Living in sin is an unbiblical phrase. Usually this term is directed toward two sin classifications: two unmarried living together or a divorcee who remarries not having a scriptural reason for the divorce. Too, this phrase is often used by those assuming themselves to be free from such a fanatical label. As far as I can tell, living in sin is not a Bible term. When it is used, it is usually by someone pointing a judgmental finger at another while completely disregarding their own personal and blatant sin.
To bring about such awareness is not to weaken the tragic depth of sin, but rather to intensify it. I'm not wishing to lessen sin, but to bring us into true reality. We are all really guilty enough to be sentenced to hell unless Someone died on the cross to provide Great Rescue. To deny our personal sin weakens the message of the cross.
There is a biblical term which will not let any Christian escape guilt: sin living in me (Romans 7:17,20). Patients do not live in cancer. Cancer lives in the patient. Sin is cancer of the soul. We must not live in denial. We must admit we are sinners.....offensive-to-God sinners.
When Jesus confronted those ready to stone the adulterous woman, how many dropped their accusations and walked off? 100%. What did he say to the woman? Go and sin no more. Raise your hands. How many of you think she never sinned again? Based on my pattern, I say she didn't make it past Mr. Morning Rooster crowing three times.
Sin is not to be denied. It is to be admitted. Mistakenly, guilt-avoiding, squint-eyed Christianity has categorized sin into various bins of S, M, L, XL. Consistently whatever the judger happens to be guilty of is always viewed as S or M.....never XL. We all live XL. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all (James 2:10). Guilty of all sins? Such is the truth for every stumbler.
Do you realize how this combination of awareness and admission changes our brotherhood? It slays the poison pens. It parks the high horses. It strengthens harmony. It bolsters humility. It awakens need for help from rather than criticism toward leaders across town or state or nation.
Do you realize how this combination of awareness and admission changes our relationship in our communities? The neighbor no longer dreads the sight of us coming as we have abandoned our holier than Thou facade. Friends begin to like us, not because we've sunk into sin; but because we've admitted something they've known all along....we, too, are sinners.
John wrote, If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
Maybe in order to evangelize the world more effectively we might find it time to admit our enormous frailties and offer apology rather than condemnation.