The Two Natures
A popular belief in this day and age is that a Christian can not sin after getting saved. There are many preachers that say a Christian can not live in sin or commit gross sin after getting saved. In fact, just the other week I heard a preacher that I respect, say just that. Many believe that upon salvation a person is transformed and the sin that they use to do, they can not do any more. They will use verses like the one below to justify their position.
I John 3
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.
This verse is true and does apply to the Christian believer. Unfortunately many will take it out of context. You see, their is another name for Christians and that is born again. Once you trust that Jesus Christ died for all of your sins, you are born again. The spirit of God enters into you and that is your new birth or your second birth. Your first birth is born of man (flesh birth) and is fully capable of committing sin. Your second birth is born of God (spiritual birth) and can not commit sin. So, the verse above is true. Unfortunately you still have your first birth. No where in the bible does it say you lose our sin nature upon salvation. In fact, the great Apostle Paul wrestled with his own sin nature as stated in Romans 7:14-25.
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
I John 1
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
Once someone gets saved, they are still very capable of doing the things they used to do. They can still go out and commit sin if they want too. The only difference is, they now have the holy spirit to convict them and deter them. Also, the Lord will punish sinful believers. I do believe that upon salvation many people give up their old way of life and stop committing most sins. I believe many undergo a transformed life. There are others though, that have problems and struggle with sin. These are the people that this article is geared towards. The two births are also referred to as the two natures. These two natures are at war with each other. The flesh nature (first birth) loves sin, pleasure, and doing whatever it wants. The God nature (spirit birth) loves righteousness, godliness, and obedience. A lost person does not have this conflict, they just do what they want, with no conscience. The saved person is at war with themselves. One part loves sin and just wants to have "a little" fun. The other part wants to do right and serve the Lord. Like the old cartoons where the devil would be on one shoulder and an angel on the other. The Devil definitely helps fuel the sin nature. This is a struggle to say the least. The more you give into the flesh nature the stronger it gets. The stronger it gets, the more it over powers the God nature. If the God nature gets to suppressed, it becomes almost silent and a Christian can sin without any guilt. The bible calls this searing their conscience with a hot iron.
I Timothy 4
1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
A seared conscience is scared over and tuff, and loses its sensitivity. When this happens God has to step in and either chasten the person or kill them. You do not want this to happen to you. Fight the flesh with all your might. When you feel the urge to commit sin, go to God in prayer and ask him for help. This may not always work, the flesh is strong. This is especially true when the battle first begins. I seared my conscience at a young age and was far from God for over 20 years. These 20 years were a "living hell". I got right with God, and the battle started. I have not been obeying the Lord for long, but I am doing my best. Even when I think I have my old sins beat, they come right back. I have to keep fighting. The battle will be life long, but the more the spirit wins, the stronger it becomes. From what I understand from older Christians, the longer a person walks in obedience to God, the easier the battle Gets. I stay diligent in prayer and do my best to resist.
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
If you are not a Christian, I suggest you get saved. To get saved, all you have to do is believe that Christ died for your sins. We are all sinners from birth destined for hell, Jesus came to earth to pay for the sins of all people, by sacrificing himself on the cross. He suffered a brutal death so we can all have eternal life. God does not send anyone to hell, people send themselves to hell by rejecting Jesus Christ.
I Corinthians 15
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.