This is to answer a question posted on the facebook fan page by Mario. If your name isn’t Mario, please still feel free to read it anyway.
The question was in regards to one of Greg’s videos titled “What does it mean to be morally free?” and the specific question was, “If we are morally free, shouldn’t we be able to resist sin?” Please be advised that this is no small question, and though I will try to be as concise yet thorough as possible, my answer will probably still be incomplete.
According to Genesis 1 and 2, God did indeed create the human race morally free: able to choose between good and evil. In chapter 3 of Genesis, our first parents made their choice loud and clear, and the consequences have plagued humanity ever since.
They chose evil and because of their choice something inside the heart of every man, woman and child who has ever lived was and still is deeply corrupted. The apostle Paul said it this way in the book of Romans: “through one man sin entered the world and death through sin and thus death spread to all men because all sinned…” (5:12 NKJV). Because of Adam and Eve’s choice, humanity has become so twisted that we are no longer truly free to choose to do good in and of ourselves.
However there is good news, for in the same chapter of Romans Paul states: “For as by one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.” The second man Paul is referring to is Jesus Christ and in chapters 6-8 of Romans Paul goes into great detail about how it is that Christ has paved the way so that we could become righteous through Him. I don’t have the time or the space to go into all of those details here, so I would encourage my readers to read those chapters of the Bible for yourself.
However, to give you a glimpse, we are freed from the penalty of sin through Christ’s cross (Justification) , and we are through out our lives freed from the power of sin through the work of Christ’s Holy Spirit, who is given to those who accept Christ’s work for them through his death and resurrection.
So, to sum up the answer the answer to your question, yes it is possible to refrain from sin, but only by accepting what Christ did for us in the cross and resurrection. Without this work, we are as Paul wrote to the Ephesians still “dead in trespasses and sins.”
If anyone has any more questions on this, please say so.