Saturday, May 12, 2012


If I am a born again believer, why do I still sin?  Why do I have such a problem with sin while I am here on earth?  Why am I still troubled with impure thoughts?  Why do I sometimes fail to do what I know is right?  Why do I continue to battle with temptations?  Why do I often have a “bad attitude?”  In other words, why do I act like an unbeliever?  Believe it or not, it is because all genuine Christians on this side of heaven, have a “split personality!” 

The Bible describes saved individuals as having two competing natures.  Jeremiah 17:9, in describing every man, says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked:  who can know it?”  “Desperately wicked” is from the Hebrew אָנַשׁ ('anash), which means “incurably sick.”  There is nothing anyone can do to “save” the dying man; he is doomed.  The disease is far worse than cancer, leprosy, or even AIDS – the number one killer of every man is SIN!  Apart from God’s intervention, every human being will die as the consequences of a single sin (Gen. 2:17; 1 Cor. 15:21-22).  Born again or not, we are all in the image and likeness of Adam, and we all sin, and we all die as the result (Gen. 5:3; Rom. 3:23; 1 Jn. 1:8-10). 

When we accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, the Bible says we were saved (Jn. 1:11-12; 3:16; 14:6; Acts 16:31; Rom. 10:9-13; etc.).  However, “being saved” does not mean one is perfect.  The Apostle Paul wrote that God had begun a “good work in you,” and that He will complete it (Phil. 1:6).  He wrote that we should realize that the things which occur in our lives are designed to make us more like Christ (Rom. 8:28-29).  He pleaded with believers to stop being conformed to the ways of this world, and to be “transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Rom. 12:1-2). 

Yes, genuine Christians are “born again,” but their new birth with their new nature is now in a battle with their old nature (Rom. 7:14-25).  Notice Paul uses the present tense when describing his struggle between the two natures.  I am” (v. 14).  sin that dwelleth in me” (v. 17).  in medwelleth no good thing” (v. 18).  evil is present with me” (v. 21).  O wretched man that I am!” (v. 24).

When a person places their trust in Jesus, God is just in forgiving his sin; He justifies us (Jn. 3:1-8; Rom. 3:24, 28; 5:1, 9; 8:30; etc.).  From the moment of our new birth, God sanctifies us; that is, cleanse him for His own use (Rom. 15:16; 1 Cor. 6:11; 2 Thes. 2:13; Heb. 13:12; etc.).  There is one more “stage” in the process of making the believer back into the likeness of his Lord:  He will glorify us (Gen. 1:26-27; Rom. 8:17, 30; 1 Cor. 15:49; Phil 3:21; 2 Pet. 1:3-4; etc.).  The Apostle John put it this way:  “we shall be like Him” (1 Jn. 3:2)!  

If we shall be like Him, that means we are not like Him now.
It is no wonder the world sees us as hypocrites!

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