“My son is innocent, he can never do that heinous crime” a mother laments. Not only his family members even the friends are sure, ‘he will never do it, it’s a fabricated story’. Nevertheless, the truth is he has done it! He was caught red handed and is in police custody!
Often this is the way many respond to the criminal activities of their dear ones. For, he / she always behaved in the most decent manner, that nobody could ever doubt their character. Not only about others, even about ourselves also this is our perception, ‘we never make a mistake’! Such self-righteousness is not a right attitude and the Bible says it’s self-destructive and deception. Cf. 1John 1:8, 10. It may make one arrogant, unrepentant and hard-hearted.
Notice what Apostle John says, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” 1John 1: 8. “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” 1John1:10.
Sin vs Sins
Notice the word, ‘sin’ in v. 8 and ‘sins’ in v. 10. One is the root, which is the abiding sin nature and the other is the fruit, which is the sinful activities. John emphatically asserts that every individual has this sin nature and subsequent sinful works, denial only proves he / she doesn’t know the word of God. Further, he / she deliberately speak against God! Bear in mind, John doesn’t just write about unbelievers, he definitely writes about born again Christians.
Everyone has this sin nature from birth. Psalm 51: 5. One commits sin, because of the sinful nature dwells in him. As every creature has certain inherent nature, it is the particular nature of man to commit sin. He got it from Satan through the Adam and Eve. Romans 5:12; 1John 3:8; Isaiah 14: 12 – 14; Ezekiel 28: 11 – 19.
No one good
So, never imagine that such and such can never do that, any human being has the capacity to do any kind of evil activity. Most of the time what hinders him is the realization of the consequences like, legal and social complications. They fear the authorities or the society, but cherish the thought of it. God looks at it and declare there is no one good, no not one.
Apostle Paul also deals with the issue of abiding sin nature in Romans 7: 15 – 24. He elaborates very vividly. He says, he doesn’t understand what he is doing, that which he doesn’t want do, he end up doing, and that which he wants to do, he fail in it. He finds a law – a sin nature – indwelling in him, which makes him to do evil. Finally he laments, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from the body of death?” v. 24. He has the answer too, “..through Jesus Christ our Lord.” V. 25a.
Some consider it as Paul’s unconverted state. That cannot be true. He speaks about the present state as he is struggling to lead a holy and pure life. In fact the seriousness of sin nature and its ugly fruits are felt by the saint! The one who lives in sin doesn’t feel the pain of sin. He enjoys it. He is not struggling with that. But a Christian believer, as he strive to lead an obedient and righteous life he comes to understand that his self-effort fails, there is no good in Him. It is this realization makes him to yield to God for His grace and mercy.
Does it mean we can escape the divine wrath just by pleading our inability to win over this sinful nature? Never. The Spirit of God convicts a sinner to receive the forgiveness and new life through the Lord Jesus Christ. Once he does that he has been given the resources by which he can lead a victorious Christian life. Cf. 1John 3:8; Philippians 4:13; Romans 7:25; 2Corinthains 2:14. 1John 2:1. 2Peter 1:5
Use our resources
We only need to make use of these resources at our disposal. We have the word of God in our hands to teach and guide us. Indwelling Spirit of God empowers and imparts divine nature to us. Also we have the Son of God in glory, interceding for us. Further, the testimony and fellowship of the saints around us encourage us to run the race well. Hebrews 12:1, 2.
So, instead of denying the sin nature and a failed area in life, admit it and seek the help of the Lord. If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all our unrighteousness. 1John 1:9. Never keep a self-righteous, ‘holier than thou’ attitude. We may fall at any time, so humbly trust in the Lord always and praise God for the victory He grants us moment by moment.
It’s not our failure that makes our condition worse but self-righteous, unrepentant attitude. No one can help such people. Cf. Hebrews 6: 4 – 6; 10: 20 – 29.