Is Your Christianity a Sham?

Adorable Sin

It may come as a shock to some, but many who claim to be Christians are not, actually. It is obvious because of their unrepentant love of sin.

For example, I know a person who willfully admits his failures and flaws (which is a good thing), but happily continues to do the very things he knows are wrong. He says, “I know I have a problem with (blank), but I know I’ll never change, so I’ll just have to keep asking for forgiveness.” In reality, the problem is that he loves his sin, and therefore refuses to truly repent and “turn from his wicked ways.” His particular sin is his claim to fame, his identity. Without it, he wouldn’t be noticed.

Am I suggesting that Christians NEVER sin? Of course not! The Bible plainly tells us that if we say we never sin, “we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). Furthermore, just two verses later the Apostle John declares that if we say have have no sin we make God a liar!

But what about 1 John 5:18? Does it not clearly state that “whosoever is born of God sinneth not?” Yes, in the Authorized Version it does. However, the NIV renders the first part of 1 John 5:18 as: “We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin [emphasis added]…” Similarly, the NLT says that someone who is born of God (a Christian) does not “make a practice of sinning…

No, I’m not saying Christians never sin. What I am saying is that if you are a true follower of Jesus Christ, sin may happen, but it’s not what you’re known for. What is being expressed here is the idea of continual, habitual sin – the kind one has no desire to change and even brags about it.

Advice for the Soul

depressorsMy advice to you, dear reader, is that you take a moment and conduct a spiritual self-examination.

David prayed, “Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart” (Psalm 26:2). The Apostle Paul even urged church members to “Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine” (2 Corinthians 13:5a NLT).

The hard, cold truth is that when one claims to be a believer, a Christian, yet habitually, characteristically, and proudly continues in the practice of a particular, obvious sin, his salvation/conversion/Christianity is most likely a sham.

Christianity is not just a label one wears, but a change that is made, both initially and on-going, in the life of the believer. Sin may happen, but when it does, a sorrowful and repentant heart is the result.

Please understand, I only wrote these things “that your joy may be full” (1 John 1:4). 

 

33 Comments

Filed under Christian Living, salvation

33 responses to “Is Your Christianity a Sham?

  1. hawk2017

    Good one. Ty:)

  2. Reblogged this on Truth in Palmyra and commented:

    Well said here, bro Anthony. We ought to examine ourselves. Actually, we are commanded to do just that, to examine ourselves:

    “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” 2 Corinthians 13:5

  3. Reblogged this on Mitch Teemley and commented:
    My Featured Blogger this week is Anthony Baker of The Recovering Legalist. The title comes from Anthony’s frequent focus on legalism vs. authentic faith, but he writes on a passel of other real life topics, as well. Despite his disclaimer–“I’m just a country preacher, not a scholar, so if you don’t expect too much, you won’t be disappointed”–you’ll find grace and wisdom to spare here, along with a bit of wry humor. So drop by, kick your feet up, and have a listen.

  4. Oh those logs in the eye…and our willingness to take on the role God has clearly kept for God’s Self…and our failure to do math, such as 70 x 7….but then, who’s counting?

  5. Well put. Plenty of food for thought here.

    Thank you, brother.

  6. Nice post. I don’t think though that Christianity is a label one wears. Your actions reveal your relationship with Christ. So I’d say that Christianity is demonstrated in the change in the life of the believer, nothing more. Thank you for sharing!

  7. Excellent post. Thanks for sharing this nugget of truth: “Christianity is not just a label one wears, but a change that is made, both initially and on-going, in the life of the believer.” Blessings.

  8. A lot of truth concisely and plainly written. Thanks.

  9. Personally I feel sin is not limited to a particular religion. What surprises me is that one continues to sin in full awareness attaching a convenient reason to the act. The biggest sin that one commits is speaking ill about another fellow being. If tongues goes into a major depression we might be able to experience more peace n harmony.
    Enjoyed your post.

    • Thank you for that thought. Certainly, if our tongues were more “depressed” there would be more peace. Remember what Jesus said in John 3:6? He said the tongue “is full of iniquity” and “a fire” that is lit by hell.

  10. This is excellent! A powerful challenge delivered as always with mercy, grace and love! Thank you, Anthony, for being true to God’s calling! You never fail to encourage, exhort and inspire!

  11. Hi Anthony,

    I remember when I gave my life to Christ, but I kept on sinning by habitually using drugs and smoking cigarettes.

    And a lot of Christians called me fake.

    But I knew God personally, plus I knew He read my heart.

    So I kept believing He would deliver me and that’s what He did.

    I was like the person you mentioned.

    I loved sin.

    But it didn’t matter how much I loved sin because God had a calling on my life.

    And no habit or person could have kept me from doing what God called me to do.

    Great post!

  12. Bravo! Thank you for saying the hard thing.

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