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Lesson 5 Christians Live Holy Lives


Devotional Reading:   Psalm 15


Memory Verse:           1 John 3:9


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.




Matthew 1:21. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.


John 8:36. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.


Romans 6:12. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.


1 Corinthians 15:34. Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.


Titus 2:11–12. For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.


1 Peter 2:21–22. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.


1 John 2:1. 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 John 3:6, 8. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. . . . 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.


1 John 5:18. We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.




Matthew 1:21. The mission of Christ is to save from sin.

John 8:36. He makes us free indeed from sin.

Romans 6:12. We receive power to reign over sin instead of sin reigning over us.

1 Corinthians 15:34. This is a direct command not so sin. There are several others as direct.

Titus 2:11–12. Salvation is a present reality. It results in a holy life.

1 Peter 2:21–22. We should do as Christ did—live above sin. We can do what we should do.

1 John 2:1. John also exhorts to live above sin.

1 John 3:6. A plain assertion that Christians do not sin, and sinners are not Christians. V8. Sinners are children of the devil. Christ came to destroy his works—sin.






1. Not in the absolute sense.


A) Any violation of right, viewed abstractly is sin. B) All people, ignorantly and unintentionally, make such errors. In this view all sin. C) This is not the New Testament definition of sin.


2. Not inability to sin.


A) The idea that we cannot sin is held by some who contend for unconditional election. Strangely enough, the same person will contend that we cannot keep from sinning. B) Bible holiness does not teach that we cannot sin but that we do not sin and that we cannot sin and at the same time be Christians.


3. It is freedom from imputed sin.




1. It is possible through conversion.


The purpose of regeneration is to so change men that they can live above sin. Jesus saves from sin (Matthew 1:21).


2. Christians are commanded not to sin.


A) Such commands are general. They are given by Jesus, Paul, Peter, and John and are scattered through the New Testament. B) God does not command the impossible. C) The command carries with it power. When Jesus says to the cripple, “Walk;” he walks, though unable to do so before. The sinner is made able as he obeys God’s command.


3. Christians do not sin.


A) The Scriptures so declare. B) It is a present reality. The grace that brings salvation “hath appeared.” C) We are holy “in this present world” (Titus 2:12). D) it is a continual experience. We are expected to live in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life (Luke 1:75). E) Christians are represented as being holy and are exhorted to be holy (Ephesians 1:4; Colossians 3:12; Titus 1:8). F) Sinners are of the devil. Religiously, there are but two classes—sinners and saints. The line between God’s people and the devil’s is distinctly drawn.




1. They do not understand the nature of sin.


A) They count mistakes and humans faults as sin. B) They regard temptations sin. Doubtless many of such people do really live above sin, but they dare not claim it because of misunderstanding.


2. It has been taught against.


A) The “sin you must” doctrine entered with the apostasy. The rapid influx of heathens lowered the standard of living which required a doctrinal standard to suit. B) The idea prevailed through the Dark Ages, and has passed on into Protestantism. It is held quite commonly except by holiness people. C) The doctrine of total depravity advocated by Augustine and later by Calvin, requires the “sin you must” doctrine. This doctrine has had a great influence on Protestant theology.


3. The unregenerate cannot live it.


A) Those who trust to church joining, baptismal regeneration, or any other unscriptural means for salvation find themselves unable to live it. B) Because themselves unable to live holy, such are prone to deny the possibility of a holy life.


4. False holiness has brought the true into disrepute.


A) Many unholy people profess holiness as a cloak for their sins. B) Fanaticism and unseemly demonstrations have been confused with holiness to the disgust of respectable people. C) Professed holiness people are much divided among themselves, often to the verge of bitter opposition. Through these means many have been turned away from the truth who otherwise might have accepted it.




Certain scriptures seem to teach that a sinless life is impossible. The Bible, when understood, is found to harmonize with itself.


1. People living before Christ.


A) Texts: “For there is no man that sinneth not” (1 Kings 8:46). “For there is not a just man on earth, that doeth good and sinneth not” (Ecclesiastes 7:20). “Who can say I have mde my heart clean. I am pure from my sin?” (Proverbs 20:9). B) These texts were written long before Christ and describe the people who lived thousands of year before he came who was to “save his people from their sins.”


2. Unregenerate people.


A) There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). Paul is arguing the universal need of salvation by proving that both Jews and Gentiles are sinners. B) “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). By reading the preceding and following verses it is clear that it is the man who thinks he needs no cleansing, and not the one who has been cleansed from all sin, who deceives himself. C) Paul’s experience in Romans 7. Paul is describing the condition of one under the Law seeking righteousness. The context shows this. A higher experience—that of a Christian—is shown in the next chapter. D) “There is none good but one, that is God” (Matthew 19:17). The statement is true as far as independent and un-derived goodness is concerned. That God is able to make man good is proved by the fact that the Bible names certain good men.




1. To enter heaven.


“Ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: wither I go, ye can not come” (John 8:21). “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still” (Revelation 22:11). The whole tenor of the Scriptures is that nothing unholy shall enter heaven and that here is the place to become holy.


2. To avoid hell.


There is but one place left for the man to go who cannot enter heaven. “The wages of sin is death.”