Question:

I was reading a page on your web site that said if you give into sexual desires, even just once, Satan can more easily bring you in and cause you to go further and further into sin until he has you trapped. This is only true for those who are lost. A child of God cannot be brought in by any of Satan's works because Christ was manifest to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). If one is in Christ, they are regenerated by the Holy Spirit. One born of God only desires good (Proverbs 11:23) God gives them a new heart and puts His Spirit inside them causing them to walk in His ways (Ezekiel 36:26-27)

The page should give more reason to examine yourself to see if you are born again because a lost person could read it and think they will remain saved as long as they restrain themselves from committing sexual sins that they desire to do. However, the desire of this person's heart is already proof that they are lost.

Do you desire to eat your own vomit? No, at least I hope not. But a dog does, and Solomon said in Proverbs 26:11 that a lost man returns to his sin just as a dog returns to its vomit. You do not desire to eat your vomit, yet a dog does, because you are two different creatures with different natures. When a lost man is born again, 2 Corinthians 5:17 says they are a new creature. They no longer desire sin. Galatians 5:24 says they put to death all the sinful desires. So, what is dangerous with reading your page is that lost people might remain justified in their sin because they are self-righteously restraining themselves from the sin. They are already in the sin with the mere desire for it, and that is what Jesus meant when He said if you even look at a woman to lust after her, you have already committed adultery in your heart. It is a condition of the heart in which everyone who is not born again has.

If a person were born again, they would not have these evil desires, and they could not be brought into sin by Satan. 1 Corinthians 10:13 makes that clear. Is a Christian tempted? Yes, but temptation is not a desire. In Matthew 4:9, Jesus was tempted to worship satan, but He had absolutely no desire to do so! The difference in the temptation brought on a born again believer and the lost person is that the lost person is tempted by something they also desire to have, while the Christian is tempted to something that is like vomit in their eyes.

The lack of understanding people have of regeneration is the reason Paul said most professing Christians are enemies of the cross of Christ. Most people who go to church are self-righteous Pharisees, because they are restraining themselves from their evil desires instead of recognizing they are lost and believing unto the power of God that changes them into a righteous creature with new desires.


Answer:

"This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (1 John 1:5 - 2:1).

The doctrine you are declaring is false, as John makes very clear. In writing to Christians, John warns that if we say we do not sin, which is what you state happens with Christians, then we are fooling ourselves and we don't have the truth. It is John's wish and purpose in writing this warning that Christians do not sin; however, if one does (meaning it is possible), then we have a way out of sin through Jesus Christ. Notice that John does not claim you never were saved, he states that an erring Christian can return once again from his sin.

Paul taught the same thing. Comparing Christians to the Israelites, he warned us to learn from their example: "Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted" (I Corinthians 10:6). If it is not possible for a Christian to lust, then the warning is meaningless. "Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall" (I Corinthians 10:11-12).

The danger in sin for a Christian is that it can lure one away to the point that he is unwilling to return. "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame" (Hebrews 6:4-6). But notice that this same warning means that it is possible for a person who has partaken of the Holy Spirit to be tempted, lust after sin, commit sin, and become so engrained in sin that they have no desire to return to God.

The New American Standard Bible and the English Standard Version are closer to the meaning of the Greek in I John 3:8. "Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 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 been born of God" (I John 3:7-9, ESV). In commenting on this passage, A. T. Robertson in Word Pictures of the New Testament stated:

"And he cannot sin (kai ou dunatai hamartanein). This is a wrong translation, for this English naturally means "and he cannot commit sin" as if it were kai ou dunatai hamartein or hamartêsai (second aorist or first aorist active infinitive). The present active infinitive hamartanein can only mean "and he cannot go on sinning," as is true of hamartanei in verse 1Jo 3:8 and hamartanôn in verse 1Jo 3:6. For the aorist subjunctive to commit a sin see hamartête and hamartêi in 1Jo 2:1. A great deal of false theology has grown out of a misunderstanding of the tense of hamartanein here."

Yes, the desire of the righteous is for good, but this does not mean that the righteous does not slip at times and sins. It does mean that a righteous person doesn't like sin, so when he does slip he will not remain in sin. Nowhere can you conclude from Proverbs 11:23 that a person who has sinned was never righteous in the first place.

When a person becomes a Christian, he does become a new person, just as Ezekiel 36:26-27 prophesied would happen. Paul talked of it as a reality.

"What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin" (Romans 6:1-7).

Yet Paul is not arguing that Christian cannot sin. He is arguing that a Christian should not choose to sin because he has been make a new creature through the contact with Jesus Christ's death in baptism. Paul concludes that a Christian ought to battle sin because he is a new creature. "Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts" (Romans 6:12). He does not argue that a Christian is immune to sin.

You reference II Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new," and conclude "They no longer desire sin." This passage doesn't say that. You imagined it supports such a position, but your position is not in this passage.

"And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another" (Galatians 5:24-26).

If one only focused on Galatians 5:24, you might come to your conclusion that a Christian has no desire for sin, but the context makes it clear that Paul is saying at lack of desire for sin is the goal of a Christian's life. Galatians 5:26 makes it clear that even though one is a Christian, he must be on guard again allowing sin to creep back into his life. This matches I John 3. A righteous person doesn't like sin, doesn't want to sin, and if he does sin, he doesn't stay in sin. Galatians 5:24 does not state a Christian is unable to sin, else the warning the follows is meaningless.

I've already shown from the context of I Corinthians 10:13 that you misapplied what Paul stated. "Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it" (I Corinthians 10:11-13). God promises a way out of temptation and a limitation on Satan that means no one has to sin. This passage does not state that a Christian will not sin. It says we have no excuse when we do sin. You are right that temptation and desire are not the same thing. You are wrong, however, in your application. "But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed" (James 1:14). Temptation uses our desires against us. Therefore when temptation occurs, the desire is already there because temptation builds on the desire. You conclude there is no desire, which is false because without desire there is no temptation.

"Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain" (Philippians 2:12-16).

I never said I do not sin. Where did you get that? I gave you scripture talking about regeneration? Do you not believe in regeneration? Do you believe in a works gospel? Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone and cannot be lost.

I drew that conclusion because you said, "If a person were born again, they would not have these evil desires, and they could not be brought into sin by Satan." Since you count yourself as saved, then it follows that you think you are without sin, or that if you do sin, then you must conclude that you never were saved.

All Christians are regenerated. The word in Titus 3:4-5, "But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit," literally means a new birth. The washing of regeneration is the same think Paul talked about in Romans 6:4, "Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." Peter also talked of it, "Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever" (I Peter 1:22-23). The false assumption you make is that being born again or regenerated means a person cannot sin. Such is not in Titus, nor in the rest of the Bible.

There is only one gospel. But to answer your question, you will need to define which works you have in mind: works of Satan, works of man, or works of God? "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10).

You again show your false belief by inaccurately quoting Ephesians 2:8, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God." The word "alone" does not appear in this passage. In fact, the only place in the Bible where "faith only" appears states, "You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only" (James 2:24).

You claim salvation cannot be lost, but you do so by contradicting God. As I quoted before, "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame" (Hebrews 6:4-6).

Isn't it long past time that you start following God's teachings instead of quoting things you hear but cannot find in the Bible?

"If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen" (I Peter 4:11).