This may be difficult to understand, so you’ll need to spend some time in prayer asking God to reveal this to you. Many people get this wrong. Many of the people who get it wrong are teaching it wrong. They teach it wrong because they add to Scripture. Sometimes, when someone adds to Scripture, they have to explain away some other Scriptures to make it seem as if there is no conflict between their teachings and the Scripture. Some people are teaching that you are not really born again if you sin. Some only include certain sins in the forbidden list that show that you aren’t born again. Yet, if you look in Scripture, it doesn’t take much to be born again. You are born a baby in Christ, but you are born.
When you are born again, you have Christ living in you. How much sin can Christ do? None! Yet, you have a sinful nature. You have a fleshly nature. How much good can the flesh do? None! The flesh can’t be reformed. It can’t be made better. It is evil.
When you are born again, you are in Christ and Christ is in you. How is Christ in you? His Spirit flows through you giving you power for righteousness. Faith is the door that allows this grace to flow through and do God’s works through you. How are you in Christ? You are in Christ the Body as a particular member. Christ the Body is just as much Christ as is Christ the Head in Heaven. They are each complete the other. When every member of the Christ the Body is fully in Christ, that will be called the Manifestation of the sons of God (Romans 6, 7, & 8 and Ephesians 4)
Right now, there is a moving toward maturity. God is moving all of creation, every event, to bring us into the likeness of His Son, Jesus. That is to say that each of us has a ministry. The ministry is not the flesh. It is the Christ in you and the Christ in you. We are not all the same, but each of us is a vital part. (1 Corinthians 12) Maturity has to do with becoming the ministry that we were created to become. We are all in some level of relative immaturity right now. Full maturity can only happen as a corporate Body joined to our Head in Heaven, walking in perfect submission in everything, transformed to be that ministry and assembled perfectly into the Body with the Body walking exactly according to every pattern of Scripture. That is maturity.
Now, you may wonder what that has to do with not being able to sin. Here is why it is important to understand that the ministry in you is Christ. Can Christ in you sin? No! John says this in 1 John. He says that the spiritual man cannot sin. (1 Jn. 3:4-11) It would be impossible for Him to sin. That Spiritual Man is Christ. He lives in you. He cannot sin. That is Who you are. You are the Ministry within you. You are the Ministry, the manifestation of Christ in the world, but you HAVE a fleshly nature that must die. God wants us to identify with the ministry. Christ in you, cannot sin. Your fleshly nature can do no righteousness.
At any moment, the Holy Spirit is directing you through your spirit and Satan is directing you through your flesh. Part of your soul is your will. You can direct it either to Christ or to Satan. Christ, by the way, means Anointing, which refers to the anointing oil or the Holy Spirit. Satan cannot make you sin through your flesh and the Holy Spirit will not force you to be Holy through your spirit. You are constantly in the position to make the choice. I have seen people go from glory to glory and I have seen others who were deceived by the tricks of Satan and they obeyed their fleshly nature, re-crucifying Christ in their minds and eventually forgetting the glory that they once had. They let them slip from themselves. I always pray that they turn back, and sometimes they do.
In the meantime, even when we are walking in God’s ways, we sometimes sin. The more mature we are, the less we sin. The more mature we are, the less likely that we can be deceived.
There are three basic ways to sin. The original language for sin is much more clear than most translations. There is slipping across a line. There is stepping across a line. There is missing the target. So, sometimes, emotion grabs you and you say a harsh word. You have slipped across, and you pray and God is faithful and just to forgive you. Sometimes, you step across on purpose. Then, you pray and confess and you are forgiven in the same way. Sometimes God asks you to do such and such and for some reason you just miss the target. Then, you confess and God forgives you in the same way. This is what you said in your earlier email so elegantly. I had to get wordy here.
There are some revelations that have been given that are a little bit deeper. God has showed that there is a coming of Christ and also a returning of Christ. Although there are many theories out there about the return of Christ, God has not shown the brethren just how that is going to happen. As far as His coming, the word in Greek is parousia. It means abiding presence. Literally, it means alongside goods or property. This is something that is now happening in you, but it also will be an event of the completeness of it. Whether the bodily return of Christ will happen at the same time or later, that is still a mystery. God has not shown the brethren this. I searched the Scripture and God has not given us a clear answer on it. We could argue it either way, but why would we want to speculate. The way God does it will be just fine when it takes place. (:
What we do know is that God is building us into His Holy Temple, the Body of Christ, the Bride of Christ. This is happening from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3). Rather than being conformed to the world, we are being transformed, literally transfigured, by the renewing of our minds. Scripture is very clear that Christ will return for a bride that is without spot or wrinkle or any such thing.