"And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him."
It is only our physical bodies that are not yet completely redeemed, including our mind, which is being constantly renewed and conformed to the mind of Christ. Our sin has been dealt with once for all, and it is wrong for us to teach people that our sin will not be removed until we get to heaven.
I have been spending some time looking up sin on Bible Gateway, as well as battle, and fight. I can't find even one single reference to fighting against sin. What about the fight against sin? There is call for fleeing sin (1), throwing it off(2), exhorting and encouraging our brothers not to sin (i.e. lose faith)(3). There are calls to fight for faith, fight against our enemy the devil but I can't find anything about fighting sin. I have a sneaky suspicion why....
I bet some of you are afraid I'm going to claim that no fight against sin is needed! Well, you can sit back and relax. Take a deep breath and try not to jump to any conclusions! Not only is a fight against sin absolutely necessary, but a victory over sin is crucial if any of us want to escape hell! And that is why Jesus came, yes, it's the good news! Jesus came and fought sin and defeated sin on our behalf. It's a done deal as a matter of fact. That's why Scripture constantly refers to us as being dead to sin (4), having put it off (5), free from the slavery of sin(6) etc... That's why we're never told to fight sin, it's been removed from us as an entity, we're no longer in old Adam but in second Adam, Jesus, and I think we can all agree that in him there is no sin!
I'm not saying we never sin, but that we are to view sin as something we're in too big a hurry to pay much attention to. We're busy running a race, when sin gets in our way we throw it off while we're running, we don't stop and fight a long battle against it, because we don't have to! Sin is no longer our master, righteousness is.
"I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:)
"Death is swallowed up in victory." "O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?"
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (I Cor.15:50-57
1Cor. 15:26 says that the last enemy to be destroyed is death, not sin.
I also wanted to mention that the promise of peace to those who believe in Jesus stills stands. We are not to be at war with ourselves, or any enemy within, we are to live with the inner peace of the Spirit of Christ. It isn't possible to to live by the flesh and by the Spirit at the same time, that's why Romans 8 and Galatians 5 (among others passages) remind us over and over and over that being preoccupied in any way with our flesh will hinder us from living by the Spirit.
Stop fighting against the flesh that Christ has circumcised already and start abiding in the the vine that is Jesus! Am I saying don't flee sin, don't throw it off? NO!!!! I'm saying, embrace the Spirit, believe in Christ and his finished work, and stop trying to remove your own sin. If you could remove your own sin you didn't need a sacrifice. REST in his finished work. TRUST that your father is satisfied. Take your eyes of yourself and your perceived imperfections and fix your eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of your faith. Stop trying to perfect yourself!
I freely acknowledge to be a bit of babbling on and on, and I also encourage any of you to share Scripture with me that I may have missed. This process of discovering that things I've been taught all my life are not actually in the Bible is pretty weird but exciting!
some of the Scripture passages alluded to:
(1) 1Cor. 6:18, 10:14, 1Tim.6:11, 2Tim.2:22
(5)Col. 2:11-12, 3:9, Eph.4:20-24