Can a Christian be a slave to God and to sin at the same time?

 


This question has been on my mind for days and I just had to ask it. The reason being is that Jesus said in Matthew 7:15-23 to beware of false prophets, that you can identify them by their fruit. A prophet, by definition, is:


1. somebody who interprets divine will: somebody who claims to interpret or transmit the commands of a deity.


2. somebody predicting the future: somebody who predicts the future.


3. advocate of something: somebody who advocates a cause or idea.


Jesus goes on to say that good trees produce good fruit and that good trees can not produce bad fruit. To show how serious he is about bad fruit he says that every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.


He then goes on to say that not everyone who calls out “Lord Lord!” will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually DO the will of his Father in heaven will enter. And, that on judgement day, many will say to him, “Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.” But that he will reply, “I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.”


I’d like to recap what Jesus said.


1. Beware of false prophets.


2. Good trees can not produce bad fruit.


3. Every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.


4. Only those who actually do the will of God will enter the Kingdom of heaven.


5. On judgement day MANY will argue their case for reason to enter into eternal life.


6. Jesus will reject those who break God’s laws.


Alright, so now that I’ve made that clear, here’s where the questioning begins.


Paul says in Romans 1:1 ‘This letter is from Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, chosen by God to be an apostle and sent out to preach his Good News.’


He then goes on to say in Romans 7:14 ‘So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin.’


So, you tell me, can a Christian be a slave to God and to sin at the same time?


I do recall reading in Matthew 4:10“Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the LORD your God and serve only him.'”

What do YOU think?

comments

Comments

  1. I will be addressing Matthew 7:21-22 that you mentioned in your blog.

    THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT

    What was Jesus doing when He began discussing this topic of whether a person will enter into heaven or not? Matthew 5:1 and 2 tells us:

    1) And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him. 2) And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying…

    Matthew records what Jesus had to say beginning at verse 3 and ending with chapter 7, verse 27. This Scripture passage is known as The Sermon on the Mount, which includes the Beatitudes and The Lord’s Prayer. In this Sermon on the Mount Jesus also expounds on the Law. He raises the standard of the Law to a higher plane of living. It’s not just about external obedience, but internal obedience. Why does He do this? It is because He wanted to elevate the Law to where it was supposed to be. He didn’t want the people to just give the outward appearance of obeying the Law, but He wanted obedience to come from the heart. In other words, He interpreted the Law the way it was supposed to be interpreted. He wanted the people to whom He was speaking to realize the difficulty of keeping the Law. He wanted to bring them to the end of themselves to where they would see their need for a Savior.

    THE TORAH

    When I speak of the Law, I’m not just talking about the Ten Commandments. I am talking about the Torah. The Torah is commonly known as the first five books of the Bible written by Moses. It contains 613 laws, or mitzvot. The Ten Commandments are just a part of those laws. The Law comes as ONE package.

    1) If any person, who attempts to gain righteousness under the Old Covenant, breaks one command, he or she has broken the whole Law (James 2:10). That’s why the Old Covenant allowed animal sacrifices for the sins that were committed. When the New Covenant was established, the animal sacrifices were no longer acceptable to God. He had a better sacrifice—Jesus Christ. Now those under the Old Covenant have no other sacrifice for sins except Jesus. If they don’t come through Him, they are lost forever. Who is under the Old Covenant? Is it just the Jews? No. It is anyone who is lost and without Christ.

    2) A believer must be very careful about going back to the Old Covenant of Law. If a believer tries to observe any part of the Law, that person must observe all of the Law (Galatians 3:10-12 and Galatians 5:2-3). [This kind of action would be mixing the two Covenants. In this case, one would be moving away from Grace.] However, we already know that man cannot keep the whole Law. If man could, there would have been no need for Christ to come. Not only can a person not keep the whole law, but the law also kills (Romans 7:9). Grace gives life by taking us out from under the Law (Romans 5:21).

    Is the Law evil? No. The Law is like looking into a mirror, it reveals sin to the sinner and it helps the sinner see their need for Christ. Once the sinner is saved the Law has served its purpose. It is no longer needed by the believer. (Some might disagree with this, but hear me out.) Grace provides a better option, the Holy Spirit of God. He will be our Teacher, Comforter, Counselor and Seal. He not only reveals the will of God, but also provides the strength and wisdom the believer needs to do the will of God. The Law could not do this. The Law cannot save a person, or make a person righteous either, but Grace can. So, the born again believer today has a better deal than the believers in the Old Testament.

    PURPOSE OF THE LAW

    I have already touched on the purpose of the Law. But, here are a couple of verses to reinforce that. Galatians 3:24-25 tells us:

    24) Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [to bring us] unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

    25) But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

    What is a schoolmaster? I found this definition at: http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G3807&t=KJV

    “A tutor i.e. a guardian and guide of boys. Among the Greeks and the Romans the name was applied to trustworthy slaves who were charged with the duty of supervising the life and morals of boys belonging to the better class. The boys were not allowed so much as to step out of the house without them before arriving at the age of manhood.”

    Once I did some tutoring for children who were having trouble in reading, while my husband was stationed at Spangdahlem AFB in Germany. I bring this up to make a point here. Even though I tutored these children, I was not their main teacher. I helped them in one area of need. The teacher took care of all of their other educational needs. As the definition said “schoolmaster” means “tutor”. The Law is the tutor, but the Holy Spirit of God is the Teacher.

    Therefore, once we belong to Christ, we come out from under the Law, or the tutor (Romans 6:14). When we come out from under the Law, then sin dies (Roman 7:8). Then, the Holy Spirit of God, or the Teacher takes over. The believer’s standard goes from the Law to Jesus Christ, the One who fulfilled the Law. He or she is to follow Him. That’s why the Law is no longer needed by the believer as I said before. However, it is still needed by the lost to bring them to repentance.

    JUDGMENT DAY

    Therefore, on Judgment Day, if a person who is unbelieving comes before Christ, He will not let this person enter into heaven no matter how many good things he or she has done for Him, even miraculous things. They have neglected the main thing. They neglected the will of God. What is the will of God? The will of God is for people to believe in the Messiah as the Savior of the world. Who is the Messiah? The Messiah is Jesus Christ. What are we to believe about Christ? We are to believe that He is the Son of God, who came to earth to die for our sins and who arose and is seated at the right hand of God the Father. Whoever believes this will be saved from his or her sins. What does a person do after they are saved? He or she is to follow Christ. What did Christ do? Get you a Bible, if you don’t have one, and read the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

    How is the belief of the people in the Old Testament different from the people in the New Testament? The Old Testament people believed God that the Messiah would come and save His people from their sins. The people today believe God that the Messiah has already come and offers salvation to everyone. The Law could not save people back in the Old Testament days and it still can’t save people today. There had to be something more than the Law to make one righteous. There had to be a belief in the Messiah. Righteousness cannot be obtained through the Law (Galatians 2:16, Galatians 2:21 and Galatians 3:11). In fact, this is what Titus 1:9-10 says about the Law:

    9) Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,

    10) For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

  2. bornagainbytheblood says:

    A close study of Romans 7 will reveal that Paul was referring to his old man under the law before he found grace in Christ Jesus.

    In an attempt to justify their actions, this chapter has been abused by those who continue in sin — preachers, teachers and lay people alike. Fact is, the blood of the Lamb does not continue to cover the soul that willfully sins. If Adam and Eve lost fellowship with God over one willful sin, you can be assured that we will too. And, if we don’t repent with godly sorrow, we will go to hell in that backslidden condition. Sin has to be put away once and for all. God means business, and we must too.

  3. lookinforacity says:

    Wonder

    After I posted I thought there should be some kind of explanation.
    Therefore
    No I am not saying that we have the right to sin because we are not held accountable, remember what Paul said on the matter.

    Rom 6:1,2
    1) What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
    2) GOD FORBID. How shall we, that are DEAD TO SIN, LIVE ANY LONGER THEREIN?

    I am also not saying that we cannot get away from sin, we are not slaves to sin in the sense of the word, where we cannot stop a given sin.
    We are just not held accountable, the way we were before our salvation.
    And because we do now have salvation, we overcome sin in our lives by our faith in Jesus Christ. “You shall know them by their fruit.”

    1Jn 1:7
    But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son CLENSETH US FROM “ALL SIN” THATS “ALL” SIN.

    Past , Present, and Future. If He hasn’t done this for us, then He must die daily for us.

    JIM

  4. lookinforacity says:

    Hi Wonders

    Paul says
    Romans 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,
    Rom 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
    You ask
    “So, you tell me, can a Christian be a slave to God and to sin at the same time?”

    The simple unvarnished truth to your question is “YES” we are slaves to both at the same time.

    Now before anybody reading this starts yelling “HERITIC” or “FALSE TEACHER.”

    We all know there are not any contradictions to be found in the Bible RIGHT?
    So then if Romans 1:1 and Romans 7:14 cannot be reconciled, then there is a contradiction, and you can quit being a Christian because God is a liar.

    Rom 7:14 For we know that THE LAW IS SPIRITUAL: but I AM CARNAL, SOLD UNDER SIN.
    Being sold under sin, means we are the descendants of Adam. We are flesh and blood, and we will remain this way until the day we die, our flesh will always tend to sin, flesh and blood cannot and will not keep the law, that is the reason God gave the LAW, so that men would see the need for a savior.
    The simplest way it can be said is, our flesh will always go through the motions of sin, but where there is no law there is no sin, and because we are Christ’s, and the children of God, sin will not be imputed to us.

    Romans 7:15-25
    15) For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
    16) If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
    17) Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
    18) For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
    19) For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
    20) Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
    21) I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
    22) For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
    23) But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

    24) O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

    25) I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. SO THEN, WITH THE MIND, I MYSELF SERVE THE LAW OF GOD, BUT WITH THE FLESH, THE LAW OF SIN.

    the answer to the question that Paul asks in verse 24 is JESUS.

    Then in 25 Paul sums it all up for us.
    We all know we are DEAD to the FLESH, and ALIVE to the SPIRIT, this is how we can serve the law of God.
    But we all know that even though we may be DEAD to the FLESH we still live in the flesh, that is why we,
    will always serve the law of sin.

    Until the Redemption of the purchased possession
    Eph 1:14
    Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

    We have been set free
    Rom 8:2
    For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
    Rom 5:13
    (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
    Rom 6:22
    But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

    If there is doubt that we cannot sin any longer, this is what the word of God says on the matter.

    1Jn 3:1-10
    1) Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, THAT WE SHOULD BE CALLED THE SONS OF GOD: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
    2) Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
    3) And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
    4) WHOSOEVER COMMITTETH SIN TRANSGRESSETH THE LAW: FOR SIN IS THE TRANSGRESSION OF THE LAW.
    5) And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and IN HIM THERE IS NO SIN.
    6) WHOSOEVER ABIDETH IN HIM SINNETH NOT: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
    7) Little children, let no man deceive you: HE THAT DOETH RIGHTEOUSNESS IS RIGHTEOUS,EVEN AS HE IS RIGHTEOUS.
    #8) HE THAT COMMITTETH SIN IS OF THE DEVIL; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, THAT HE MIGHT DESTROY THE WORKS OF THE DEVIL
    9) WHOSOEVER IS BORN OF GOD DOTH NOT COMMIT SIN; FOR HIS SEED REMAINS IN HIM: AND HE CANNOT SIN, BECAUSE HE IS BORN OF GOD.
    10) IN THIS THE CHILDREN OF GOD ARE MANIFEST, AND THE CHILDREN OF THE DEVIL: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

    This has been rather a long post but it all needed to be said :>)

    JIM

  5. faithishearing says:

    You cannot both be a ‘slave’ to sin and a slave to God. Luke 16:13 says that no man can have two masters.
    Interesting topic, in fact the entire of Romans 6 and much of Romans deal with this.

    Romans 6:14
    For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

    2 Peter 2:19
    They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity–for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.

    Romans 6:17-18
    But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

    The whole of Romans 7 is talking about the role of law and sin.
    In its context and even in the verse you mentioned (verse 14) Paul is describing the state of one who wants to follow the law (see verse 22) but is unable to because of our sinful nature. The chapters ends with:
    “So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.”

    IMPORTANT POINT HERE. I just noticed this. In the first chapter of Romans Paul calls himself a ‘slave of Christ’ Romans 1:1. And here at the end of Romans 7 (verse 25) he calls himself ‘a slave to God’s law’. That is a big difference. It could be possible that Paul in Romans 7 was speaking of himself as he used to be, like many of the Jews in his day, trying to appease God in his own power. (Philippians 3:4-6)

    Remember, the books of the Bible wasn’t originally split up into chapters or verses,(Romans was written as a letter) so it is reasonable to assume that we can go on and read on to chapter 8.

    Romans 8:1-4
    Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature,God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.

    and further…

    Romans 8:9
    You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.

    Not to say that a Christian will NEVER sin, but that sin doesn’t have mastery over him or her anymore–there is a difference. Read the entire of Romans 7 and 8, or read the whole of Romans.

    I hope that others can chime in with their thoughts, this is an interesting topic, and to be honest, I don’t understand it all. lol. The role of the law, grace, sin, etc is a very difficult one.

    I hope that this answers some of your questions. I am studying Romans right now, and would like if someone else could further explain this. (:

    Peace and Blessings

    • WondersBeyondOurGalaxy says:

      Are we really Christ’s followers if we easily adhere to a different teaching than what Christ himself taught? He said in Matthew 24:35 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”
      In Romans 6:14 Paul basically says that we are “not under the law”, which would make us “above the law”..now wouldn’t it. He says that we are saved by God’s mercy and God’s mercy alone since we aren’t capable of following God’s laws.
      Matthew 5:7 Jesus says, “God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” also, in Matthew 6:14, Jesus says, “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” So this implies that our mercy and forgiveness is up to us, and keeps us from being hypocrites.
      Luke says that Zachariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God’s eyes, careful to obey all the Lord’s commandments and regulations. -Luke 1:6 He wrote that before he wrote about Elizabeth getting pregnant to John the baptist. So, was Luke telling the truth? Or is it impossible to obey God’s commands because Paul taught that it is impossible. Remember, Jesus said to, “Be perfect, even as your father in heaven is perfect.” Was he just joking around when he said that? Is anyone taking Jesus seriously?
      I want The Truth, it’s important to know the truth, because it’s the truth that sets us free. I am open to what people have to say, keeping in mind that Jesus’ words will never pass away. I’d sure like some more feedback on this. Thank you for your contribution faithishearing, I appreciate it.

      • When Paul says we are not under the law but under grace, he is not advocating “lawlessness” or doing as you please. Being under grace does not mean being counted righteous no matter how you think, how you live, what you say, what your heart for God is or is not, just because you say you believe in Jesus and the cross.

        To work out what Paul means, we should compare Paul’s writings to other writings of Paul. Paul said, “Do not be deceived, the unrighteous will NOT inherit the Kingdom of God”. Then he goes on to give a list of the classes of people who will not inherit God’s kingdom. These people WILL not inherit God’s Kingdom unless they REPENT – change their mind and forsake their evil.

        1Co 6:9  Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,
        1Co 6:10  nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

        Paul gives another list in Galatians 5 of those who will not enter God’s Kingdom.

        Gal 5:19  Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,
        Gal 5:20  idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,
        Gal 5:21  envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

        Paul in Galatians 5:18 explains exactly who is not under the law when he says:

        Gal 5:18  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

        Grace is actually the divine power of God. When you are under that power, you will generally do the right thing. And if you slip up, you confess and repent. You don’t live in sin trusting that you are somehow “under grace” if you live carelessly.

        So you see there really is no contradiction between the words of Jesus and the teachings of Paul. There is only a contradiction between the teachings of some preachers about what Paul preached, and what the Bible ACTUALLY teaches, which is the fear of the Lord, amongst other things.

         

         

      • faithishearing says:

        I understand what you are saying.
        You seem to believe there is some type of conflict between the words Paul says and the words of Jesus.
        There is not.
        If it is true, and it is, that Jesus appeared to Saul on the road to Damascus, and that Saul became Paul because of it. And that Paul, an apostle, wrote these letters based on revelations which he received by that same Jesus, through His Spirit, then the words of Paul and the words of Jesus should be in agreement.
        Or else, some or the most of the New Testament is fabricated and we can effectively discredit all of Scripture.
        The fact is, no one has been able to keep all of God’s commands, all of the time.
        1 John 3:4 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.
        Ezekiel 18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die…
        Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death…
        Romans 5:12 …sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned—
        “In Romans 6:14 Paul basically says that we are “not under the law”, which would make us “above the law”…now wouldn’t it?”
        Actually, no it wouldn’t.
        The law can only condemn sin, but it cannot save or restore a sinner. It can only prove guilt or innocence. And it certainly cannot give power to a sinner to keep God’s righteous requirements.
        John 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
        In John 1:29 Jesus is described as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. 1 John 2:2 tell us that Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and even for the sins of the whole world.
        Jesus didn’t come to save us from the law, but from sin. Nothing was wrong with the law, something was wrong with us!
        Romans 3:20 therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.
        We all have a sinful nature. We all break the law. We all sin. We all die.
        Jesus came to fix the sin problem. Jesus through his life and death fulfilled all of the requirements of the law, which is why He is called the Lamb without spot or blemish. He was (is) sinless. On earth, He kept all of God’s laws, all of the time. There is no one else on the face of the earth that can claim that. That is why His death on the cross was the atoning sacrifice for our sins.
        I am not advocating that Christians should now be lawless or should willingly break God’s commands. Paul never taught that.
        Romans 8: 12-13
        Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.

        Any Christian advocating that grace=lawlessness, is still living according to the sinful nature. Since sin is, of course, breaking the law. I believe that grace not only allows us to come to God for forgiveness of sin, but that God’s grace empowers believers so that they can overcome sin.
        What happens to a sinner once they accept Jesus as their Savior? Does the law change? Well, no. Does that which is considered sin change or are God’s standards lowered? No.
        But, their sins are no longer imputed to them. And since their sins are no longer imputed to them, the law can no longer condemn them, because there is no sin to condemn.
        What’s more, the God’s Spirit molds us into new creatures. His Spirit gives us the power enables us so that we can keep God’s laws, not to become saved, but as a result of God’s Spirit working in us. God the Son died a horrible death to save us from our sins, how much sense does it make for any Christian to advocate that it is okay to go on (willfully) sinning? That is a slap in the face, and it makes Jesus death meaningless.

        I am glad that you are looking for the Truth. I will not claim to have it or all the answers. I would suggest looking to the greatest source of Truth for all your answers: The Bible. Read through Romans, all of Paul letters, and read the New AND Old Testament. Most things are easier to understand within context. Websites are nice, Christian fellowship is nice, and discussions are fine, but ultimately none of that beats personal bible study.

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