If You're Born Again, Do You Still Sin?


This seems to be a subject that keeps coming up from time to time. My hope is that what is stated here below will help provide some clarity on this important issue. While some may not agree with me, I hope that the passages that I've cited will be read in their entirety so that we can see this subject in truth.

"If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in the darkness, we lie, and do not know the truth: but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanseth us from all sin." The passage above shows that those who walk in the light will not live in "continual or intentional or repetitive disobedience".
1 John 6-7

But in the following verse the Apostle John says, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." (1 John 1:8) Those who think that they will not or do not sin, are deceiving themselves, and the scripture says that the truth is not in us. It is a process of being transformed day by day. We haven't arrived at perfection yet. When we're born again we receive a new, godly nature (Eph. 4:24), however, our old nature also still exists. The Apostle Paul talks about this in Romans chapter 7 when he says "For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not... For I joyfully concur with God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members." (vss. 18,21) We see here that Paul struggled with the inner workings of his old nature, and if we are truly honest with ourselves, we know that we do as well.

Can we honestly say that we never get angry with another? Can we honestly say that we never worry about anything ever? Are we always a pillar of faith never wavering? Are we always generous giving our time and money to others without expecting anything in return? When someone treats us unjustly, do we immediately forgive them and not hold a grudge "ever?"

This is why Paul makes such big deal about God's grace in the book of Romans. He writes "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him." (Rom. 5:8-9) He also says "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand." (vss. 1-2) Paul knows that he cannot stop sinning, but he rejoices in the fact that God will forgive him of his sins through grace. Grace means that we can be forgiven.

But again, we are warned in the following verses not to continue in sin: "What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?" John also shows that sin shouldn't be taken lightly, but needs to be confessed by the Christian "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1John 1:9) Jesus sums this up best when He said "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." (John 14:15)

To conclude then, 1 John 2:2 says,"And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our's only, but also for the sins of the whole world." While it is true that Jesus took upon Himself the sins of the entire world, that doesn't mean that those who believe in Him and are born again, will not sin. But there is a provision that cleanses us from our sins, not only in our past, but in our present, and future. And when we come to Him in an act of forgiveness, then He remembers our sin no more. It is cast as far as the east is from the west. God sees us then through His Son Jesus.

Stephen Hanson