“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8)
The “deceived” in our text are saved people, even the children of God. Some have been mislead by false teaching, or possibly by false inward feelings, or by a continual denial of truth. Some have even deceived themselves because they turned from their personal responsibility to be holy unto God. Some are saved people who say, “We have no sin” after regeneration. For whatever reason, these saved people are all deceived.
Many saved people have been taught that the only sin after regeneration is a spiritual, or doctrinal, sin. Others have been taught that after the new birth, there is only one nature in the saved man. However, the Bible teaches that a saved man has two natures: first the “Old Man,” the old Adamic sin nature which is totally depraved and is totally bent to sin (Ephesians 2:1-3, 4:22; Romans 5:12, 7:15-25). The second nature is the “New Man,” the “New Nature,” the “New Creation,” which is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Both these natures dwell in a saved man. The Apostle Paul addresses this several times. We find in Romans 6:1-23, verse 2 indicates that the saved man is “dead to sin.” Paul explains this further in verse 4, that the saved man has been buried into Christ’s death and raised from the dead, “even so should walk in the newness of life.” Then in verse 6, Paul says “… that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” (Ephesians 4:22 describes the “old man” as “…corrupt according to the deceitful lusts.”) Continuing in Romans 6, verse 7 declares that we (the saved) are “…freed from sin.” And then in verse 9b, “death hath no more dominion over him” (also see verse 14). The above verses (Romans 6:2,4,6,7,9b) show not that sin is no longer in the flesh; but that the saved man is not under the power, or dominion, of sin.
Therefore, Paul writes in verse 12, “Let not sin therefore reign (or be in control) in your mortal body (body of flesh), that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.” This presents Paul saying that there is a possibility that sin could, even in the saved man, reign in our everyday life. Wherefore, if sin reigns in your mortal body, then you are obeying it in the lusts thereof. This shows that the saved man has two natures after regeneration.
As we move to the next chapter, Romans 7, in verses 15-24, Paul teaches that sin (even after regeneration) is still dwelling in the “the flesh.” Verse 20 says, “Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.” And yet after regeneration (in verse 22), “For I delight in the law of God (the law of love) after the inward man.” Then finally Paul says in verse 23, “But I see another law in my members (my flesh, my old man, that which craves unrighteousness), warring against the law of my mind (the new nature, the seed of God, the love of God in my heart and spirit), and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin (my depraved, Adamic, sin nature) which is in my members (in my flesh).”
Paul also shows that these two natures abide in the saved man in Galatians 5:17-23. He reveals and describes the war between the flesh (the old man) and man’s spirit (where the new man dwells) in verse 17. He describes the “fruit of the old man,” which the saved man has from time to time, in verses 19-21. The “fruit of the new man” (or the fruit of the Spirit of God) is described in verses 22-23.
For the children of God that say, “We have no sin,” the deception lies in the following:
- Denial of the Knowledge of the Two Natures: Denial that a saved man sins after regeneration; denial that the old man is still in the flesh, even though he has been crucified and has no power over you, unless you yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin (Romans 6:13). Therefore, after regeneration we sin because we want to; not because we cannot help ourselves, for we have the Spirit of God living and abiding in us. This Spirit enables us, through His Power, to overcome sin.
- Denial of the Two Paths (Light and Darkness): Saved people are deceived when they walk in the darkness and not in the light. The darkness is where the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the pride of life abide. Those that walk therein have no fellowship with God or with one another; they have no joy. In fact, John said in 1 John 1:6c, “…we lie, and do not the truth.” Therefore, the saved men that say, “We have no sin,” are grossly deceived; they are shaming God. They are also positioning themselves to be chastened of God, or even worse, destroyed in the flesh. And they are saying, “Why God? Why are these things happening to us?”
- Denial of the Harvest of Sin: Isaiah 59:2 says, “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” Therefore, when God will not hear you and you find yourself in a sea of defeat, where you have no joy, no direction; and you wonder why, “Why God?” You have become separated from God in fellowship; meaning that you were not separated before your unconfessed sins in the flesh, but now you are. Thus, the child of God has the ability to still commit sin after regeneration.
Reader, if you feel alone, you can’t find God, you are depressed, asking, “God, why?” Turn to Christ, who died for your sins, paid the price for your sin debt, and has made a way for you to come to Him. Humble yourself; confess your sins (1 John 1:9). And be forgiven, cleansed from all unrighteousness, and be restored to His Fellowship and Joy.
Walk in The Light, for God is Light; walk in His Righteousness. Then you will experience Victory in overcoming sin and your circumstances.
(This devotional was previously posted on December 6, 2010.)