How do Christians know what is sinful?

Since Christ did not intend to make a list of laws to follow, how do we know what's sinful?

Clearly Christ in scripture did not teach that we could live sinful lives and be in Him, but He did teach an end of the Laws salvation authority. But clearly by scripture, the Law and sin are not a one to one correlation.  Paul plainly taught that the uncircumcised weren't committing sin at all (he didn't suggest they go get circumcised now). So, if not plainly stated as the law was, how do we know what's sinful since it was not Christ's intent to make a list to follow?

Galatians 1:1 - 24

ESV - 1 Paul, an apostle - not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead - 2 And all the brothers who are with me, To the churches of Galatia:

Clarify Share Report Asked January 08 2016 Mini Anonymous

For follow-up discussion and general commentary on the topic. Comments are sorted chronologically.

Mini Terry Galloway

I agree that Jesus came to fulfill the Law and not to do away with it. In His teaching of the Greatest Commandment in Matthew 22:37-40 He really repeats the Law given in the Old Testament. In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5, 6 and 7) He raises the bar of the Law to not be outward obedience but an inner heart love that obeys.

God loves us enough to give us the Law and His Son and then new hearts that are able to obey by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit (Ezekiel 36:25-27) when we are born again (John 3). In Galatians 6 right before the teaching of reaping what you sow are actually the words "in this way obey the Law of Christ".

Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important. Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct. It doesn’t matter whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation.
Galatians 6:2-5, 15 NLT

Christ followers are repentant from the beginning of faith (Acts 2:38) and live a life growing to be more like Christ as we have the Spirit 's leading to bring us more and more victory over sin. Galatians 5 explains it well particularly :
For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.

Jesus was full of grace to warn us that obedience is necessary because if we love Him we will obey. If we don't have repentance for our sinful state, we won't be convicted by the Holy Spirit for our sins. As we read the Bible we should be convicted by Jesus' warnings such as Matthew 7:21-23, Matthew 5:20 or John 3:36. Belief is not a mental knowledge of Jesus, but a submission from the heart to His authority to be our Lord and tell us what to do. We rest in knowing our Master's "voice" and just following Him as stupid sheep that are not our own but were purchased by His blood to serve Him.

I grew up in the church but didn't receive repentance and being born again until age 45. GotQuestions.org has answers about antinomianism, cheap grace and false coversion that are particularly applicable to this question. I was making a profession of faith without a possession of genuine faith. When Jesus came to rescue me, I was filled with love for Him and others. Verses started to jump out at me like Matthew 10:37-39. Faith really brings JOY- Jesus, Others, Yourself.

January 10 2016 Report

Mini Willis Hankins

1John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. This seems simple to me. We sin and we know we sin by the law, so now we need Christ's grace to cover our sins. Saved by grace not by law.

January 11 2016 Report

Mini John Thomley

An excellent response Willis. I would only add that if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

January 12 2016 Report

Data Robin Palmer

Except sin is different than the law. We aren't to tithe 10%, but rather give everything to God. Sin is a much broader yet less restrictive brush. Less restrictive because we don't depend on perfection to it for salvation.

January 13 2016 Report

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