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Christians Don't Sin

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  • Christians Don't Sin

    True Christians don't sin. Or so I've been told by some Christians. My response to that usually runs along the lines of: If true Christians don't sin, then I've never met a true Christian. However, this idea has been bugging me lately, and I have a number of questions about it. I note that it's not a universal Christian doctrine. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, the Catholic Church teaches that all humans are sinners, even the Christians. That's why they have confessionals, after all. The members of the flock go to the confessionals to admit their latest sins, repent, and seek forgiveness. I've met a lot of Protestants who similarly believe that Christians sin. So the position that Christians don't sin would seem to be a minority viewpoint.

    My questions:

    Are there specific denominations that teach the idea that true Christians don't sin?

    Is it a popular view among Christians around here?

    Which would be true, under this view? Or do both flavors exist out there? Or is it some other explanation that I've overlooked?
    - True Christians have already been forgiven, so nothing they do is considered to be sinful, even if it would be considered sinful for others.
    - True Christians simply don't do things that would be considered sinful for others.

    Do Christians who believe that Christians sin see a Biblical contradiction in the idea that Christians don't sin? And vice versa? I'd like to get a better understanding of the arguments involved. The idea that true Christians don't sin seems to me to be nonsensical on the face of it, so any attempt to make it make sense would be appreciated.
    Middle-of-the-road swing voter. Feel free to sway my opinion.

  • #2
    Is this a parody? Because John even says that if someone claims to be without sin, he's a liar, or something like that. Here's a verse.
    If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 1 John 1:10
    Last edited by Christianbookworm; 03-28-2015, 01:41 PM.
    If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

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    • #3
      There are a number of statements in the book of 1 John about the nature of Christians and sin. It's worded almost as a paradox. It says that Christians cannot and do not sin... but that nonetheless, Christians do sin, and when they do, they have recourse to be forgiven by Jesus... and that for that matter, if one claims to be sinless, they are a liar. The general way this is reconciled, which I agree with, is that true Christians will continue to sin, but their lives will not reflect a pattern of ongoing sin, and when they do sin, they will feel genuine remorse and repent.
      "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Christianbookworm View Post
        Is this a parody? Because James even says that if someone claims to be without sin, he's a liar, or something like that.
        No, really, I've encountered this quite a few times, including around here.
        Middle-of-the-road swing voter. Feel free to sway my opinion.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Christianbookworm View Post
          Is this a parody? Because James even says that if someone claims to be without sin, he's a liar, or something like that.
          Why would it be a parody? It's a genuine question and a perfectly good one at that.
          "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Yttrium View Post
            No, really, I've encountered this quite a few times, including around here.
            Sorry. It's just pretty goofy for someone to claim Christians never sin. Maybe fundies claim it?
            If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Christianbookworm View Post
              Sorry. It's just pretty goofy for someone to claim Christians never sin. Maybe fundies claim it?
              It's been a hot theological issue for awhile. Even John Wesley believed that Christians would eventually reach a point in this life where they would never sin.
              "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
                It's been a hot theological issue for awhile. Even John Wesley believed that Christians would eventually reach a point in this life where they would never sin.
                Really? I thought that point was after death.
                If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Christianbookworm View Post
                  Really? I thought that point was after death.
                  I think so too.
                  "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I grew up in a denomination that taught perfection after salvation.

                    It never sat right with me, and I couldn't reconcile it with scripture.

                    It is not just John that mentions the issue. Paul addresses it in Romans 7:

                    14 For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin.
                    15 For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.
                    16 But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good.
                    17 So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.
                    18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.
                    19 For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.
                    20 But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.

                    Scripture is very clear that believers are still bound in this body to the sin nature that we struggle against. As has already been stated, John tells us that if we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

                    Habitual, continual, unrepented sin is another matter.
                    Last edited by mossrose; 03-28-2015, 04:46 PM.


                    Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Christianbookworm View Post
                      Is this a parody? Because John even says that if someone claims to be without sin, he's a liar, or something like that. Here's a verse.
                      Given Yttrium's posting history, including this thread, no it's not a parody. You bring up a great point though.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mossrose View Post
                        It is not just John that mentions the issue. Paul addresses it in Romans 7:
                        Interesting. I didn't notice that before. Thanks, mossrose.
                        Middle-of-the-road swing voter. Feel free to sway my opinion.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Yttrium View Post
                          Interesting. I didn't notice that before. Thanks, mossrose.


                          Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            There is a sense which Christians do not sin. Keeping in mind what mossrose and Christianbookworm have already explained (Romans 7:14-25 and 1 John 1:9-2:2).

                            ". . . Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. . . ." -- 1 John 3:6.

                            This is not speaking of sinless perfection as some professing Christians profess Rather it is the legal standing of the believer under God's grace. Not license (Romans 3:8) but grace (Romans 11:6; Ephesians 2:8-10).

                            "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law." -- 1 John 3:4.
                            "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one [point], he is guilty of all." -- James 2:10.

                            ". . . Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, [there is] no transgression. . . ." -- Romans 4:15.
                            ". . . For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. . . ." -- Romans 6:14.
                            ". . . if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. . . ." -- Galatians 5:18.

                            ". . . I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness [come] by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. . . ." -- Galatians 2:21.

                            So it is ". . . Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law." -- Romans 3:31.

                            ". . . Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. . . ." -- Romans 3:19.

                            ". . . Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [to bring us] unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. . . ." -- Galatians 3:24, 25.

                            This is just a brief. Need to read the gospel of John & 1 John. Romans and Galatians.
                            . . . the Gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to every [one] believing, . . . -- Romans 1:16.

                            . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.

                            Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
                              There are a number of statements in the book of 1 John about the nature of Christians and sin. It's worded almost as a paradox. It says that Christians cannot and do not sin... but that nonetheless, Christians do sin, and when they do, they have recourse to be forgiven by Jesus... and that for that matter, if one claims to be sinless, they are a liar. The general way this is reconciled, which I agree with, is that true Christians will continue to sin, but their lives will not reflect a pattern of ongoing sin, and when they do sin, they will feel genuine remorse and repent.
                              This is a very murky issue. As you know, some Christians sin frequently and are stubborn to admit it (Thomas Kinkaide is an example that comes to mind, but there are many others), while some non-believers don't have anything approximating a "pattern of ongoing sin" because they're naturally kind and considerate people. When the latter group sins (for example, loses one's temper, cheats on spouse, etc), they feel remorse and fess up. There are many examples of these kinds of people.

                              There's so much overlap between these groups as to create no clear distinction between "Christians who sin" and "nonbelievers who are sinners." Generally speaking, we all "sin" the same amount, and Christians aren't any better at feeling remorse and apologizing to those they have hurt.

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