I have been on a life-changing adventure with the Lord, and I have to share it. I have been encountering the “good tidings of great joy” (Luke 2:10) of the Gospel that has been under my nose all along! In this journey with God, I have been discovering my true identity in Him, having my mind and heart amazed with the greatness of what we have become through Christ. Everywhere I look in the Word, God is constantly blowing the lid off of what is possible, and is inviting us to live in His boundless grace and power. In this journey I have had to unlearn some of what I was taught in the church growing up regarding my identity and who I really am in Christ. No one in the church was trying to deceive me, they were just misguided themselves in their understanding of the fullness of what Christ has accomplished. (When I reference “church”, I am speaking in general as it pertains to my own experiences, and not the church as a whole everywhere). Through a lot of prayer, conversations with other believers, and most of all through the Word, I have come to a new understanding that in Christ, it is possible to live a life free from sin. I want to be clear that I am not claiming to be living a completely sinless life yet. I am saying that we are no longer sinners, but saints who have become sons and daughters of God. Our identity is no longer aligned with sin but with righteousness through Christ who has delivered us from sin. Jesus doesn’t just forgive sin; He completely removes it. I hope to demonstrate clearly where this is in the Word, what hinders us from walking in it, and how it changes everything.
Before I get into it, I want to make clear that “there is no condemnation in Christ” Romans 8:1. This blog is not meant to make you feel crappy about where you currently are in your journey. I am acutely aware of my humanness – of how futile my own efforts to live righteous are. I am not delusional, I am not in denial. But I do want to inspire your faith to believe God to accomplish in you what Christ died to give. My heart is to stir up your faith and give you biblical permission to believe God for what many have unfortunately thought is impossible – that through Him, you can live a sinless life. Remember, “With man this is impossible but not with God, for with God all things are possible.” Mathew 19:26, and “You have not because you ask not.” James 4:2 and “Ask and it will be given to you.” Luke 11:9
About 2 months ago, God challenged me through a sermon concerning how I read the bible. The pastor said,“You need to stop reading what you believe and start believing what you read.” That was a very interesting statement to me and I took it seriously. It’s important to understand that everyone, to some degree, wears lenses they view the world through. Some of these lenses are harmless and make up part of who you are, but others are wrong ways of thinking that can rob from the fullness of life that God has for you. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 describes these lenses as “strongholds that exalt themselves above the knowledge of God.” When God reveals this wrong way of thinking (or stronghold), we simply ask forgiveness for whatever false lens we were looking through and then ask the Holy Spirit to replace it with the truth that’s found/confirmed in His Word. Growing up in the church, I was taught that we are sinners and will always be sinners until the day we die. This is one of the false lenses I viewed not only myself through but also the Bible through.
I think most of us who grew up in the church were probably taught the same thing, and some of you reading this right now may already be thinking, “It’s blasphemy to say you’re not a sinner! We are all sinners saved by grace!” True, we are absolutely saved by grace, and “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”(Rom 3:23), but do we really understand all that we were saved from?
The Word of God is our guide and compass that brings us back on course when we have strayed from truth. I would like to propose that many of us have strayed from the truth that is found in the Word by listening to well meaning people more than to what the Word says. I have become convinced that we have biblical permission to believe in the power of God through us to live a completely sinless life. I have seen this truth strewn all throughout the Bible, and I will show you through the Word, not my opinion, that we have absolute biblical permission not only to believe God for this but also to live it out daily on this side of eternity.
One thing the enemy fears other than God is God’s people waking up to who they truly are. The enemy has now had over 2000 years in New Covenant living to twist and contort how we view God and how we view ourselves. If right believing leads to powerful right living, then obviously wrong believing leads to powerless wrong living. What better way to make the church of little impact than to get her to believe through false humility that she is not who God says she is. It’s the same old trick from the garden, “Has God really said?” Genesis 3:1. With this is mind, let’s start with a few of Jesus’ statements regarding “sinners.”
“When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Right here we see Jesus make a distinction between the “righteous” and the “sinners.” If we are all sinners always until we die then why is this distinction made? This is also seen in Matthew 9:13 & Luke 5:32.
Jesus does it again in Luke 6:32-33: “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.” Here we see that Jesus is calling us to a place better than that of sinners, indicating we can live in that place, otherwise Jesus wouldn’t have brought it up.
In John 5:14 and 8:11 Jesus says to two different people, “Go and sin no more.” Jesus would never tell us to do something that was not completely possible.
In the Old Covenant, the blood of bulls, lambs and goats was shed for the forgiveness of sins. However, these sacrifices were limited. They “covered” people’s sin, but had no power to deliver them from their nature to sin. The word “atonement” occurs over 80 times in the Old Testament and literally means, “to cover.” This almost always refers to man doing something in order to have his sin covered before God. The problem with covering something is that whatever is covered still remains. It’s like garbage in a garbage bin. You can put the garbage in a bag and put it in the bin and close the lid. You can’t see or smell the garbage but it’s still very much there. However, when Jesus (the Man) comes on the scene, this language totally changes; when John the Baptist sees Jesus, he cries out, “Behold The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” John 1:29. In the New Covenant, sins aren’t just covered. Rather the force behind what causes us to sin is removed completely, for “It is Finished”! (John 19:30) The Perfect Sacrifice has come, no longer covering sin but completely removing it and its nature within man. The garbage is gone!
Under the law in the Old Covenant, man had to work his hardest to keep his sin nature (given by Adam at the fall) under control as best he could. The focus was always on sin and trying not to commit it. Under the New Covenant, the sin nature is destroyed through Christ (the second Adam), and through faith in Him we can walk in His righteousness. The focus is now on righteousness and being restored back to the Father as sons and daughters as if the fall never took place. Now we are no longer sinning descendants of Adam but we are righteous children of God!
In John 3, Jesus talks to a man named Nicodemus and tells him that we must be born again in order to enter the Kingdom of God. The word “born again” would more accurately be translated “reconceived.” In Jewish culture, they believed that life actually started at conception and not at birth. This is a term I think a lot of us have thrown around without really understanding what it means. What are we reborn or reconceived as? 2 Corinthians 5:17 and Galatians 6:15 help define it as meaning “a new creation.” You need the Word to expand and explain the Word along with the Holy Spirit. 1 John also makes this so ridiculously clear that you can’t miss it:
“4 Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. 5 And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. 6 Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him.7 Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. 8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.”
Let’s look more closely at this portion of scripture. Verse 5 speaks again of Jesus taking away our sin. If He who has no sin lives in you, then His righteousness now lives in you as well. Verse 6 says he who “abides in Him does not sin”. Notice it doesn’t say, “he who believes in Him does not sin”. I believe that Christians can believe in God without abiding in Him at all. Abiding is key. Verse 7 states plainly that we can be righteous just as He is! It is crucial then, that we are righteousness-conscious and not sin-conscious. People often quote the second part of verse 8 without quoting the first part, which provides the context. It’s talking about the devil and his sin from the beginning and then goes on to say that Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. What are the works of the devil? Sin! Jesus destroyed sin in man, which was the work of the devil! Verse 9 states, “Whoever is born of God does not sin.” Why? Because God’s seed has come into him. The word “seed” in the Greek here is “sperma”, which is where we get the word “sperm”. God’s sperm comes into our spirit and causes us to be born again or reconceived as true sons and daughters of God, and that’s not weird, it’s amazing! All throughout the New Testament, the word “Father” for God literally means, “come forth from.” This is why Jesus said in Matthew 23:9, “Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.” We have no longer come forth from any man on earth, for we have come forth from God who is now our true Father in every sense of the word. That is what being born again really means.
When I bring this topic up, people often scramble to find verses in opposition. Despite the fact that there are scriptures everywhere testifying clearly to what Christ has actually made possible for us, people will get hung up on one or two verses to justify their perceived inability to live a sinless life. Since we’re in 1 John, let’s look at one of these misinterpreted scriptures.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. 1 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.” 1 John 1:8-2:2
Does saying it is possible to not sin make me a liar, then? No, John is saying that if we say we have never sinned and are in no need of a Saviour, then we’re lying. Otherwise it would seem God contradicts Himself, as four sentences prior John writes that believers who abide in God do not sin, and shortly after he admonishes us “so that [we] may not sin”. We have ALL sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. However, He has now redeemed us as His children and we belong to God, not the devil. Who you belong to is who you’ll behave like. In chapter 2:1, John adds that if we do sin, we have a merciful God who will forgive us. Notice he says “if” you sin, not “when” you sin.
God brought this to another level for me when He asked me a question. He said, “If you can’t live a sinless life now, but have to wait until you die and are in heaven to be free from sin, then whose death is more powerful, yours or Christ’s?” Did you get that? If I have to physically die to be set free from sin, then that makes my death more powerful then Jesus’ death. The book of Romans spends a few chapters on this, which makes a lot of sense since it is the very first epistle in the New Testament. The order of books is not random; without this understanding as a foundation, we will miss a lot of truth throughout the rest of the epistles. Romans tells us that the old man (which is the sin nature) was crucified with Christ. This means that the sin problem is done and gone! Jesus has dealt with our sin and is now focused on restoring us back to unhindered relationship with the Father. To believe and be baptized is to be reborn a new creation that no longer has sin as our nature, but rather a deep desire for righteousness. However, not believing this can keep a new creation in the bondage of the old as Paul addresses in Galatians.
I once got a prophetic word that totally messed me up in the best way. They said to me, “Your whole life you’ve been trying to become this certain man. A good man, a good husband, a good father, a righteous man, but this whole time God has been undoing you so that you see who you already really are.” Jesus saw through our mess and sin and crap and said through the cross, “Your life lived is so worth my death, because I see who I always created you to be! You are the joy set before me, and I’m going to shed my blood to buy you back! I’ll make it like you never ate from the tree in the first place because you belong to Me! You’re not sinners, you’re lost sons and daughters and I’m going to bring you home!”
Once you get this truth in your heart, your eyes will be opened and you will see it everywhere you look in the Word. Romans 4-8 is all about this as I previously mentioned. I encourage you to read these 4 chapters on your own, but I’ll pull out a few key verses. Again, remember to believe what you read and not read what you’ve always believed or been taught.
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
Notice the past tense wording. If we were sinners, we are no longer.
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” Romans 6:1-2
Paul through the Holy Spirit just said we shouldn’t continue to sin, which means it’s possible. In fact, how could we do something that isn’t even in our nature anymore?
“Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.” Romans 6:6
The old man is our sin nature, which was nailed to the cross with Christ. Sin is no longer covered by many imperfect sacrifices; it is now completely removed through one Perfect Sacrifice.
11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. Roman 6:11-15
We are now under grace, which is the empowerment of God upon us to walk in everything He died to give us. Sin no longer has dominion over us, we have dominion over it!
“Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?” Romans 6:16
Even though the grace is totally available to live in righteousness and be free from sin, the choice is still ours to believe it and walk in it.
“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,” Ephesians 2:1-2
This says that though we once walked in sin (again, past tense), we now are made alive in Him and are sons of obedience.
“Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.” Philippians 2:14-15
We are called to be blameless, harmless and without fault. If I can be without fault how could I be a sinner?
“And be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith” Philippians 3:9
It is through faith by grace that we receive the righteousness of God to live a sinless life. If you try to do this in your own strength, you are automatically back under the law and have no grace/power to live the sinless life. Paul warned the Galatians of this in chapter 5:4, “You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.”
“And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard” Colossians 1:21-23a
See, we were once alienated, but again that is past tense. We are no longer alienated and enemies. We are now holy, blameless and above reproach in His sight, IF we what? Continue in Faith! Why? Because faith gives us access to live in His righteousness and receive the grace we need to walk it out. If we are living in this faith and are above reproach, where is there any room to be a sinner?
“For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:17
Notice it doesn’t say Christians will automatically have this abundance of grace and gift of righteousness. It says those who receive it will have it. The word “receive” is a verb – an action. What does it look like to receive this gift and this grace? I believe it looks like us engaging with God in prayer, receiving in faith what He longs to give us.
So how did we get so far from the truth of who we are and what it means to be saved? I believe it is because the enemy is terrified of the power of grace in our lives, and thus works to eliminate that threat by getting us back under the law through wrong belief. Why? Because when we’re living under the law, we have lost access to grace. What does it mean to be under the law? It means it’s about your effort and strength to walk right before God. I often find that when I talk about this truth of the gospel with people, it reveals how much we actually have our eyes on ourselves and our own abilities. The very disbelief and skepticism I often encounter is evidence of this. If my level of righteous living is up to my own strength and will power, then yes, there would be some skepticism! I felt the Lord recently speak to me that “to the degree this seems impossible to people is to the degree that they are focused on themselves and not on My ability within them.”
I believe the enemy has brought the law back into the church in different clothing, under which we are trying again to be close to God through our own effort and works instead of grace through faith, which are the very things that would empower us to walk this truth out and make it our reality. It all boils down to what you believe. If you think you’re just sin waiting to happen then that’s exactly what you’ll be. If you know you’re the righteousness of God in Christ then that’s exactly what you’ll be. “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” Romans 6:14
The Lord showed me something fascinating in the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32. In verse 28-31, the older son was mad that the Father had killed a fattened calf for his rebellious brother. He said to the Father, “Why did you never do this for me and give me a fattened calf?” The Father replied and said, “Don’t you know that all that I have is yours?” The older brother had complete access to all that the Father was and had, but because he didn’t believe he did, he never accessed it.
What in our own walk with the Father do we have complete access to, but have been missing because of ignorance and unbelief? As the Lord says in Hosea 4:6, “My people perish for lack of knowledge.”
I believe the permission and invitation to live a sinless life is a reality we’ve had access to for 2000 years, and it’s time to wake up to the grace and righteousness that’s available through Christ in us. Jesus is not coming back to rescue a broken widowed church. He’s coming back for a victorious Bride without spot or wrinkle. A Bride who has learned in this life by the power of the Holy Spirit how to reign as kings and queens who co-labor with Him. (Ephesians 5:27, 1 Corinthians 3:9 & Romans 5:17) You are not a dirty sinner unworthy of the Fathers love! Jesus determined your value and worth on the cross, and if I can call it bluntly, it is false humility not to agree with who God says you are! You are beloved sons and daughters of the Living God, chosen, precious, holy, blameless, righteous and above reproach in His sight if you keep the faith are not moved from the hope of the gospel. Colossians 1:21-23
So how do we live a sinless life? To put it simply, Romans 5:17 again tells us: “Receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness to reign in this life through the One, Jesus Christ.” Will this be a journey? Will this be a process? Absolutely, but we won’t get far if we don’t believe it, let alone pursue and ask for it.
So let the old man die and don’t resurrect him. If you fall down, ask for forgiveness and get right back up as you “keep your eyes on Jesus the author and perfector of your faith.” Hebrews 12:2
I encourage you to meditate on these scriptures. Ask the Lord to help you read them for what they say, through His lens of Truth.
9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, 11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:9-1
Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. Hebrews 12:2a-3b
6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.
8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; 10 and you are complete in Him. Colossians 2:6-10a
His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2 Peter 1:3-4
17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:17-21
Jesus died for so much more than to give us a ticket to heaven. I am not belittling this incredible fact (of eternal life), rather I am compelled to help others see that the power of His death and resurrection looks like heaven coming to earth now. In us. Through us. Unhindered by pride and rebellion, false humility and selfishness. The power of the finished work of the Cross and His resurrection life has been reduced to much much less than the reality of it. I hope and pray that as you meditate on these scriptures and allow them to potentially challenge your theology and renew your mind, that you will begin to feel a spark of faith within you. That you would experience a dissatisfaction with just trying to be good, surviving this life as best as you can. And that you would feel a renewed hunger to be closer to Jesus than ever; to abide in Him and to be an abiding place for Him according to our original created design. We were never meant to function independently from Him. And we no longer have to.
What follows is an example prayer of faith and thanksgiving that I like to pray to God. Our posture in prayer is part of how we receive His grace by faith.
“Father I thank You that Your grace is sufficient for me today to walk in Your righteousness. I thank You Jesus for Your Perfect Sacrifice on my behalf that has set me free from sin and death forever. I thank You Holy Spirit that you have empowered me today with everything that pertains to life and godliness and I am complete in You. I lack no good thing because it’s Your good pleasure to give me Your Kingdom this day. Thank You for the love, value and worth that You placed on me at the cross. Thank You that I never have to question Your love for me again because You displayed it perfectly and completely through Your death and resurrection. Thank You for bringing me home as Your son and I receive Your love, I receive Your grace, I receive Your righteousness, I receive Your faith and I thank you Father that You give it to me in abundance! You are all that is awesome and I worship You! Amen.”