Do we have to sin?
That depends if you are speaking of sins we are aware of or things we do that offend God of which we are not aware. Praise our Lord Jesus Christ that his grace covers all things we are blissfully unaware of so the question then is, are we able to avoid sins we do on purpose. The answer to that is, yes.
People mistakenly misuse the scripture where Paul stated what his struggle was with sin before accepting Jesus:
I know that my selfish desires won’t let me do anything that is good. Even when I want to do right, I cannot. Instead of doing what I know is right, I do wrong. And so, if I don’t do what I know is right, I am no longer the one doing these evil things. The sin that lives in me is what does them. (Romans 7:18-20)
Paul is describing what it is to be a slave to sin, the sin that is revealed by the perfect Law of God. But earlier Paul also wrote:
Don’t you know that you are slaves of anyone you obey? You can be slaves of sin and die, or you can be obedient slaves of God and be acceptable to him. You used to be slaves of sin. But I thank God that with all your heart you obeyed the teaching you received from me. Now you are set free from sin and are slaves who please God. (Romans 6:16-18)
So why is it that so often we fall back into sin? Why is it that we end up so weak? For the answer to that I think we need to consider king David.
In some ways this is comparing apples and oranges because we are now indwelt by the Holy Spirit and David was not. God applied a lot of grace to David in the same way he did to Abraham but today we live in a constant state of grace because of the blood of Jesus. However, there are certain behaviours that are similar that still get us in trouble.
The big difference between David and us is that David had no choice in his sin; he was a slave to it. His best chance was to avoid situations that would cause him to fall. As he stood on the roof top looking down on a bathing Bathsheba, David was a slave to his desires, but he shouldn't have been there. When you read the scriptures you discover that it was the time when kings went off to war, but David was not where he was suppose to be. He sent off his army and he stayed home, bored. Boredom is never a good thing. If David had been fulfilling his duties he would never have sinned and an innocent man would not have had to die.
Too often we decide to sin because we are not where we are suppose to be. And yes, I chose the word "decide"on purpose. In this age of grace, with the indwelling of the Spirit and the broken bonds of sin, we have to make a conscience decision to sin. We know what we are doing and decide to do it any way. It is not as Paul described what it was like before Jesus. We know him, have been freed by him, have the ability to decide for ourselves and are strengthened by the Spirit to do the right thing.
If we are where we are suppose to be in the Spirit, doing what we have been called to do, serving our Lord Jesus, then no temptation could ever overwhelm us. There is no reason why we must give in to sin, but we can make the decision to do it. When we are weak in our relationship temptation is strong. When we are strong in our relationship, temptation is weak.
Are we where we are suppose to be? Are we bored? Are we lending power to temptations? Then turn back as quickly as you can to Jesus. Who the Son has set free is free indeed.