Have you ever asked the question, "Why do Christians sin?" Or you may have phrased it, "Why do I sin?" We hope to give a brief answer to that question.
We often speak of being "born again" and relate that to the experience of surrendering our life to Christ and inviting him to be our savior, and rightly so. When asked, "What must I do to be saved?" the Apostle Paul responded, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31). And it really is just as simple as that. Those who, in faith, put their trust in Jesus and the work of the cross, will be saved. We equate being saved with being born again, and that is a good equation.
Let's take a closer look at "born again." Just what does that mean? We know what it is to be born a natural person and we know what it means to be a natural person, but, what does it mean to be born a spiritual person? We get the term, "born again" from a conversation Jesus had with a Pharisee, Nicodemus, who came to him in the night asking questions. Nicodemus wanted to find out if this Jesus was actually a man sent from God.
Jesus, recognizing the questions Nicodemus had, went straight to the point: "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."Nicodemus was a bit confused by that statement as he had never heard the term, "born again" before. He asked Jesus what he meant and Jesus began to explain the difference between being born in the natural sense and being born in the spiritual sense.
Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit" (John 3:5-6). Jesus was introducing an entirely new concept concerning man's relationship with God. Prior to this time man attempted to please God by exerting certain disciplines in his life. He had a set of rules to follow and he did his best to follow them, but he seemed to always come up short.
Man's problem has been that he has been influenced by what we have called the "fallen nature." What we mean by that is when man sinned originally he submitted himself to a nature that was opposed to God. While God is all about love and giving, man is all about himself and getting. Not that everything man wanted was bad, but he wanted it in his own way in complete disregard to the way of God.
On a personal level you and I have a very serious problem with our natural person. We would like to be the person God wants us to be, but we are still trying to become that person on our own. We may want to be good, but we constantly find ourselves coming up short of being good. That is the nature of man. Read Romans chapter seven.
Jesus was introducing the opportunity to become the person we all want to be, but to become that person we must be born again. We were first born in the flesh and we are driven to fulfill the desires of the flesh, but when we are born again the Spirit man, the God-like person inside us, is awakened and we become driven to please God and fulfill his law. In Ezekiel 36:26-27 the prophet writes, "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws."
The natural condition of man is to fulfill his own desires, but the "born again," spiritual man desires to follow God and keep his laws. If that is true, why are there so many Christians who do not follow God's laws? We will begin to answer that question in the next installment of this message... watch for future notices, there is more to come.
If you are struggling with recurring sin in your life I would invite you to visit our page on restoration and deliverance. Simply click here: WHY DO CHRISTIANS SIN?
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