This past week my daughter asked this question. Can a person live without sinning? She explained that she meant once someone made the decision to make Jesus, Lord of their life, could they through the strength of the Holy Spirit live without sinning. I considered her question. Verses like:
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. Deuteronomy 30:11
Came to my mind. So my first thought was, yes, in theory with the help of the Holy Spirit, the strength of God Himself we could live without sinning.
But no one has ever done it except Jesus Christ our Messiah. No one, not Paul, who knew the law inside and out. Not John the Baptist, whom Jesus called the greatest man. Not King Solomon, whom God gave all wisdom. Not King David, a man after God’s own heart. Not even Noah or Abraham whom walked and talked with God, like men who talk face to face.
So ,is it really possible this side of eternal life to live without sinning? I continued to think on this question for a few more days. But then this morning, I began pondering a different question. What is sin? When we teach with Child Evangelism Fellowship, we define sin as anything we think, say, or do that breaks God’s law. I think this is a great definition of sin. It is easily backed up with scripture.
Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. 1 John 3:4
But, wait if sin is breaking God’s Law, what is God’s law? How can I know His law? There is a lot of rules in the Bible, are they all God’s law? Is breaking them all sin? Here is what Jesus said about God’s commandments.
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”7 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40
I don’t know about you, but that is an overwhelming idea to me. To love God with all my heart, that means He is my highest priority at all times. To love Him with all my soul means to place my every desire and passion on Him at all times. And to love him with all my mind means to think on Him alone at all times.
Think about that, really think on it. Is it possible to do such a thing? I don’t know about you, but I am a very selfish person. I find that even when I think I am focusing of God and others often there is a selfish motive somewhere inside. I truly don’t think in this fallen world it is possible for us to become fully devoted to God. We have pain, hardship, and sin abounds all around us. These things are constantly at battle to keep us form loving God wholeheartedly.
Ok, back to the definition of sin. Jesus told us to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind and love others as ourselves. That seems like a large task, and it seems sort of hard to know how to do it. Thank goodness Jesus didn’t leave us to guess. He tells us exactly how to love God.
In John 14, Jesus explains to us that to love Him and the Father means to obey His Word, commandments, law. What a blessing that He told us how to love Him. We can find the answer to what sin is by looking at His Word. All of His Word from Genesis to Revelation. Of course, when Jesus was speaking they only had the Old Testament, but the New testament agrees with the Old 100%. So, if we want to live without sin, we just need to open up our Bibles and read the commandments of God in it.
AS I read the commandments of God from Genesis to Revelation, it becomes very obvious that I actually can not obey all of them. Some of them require a temple. Some of them require living in the Promised Land. So, that must mean that God has done away with these laws and they are not sin if I break them. I don’t think so. I think our unchanging God gave us all the law and commandments for our blessing and benefit. But the sin of men has continued to take us further and further from His perfect plan. Sin is breaking God’s law, not man’s law. Not what we think is right living. But it is actually walking in disobedience to Him. But the greatest commandment of all gives us a clue about how to live as close to a sinless life as possible.
It is the desire of the heart, soul, and mind that matters most. The question isn’t can I live without sin? The question isn’t even do I truly understand the whole definition of sin. No. The question is do I want to love the YHVH God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. Do I really want to love Him? If the answer to that question is yes. Then the next logical question is, Am I obeying Him?
I challenge you (and myself) to just take a minute and read the Ten commandments. Read each one and ask yourself do I obey this commandment? Some of them are easier to obey then others, but do you obey each of them everyday, every week? If you want a real challenge, go into the new testament and find the scriptures Jesus uses to explain these commandments. Like you should not murder. What does Jesus say about murder?
So, I don’t know if it is possible to live without sinning this side of eternity, but I do know that I want want to daily try my best to turn from my sin and walk in obedience.
How about you?
Jesus said to the woman who was caught sinning, “Go and sin no more.” Are you that woman? Then take your gift of salvation and walk it out with fear and trembling.