God Does Not Pretend When It Comes to Sin
I have heard it said: “When a Christian sins, God does not see his sin; he looks at him and only sees the blood of Christ.”
Is this a biblical doctrine? Or is it a deceptive doctrine of demons that some preachers have latched on to so they can comfort themselves and their listeners who are living in sin? It should be evident to most people that many preachers do not know what they are talking about. They become well-versed in denominational views and certain theological positions, but they do not have a handle on the Word of God. They criticize others if they disagree with their doctrines when they themselves do not take in the whole counsel of God.
God is a God of comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3-4), but the Bible never portrays him as a God that comforts people in their sinning. Isaiah 48:22 states: “There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked.” Yet some preachers are very good at comforting sinners in their sins. They fail to preach the truth about conversion, and they fail to preach the truth about the necessity of continuing in the faith. “God loves you”, they say, “He is gracious, so it does not matter what you do, you had a moment with God one day – so just ‘trust’ in his grace.” As the Bible says, they are “…ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” In fact, they will anathematize anyone who says that forsaking sin to follow Christ is what it means to be a Christian.
Can we sin once we become a Christian? Yes, and God will chasten the Christian in an effort to bring him to repentance (Hebrews 12), and we must respond to God’s correction. I do not claim that being a Christian means that a person becomes incapable of sinning, or that Christians may never have a need to repent of sin, but I will declare that persisting in even one sin is fatal to the soul. Failing to repent can lead to a hardening of the heart and ultimately to apostasy. Sinning is not unavoidable. How do we know? Because God’s Word tells us so: “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). We must make a choice. Are we going to serve sin (sinful self-gratification) or Christ? Paul held these options in front of his readers and made sure to point to the consequences of these two choices. “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness” (Romans 6:16). Can it be any clearer that God sees you as what you are, based on what you are doing?
God does not say, “Greg, you said the sinner’s prayer one day…”, or “Greg, you are mentally depending on Christ’s death on the cross for your salvation (a phrase nowhere found in the Bible)…so even though you are an adulterer, a fornicator, a drunkard, a liar, and a covetous man, I don’t see you as such – I only see the blood of Christ.” This contradicts the Word of the Lord, yet it is preached today as the very gospel itself. In seeing the problem with this, some preachers will claim that if you commit those sins, it shows you were never converted to begin with, but this is yet another theological contradiction on their part. Must a person forsake sin or not? And then, are you claiming that a true Christian is incapable of these acts? Preacher, make up your mind – you are confusing yourself and others.
Following what we read in Romans 6:16, Paul wrote this: “But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:17-23).
Paul said, “you were” the servants of sin, but you “became the servants of righteousness.” Theologians and preachers that wish to protect against a “works-based salvation” will speak of God declaring a person “positionally righteous”, and how this “righteous standing” has nothing to do with his behavior. Is this not a doctrine of demons that flatly denies the Word of God. It is true that the works of the flesh, self-righteous works, the dead works of religion, and the works of the Mosaic Law will save no one. But as the Word of God states: “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only” (James 2:24). According to the Bible, works of obedience to Christ are not merely a derivative of saving faith, they are an essential element of saving faith. For a more detailed look at this, click here.
God sees us as we are. Preachers need to stop trying to comfort sinners in their sinning. “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). It is also written in Ephesians 5:3-7: “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:” Take note of the last two sentences. Yet again we see that Paul wrote “ye were” comparing it to “now are ye”, and then he referenced those were are still living in sin and told these believers: “Be not ye therefore partakers with them.” He does not say they have a “positional righteousness” and that nothing they could ever do could change that. That is a doctrine of devils, and many have been seduced by it.
Do not be deceived, if you are an adulterer God sees you as an adulterer, and you will be condemned with adulterers. You can repent and it can be said of you that you were an adulterer, fornicator, drunkard, liar, or covetous person, but you cannot continue in sin and think that the gospel is a covering for your carnality. The gospel teaches us that even though we cannot “make up” for our past sins, Christ died for our sins and met the governmental demands of the law against us. Now we can be cleansed by the blood of Christ, a metaphorical reference to being pardoned because Christ died. How does the blood of Christ “cleanse us?” John wrote this: “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). If we walk in the light, his blood cleanses us. What does it mean to walk in the light? Looking back at Ephesians 5, those who walk in the darkness are the children of disobedience. Conversely, those who walk in the light are those who are walking in obedience to Christ. It is not difficult to understand. It is simply not what carnal people want to hear. They want to be able to gratify the flesh and yet have everything turn out well in the end.
But, someone will say, the next verse in 1 John says this: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). There is no disputing this is what the Bible says. But John also wrote this in the same letter: “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. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God” (1 John 3:6-9). Did God contradict himself? Or do many preachers contradict the Word?
In 1 John 1:3, whomever John is specifically addressing, he is writing to them so they “also may have fellowship with us”, implying they were not yet in the fellowship that included Christians, the Father, and the Son. Those who would be cleansed of their sins must submit their lives to Christ and walk in the light. If they claimed they had no sin that needed to be confessed and forsaken (1 John 1:9, Proverbs 28:13), they were deceiving themselves. They must choose obedience to Christ (walking in the light), rather than obedience to the flesh (Romans 6:16).
What about John’s comments that those who abide in Christ “sin not?” As stated before, this does not mean that the Christian is incapable of giving in to temptation and committing sin. It means that the converted person who is following Christ will sin so rarely than it can be truly said, that as a habit, he does not commit sin. He may occasionally sin, but repent he must. One cannot persist in sin and abide in Christ. Those who fail to abide in Christ will be severed from the vine (John 15). No, one cannot be unborn, but he can die. He can die to God and righteousness (Ezekiel 18:24). The good news of the gospel is not that we can sin with impunity, it is that we can turn from sinning to following Christ and we can be forgiven of our past transgressions. “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:7).
Now those are comforting words.
Remember, God is not blind. He sees you just as you are.