We can’t help sinning, even after becoming a Christian!


Let's first be clear: Christians struggle with our sin nature until the day they die. What is bogus is the notion that Christians can't stop sinning; they are helpless. If that were true, what kind of Christianity are we offering the world? If sin and the devil are dragging us along against our will, then being “filled with the Spirit” has absolutely no meaning.

Let’s look at the source text used to support the idea that we are hopelessly stuck with committing sin until death do us part:

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. (Emphasis mine) Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. (Rom 7:15-20) NIV

Is this speaking of Christians? Or is Paul referring to the unconverted person? Since he is using the present tense and is speaking in the first person, people automatically assume he’s speaking of the Christian, using himself as an example. If so, then it appears our regenerate state is no different than our unregenerate one. What advantage is there in working out our salvation in fear and trembling (Phil 2:12) if we're being dragged down the road, chained to Satan's pick-up, powerless to break the chain?

Again, once a person is born again, they still have to struggle with the old self. Romans 7 is dealing with the carnal (fleshly) person, the one who is hostile towards God. It is not the reflection of a child of God. This interpretation contradicts the chapter before and the one after. Paul asks, “Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” (Rom 6:1-2) Other verses in the same chapter follow this same line:

  • We should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. (vss. 6-7)

  • Do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. (vs. 12)

  • Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? (vs. 16)

Chapter 8: 1-13 is very clear, contradicting this false teaching:

  • There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.

  • For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. (This is the unsaved person.)

  • Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you.

  • We are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

The reason many preachers scoff at this reasoning is one of pride. They're just too proud to admit they're wrong. Tragically, bible colleges continue to teach this hogwash. It puts the Holy Spirit in a position of weakness.

God told Cain that he could win the fight against sin:

Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.” (Gen 4:6-7)

So, preacher; you're telling me that Cain could've resisted sin but the Holy Spirit within us cannot? The Spirit is impotent? If so, why should folks embrace the Christian faith if they're going to remain helpless against sin?


This subject is addressed more thoroughly in this article.