9 If we confess our sins,
he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins,
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9
King James Version
In my baby Christian heart, for it's just been nine months since I first really accepted and followed Jesus, I learned one striking thing:
The ego has gone.
No longer do I hold on to old thoughts, old ways, old habits, erroneous ways, but instead, wish to be corrected by the Bible, and the Holy Spirit -- every step of the way -- JESUS' Way.
Like an eager child, my heart sought God's Words alone.
As a Christian, you can expect many such corrections along the way.
Such as what I learned from Joseph, my Bible teacher, today.
I'll let him speak his wonderful piece here, about the necessary "sanctification process" for all of us:
Once we become born again, all our sins, past, present, future, are forgiven! In that sense, we are justified and positionally pure, sinless, in God’s sight because Jesus paid the price for all our sins by His death. He died in our place so we may live! Here’s one supporting verse:
2 And you hath he quickened,
who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Ephesians 2:1 (KJV)
On another hand, practically or experientially, we cannot completely free ourselves of sin for the rest of our lives. It can be minimized but not completely eradicated. In other words, one cannot attain perfect obedience everyday for the rest of our lives. The best we can do with the help of the Holy Spirit is to live a life of sanctification, where we undergo spiritual growth or maturity day by day until we leave this earth. The sanctification process is achieved by walking in step with Jesus, through God’s Word The degree of one’s sanctification will depend upon one’s rate of obedience to God’s Word.
For the rest of our lives as born again Christians, the challenge to stay away from sin will always be there. Paul himself had this challenge.
14 For we know that the law is spiritual:
but I am carnal,
sold under sin.
15 For that which I do I allow not:
for what I would,
that do I not;
but what I hate,
that do I.
16 If then I do that which I would not,
I consent unto the law that it is good.
17 Now then it is no more I that do it,
but sin that dwelleth in me.
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,)
dwelleth no good thing:
for to will is present with me;
but how to perform that which is good I find not.
19 For the good that I would I do not:
but the evil which I would not,
that I do.
20 Now if I do that I would not,
it is no more I that do it,
but sin that dwelleth in me.
21 I find then a law,
that, when I would do good,
evil is present with me.
22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
23 But I see another law in my members,
warring against the law of my mind,
and bringing me into captivity
to the law of sin which is in my members.
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 7:14-25 (KJV)
Of course, Jesus is the solution and verse 25 deals with one’s sanctification process.
Unbelievers have only one nature, the sinful nature, mainly because they don’t believe in Jesus, the gospel, and God’s Word.
14 But the natural man
receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God:
for they are foolishness unto him:
neither can he know them,
because they are spiritually discerned.
1 Corinthians 2:14 (KJV)
Born again Christians have two natures, the sinful nature remains but we are now given a divine nature. Because the sinful nature remains, we can still sin, but now that the divine nature is there, we have the ability to defeat sin. This battle between these two natures remains! As Christians we must do our best to put to death our sinful nature during our lifetime.
Note that these verses were addressed to the Colossians, a body of believers, a church. (Not to unbelievers.)
2 Set your affection on things above,
not on things on the earth.
3 For ye are dead,
and your life is hid with Christ in God.
4 When Christ,
who is our life,
then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
5 Mortify therefore your members
which are upon the earth;
which is idolatry:
6 For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh
on the children of disobedience:
7 In the which ye also walked some time,
when ye lived in them.
8 But now ye also put off all these;
filthy communication out of your mouth.
9 Lie not one to another,
seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
10 And have put on the new man,
which is renewed in knowledge
after the image of him that created him:
Colossians 3:2-10 (KJV)
Note verse 5, the existence of an earthly or sinful nature.
5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth;
which is idolatry:
Colossians 3:5 (KJV)
True born-again Christians won't take it personally, being called sinners, for we all are.
Finally, we have a "name" to our "disease".
Jesus did say:
7 So when they continued asking him,
he lifted up himself,
and said unto them,
He that is without sin among you,
let him first cast a stone at her.
John 8:7 (KJV)
The moment Eve took a bite of that fuirt, sin was upon us all.
We merely need to open our hearts for correction, and live a life of sanctification.
In Joseph's words: "where we undergo spiritual growth or maturity day by day until we leave this earth".
We really have all help going for us.
In His mercy, God gave us Jesus to die for our sins, and as Joseph had said, "so we may live!"
This much I can tell you about my own experience.
The moment I feel that my thoughts stray from the LORD, I pray right away, in my own simple, direct, child-like way.
And you know what?
My course, my path, my thinking, is righted IMMEDIATELY!
You can really feel the power of Jesus that way.
And, of course, Jesus asks that we sin no more.
11 She said,
No man, Lord.
And Jesus said unto her,
Neither do I condemn thee:
go, and sin no more.
John 8:11 (KJV)
(All Bible verses from biblegateway.com)
Updated 18 January 2022