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Ep. 428 How Can a Christian Sin Like That and Say He’s a Christian?

How Can a Christin Sin Like That And Say He's a Christian

Photo: ©millann from Getty Images via Canva.com

Shows Main Idea – There are times when our behaviors do not align with God’s Word. There are several reasons for this. James suggested a person could be double-minded. Jesus talked about hypocrisy in Matthew 23. Truthfully, all of us have sinned as Christians. For some, it’s an intentional habit, which makes one wonder if they are a Christian. For others, it’s a life-long struggle with patterns that they fight fiercely. Thus, answering the question, how can a Christian sin like that have a complexity worth our time exploring?

Show Notes

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Eight Considerations

The danger with the “how can he sin like that” question is we can categorize some sins as different from others. When we do this, we might exclude ourselves from the problems we all have with life-dominating sins like anger, fear, worry, or gossip.

Indeed, sins are different from a consequential perspective, and God places more weight on some transgressions than others, but if we’re going to be honest with ourselves, we have to admit we all struggle with “sins unique to us,” though they may not make anyone’s top ten list of most heinous sins.

Before I respond to the “why does he sin like that and call himself a Christian” question, I want to address our universal struggle with sin and temptation. Why do we all struggle?

  1. We’re all born in sin (total depravity).
  2. We all sin uniquely.
  3. We have adverse shaping influences.
  4. We form habits as we yield to our temptations.
  5. Regeneration is the “bad habit breaker.”
  6. Post-salvation, we bring a former manner of life into our Christian experience.
  7. Some Christians do not struggle as much as others: E.g., the seven-year-old convert has a shorter former manner of life than the 37-year-old convert.
  8. Conclusion: Christians will sin.

Human Motivation and Shaping Influences

 

Thus, we know why a Christian sins. The more vital question is, if he is a Christian, how is he accessing the means of grace to change?

  1. God
  2. Word
  3. Self
  4. Situations
  5. Community

Five Ways to Change Your Ways

 

 

Responding to the Sinning Christian

If he is not accessing these biblical means of grace and sin has captured him, what is happening? Why is he not changing?

  1. He might not be a Christian (John 3:7, 15:5).
  2. He might be a Christian but caught in sin (Galatians 6:1).
  3. If he is a struggling believer, his conscience might be dull (Hebrews 3:7, 4:7).
  4. He could be aware of what he’s doing and does not care.
    1. Perhaps he’s a Christian, walking away from the faith.
    2. Maybe he’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Call to Action

All of us are susceptible to sin’s temptations. We must be careful not to harshly judge those who sin.

  1. How are you building a reciprocal community that is intentionally intrusive in each other’s lives?
  2. How do you envision your friends to be honest, where nobody will judge or gossip but receive help?
  3. How are you preparing yourself to help others? (We must be competent in our soul care practices, or it would defeat the purpose of asking folks to be transparent and honest.)
  4. All of us have brought our former manner of life into our Christian experience, a sobering call for us to:
    1. Examine ourselves,
    2. Create sanctification contexts for change,
    3. Spur each other to love and good works,
    4. Pray for those who are stuck in their unique sin patterns.
      1. How are you doing regarding these four things?

 

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