Why Christians Can’t Stop Sinning

Why Christians Can’t Stop Sinning

Question: As a child of God, why can’t I stop sinning?

I have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my true God and Saviour. I have been born again, yet why do all  my sins follow me or purposely try to meet me? They await me in corners and just when I think I have worked my issues out, wham, I run into another one as surely as someone driving into an invisible post. I hate this!

I have talked to many believers and I hear the same thing. Some are plagued by their temper. Others by pride and jealousy, and others, laziness, deceitfulness, gossiping, giving in to base desires, selfishness, unforgiveness and so on and so forth. Everyone seems to have at least one sin haunting them all the time. I have to admit, there are times when it feels like Sin aggressively lords it over me!

Well, we’re in good company. Paul (yes, Paul, the disciple who wrote most of the New Testatment, one of the greatest believers of all time) must have been as bewildered by this as we are, before the Lord enlightened him as to the answer.

I love Romans 7, because it explains why I continue to do all sorts of sins and unrighteousness, even though I fight hard to be good. It also explains that fighting your sinful nature is utterly useless because your sinful nature can never be improved, fighting it only gives it the strength to become stronger.

Paul, before his momentous spiritual meeting of Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus, was a devout Jew and followed the Law strictly to the letter.  But in Romans 7, he describes how the Law is only good for one thing: to show him how sinful he truly is.

Romans 7:7 What then shall we say? Is the law sin? Absolutely not! But I did not know sin except through the law; for neither did I know coveting, except the law had said, “You shall not covet.”

Romans 7:8  But sin, seizing the opportunity through the commandment, worked out in me coveting of every kind; for without the law sin is dead.

You must understand here that the example of coveting is for illustration purposes only. Paul actually means all sin, THE SIN within man. This is Sin, the Life of Satan which had entered us during the Fall of Man, which is lodged in our thoughts and within every fiber of our being, and not just exposed by outward sinful acts.

V 11. For sin, seizing the opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me.

V 12. So then the law is holy, and the commandment holy and righteous and good.

V 13. Did then that which is good become death to me? Absolutely not! But sin did, that it might be shown to be sin by working out death in me, that which is good, that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful.

What Paul is saying is that the Law (the Commandments God gave to Moses) is not bad, it is actually holy and righteous and good, as it was given by God. However, it is used by Sin to deceive us into thinking we can ever be righteous by following it.

So when we try and fail, Sin accuses us, it kills us, and it leads us to guilt and despair because we know that we have failed God again. We do everything the commandments tell us not to do; we are everything the commandments command us not to be.

V 15. For what I work out, I do not acknowledge (or approve of); for what I will, this I do not practice; but what I hate, this I do.

V 16. But if what I do not will, this I do, I agree with the law that it is good.

v.17. Now then it is no longer I that work it out but sin that dwells in me.

V 18. For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but to work out the good is not.

V 19. For I do not do the good which I will; but the evil which I do not will, this I practice.

Its like negative psychology – someone tells you “Don’t think about a pink elephant,” and off you go, a pink elephant in your head.  It’s a law, a psychological law, that causes your mind to automatically think of what someone tells you not to.  Sin is the same way, except it’s a spiritual law – the more we try to repress it, the stronger it becomes. This is the law of Sin and Death.

What is a Law? It is something that happens again and again. With a Law, the same action produces the same result under whatever circumstances the action is performed. A Law is a steady phenomenon; it is a constant tendency, a condition that continues to come back.

For example, there is the force of gravity. Whenever an object is dropped, gravity will draw it downward. This gravitational force is a Law. In our flesh, growing old is a law. And so is Sin. So with some people, losing temper is a law. They may hold back once or twice, but they are provoked the third time. By the fourth time, they may explode into great anger.

Sin is the Life of Satan, Sin does not merely visit us or abide in us. Sin has made its home in our flesh, and is contantly warring with our will.

The word FLESH refers to what has become of the beautiful bodies that the Lord created in Adam and Eve. They had the purest of bodies – holy vessels to contain Him. But after their fall, when Satan and Sin entered into man and all of creation, the human body became Flesh, a corrupted and decaying form.

Many people blame God that He created this body of decay and Sin. That is not a valid accusation. This Flesh was not created by God, but is a mixture of God’s creation and Sin, which is the life of Satan.

V 20. But if what I do not will, this I do, it is no longer I that work it out but sin that dwells in me.

V 21 I find then the law with me who wills to do the good, that is, the evil is present with me.

Paul is saying that Sin is always present in us, sleeping and dormant. But when we ‘will’ to do good, that Sin is aroused, awakes and becomes this evil thing inside of us.

And this is a law…

V 23  But I see a different law in my members, warring against the law of my mind and making me a captive to the law of sin which is in my members.

And just like Paul, we, believers of God, cry out for deliverance from this law of sin…

V 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from the body of this death?

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The Law of the Spirit of Life