If your theology creates conflicts and disharmony with scripture, then it is your theology that is wrong, not the record of GOD. If men would take that fact to heart, humble themselves, and admit they sometimes don’t understand, it would go a long way to stopping much of the erroneous doctrine I hear often spoken by those who profess to follow Christ. It would also bring more unity to the body of Christ as we patiently rely on GOD to give us understanding.
One of the most crippling erroneous and evil doctrines that has been embraced by millions of professing Christians is that those born of GOD will continue in sin. It is daunting to me at times to see the extent at which a professing believer in the gospel of Christ will vehemently argue that no one is free from the bondage of sin. Religious people that believe this way are ultimately saying that the seed of deception which Satan sowed in the garden of Eden is more powerful than the seed of truth which GOD sowed in Gethsemane. They are saying that the flesh and its cravings are more powerful than the virtues of the Spirit. They are saying that the power of darkness to conceal is more powerful than the power of light to reveal. If you can accept the truth in what I am saying, then you to must realize that there are a great many people who have been deceived. This lie is at the root of the resignation you see in so many powerless and untransformed people still confessing that they have been saved by Christ. This doctrine of sin holding dominance over those born again was created by the father of all lies to steal the birthright of those resurrected in Christ. The birthright of those born through Christ is to inherit the divine nature and power of GOD. By nature, the children of Light and Truth destroy the works of Satan. I often ask those who believe they have been saved, yet are still subject to sin’s dominance, what they have been saved from. The answer I am given by them is that they have been saved from condemnation to hell. Here is what Christ says about condemnation.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. (John 3:18-20 KJV)
Men remain dominated by sin because they will not face the truth that they love the pleasures of sin more than they love GOD. This is evidenced by them abiding in sin instead of leaving the sinful life behind to walk with GOD. How can you obtain the promise of life if you are unwilling to walk with GOD along the path which leads to it, because you are unwilling to take up the cross and suffer in the flesh? We saw this in the generation of the children of Israel that left Egypt. Instead of trusting and believing that the rewards promised by YAHWEH were worth the hardships required for the passage through the wilderness, they rejected the vision He was trying to enter into their hearts.
The word says the justified will enter life by Faith in Christ, yet there are people saying they have entered the new life and escaped condemnation while still lacking the required faith. This dynamic is seen in the Amplified Classic Translation of John 5:24 as Christ explains.
“I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, the person whose ears are open to My words [who listens to My message] and believes and trusts in and clings to and relies on Him Who sent Me has (possesses now) eternal life. And he does not come into judgment [does not incur sentence of judgment, will not come under condemnation], but he has already passed over out of death into life.”
If someone comes to rescue you from certain death but you are unwilling to trust them and follow their instructions to get out of peril, where does that leave you? How is it that people believe the Good Shepherd can save them even though they refuse to follow Him to safety? That mindset is obviously oppression from spiritual darkness.
I’ll conclude this post by clarifying the correct meaning of a couple of scriptures that are often cited incorrectly to support the domination by sin in the life of the born again in Christ.
Misinformed people will often reference the struggle the Apostle Paul spoke about in the book of Romans, chapter 7. Paul spoke about the conflict between the yearnings of his flesh and his desire to please GOD.
“Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me..” (Romans 7:20 NKJV)
Paul is giving this illustration to make a distinction between the nature he received from his carnal birth versus the divine nature he received from his spiritual birth. He acknowledges the internal conflict which needs to be resolved and goes on to say who delivers him and how.
24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. (Romans 7:24-25 KJV)
1There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Romans 8:1-4 KJV)
Paul is very clear here in verse 1 saying, there is no condemnation to those who walk after the spirit. This is world’s apart from the false teaching that there is no condemnation for those who confess that they believe in Christ but then never walk after the spirit. Walking after the spirit is clearly a condition of escaping condemnation. If you truly believe in Christ as your savior, why would you not obey His call to mortify your flesh and follow Him after the spirit to the promise land. Those who are yet carnal and looking more so to make Christ popular rather than exalt Him as Lord teach that rubbish. I feel strongly about it because I hate to see Satan clipping the wings of eagles which were meant to soar gloriously in the spirit. It is akin to the children of Israel never leaving the bondage of Egypt, though the armies of Pharaoh had been destroyed. You have to follow the spirit away from Egypt to get to the promise land.
To be clear, I am not saying born again believers never stumble. Babies stumble a lot when they first begin to walk but there is a noticeable decrease in their stumbling as they mature. How many times have you fallen just trying to walk in the past twelve months? The same holds true for our spiritual walk with GOD. Believe me when I say YAHWEH intentionally made man to start as babies crawling like beast along the ground then progressively maturing to walk upright. This is a physical example of His foreordained plan. I write this while resisting the feelings of futility which come from me often sharing this only to have those who listen continue to argue for their bondage. So, they remain like babies, crawling around in the dust and putting things in their mouth that they shouldn’t. This debilitating resignation of spiritual potential coddles the flesh and eases the feelings of dissonance, but it perpetuates alienation from GOD who seeks those who are willing to worship Him in spirit and in truth.
There is one other scripture I would like to clarify that is often cited to validate the dominance of sin doctrine. It is like the first scripture I referenced from Romans 7:20, which speaks to the fact that we have sin present with us.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 john 1:8-10 KJV)
The first verse says we deceive ourselves if we say we have no sin. This is not to say that if you have sin, you are a sinner. If I have a wine cellar, am I automatically an alcoholic. If my pantry is full of food, am I automatically a glutton. If I have desire for women, does it automatically make me a lustful fornicator. When I confess that I need the power of Christ to overcome the nature of sin warring with in me and call upon GOD, then He is true to His word which says, “they that call upon the name of the Lord shall be delivered.” If I say I have never sinned and therefore have no need of the redemptive blood of Christ I am certainly a liar. If I say I have been delivered from the dominion of sin and GOD is transforming me progressively into His sin free likeness, then I am declaring the truth of the gospel of Christ.
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:16-17 NKJV)