Before anything else, let us discuss and clarify some
common misconceptions and general beliefs on the subject of sin that are contrary to the teachings of the Bible.
1. It is about Heaven and Hell
You might have met people who say they don't mind being the "gateman" in heaven, all that matters to them is just getting there. Well, if you haven't, I have; and the main challenge with this school of thought is the belief that living on earth is about "doing one's best'' to be free from sin so as to make heaven. Luke 13: 24 and 1 Corinthians 10: 12 seems to be the foundation for this belief.
Luke 13: 24
Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you,
will seek, to enter in, and shall not be able.
However, the passage only talks of entering (which is achieved at salvation) and not how life is to be lived on this narrow way; whereas 1 Corinthians 10: 12 is only a call to soberness, not struggles.
1 Corinthians 10: 12
Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall
And just in case you have this view of life, I have news for you; the Christian walk is not a struggle to make heaven.
It is living in Heaven here on earth and then moving to be a physical resident of Heaven at the consummation of time.
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus
John 14: 2 - 3
2. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I
would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also
Besides, no-one is going to get to either heaven or hell by chance or surprise.
1 Corinthians 2: 11
For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him?
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
It is not about Heaven or Hell!
It is also on this ground that some untrue teachings of grace are founded; countless debates on whether a Christian can lose his/her salvation, different answers to the question of whether or not God would keep forgiving an erring Christian; thousands seeking assurance that grace would cover their "yet-to-be-committed" sins; others seeing grace as a ticket to unpunished sinning; questions like "Must there be confession before forgiveness", etc. and the list is endless.
The approaches, questions and beliefs may vary, yet all are founded on the desperation to make Heaven.
Can I get your attention, please? It is not about Heaven or Hell!!
What then does the Bible teach? Let's look at other misconceptions, then we'll go straight to answering that question.
2. It Is Impossible To Live a Totally Sinless Life As Long As You Are On the Earth
"No-one is perfect" is the most common, though the most inaccurate statement of the children of the Father. Many use this as an excuse for their sinful habits, others claim at one point or the other, a man "must" sin and some, in order not to sound too unbelievable, would only go as far as saying it is possible to go long stretches of time without sin.
Hey, come on what is it about sinning that makes it look so attractive and indispensable to the children of the Kingdom of God?
What more! Nothing can be farther from the truth than that perfection can only occur in Heaven - and I would be explaining this irony pretty soon.
Most disheartening is the countless misinterpreted scriptures that are given to back the "inevitable right to sin", just like the tempter of the fourth chapter of the books of Luke and Matthew had a scriptural reason why the only begotten of the Father should jump off a pinnacle.
Many, in order to "keep" the scriptures "theologically" accurate without "violating" this tradition of the fathers -kind of a "the ways of the forefathers are best" mentality - or the experiences of men, come up with balloon definitions of sin (so vague to live by) and ceaseless terminologies (with no practical/life application).
What can I say? Perhaps such a one forgets so quickly the displeasure the Lord Jesus had for the Pharisees for making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered· and many such like things do ye (Mark 7: 13) or maybe "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he ... " (Proverbs 28:7) and " .. the just shall Live by his faith." (Habakkuk 2:4 emphasis: mine) escapes the mind.
3. To Be Sinless Is To Be Holy
Finally, let us look at the third misconception. I am pretty sure you are wondering if I did not put this heading under the wrong topic.
Well soon you'll understand why being sinless is not the same as holiness.
This is covered extensively in the second book of this collection titled "Holiness: Beyond a sinless life".
So now let us look at what the Bible says about the stated misconceptions.