I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day' ( II Timothy 1:3 )
In certain theological circles today, in particular, those who call themselves 'preterists', there is a Great Denial going on! Because, according to their logic, the Law passed away at the cross ( AD30? ). And if the Law no longer exists, there can be no more sin, because 'sin is the transgression of the law' ( Romans 4:15 ). However, if the Law no longer exists, what about the Immutable One who gave the Law?
There may be a quibble here about some difference, or distinction, between the Law of God and the Law of Moses. Let us quickly dispel such a notion! The Law indeed was given through Moses and it was given, yes, to Israel under that first covenant, but it always was ( and is ) God's Law! Did His requirements change?
The apostle Paul wrote ( and antinomians LOVE to misquote it ), 'we are not under law, but under grace', thereby pitting, as most see it, Law against Grace! However, what most fail to take into account here ( some are just ignorant ) is that when Paul wrote these words, he was speaking to those who were being told by the Judaizers that they must keep the Law ( individually ) in order to enter the Kingdom. He was reminding them that it was by Grace that they were inheriting the Kingdom, and not by the Works of the Law!
Law, as we have seen previously, is not opposed to Grace, it is a necessary part of it; it is how our Heavenly Father shows His Grace! Take an earthly father for instance; he may show Grace to a disobedient child, for instance, by not stoning him, as the Law required, but unless there is a law telling the child to do what his father tells him, how can he be disobedient? Concurrently, if a father tells his child not to run into the road in front of a speeding truck, only by grace, because he loves his child, will the child be saved. So our Heavenly Father saved His People by His Grace, in spite of their failure to keep His Law!
If there is no more sin, then there is no Grace! Grace is an integral component of Law ( else we would be Muslim ) and Law is integral to Grace. If there is no Law, there can be no Grace!
We read in I John 1:8, 'If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.' This statement was meant primarily for the ears of those Jews in John's day, who relied on their Works of the Law ( which were as filthy rags ), but it holds true for some people today, especially those who say that there is no more sin!
Paul was not without sin, but through Grace, he served with a clear conscience! He never told his readers that there was no longer any Law, he was simply reminding them that they were under Grace, and not Law. Law, like Death, could not keep them! So why do we have such a problem with sinning? If we are truly a follower of Christ, a Christian, we would not be sinning like we do, right?
Well, to a point, in a sense, if we are a Christian, we will not practice sinning, but even though, we do fail to keep His Law, even the Law of Love! We know, however, that our Heavenly Father, full of Grace as He is, does not condemn us for our sin, or transgression of the Law ( our Works/Fruits do that ). If we continue in or practice our sin of choice, we will continue to condemn ourselves by our works, but our Father will never condemn us, for as the apostle wrote, 'there is now no more condemnation for those who are in Christ' ( Romans 8:1 )!
'There is now no more condemnation for those who are in Christ'; that is the Key: if we are in Christ, we are not condemned! It is not because of individual righteousness, as the Judaizers thought they must prove, that we have inherited the Kingdom, but because we are in Christ that we are blameless and without sin! He took the sin of His People ( corporately, not individually ) upon Himself, and transferred upon us His Righteousness, at the same time transferring us into His Kingdom!
Individually, it is wise to not practice our sin of choice, or even better to actively stop sinning, because, though our Father does not condemn us ( if we are in Christ ), our Works, or Fruits bring their own sort of condemnation! Are we more Righteous in His eyes when we succeed in keeping His Law? Obviously not, but when we fail to keep His Law, it tends to adversely affect our relationship with His Body, His People, on top of the Natural Consequences we will no doubt have to pay!
As we Live our Lives in Love, let us take great comfort in the Fact that it is as a Body, the Perfect Body of Christ, that we are Without Sin & Blameless in His Sight! Individually, to think that we as Mere Humans could ever hope to be perfect is so absurd, it's almost laughable; if it were not so serious, it would seem hilarious! But as Members of His Perfect & Sinless Body, we can serve Him with A Pure Conscience!
Amen & Amen!
Charles Haddon Shank