CAN A BORN AGAIN PERSON SIN?
According to the Apostle John in I John 3: 9, the answer to that question is “NO!” The scripture reads: “Whosoever is born of God doth not sin; for his seed remaineth in him; and he CANNOT sin, because he is born of God.” Yet, John also wrote in the first chapter of his epistle that “if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us of ALL unrighteousness.” (I John 1:7-9)
John certainly seems to be contradicting himself on this subject of whether or not a born again person CAN or is ABLE to sin, BUT HE IS NOT. In the first chapter, I believe that John is saying that if a person sins, but then says he has not sinned,—in other words, deceives himself by rationalizing his behavior—then the truth is not in him because he has grieved the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Truth. Once the sinning Christian comes to his senses, the thing for him to do is to confess it, and he or she will be both forgiven and cleansed. What Chapter 3 suggests is that since a born again believer CANNOT sin, the only way he CAN, IS TO DECEIVE HIMSELF!!!!
Of one thing I am sure. I am born again. Of another thing I am sure. In 34 years as a Christian, I have sinned. So I know full well that a born again person CAN sin. When I look on those occasions where I sinned, deception was key. The only way that I could sin was “to deceive myself.” In each case, I convinced myself that God was in accord with my behavior. Therefore, I was out of touch with my spirit, where the seed is. That “seed” is the Holy Ghost. I grieved and quenched the Holy Ghost and consequently, I had no conviction because I believed that I was right. It is not built into my personality to receive accusation and to convict myself, so the enemy rarely accuses me of anything because it does not work.
One of the ways to make sure that we overcome sin is to learn how to discern the difference between the rebuke of your own conscience as led by the Holy Ghost from the accusation of the religious demon that is assigned to you.
I have a religious demon assigned to me. The day I preached my trial sermon, a picture was taken of me in the church, posing beside the piano. Standing to my left, you can see a huge head of a gargoyle, outlined in green. Anyone who desires to see that picture, let me know. So I have seen the religious fallen angel that is assigned to me. However, for years, I convinced myself that the evil looking entity in the photo was the church’s demon and that it was not in the picture because of me. No, it is assigned to me. I suspect that you have one assigned to you also. In the book “Faces of the Religious Demon,” the many facets of this clever entity is exposed, case by case.
Anyway, learning how to differentiate between the reprimand of the Holy Spirit and the accusation of the evil spirit assigned to us is a key factor in overcoming sin. Since there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, if accusation persists once a born again believer has repented, it is NOT the Holy Ghost. He never reproves further, once the sin is cleansed by the precious blood because you have forsaken it.
According to Watchman Nee in “the Spiritual Man,” born again persons commit fatal blunders when we think that because we are saved, our spirits can only be controlled by the Holy Ghost and not ALSO by the enemy. (pg 57) The Holy Ghost is a helper, not a controller. Once He is either quenched or grieved, He will “back off.” When He retreats, the enemy comes in full force with counterfeits of His presence. This is why so many true believers remain in sin for too long. Actually, the practice of the sin of spiritual fornication, aka idolatry—goes un-noticed, with the believer completely unaware of his or her spiritual condition.
In fact, I found it a lot easier to overcome physical fornication than spiritual fornication. I believe that every committed churchgoer is a spiritual fornicator. My spiritual fornication endured and dominated most of my “born again” life for more than two decades. In this regard, I am certainly not alone. However, I am among the very few who have been un-deceived.
And why IS that?
Well, my self deception began to gradually fade away due to the book, “War on the Saints,” by Jessie Penn Lewis. I read it and “I saw my charismatic, religious self.” But it took time regarding my pet spiritual fallacies. I reasoned, “Jessie can’t be right about this or about that! Then one day, I caught the deceiver in a lie. My eyes started to open. So I prayed, “Lord, if there is any darkness around me, please expose it.” In days, all hell began to periodically break loose. Yet, with each un-veiling, I became increasingly “un-deceived,” as my spiritual house came tumbling down like a row of stacked dominoes.
When the Holy Ghost is unable to rebuke us in our spirits because of our self deception, the demons assigned to us begin to toss us about, to and fro. The enemy takes much pleasure in mocking God’s people. I can remember how I found myself mocked in every sphere, from finances to family, from friends to foe, from fallacy to faith, the demons assigned to me had themselves a good ole time! Yet once I asked the Lord to “show me the darkness,” I ended up putting the demons on the run!
I’ll end this article with the first statement and the first step to becoming a believer who “cannot sin.”
STATEMENT #1 Born again believers CANNOT sin until we FIRST submit ourselves to self deception.
Step #1 Go to the Father and sincerely ask Him in the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth:,
“Lord, if there is any darkness around me, please expose it.”
If you are sincere, get ready for a wake-up call that will knock your spiritual socks off!!!