It ain’t easy, this life, is it? 1 Even after turning-over a new leaf… struggles continue. Born again believers will continue to sin even after their new birth. For as long as we are in this body of flesh, beset with its weaknesses and predilections, we believers struggle with sinning. But we will not live in a lifestyle of sin.2 True believers cannot practice sin as their way of life. There is a huge difference between the person who is truly born again – and those who are not.
Sin is – whatever God says it is!
We are all “sinners”. All of us are failing God in many ways – disobedient, time and time again. However, the born again believer does not accept sin in their life. They fight it! Though born again, changed into a new creation, they are still sinners, forgiven, yes, but still struggling against sinning.
On the other side, non-believers, sinners also, have made decisions to accept sin in their life. Whatever the sin may be (1 Corinthians 6:9-10) the “not-truly-saved” person has accepted a normalcy which reveals their true heart. Their “normalcy” is contrary to God’s normal. Whether a church-going person or not, no matter what their confession of faith —- their “faith” cannot save them because their deeds betray their true allegiance. And it isn’t an allegiance to truly following Christ!
What is the benefit,
my fellow believers,
if someone claims to have faith
but has no [good] works [as evidence]?
Can that [kind of] faith save him?
[No, a mere claim of faith is not sufficient
—genuine faith produces good works.]
If a brother or sister is without [adequate] clothing and lacks [enough] food for each day,
and one of you says to them, “Go in peace [with my blessing], [keep] warm and feed yourselves,”
but he does not give them the necessities for the body,
what good does that do? …
– James 2:14-26 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Well, you may be
the sweetest thing to grace your town bench,
a professing Christian,
a sweet old lady who’s gone to church all your life,
one of the many who raised their hand and walked the aisle to receive Christ as your Savior,
a professional with a resumé saying your religious preference is Methodist (or any of them),
someone who loudly proclaims to be a Christian,
a politician that loves to have pictures taken as you are exiting “your” church, or
a local yokel raised by Christian parents,
…but, if you are practicing sin in your life —
Scripture says, “What the hell good does that do?!“
– based on James 2:14-26 and 2 Corinthians 13:5
to see whether you are in the faith
living your lives as [committed] believers.
Examine yourselves [not me]!
Or do you not recognize this about yourselves [by an ongoing experience]
that Jesus Christ is in you
—unless indeed you fail the test
and are rejected
– 2 Corinthians 13:5 Amplified Bible (AMP)
- See the lyrics of this song, It Ain’t Easy, by David Bowie
- From footnote “a” for verse 9 in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Amplified Bible (AMP): “This list of sinners, which continues into v 10, is used by Paul to describe various sinful lifestyles. All such lifestyles are impossible for true believers, who might continue to fall into sin but – they do not embrace sin as a normal practice in their lives. True believers reject sin, not claim it as God’s will for them.