31 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord:
33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sins no more."
God is speaking of the New Covenant that He would bring His people into after the finished work of the Cross. This thing is rich! The whole passage is so important that Paul repeats it twice, Hebrews 8: 8-12 and Hebrews 10: 16-18. However, please note the last portion of Jeremiah 31: 34, "for I will forgive their iniquity, and I WILL REMEMBER THEIR SINS NO MORE!" (emphasis mine) Wow! No more, means NO MORE! Now the argument here is that we all agree that Christ died so that our sins could be forgiven at salvation. But even though that sin is no longer remembered by God, the sin that we all currently commit is remembered by Him. Humm.. I have to wonder what part of "NO MORE" do we not understand? So God does not remember the sins we committed prior to salvation, but now He remembers them????? Do you see a problem here?
I assure you, someone will now ask me, "Larry...what do you do with I John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanses us from all unrighteousness."
Number one, please note this verse a little more closely. In the KJV, the word "our" is really "our." It is written in italics which means that the word is not found in the original language and the the translators placed it there to help the verse make more sense. So in the Greek the verse would read, "If we confess sin, he is faithful and just to forgive sin." So, who's sin is John speaking about here? Fellow Beliver why claim it when it's not meant for us!
Lately I've been teaching what I'm calling, "3 Rules for Correct Bible Interpretation." Here they are: 1. Who is the verse or passage written to? 2. Be certain to keep the verse or passage in proper context. 3. Do not form a doctrine from an obscure verse that seems to contradict the majority of the passages on the subject. By the way, the Bible never contradicts itself. I've found that when it seems to, by applying Rule #1 to it, the matter clears up...Who is the verse written to?
So, let's apply these Rules to I John 1:9! Who is this verse written to? Is John speaking to you and I (I'm assuming that you are a Christian here)? Or is he speaking to Jews who were proud of their spiritual heritage and who's attitude was, "I don't need my sins forgiven by Christ or anyone else as I'm a son/daughter of Abraham!" How do we answer this question? By not taking verse 9 out of context, that is for sure. Yet the Church has done that very things for a long, long time! Most likely you have been wrongly taught the principles of this out of context verse of Scripture. So let's take a look at the context here by looking to the prior verses of I John chapter 1:
Verse 2...John says that he's seen the life found in Christ and that he wants to show it to those he's writing to. Therefore there is a strong implication here that those he was writing to did not know Christ. But it gets better....
Verse 3...John says that "which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, THAT YE ALSO MAY HAVE FELLOWSHIP WITH US." He then states what that "fellowship" is..."and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ." It is obvious that John was writing to people that were out of fellowship with him, which also means that they were out of fellowship with God through Christ!
Verse 4..."And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full." The people John was writing to were not experiencing the joy that a relationship with God through Christ truly brings! Again...are these people Christians? I sure don't thing so!
Verses 7 and 8...Here John states that the wonderful blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin, and that even these spiritually proud Jews could have their sins likewise forgiven by placing their faith in Christ!
Then comes Verse 9! I trust that you can see this truth about this very mis-understood verse of Scripture!
OK...let's examine a little more of John's writing here. I realize that this Blog is becoming very long, but please believe me when I say, "It's worth reading!"
Let's look some at Chapter 3....
Now John is talking to Believers in Christ...look at verses 1 and 2...
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
Then to these same Believers John goes on to state...
Verse 6..."Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth has not seen him, neither known him." Wow...I guess some do not believe this verse...IF YOU ABIDE IN CHRIST YOU DO NOT SIN!" If you do sin is is because you do not know Christ! Pretty clear to me!
Verse 8..."He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning." So Believer, if you say that you still sin, then you are stating that you are of the devil! Pretty clear to me once again! But wait...it gets even better!
Verse 9..."Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin for his seed remaineth in him: and he CANNOT SIN, BECAUSE HE IS BORN OF GOD." The New Living Translation, the version that Paul used, says, "Those who have been born into God's family do not make a practice of sinning, because God's life is in them. So they can't keep on sinning, because they are children of God."
By the way there is much more found in the Epistles on this subject that even make the case much stronger!
So, let's go back to the title of my Blog, "Do Christians Sin?" I say a very overwhelming NO! What sayeth you?