No Christian will be sinless. However, we must beware of those who offer assurance of salvation to professing believers who live unrepentant lives. The unrepentant, who show no shame for sin or hunger for the holy and pure things of God, are headed for wrath and we must not be partakers in their wickedness.
Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them; 8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light 9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; Ephesians 5:6-11 (NASB)
Intentional godliness is the product of a spirit-filled walk. No Christian becomes godly by simply wanting it. Neither do they become godly through self-righteousness. Instead, the walk that is truly godly is one that is not self-focused at all. It is one that is totally wrapped up and empowered by a consistent, deliberate attempt to discover or discern what is pleasing to the Lord, then doing it. If we analyze this, and we should, we will see that the intentional walk in the light of God is one that separates the Christian from both non-Christians and professing Christians who bear no eternal fruit.
This separate walk does not include promises from God that all will be easy. There is no fine print that states that the obedient Christian will not become ill or lose their job or find themselves having to part with the world’s goods or even having a spouse walk out on them. No, we find examples in Sacred Scripture of God taking His saints through very heavy trials even though they were exemplary in their walk in the God’s light. Think of Joseph and Job. It is during these times that we discover who the real Christians are as well as those who either have a long way to go in their sanctification or are not genuine at all. The more mature believers are the ones who will come along side the suffering saint to help bear the burden while the others say insipid things like, “You must have committed some horrible sin and God has struck you down for it.”
Ephesians 5 begins with a command.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. Ephesians 5:1-2 (NASB)
Those who teach that religiosity is what pleases the Lord cannot have studied passages like this. I find it incredible that there are those today who actually teach that it is okay for Christians to be unrepentant. The walk that pleases God, which we must discern and do, is one that imitates our Lord. It is a walk of self-denial that is a living sacrifice which is well pleasing to God. This walk is one of forgiveness and long-suffering as our Lord’s was during His Earthly ministry. In order to walk in the light, we must also walk in this love. This forgiving and loving walk is not one of deliberate ignorance of what is really going on though.