will suppress the activities of the evil nature.
2. He will produce in the believer a Christlike life.
Links to this series:
- The ABC's of Sinless Christian Living (1)
- ABC's Part I: Avert Your Senses! (1)
- ABC's Part II: Battle Lustful Thoughts! (1)
- ABC's Part III: Cling to Christ (1)
- ABC's Part IV: S.W.A.T (1)
(1) Left click on underlined phrase to open another article in a different tab with more explanation.
This has been an overview of The ABC's of Sinless Christian Living. A more thorough understanding of each will be presented in subsequent blogs.