Many Christians are confused when it comes to the question of a Christian continually living in sin (getting drunk, struggling with pornography, drug addiction, masturbation, fornication, anger, etc) How it possible for a Christian who professes to have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior to commit these sins of the heart?
As I continue my series, If I’m a New Creation In Christ, Why Do I Still Sin, There are three reasons.
One, the person confuses his/or/her character with conduct.
The second reason, they may not have surrendered their will (life) to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
The third reason, they are not willing to admit they have an addiction.
Let’s start with the first one, confusing character with conduct. Webster’s defines character as “a distinctive trait, quality or attribute; the pattern of behavior or personality found in an individual or group; moral constitution;” also, “reputation, moral strength; self-discipline, fortitude, etc.”
Conduct is defined as, “the way that one acts; behavior; deportment (the manner of conducting or bearing oneself).”
So, basically, character is who you are, conduct is what you do. When it comes to our spiritual character and conduct, that is where we get our signals mixed up. For example, You may ask someone “What do you do for a living?” Their response, “I’m an attorney, a writer, an actor, a doctor, etc.” In actuality, that is not who they are, it is what they do for a living.
If character is made up of moral constitution, this is an intrinsic attribute of who they really are. In other words, this is their DNA makeup. When we accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior, He gave us His spiritual DNA characteristic makeup, called the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. However, because we are walking after the flesh (Romans 8:1, 5, 8) we are acting according to the conduct of the “old man” (Romans 8:6), thereby short circuiting God’s plan to live according to the law of the Spirit (Romans 8:2) which is spiritual character. That’s why it’s so important to read and apply the word; then the Holy Spirit has spiritual seed to work with to produce fruit, thus delivering us from the works of the “old man.” What is God’s will for our lives? Eventually for the Holy Spirit to become greater in us so that the “old man” decreases/dies (John 3:30).
As for the second reason, why do Christians still sin, it’s likely they may not have surrendered their life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say? (Luke 6:46).
When we accepted Jesus Christ, he became our Savior—saving us from sin—not necessarily becoming our Lord. Lord in the Greek means, “Supreme authority, master.” One of the most important keys that separates a born-again disciple of Christ is surrender—doing His will (Matthew 16:24-25).
A disciple of Christ is a doer of the word, not a hearer. Some extrinsic characteristics by a disciple: willingness to ask forgiveness, humbling themselves when they are wrong, living consecrated lives, being persons of integrity, etc. (Note: this fruit, of the Spirit only manifests as we surrender our life to the Word of God/Holy Spirit who proceeds to work that word(seed) in us to produce His divine nature.) This will involve a sold-out commitment on our part that is tested daily.
There are three things that separate disciples from being a believer. First, a disciple of Christ must have a mentor in their life to lead them in their early spiritual growth process (Matthew 4:19).
Second, a disciple must submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ daily by presenting his or her body as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1-3).
Third, a disciple must read the word and apply it (James 1:22).
And the third major reason a Christian may still sin—not willing to admit they have an addiction. Just as we were once lost and in need of a Savior, it was the Holy Spirit who convicted of us of our need for salvation. Any person who is heavily addicted to alcohol, sex and drugs will not go for spiritual help because they are in denial. Sometimes it takes a compassionate person under the anointing of the Holy Spirit and or gifts (word of knowledge) to get the person to see himself/herself in the mirror of God’s word that reveals their sinful condition (addictions) and their need for deliverance.
On part V, I will look at the root of addiction, a person’s need for deliverance and how to get the victory.