Question:

Is it possible to go through a day with out sinning? James 4:17 “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”

Answer:

Exodus 20:20 says, “And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, THAT YE SIN NOT.” I John 2:1 says, “My little children, these things write I unto you, THAT YE SIN NOT.” If God tells us in His Word to not do something, then it is certainly possible to obey Him. God does not give us commands that it is impossible for us to keep. So, yes, it is possible to go through a day without sinning.

Has there ever been a day in our lives in which we have not sinned? If so, probably few. One reason is the very verse which you mentioned, James 4:17. “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” We usually know that we have sinned when we do something wrong. Ephesians 4:26 says, “Be ye angry, and SIN NOT: let not the sun go down upon your wrath.” We know if we have gotten angry with someone and have sinned. But as James 4:17 reminds us, we are also committing sin if we do not do the GOOD THINGS which we should be doing. I Corinthians 15:34 says, “Awake to righteousness, and SIN NOT; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.” There may be someone in our area that does not know about Jesus Christ and what He did for us on the cross. If we do not take the gospel to that one, then we are committing sin.

The matter of sin is like the speed limit on the freeways. There is a maximum speed. If we go beyond that speed, then we are breaking the law. But there is also a minimum speed. If we do not at least go as fast as the law demands, then we are also breaking the law. If you will look at the Salvation Bible Course, you can read about this matter in more detail.

What can we do so that we will be more prone not to sin in a day? First, start out the day spending time with God in Bible reading and prayer. Psalm 119:11 says, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, THAT I MIGHT NOT SIN against thee.” “Psalm 4:4 says, “Stand in awe, and SIN NOT: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.” As we spend time reading God’s Word, and then talking to Him in prayer, He will bring up things to our minds that need to be done, or things in our lives that are wrong.

Remember when Peter went up to the house top to pray? Acts 10:9-20 says, “Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven. Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate, And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there. While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee. Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.”

As we spend time in prayer and Bible reading, God may deal with us about words that we have spoken to others, words that need an apology given. Or maybe as we pray and read His Word, He will speak to us about someone in need. Proverbs 3:27,28 says, “Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.” One of the sins of Sodom was that they did not care about those who were in need. Ezekiel 16:49 says, “Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, NEITHER DID SHE STRENGTHEN THE HAND OF THE POOR AND NEEDY.”

Some people complain that they are not qualified to do anything in the church, or that there is nothing that they can do for the Lord, but how wrong they are! There is so much to do, but so few people who will pray and spend time in God’s Word to find out what they should be doing. Time is short. We need to be busy serving the Lord, instead of idle like Sodom, and wallowing in sin. Proverbs 16:3 says, “Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.” There are elderly people who need visits and encouragement. There are people laid up with physical ailments that need help. There are people with financial problems that some could help. There are people that need the gospel shared with them clearly. Matthew 25:34-45 says, “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.”