So, if you are a "new creature" in Christ, and have God the Spirit living in you ... why do you still sin? Why do you and I still choose to walk the road of disobedience? The answer may surprise you, but it will also help you recognize that obedience is always your best option.
Theologians have thought about this quite a bit, and - as you might expect - have come up with some fancy Latin terms to describe the various options when it comes to the ability to sin.
Before we were given new life and a new heart through faith in Jesus, we were non posse non peccare (not possible not to sin). Isaiah 64:6 reminds us, while in unbelief, even our righteous deeds were like a "polluted garment." When we were dead in our sins (Ephesians 2:1-3) it was impossible for us not to transgress God's law. We were sinners by our very nature.
Jesus, on the other hand, was impeccable. He existed in a state where it was not possible for him to sin, or non posse peccare. I will post another daily thought on this subject to show how, despite the fact his temptations were real, he could not give in to them, and sin.
So that brings us down to you and me. Our situation is described as posse non peccare, possible not to sin. This probably surprises you simply because you and I both know sin to be a constant enemy, and too often a practice we pursue. Temptation seems to be the wall paper of our lives, and we too often succumb.
But consider 1 Corinthians 10:13, where Paul insists, while temptations are common, God has always provided a way to escape their pull. The fact is, as new creatures we don't have to sin! In every situation, obedience is an option.
The hard but necessary truth is this: we don't sin because we have to; we sin because we choose to! Did you get that? As Christ-followers we sin because we want to. We sin because we stand at a decision point between obedience and disobedience and choose disobedience.
At that point we are actually unbelieving believers! While we would surely say we have trusted Christ for our eternal well-being, at that point we are personally not trusting that he knows what is best for us, and we are choosing to act according to our sinful desires.
You might be wondering if there is any good news! There is, and it is found in overcoming our passion for sin with a greater passion for righteousness. While we never become sinless this side of heaven, we can grow in our preference for obedience, and find a corresponding drop in our desire to sin. The more we love Christ, and understand he always knows what is best for us, the more we will find obedience to be our very best option.
Look for more in Why Christ-followers Still Sin, part 2 coming in a few days. Or head to Amazon and buy The Obedience Option to get the whole picture.