Recently, we released an article called “Nobody’s Perfect? Untrue!“ which addressed the misconception that “nobody is perfect“. Well, today let’s address the misconception that “we are all sinners.“ That is also not true!
This one passage will completely dissolve any notion that we are still sinners as believers:
Romans 5:8-9 (NKJV) But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we WERE still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having NOW been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
These verses present a “then and now“ scenario. When it refers to the time that we were sinners it says, “while we WERE still sinners.” When it refers to us as justified, it says, “having NOW been justified.”
It’s not true that “we are all sinners.“ Anyone without Jesus is still considered a sinner by definition, but not after you’ve received Jesus. Not at all.
Christians today will admit that they’re justified, but they’ll also simultaneously say that they are a sinner like anyone else. These verses define that. You are justified, so that means you are no longer a sinner. You can’t be both at the same time.
Many Christians probably think that being a sinner just means “someone who sins.” And because they know that they sin sometimes, they assume that would make them a sinner. But that’s not the case.
A sinner is someone who is controlled and bound by sin. They sin by their very nature. A believer, on the other hand, has a new nature now. Despite the fact that a Christian can sin, it is not our nature to do so anymore. We are new creations and we have new propensities and desires inside of us now. We have the very purity of Jesus inside of us now. It is no longer our nature to sin.
But you say, “but the Bible says that we still have a sinful nature that wars against the Holy Spirit in us.“ Does it? Here’s a little known fact about the term “sinful nature.“ That term is not in the Bible. Not anywhere.
The only place you can find the term “sinful nature“ is in a paraphrase translation of the Bible. A paraphrase translation is a Bible translation that does not intend to translate the ACTUAL words of the Bible. It only intends to give you the translators opinion of what the verse means. That may sound crazy to you, but that is absolutely true.
Translations like NASB, NKJV, KJV, ASV, Darby, and MKJV are all word-for-word translations. That’s good! We typically use NKJV or KJV.
Translations like the NLT, NIV, and The Message Bible are examples of paraphrase translations. They are not word-for-word translations. And so, you will find the term “sinful nature“ in some paraphrase translations. Take a look at this comparison for yourself:
Paraphrase Translation (New Living Translation):
Galatians 5:16 (NLT) So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what YOUR SINFUL NATURE craves.
That is a paraphrase of original scripture. Now check this out.
Word-For-Word Translation (New King James Version):
Galatians 5:16 (NKJV) I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the FLESH.
That’s the same verse! Did you even see the word “sinful” or the word “nature” in that word-for-word translation? Nope, because they’re not there. Nowhere in the Bible does it say we have a sinful nature. Sure, the Bible will say that we have a flesh — referring to that meat suit you’re probably wearing — but not a sinful nature. In fact, that is in direct contradiction to the nature that the Bible says we actually have!
2 Peter 1:4 (NKJV) …that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
After being made a new creation, in our spirit, we now have a “divine nature,“ not a sinful one. Again, just because of a Christian’s consent, that does not make them a sinner. When a Christian sins they are going contrary to their new nature, to their new bondage. We are now bound to righteousness and life! Not corruption and lust!
Your nature is exactly like Jesus’ now. You can thank His sacrifice at the cross for that! He took your old nature upon himself (Romans 6:6) to give you His nature! In fact, (this may offend some people) God will not even call a Christian who steals, a thief. He won’t call a Christian who has killed, a murderer. He won’t call a Christian who commits adultery, an adulterer. And He won’t call a Christian that has homosexual feelings, gay! It’s true, a Christian can feel something or even do some thing that is not right, but it doesn’t change their new nature!
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NKJV) Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such WERE some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
This is not saying that if you have stolen something, had homosexual feelings, or have lusted after another persons spouse that you cannot enter the kingdom of God. If that were true, we’re all doomed! This is referring to people that are still bound to sin, who have not accepted God‘s gift of righteousness. That’s why, it says such WERE some of you. Not that ANY Christians ARE these things. It says “such WERE some of you.”
Once you’re washed and cleansed of all unrighteousness, you may sin because your mind isn’t fully renewed, but you’ve simply done something contrary to your new nature. It’s not like you to do anything wrong, because you have no wrong in you.
Keep renewing your mind to who you are in Christ. That’s the answer to seeing all of this manifest in your life!
Enjoy being pure and bright and clean — the kind of clean that can never be reversed, because it secured through your sacrifice, Jesus.