“Accepting Jesus” so that we can go on regularly, deliberately indulging in (“practicing“) a sinful lifestyle.
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.
Does this mean that a true Christian doesn’t struggle with sin? Not at all:
For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.
I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.
Our old flesh (which we will still have as long as we are on this earth) still struggles with sin, but we have been severed from that flesh because our flesh has been crucified with Christ on the cross.
We died with Him in the flesh, and we have been raised with Him in the Spirit.
All our life is now found in Christ and in the Spirit. Therefore, all our identity is now in the Spirit, and not in the sin with which our flesh struggles.
So even when our flesh sins, we are called “righteous” because of Christ’s righteousness.
However, the person who claims to be a Christian and yet has no conviction, remorse, or inward pain over their sin (lust, greed, deceitfulness, pride, blasphemy) – but rather sees their “salvation” as a welcome excuse to wallow in sin – is likely not a true Christian.
It is the Spirit of Christ within a person which brings this conviction.
Struggling with sin is not necessarily a sign that someone is not saved. Everyone struggles with sin in this life.
The litmus test is our heart condition. Do we hate our sin? Are our consciences wounded when we stumble? Are we humble before God?
But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.
Or do we exalt ourselves in the face of God, never experiencing an inner battle (tension) between our old sinful flesh and the righteous Spirit of Christ?
Many licentious “Christians” have no conviction over their sins and do not love or know God (you cannot love or know God unless His Spirit is working in you).
Licentious Christianity is a form of false Christianity because it wrongly assures many people that they know Christ – or are saved – when they are in fact still dying in their sins.
Sadly, many organized churches today support and do not challenge this form of false Christianity.
They do not examine or remove the wolves in sheep’s clothing from among them (those who claim to be Christians but are not).
I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people;
I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world,
or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters,
for then you would have to go out of the world.
But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother
if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one.
For what have I to do with judging outsiders?
Do you not judge those who are within the church?
But those who are outside, God judges.
Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.
1 Corinthians 5:9-13