Can believers live their lives without committing sin?
Time and time again, believers
start discussing and teaching the doctrine that believers can be perfect
and live a life without sin here on earth. That doctrine is a very evil
and dangerous false doctrine. Please read this text with prayer and test
it by the Word of God.
Many false teachings and doctrines are created by removing one or more verses from their context; false teachings and doctrines are always contrary to what the Bible as a whole teaches about the subject.
The disciples of the Lord Jesus Messiah should try to study what the Bible as a whole teaches about different things and the context where the verses have been written in. When you pray and study the Bible like this, it is very difficult to try to deceive you.
You should find out to whom something has been said, the context where it has been said, and whether it is still valid. Some commandments in the Old Testament are no longer valid in the New Covenant. When you learn to distinguish between the Old and the New Covenant, you will no longer get lost in trying to follow commandments which are not valid anymore.
The Bible teaches about the same subject in many passages. Study all the verses related to the subject to find out what the Bible as a whole teaches about the subject.
The doctrine of sinlessness has many variations. Some people teach that when a person is saved, he or she becomes perfect and sinless. Others teach that it is possible for believers to achieve a perfect, sinless state where believers no longer consciously commit sin. The advocates of the doctrine of sinlessness argue that because believers have been released from sin, they can no longer commit any sin.
1 John 3:6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
Here is the Bible passage which the advocates of the doctrine of sinlessness use as the basis for arguing that the Bible says that believers cannot commit any sin after they have been saved.
When we study this subject by comparing it to what the Bible as a whole says about it, we understand that nobody born of God can sin continously without realising that it is wrong and then stopping doing it.
1 Peter 2:
The Bible says that hypocrisy is a sin and people should not act and live like hypocrites. Peter and Barnabas also went astray and were hypocrites, which means that 1 John 3:6 does not say that believers can be sinless and that believers never commit sin.
Matthew 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."
Based on the above verse, many people teach that believers can be perfect. When you study the context, you will notice that the passage instructs us to love our brethren. Here, it means that believers must try to live their lives through the love of God, and the love of God is perfect.
However, believers do not become perfect in this life, which is proved by 1 Peter 2:1, 2 as well as Paul's teaching where he says that he has not become perfect but is on his way to it:
Philippians 3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
When we study the Word of God in the Bible (Jewish Puclication Society Old Testament), translated by Jews from Hebrew into English, we see that they have translated the word "perfect" as "wholehearted" or another word, but never as "perfect" when it concerns people. When it concerns God, the word "perfect" is used in the translation.
The word "tamiym" in Hebrew for "perfect" can be translated in different ways, depending on whom it concerns. People here on earth can never be perfect in this life because their journey here on earth is always imperfect. That is why Apostle Paul taught that he had not become perfect. God is perfect but believers do not become perfect and sinless in this life. The Bible as a whole says that no believer can become perfect and sinless in this life.
Some people teach that believers can become perfect so that they never again consciously commit sin. This is a false doctrine, too, because just one wrongful thought of your brethren is a sin and you cannot think wrongful thoughts without being conscious of them. Many advocates of this doctrine defend it fiercely and they are bitter, proud and contemptuous of those who do not believe them. Bitterness, pride and contemptuousness are conscious choices. The list could continue forever, but already the things I have listed above prove that no one can live their life without sin, not even so that they do not consciously commit any sin.
1 John 1:
The verses above are intended for those who are already saved. Verse 8 includes the Greek word "ekhomen" which is in the active present indicative form, which means that the sin had been committed now, in this moment, which was an occurred fact.
Many people argue that it was not the present, but sin committed in the past when the person was not yet saved. The testimony written in the Bible disproves this because it was about believers who had been saved and had went astray to commit sin, which is why they were advised to confess their sins and to stop doing them so that the sins would be forgiven.
According to the Bible, it is not possible for believers to live totally without sin. This passage teaches us that if believers deny that they have sinned, they make God a liar and the Word of God is not in them because no one becomes totally sinless in this life. The Word of God clearly teaches this. Also, if a believer denies that they have sinned and they believe they are sinless, the Word of God is not in them and they are living a lie.
This teaching is very important because the Bible says that a person, who believes that they are sinless, is living a lie, and does not have the Word of God. Many believers say that we should only take that what is good and not care about that what is wrong. It is true that no one is perfect and that we all are mistaken in regard to something. When someone claims that he or she is sinless, the Bible says that he or she is living a lie and does not have the Word of God. This means that we cannot receive anything from him who is living a lie and who does not have the Word of God. That is why you should avoid such doctrines and people, and you should not listen to their teachings or be in contact with them.
God has a serious, unsympathetic approach to people who imagine that they are sinless. That is why He says that such a person does not have His Word. This kind of teaching also mocks the atonement of the Lord Jesus because the atonement not only atones sins which we committed when we were not yet saved, but also the sins which we commit as believers.
Because the Bible teaches that believers cannot live a sinless life here on earth, those living under the misconception of a "sinless" state mock the atoning blood of the Lord Jesus because they do not bring their sin of being proud (sinlessness) and other sins of their to be cleaned by the blood of the Lord Jesus Messiah. Therefore, they are living a lie and the Word of God is not in them, and that is why we must not listen to the teachings of such people, but we should advise them to stop committing their sin of being proud.
The Bible as a whole says that the Bible does not teach that it is possible to reach a state of sinlessness. That is why the Bible teaches us to grow in faith because a person who is growing has not reached perfectness (sinlessness) and is growing towards it, but will not reach it in this life.
The teaching of the congregation says that we, believers, must avoid sin and try to win the temptations of sin and to stop committing sin if someone has gone astray to commit sin or to live in sin. It is the right thing to do to try to avoid sin, but deception sets in when someone teaches that it is possible to reach a sinless state or that believers are sinless. We can live free from sin up to the point where God has grown us to and up to the point where we have agreed to grow to, but we will never be totally sinless.
I understand that many people want to believe in a pure faith in the Lord Jesus Messiah, but our desire and faith should adhere to the Bible, or else we lose our way and go astray.
It is correct to teach and encourage believers to abandon sins and to learn to avoid the temptations of sin. The teaching becomes false when people teach that you can reach a sinless state, or become sinless and be sinless. The Bible teaches us that faith is growth to becoming similar to the image of God. This means that we cannot become perfect for as long as we live here on earth, growing in faith. That is why Paul taught that he has not become perfect but is on his way toward it, that is, is growing toward it.
The doctrine of sinlessness is non-Biblical. It opens doors for demonic activity as people try to find glory of their own and are proud because according to the Bible as a whole, it is not possible for believers to live in this world without sinning or living a totally sinless life. The Word of Faith movement (many people, not all) has forgotten Biblical truth, which is why satanic spirits have an impact there through different manifestations, such as that sick people are healed and powerful deeds take place, but they are performed by the enemy's demons.
When people imagine that believers can be sinless, they are proud, and, according to the Bible, they are living a lie and do not have the Word of God in them. Among the Word of Faith movement (not all), there is a doctrine which argues that people are sinless. This teaching and "anointment" is based on demonic spirits because the Bible says that this kind of person does not have the Word of God because they are living a lie.
The enemy has several ways of deceiving people. Teachings and things which are totally contrary to what the Bible teaches, and deception where the topics may be correct, but the power originates from elsewhere, building on false, harmful teachings and the pride of people. Through all this, demons are fueled to do deeds through false power. The doctrine of sinlessness is a fuel which opens the door to demons.
However, many believers have not understood the gift of faith and what being a disciple of the Lord Jesus Messiah means. Many do not understand that they are righteous by the grace of God, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, they have the opportunity to be released from sins.
Many believers focus too much on themselves and their own flesh, and because of this, they bear guilt and shame in their hearts. They focus on their own flesh because they are incapable of living a victorious life in faith and in the power of the Holy Spirit, where sins are broken from their heart and they have the ability to say "no" to the temptations of sin.
Some believers caress their sins in their hearts, which is why they cannot experience the victory over the sins through the power of the Holy Spirit. When you understand that you need to stop committing sin and that you have the opportunity to say "no" to sin through the power of the Holy Spirit, you will learn to say "no" to sin by the grace and power of God.
God has promised to release us from sin and that He certainly does that when we grow in faith, love God and follow truth, and want to grow in knowing God and in doing the will of God.
You can overcome, for example, sin of drunkenness that you never commit it again to and never fall to practice it. However, you have not come as perfect, because there are other areas in which you can fall. Remember also that drunkards shall not inherit the kingdom of God. You cannot play with the sins, because sins have destruction power, which leads into the eternal damnation.
The healthy, Biblical teaching is that we should avoid sin and to be ready to die (death of the flesh) from sin through the power of the Holy Spirit. However, we must keep in mind that we will not become sinless in this life. However, we must not support sin in any way, but we must grow in faith every day and, with the help of the power of the Holy Spirit, to block and say "no" to the temptations of sin according to the point we have grown to in our faith.