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According to the Bible it is possible to stop sinning

Unfortunately, in most churches a completely false gospel is taught. They say that it is not possible to stop sinning. Since Jesus died on the cross all our past and future sins were forgiven and it wouldn’t matter whether we continue sinning or not. Anyone who believes that it is possible to stop sinning will be demonized as an arrogant law keeper.

The good news is that, according to the Bible, it is possible to stop sinning! The Bible is full of verses that prove it. And there is not a single verse that says it is impossible to stop sinning.

Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 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. (1 John 3:9-10)

If you are still skeptical about this fact, please finish reading the article before you come up with arguments.

Those who have NOT been born again yet, would be lying if they said they are without sin

Interestingly, those who claim that it is not possible to stop sinning have only one specific Bible verse to support their theory. This verse is:

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (1 John 1:8)

But if you look at the entire chapter and take the whole context into consideration, you can see that just a few lines before, it becomes very clear that John is speaking here to people who have NOT been born again yet and who have therefore not received the Holy Spirit.

That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:3)

Of course, no person is free from sin until he has been born again and has been sanctified by the Spirit of God. That is a well-known fact. Therefore, the only Bible verse that is supposed to prove that it is not possible to stop sinning isn’t valid. It becomes even clearer if you read the previous section which says that everyone who has fellowship with Jesus is set free from sin.

If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 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 cleanseth us from all sin. (1 John 1:6-7)

However, there is another frequently used Bible verse that is meant to imply that it is not possible to stop sinning:

So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. (John 8:7)

But even this claim is not difficult to disprove. Because this scene happened BEFORE Jesus had been crucified and risen again. Thus, the Spirit of God, that can sanctify every believer, had not been poured out yet. What is particularly interesting is what Jesus says afterwards:

And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. (John 8:11)

Also Paul did NOT teach that we can’t stop sinning

All other Bible verses that are used to support the claim that it is not possible to stop sinning are misinterpreted verses of Paul. Contrary to what many people believe, Paul did not teach anything else than Jesus and his disciples. But to understand that you have to read his letters completely and not just take particular verses out of context. For example, all verses quoted from Romans 7 become untenable if you read the following chapter Romans 8. Because in Romans 7 Paul solely describes how people are BEFORE they are born again. This means that his description in Romans 7 does not apply to born again believers! The flesh therefore does not count as an valid argument that it is not possible to stop sinning.

But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. (Romans 8:9-11)

Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. (Romans 8:12-14)

Paul also said that Jesus died for us while we were still sinners. “Were” clearly shows that a new born believer CAN stop sinning.

For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:6-8)

Unarguably the clearest evidence that Paul did not believe that we can just continue to sin can be seen in the following Bible verses. Paul said quite clearly several times that no one who doesn’t stop sinning enters the kingdom of God.

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6: 9-10)

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)

For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them.  (Ephesians 5:5-7)

Here is an in-depth article on what Paul actually taught: No longer under law, but under grace – What did Paul teach?

The Bible says that God’s children STOP SINNING

Whoever believes in Jesus and is born again receives the Spirit of God, who sanctifies him and guides him in all truth. In fact, the Bible even says that such a person CANNOT sin.

And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. 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. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 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. (1 John 3:3-10)

To stop sinning naturally includes the observance of God’s commandments. Because according to the Bible, sinning is breaking the law!

Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. (1 John 3:4)

However, it involves much more than just keeping God’s commandments. Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7 shows us how much holier we are supposed to be. Here is just one example:

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. (Matthew 5:27-28)

Anyone who claims to be born again and still can’t stop sinning is therefore claiming that God and Jesus are sinners and that God is not capable of keeping his own commandments. Because whoever is born again is supposed to be guided by the same spirit as Jesus. Such a person would always obey the will of the Father, just as Jesus did. Paul wrote the following for a good reason:

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me. (Galatians 2:20)

Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:15-17)

We are supposed to be as HOLY as Jesus and walk like him

The Bible’s New Testament teaches us to become like Jesus. And we can only do so by being born of God, receiving the Holy Spirit and being guided by him. Through the Spirit of God we CAN stop sinning.

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Romans 8:29)

He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. (1 John 2:6)

For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother. (Matthew 12:50)

The Bible emphasizes several times that we are supposed to be holy:

Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy. (Leviticus 19:2)

As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (1 Peter 1:14-16)

Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:48)

Whoever loves sin does not WANT to stop sinning

The sad truth is that people who obsessively try to hold on to the false claim that it is not possible to stop sinning are simply people who do not WANT to stop sinning. Somewhere deep inside they like sinning and injustice. If someone truly hated sinning, he would be incredibly glad to be told that it is possible to stop sinning. Such a person would NOT TRY to justify their sins and claim that they were inevitable. It is written in the Bible:

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. (Hebrews 10:26-27)

The Bible says that the wicked will be revealed. Because whoever loves sinning will gladly believe the common church teaching so that he can continue sinning without getting a bad conscience. But whoever loves God will not be deceived, and instead search for the truth and stop sinning.

For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:7-12)

And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 12:17)

The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.(Matthew 13:41-42)

Is it possible to stop sinning according to the Bible? Yes, it is!

I think after reading this article there shouldn’t be any doubts left. According to the Word of God it is possible to stop sinning. Everyone has the free choice to accept the truth as it is written in the Bible and to live accordingly. Unfortunately, believing in a lie is not going to save anyone. Therefore, I sincerely ask you to question everything that you have heard so far and to make sure that it really matches the teachings of the Bible.

Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 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. (1 John 3:9-10)

The Bible is very clear: whoever can’t stop sinning and walks according to his ungodly desires does not have the Spirit of God.

But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. (Jude 1:17-19)

Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. (1 Peter 4:1-2)

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  1. The Greek word for “commit” in 1 John 3:9 is ποιεῖ transliterated as poiei. Poiei is a present tense verb which is indicative of continuous or ongoing action. It describes someone who is committing sin repeatedly – not someone who never commits a sin. Thus a more accurate translation of this verse would read something like, “No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God.” (ESV)
    All believers sin on occasion which is forgivable upon repentance as opposed to those believers who make a practice of sinning which this verse warns against.

    1. and ”καὶ And, also, even, so then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small wordsand

      “he cannot” δύναται To be able or possible cannot

      “sin,”ἁμαρτάνειν Properly, to miss the mark (and so not share in the prize), i.e., (figuratively) to err, especially (morally) to sin

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