“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” (Romans 6:16)
Sin no longer holds dominion over those who have been born-again, but that does not mean that we are free from the influences of it. This world is Satan’s, he is the father of lies, so then this world is built on lies, on sin. They are so much a part of nearly everything, sin is infused upon this world, that it is impossible to escape the influence of it, but it is no longer our master, Christ is. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1 Cor. 10:13)
Temptation is not a sin, yielding to it by our own free will is, and I cannot say which is more prevalent in the life of one who has been crucified with Christ, the pull of the world and those once desired seasons of sin, or the old man, the old nature within us. Our old nature did not, and still does not, seek the things of God, but of this world, all those things that are opposed to the Lord, and so, in a way, we fight a continuous two front battle, the world and the flesh.
With concerted effort, with deceit and with force, you can obtain nearly everything that this world has to offer, you do not need to be employed, save your money or be smart and wise, you simply need to take what it is you desire. This is what Satan offers, the ability to consume upon our flesh all the desires we have.
There are many that love this life, but even those at the top of the ladder realize that all they have obtained, all they have accomplished and experienced is fleeting, not one item they have will they take with them when they leave this earth. “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36) The realization of this truth is why the “heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?” (Psalm 2:1) They realize this truth, but they will not yield to it.
Born-again believers do, they know that what awaits them is eternal, that at the right hand of God are pleasures forevermore, but I fear that there are many who call themselves Christians that deny themselves the pleasures of this world mainly because of this fact, not because of a love for the Savior, not because they would defile His Holy name if they succumbed to the wiles of the devil or their old nature. Their denial of those fleshly wants are not done so out of love, but of a fear they may lose something of greater value in the life to come, and so they live in a type of works-based system, rejecting the here for hopes of a better there.
The words of Nathan the prophet come to mind here, “Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.” (2 Sam. 12:14) David did not think that he had gotten away with something in his actions with Bathsheba and the killing of her husband Uriah, he knew the Lord knew what he had done, he knew there were others in the kingdom who knew. I will not speak as to why he would not repent of these actions, be it pride, conceit, or the fact that he was King, none of us know why, we were not there, we do not know his mind, but I do know the motive behind his deeds, he was tempted, and he fell.
“But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out.” (Numb. 32:23) “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
You will sin, right up until you take your last breath here, you will sin, and all sin that is committed by those who know the truths of the will and Word of God is done willingly, and with intent.
Sin no longer holds dominion over us, it is no longer our master, not Satan, not this world, not our old nature, Christ is. You will be tempted, and you will fall, either by word, deed, action or thought, it will happen, but the closer the Lord draws us to Himself, the more we seek His face, the less frequent these events will occur. But do not fool yourself, if you are attempting to live a life without sin so that you can receive more in heaven, you are deceiving yourself, we love Him because He first loved us. That is why we keep our bodies under subjection.