Can a Devout Christian Live in Sin?

I’ve been tossing around the idea that if a person who is truly devout and who is truly seeking Christ with all of their heart, can they actively and habituatally participate in repetitive sin.  In all actuality, the answer isn’t as simple as a flat out no.  Now before you gasp in astonishment, allow me to explain.

First, lets address what the scripture says about holiness and righteousness among God seekers.  Romans 8:1 states, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”  2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “For our sake He made Christ to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become the righteousness of God.”  These scriptures mean that if you are born again, repent of your sins, and seek God with all of your heart, he will forgive you and you are made righteous through his love and grace.  So we all know that.

Next, lets tease out the outliers for which this may not apply:  the addicts.  In the words of the late Rick James, “Cocaine is one hell of a drug.”  People who are addicted to things like drugs and alcohol usually try to get clean but unfortunately are not physically and/or mentally able.  Their heart is pursuit of God, its just that their actions unfortunately do not follow.  Most would agree that these individuals are living as devout as they possibly can and, because they are seeking Him with all of their heart and might, their righteousness is acceptable in the eyes of God.

But can a non-addict have the same heart towards God yet continue to live in sin regularly.  Consider the following explain:  Terry is a Christian guy who’s been attending church and devoutly seeking God all of his life.  Terry learns that his close friend Beth lost her job and has no place to live since she had been excommunicated by her family.  So Terry decides to allow Beth to move in with her until she finds a job and move into her own place.  As time passes, the couple become sexually intimate and Terry made the mistake of having sex with her.

After crying out to God for forgiveness, Terry does it again…then again and again.  After each sexual encounter, He finds hisself on his knees praying to God for forgiveness and for God to take away his desire to lust and fornicate.  He knows no one in the area and has no other place for him or Beth to live because of finances.

As you can see, this situation can easily be real.  Terry’s continued desire to seek God is there, however forsaking lustful temptation is a deep problem for him, and he continues to live in sin.  Is he devout?  Is he living holy?  Is he in danger of hell fire?  What about a homosexual who devoutly seeks God and tries not to be gay?

I think the answer is that he, along with any person pursuing the call, is living holy.   Ephesians 2:8-9 say; “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.”  Psalms 37:23-24 says, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way. 24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand.”

God doesn’t care about effort or outcomes like people do.  Its not about what you do, but about where your heart is.  God is kind of like a gym trainer that brings you in everyday to do 10 push-ups.  If you come in and only do 1 pushup everyday for the rest of your life and you are trying to do 10 everytime, God looks at you each day and says job well done.  And Isaiah 43:25 does says\ that, “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins.”  He not only sees your heart put purposefully does not remember your misdeeds.  Having a contrite heart towards the things of God is all that he cares about, and belief in him and pursuing him alone is all that he requires to see the kingdom, despite popular belief.  Obedience doesn’t make us righteous or save us; his love and grace alone are the ONLY things that do.

 

-Deshawn (@ShonJay714)

About Author

Deshawn

Journalist and aspiring writer. Contact me at da.advocates@gmail.com

9 Comments

    • lii
      September 11, 2013

      1 John 3:6 AMP
      No one who abides in Him who lives and remains in communion with and in obedience to Him–deliberately, knowingly, and habitually commits (practices) sin. No one who habitually sins has either seen or known Him recognized, perceived, or understood Him, or has had an experiential acquaintance with Him.

      Reply
      • Niki
        September 12, 2013

        That, my dear sister, is 100% true. God Bless You because only the Spirit of God could reveal this truth. The scriptures can only be interpreted by the Spirit of God, and those who chose to live in the flesh will reap the rewards of the flesh.

        Reply
    • lii
      September 11, 2013

      So I was thinking about Terrys problem. ..a couple things come to mind. .. first the Bible says if your hand keeps leading u to sin , cut it off…or I’m other words. . Its better to be in pain, uncomfortable, in debt, or any other senario that to habitual sin or sin period. … God hates sin, so any other senario is better than habitually violating the God who loves you…so in Terry case it would be better for him to sleep in his car, be homeless, go in debt from hotel bills or even make the girl homeless than to live in sin with God. .. not pleasant but neither is cutting of your arm… even forgiven sin has consequences, must deal with it….. second thing that comes to mind is God says FLEE temptation, He doesn’t say pray about it, cry about it, compromise with it, of slowly walk away. .The only answer God gives is simply Flee and he says he will provide a way of escape. …in Terry case either he or the girl must flee this situation and trust God to make a way og escape like he said. … nothing else works according to word. ….if your not doing this then your making provision gor the flesh and I really would call that a person purduing God wholeheartedly. …just my. Thought

      Reply
      • Deshawn
        September 11, 2013

        KJV of 1 John 3:6 Reads, “Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not, whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known Him” Stick To The Script

        Reply
        • lii
          September 11, 2013

          Amplified expounds on the Greek text used to give u full meaning of verse. . Look it up in Greek or Hebrew if u want. … real script lol

        • lii
          September 12, 2013

          Even according to this translation your guy Terry” has seen him or known Him” bc he living in sin. ..I wouldn’t call that devout…. anyhow Amp gives more graceful view , bc reading the kjv u would think if u sinned at all u don’t know God which isn’t true. … abideth in Greek means to stay, to continue in etc ..c changes the whole picture. …so basically Terry is still righteous bc of Jesus, but if he was truly repentent and seeking God he would “cut of his hand” and flee the situation. … Terry is a guilty backslider basically lol … devout no

    • Kim
      September 11, 2013

      This is deep Deshawn. I think at times we forget about God’s love and grace. He knew we would fail time and time again, which is why he sent Christ to us. We are redeemed by the blood of Christ each time we fail. This does not mean we should freely sin, by all means we should continue to strive to be Christlike. However, should we drop the ball, God is there to pick it back up for us with love and no hard feelings. That’s what makes him so great!

      Reply
    • Chris
      September 13, 2013

      I think you have some flaws in your argument dog. God does, in fact, care what you do. God cares so much about what you do that he sent and example of all the qualities and ways you should live/act.

      1 John 2:6 ESV
      Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

      So by this measure if we abide in Christ we should walk in the same way he walked which means being sinless. Yes, we all fall short of the glory of God by committing sin.

      In your example Terry may love God, the bible says that all who calls on his name is saved. Thats a separate issue from the habitual sin. If Terry knows Beth is his trigger, he has to do all he can to remove the temptation. The bible says that He will always provide a way of escape from temptation. Terry cannot continue to use the excuse that he’s just trying. Ultimately he loves smanging Beth (such a lovely name) more than God in (what you call the real litmus) his heart.

      I’m done.

      Reply
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