KJV - 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
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I agree that faith in Christ -- purely by the grace (undeserved mercy) of God -- grants Christians eternal life, and saves them from the eternal effects of sin (that is, eternal separation from God). However, even the most faithful Christians still possess a sin nature in this life (along with their new nature resulting from the Holy Spirit coming to dwell within them when they believe). Their earthly lives after receiving Christ will thus be a continuing internal struggle between these old and new natures (just as described by Paul in passages such as Romans 7:14-25), and they will never be free of this struggle before death. It is only in eternity that the old sin nature will be removed, and Christians will be able to serve God without sin. Once Christians receive Christ, God no longer counts their sin against them for Jesus' sake, but that neither frees them from sin in this life, nor serves as an excuse for Christians to continue to commit deliberate sin (Romans 6).
If you are saved or born again, then just look at your own life for the answer. I am sure you along with Paul, Romans 7:15, and John, 1 John 1:8-10 and every other saved person realize that even after being miraculously born again, the old habits of our flesh still pop up now and then. Paul and John and all of us while still alive on earth are a redeemed soul and spirit in a carnal body controlled by a mind not yet perfected. Paul explains in Romans 12:2 the way to start on the path of becoming closer to what God wants His children to be. The other answers given explain some of the reasons and give other verses to explain our state before we go to Heaven and our journey and progress. I'll just say when a person is saved through Jesus, He saves us from: 1. The Penalty of Sin 2.The Power of Sin and 3.The Presence of Sin. Romans 6:23, Titus 3:5, and Acts 1:8. Then our perfection comes when we are taken to Heaven and no more sin exists. Revelation 21:4-27. So Salvation is instant, but our progress to perfection in our earthly state is ongoing till we are Raptured or pass from this earth to Heaven.
Because I do not wish to steal the work of a fellow brother, I wish to refer you to a web page that thoroughly covers this discussion. I loved it. http://heavenshelpers.org/?id=43&page=Sinners+Saved+by+Grace To call ourselves sinners is to dishonor the temple of The Most High God. We are now children of God that may stumble. And when it is made known to us that we have stumbled by the conviction of the Holy Spirit, we must immediately repent. If we fail to do so, Satan will get ahold of it and bring condemnation, shame and guilt. He will try to convince us that we are too lost to be saved. We must walk in the light and stay in the light to have the freedom that Christ has paid the ultimate price for. We are called to 'put on the mind of Christ' and to 'walk as Christ walked'. We would not be called to do the impossible. However it is not possible with our own strength, but only possible by His strength that He provides for us. While I am not perfect, I strive to be like The Perfect One, Jesus Christ. I still have a long way to go, but by the leading of the Holy Spirit I progress a little more each day. I grew up in religion, but now through the power of the Holy Spirit, I walk in relationship! I must confess, religion stinks, but relationship with Jesus Christ is exceptional! Now I get to see the true power of God displayed in my presence. I truly get to walk in the peace and freedom that Christ died to purchase for me! I get to walk in the miraculous and see God do things that are humanly impossible. We serve a Great and Merciful God that loves us with a love we are not even capable of comprehending. We serve the same God we read about in the New Testament. He is the same today and desires to show Himself through us by The Holy Spirit living in us. We are not 'sinners'. We used to be sinners. But now we are children of the Most High God that may occasionally stumble (sin). If we truly love God, we do not purposefully live a life of sin. So if we stumble, we have an Advocate that pleads our case to the Father. And when we repent, He is quick to forgive our sin. We serve an AWESOME GOD! I have so much more to share about the goodness of God, but for the sake of shutting down my rambling, I will close and say, "Blessings upon you my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ!"
First, check out 2 Cor. 5:21. In this verse we learn much of the mercy and the grace of God. Christ took our sin and punishment and put on us His righteousness. A literal exchange took place. Now, does this mean we no longer sin? Of course not. But, through faith in Christ our legal standing before God has changed. We are now legally right with God, and He treats us as right with God. A main point of Scripture is to show how a righteousness and Holy God could forgive guilty criminals (sinners). See Rom 3:23-24 Hope this helps Yours,
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