Are Christians Sinners, or are they not Sinners?

Are Christians Sinners, or are they not Sinners?

Let us turn to the word of God in Psalm 26:1-12

ESV  Psalm 26:1 Of David. Vindicate me, O LORD, for I have walked in my integrity, and I have trusted in the LORD without wavering.
 2 Prove me, O LORD, and try me; test my heart and my mind.
 3 For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in your faithfulness.
 4 I do not sit with men of falsehood, nor do I consort with hypocrites.
 5 I hate the assembly of evildoers, and I will not sit with the wicked.
 6 I wash my hands in innocence and go around your altar, O LORD,
 7 proclaiming thanksgiving aloud, and telling all your wondrous deeds.
 8 O LORD, I love the habitation of your house and the place where your glory dwells.
 9 Do not sweep my soul away with sinners, nor my life with bloodthirsty men,
 10 in whose hands are evil devices, and whose right hands are full of bribes.
 11 But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity; redeem me, and be gracious to me.
 12 My foot stands on level ground; in the great assembly, I will bless the LORD. (Psa 26:1-12 ESV)

Let us pray.

Our Father in heaven, we pray that this part of God's word may be written on our hearts today that we may think new thoughts about what David has said of himself.  
And because this is the word of God, what David has said here, he has said it to every one of us.  He has actually said it to every Christian man or woman who has ever lived, who lives today or who shall ever live.  And then Oh God, make us to rejoice in what David says about us in this Psalm.  We pray it in Jesus' name, Amen.


We are speaking in this series of messages, as you know, about the Bible's common practice of putting its teaching in terms of polarities or opposing emphases.

As the great Charles Simeon put it, the truth doesn't lie in the middle. It doesn't lie in one extreme; it lies in both extremes.

I love the Bible and I have come to love it more for this feature of its teaching where it presents its truth in opposing emphases. This way of teaching forces us to reckon with truth that may not be welcome to us, truth that we may not find easy to receive; but it hits us right between the eyes and makes us to think, ponder and to wonder what its meaning is. It’s only when the Bible speaks to us in this way that it is truly the "sword of the spirit that cuts us sharply dividing the joints and the marrows", as we read in Hebrews.

In today’s message, I want to consider with you the two poles concerning sin and the Christian life. The question that I want us to ask ourselves and answer in this message is this: are Christians sinners, or are they not? 


You might expect by now that the Bible is going to say emphatically that the Christian is a sinner in several portions of scripture and then later on say in other portions of scripture that the Christian is not a sinner.  And in fact, that is exactly what the Bible says.  It actually says that "We sin" and it also actually says that "We do not sin"; and never once does it stop to attempt an explanation!  The Bible doesn’t stop to explain and say, “Well, this is how you ought to understand the statement, ‘Christians don't sin’ in relations to the statement that ‘Christians do sin’”.  The Bible doesn’t give us such an explanation.

Instead, it leaves us with both statements and forces us to ponder and consider what is meant by those two statements that seem to contradict one another; though they do not, of course.

Martin Luther famously described the Christian in a well-known Latin Phrase which means that "at one and the same time, a Christian is righteous and a sinner”.  What Luther meant is that we are justified, we are forgiven, we are declared righteous in the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ even though we continue to sin in our lives in this world.  But that is not what I am talking about.  I am talking about Christians who sin in their behaviour, and Christians who do not sin in their behaviour as the Scripture teaches.

Next ⇨ Page 2
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5
Add comment

Add comment