That is the question…
More than a question asked by Hamlet about the meaning of life, for the Christian this is a question about the status of the soul.
This is a test of faith.
In this case the test of faith rests on what apostle John writes when he fights Gnosticism and heresy in the early church. One of the pearls of John’s first letter is found in 1 John 3:9
No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.
A clear line can be drawn between those who live in sin continuously (make a practice of sinning), and those who do not persist in their sin but repent of it. That line is a division between those who are born of God and those who are of the devil (1 John 3:8).
This is a radical concept. Could it be that there is no in-between? Is there no such thing as a lukewarm position of transition between these two polar opposites?
The answer is no. One is either saved or unsaved.
Being born of God does not mean and we are completely free of sin in this life. But we are not slaves to it. We do not live in a pattern of continual sin. The Holy Spirit convicts us and leads us to repentance when we do sin, and He points us to the cross where we find forgiveness.
The presence of this work of the Holy Spirit in our lives is what sets believers apart from non-believers.
Based on the login given above, we occasionally sin intentionally?
We do sin intentionally and unintentionally.
“For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins”
“No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.”
The difference is that we do not persist in sin as the above verses point out a continuous unrepented sinning process.
David Platt talking to believers:
So, examine: What does Scripture teach about what it really means to follow Christ? Have we turned from our sin and ourselves and trusted in Jesus as Savior and Lord? Repent and believe. Has this become a reality in my life? And then, spend time in 1 John, ask questions: Am I continually believing in Christ, am I continually following Christ? Or, are there areas where I need to repent of sin, that’s creeping back into my life?
That’s part of what 1 John is about. The more we walk with Christ, the more we obey Christ, the more we live out the life of Christ, the more our assurance grows. It’s not that we’re earning salvation by what we’re doing. It’s that we’re assured of the salvation we already have because we see evidence of the Spirit of Christ working in us.
Great take. That is why I agree also with Nelu Brie when he talks about tests of faith in the context of John’s letters….