It seems to me that since even non-believers know that Christians ought to obey God's Word, it should be unnecessary to tell born-again children of God not to sin. However, based upon the lifestyle of many people I know who claim to be saved, the need is quite apparent. Don't get me wrong; I do not mean to suggest that Christians should expect themselves to be perfect, but we should make every effort to pattern our lives after Christ. The Apostle Paul put it this way:
"What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life" (Rom. 6:1-4).
In his first epistle, the Apostle John wrote:
"My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth His Word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him. He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked" (1 Jn. 2:1-6).
Sin has not changed. The sin of professing believers which caused us to label them as hypocrites before we were saved, is still sin. When we believed the Gospel of repentance and remission (Lk. 24:47), we placed our faith in Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Remission is what Jesus did on our behalf; He remitted our sins. Repentance is our natural response to believing in Him. We repented of the life we lived prior to receiving Him, and became a different person. Paul wrote, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2 Cor. 5:17). In another place, he wrote, "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity" (2 Tim. 2:19).
I am not trying to be judgmental, but I am asking you to judge yourself. Ask yourself, is what I am thinking, saying, or doing bringing glory to God, or is it causing my brethren to stumble and the lost to write me off as a hypocrite? If we are not living as "light" and "salt" in this world, what good are we to God?