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Can a born again christian commit sin?
This is one question that attracts almost everybody's attention. Well, lets see what God's word says:
'He that committeth sin is 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' (1 Jn.3:8-9).
To shed more light on this scripture, lets read it from another translation -
'No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him and he cannot go on sinning because he has been born of God'
(1 Jn.3:9 - NIV).

What this scripture is telling us is that a born again christian cannot continue in sin. That is, he cannot abide in sinful living or make a practice of sin like he once did as an unbeliever. This is because sin doesn't have dominion over a born again christian. (Rom.6:14). The power of sin has been broken over such an one and he has the power to live a righteous life because he has been made free from sin.
However a christian may fall into sin either by mistake, carelessness or ignorance. If this happens, he is expected immediately ask God for forgiveness and he will be forgiven just as  the scripture says: 'My little children, these things write I unto you that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous'  (1 Jn.2:1).
'If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness' (1 Jn.1:9). One thing you must never do is to cover up your sin or gloss over it.
The very fact that a christian falls into sin does not mean that he is no longer a child of God or that God has cast him off - provided he repents and turns away from it.

This of course is by no means a licence for christians to fondle with sin. It is just the gracious provision of God's mercy to ensure that if we miss it, we can be restored to fellowship with Him again. A born again christian does not (should not) commit sin deliberately. To do so is thread on very dangerous grounds. God expects us to live holy and be on guard against sin which He hates and so must we. '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 1:15-16).

The area of thoughts is another slippery aspect that young christians (ie young in the faith) often come across. There are even many older christians who still have struggles in this area too. The thought problem has to do with one's mind being bombarded or engaged (against one's wish) by thoughts that are completely out of tune with the word of God and the demands of a holy life. Sometimes it could be some 'dirty' thoughts one never had problems with even when he was an unbeliever! How come? This has left many confused while bringing many others to near frustration in their bid to live for the Lord.

The truth is that the devil has access to our minds (even after we are born again) and he can (and does) suggest thoughts into our minds (Jn.13:2; Acts 5:3). Most times, when the devil speaks to people, it through their thoughts and not by an audible voice. When you know the word of God, it will be easy for you to identify the thoughts the enemy is trying to put on your mind as it will be clearly contrary to the word of God. His favourite method of operation is to suggest negative thoughts into your mind (and if you don't know they're from him) he will turn around to accuse you for thinking such thoughts. 'If you are truly born again, why are you thinking such things?'- he'll charge.

Bad or negative thoughts are like birds flying around. While you may not be able to prevent them from flying across your head, you certainly can ensure that they do not make their nests on your head. No thought is yours until you accept it, meditate on it and/or verbalize same. You are responsible for the thoughts that you allow to settle on your mind.         

Although the devil can suggest thoughts into your mind, he is not in control of your thought life except to the extent that you allow him. Your thought life is yours to control. You are to determine what to think and what not to.
Hence the scripture says: '... Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things' (Phil.1:8). It simply says 'think on these things', not 'if the devil allows you to' 

Here now are some keys that will help you to overcome the enemy in this area:
(a)  Do not accept responsibility for thoughts that are not yours. Refuse to acknowledge that you are the one thinking what you know are definitely not your thoughts.
(b)  Exercise your God given authority against negative thoughts.   All things including thoughts are subject to the name of Jesus. Bind them and cast them out in Jesus' name.
You simply say, 'you foul thought on my mind, I bind you and cast you out right now in Jesus' name'

(c)  Another dimension to this case is a situation where the enemy seeks to keep you busy all day long binding and casting out bad thoughts by sending more and more against your mind. This is intended to frustrate and wear you out. The best way to handle this is to ignore the devil and his thoughts. Refuse to pay any attention to him instead, occupy your mind with the truth of God's word. It is true that the devil can suggest thoughts to your mind but he cannot force you to accept them. Decide not to dwell on such thoughts - do not verbalize them and don't allow them to bother you for God will not hold them against you. Just ignore the devil.    

(d)  In science we learn that there is no vacuum in nature. If you will not fill your mind with what is profitable, the enemy will help you fill it with his junks. Keep God's word on your mind, meditate (ponder) on it always and it will help you to keep the enemy away.
Do you know that the kind of books/magazines that you read, the type of movies/films that you watch and the kind of music that you listen to, all precipitate on your thought life? They surely do. Therefore you have to be very selective. Someone said, 'If you don't want to eat the devil's fruit, then keep off his orchard'!

Always read, listen to and meditate on what will help you to stand victorious in Christ not what will weaken and pull you down. Why would you create a problem for yourself and later begin to struggle to solve it when you could have avoided
it ?!

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