The “We’re All Sinners, We All Sin” Delusion

Proverbs 17:15 says “He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, Even they both are abomination to the LORD.”

In Ezekiel chapter thirteen the Lord rebuked certain false prophets and summed up the lies they were telling in Ezekiel 13:22: “Because with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life.”

It is clear that the righteous in God’s eyes are those who have turned from their evil way while the wicked are those who have not.  These lying prophets were obviously telling the wicked that they were righteous as they continued in wickedness and telling the righteous that they were no better off before God than the wicked.  Shortly afterwards in Ezekiel, God would set down the truth concerning this matter in a way that is as crystal clear as can be stated.

Ezekiel 18:20-32: “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.  The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.  But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.  All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.  Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?  But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.  Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal?  are not your ways unequal?  When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.  Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.  Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.  Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal?  are not your ways unequal?  Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord God.  Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.  Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?  For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.”

This passage is describing salvation according to the true grace of God.  When the Apostles illustrated salvation by grace in the New Testament, they referenced Old Testament examples (Romans chapter 4 is one obvious proof of this).

Now false teachers and false evangelists and other deceivers will strengthen the hands of the wicked and discourage the righteous with sayings like “we’re all sinners” and “we all sin.”  By saying such things, they mean more than that we have all sinned and that we are all fallen creatures who must be dependent on the grace of God in Christ for redemption from sin (and obviously such dependence means our diligent cooperation with God’s rescue effort in Christ to save us from our sins- Titus 2:11-14, etc).  Though they often won’t just come out and admit it, they really mean by such sayings that one can continue in the practice of sin and be a partaker of the grace of God in Jesus Christ; and that those who wholeheartedly believe in Christ to save them from their sins (according to His actual mission- Matthew 1:21) are no different than those who practice sin.  They thus strengthen the wicked to continue in sin and discourage the righteous for having an obedient attitude to Christ’s Lordship, having cast their transgressions away and surrendered to God’s authority as the Word of God commands sinners to do in order to obtain God’s grace (and thus no longer remain sinners).  The Bible actually defines a sinner as one with a rebellious, disobedient attitude towards God’s authority (John (9:31, Psalm 1, Psalm 26:8-11, Psalm 66:18, etc).

Saying that “we are all sinners and we all sin” nullifies the Word of God’s judgments about the distinction in God’s eyes between the righteous and the wicked.

It makes Abel sound like he is no different from Cain.

It makes Noah and those with him on the Ark seem no different than the rest of the world which God destroyed by the flood.

It makes the inhabitants of Sodom seem no worse than most other people, when God deemed their sins to warrant swift, terrifying destruction.

It makes Moses seem no different than those who worshiped the Golden Calf and those who wickedly opposed his God-ordained authority (like Dathan, Korah, and Abiram).

It makes Phinehas seem no different than the wicked whom God commended him for righteously judging and smiting for their fornication.

It makes King David’s genuine repentance (displayed in Psalm 51) out to be no different than King Saul’s shallow, insufficient repentance which couldn’t keep him from being God’s enemy.

It makes the holy prophets like Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel to seem no different than their hateful enemies who sought to slay them for their righteous testimony.

It makes the righteous testimony of the prophets itself out to be a misleading lie.  Jeremiah 18:11: “Now therefore go to, speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you: return ye now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.”  

It justifies the wicked Jews who were destroyed by the Babylonians, as if there was no way they could have prevented that and as if their genuine repentance was impossible.

It makes those who wouldn’t heed God’s testimony given through His holy prophets seem more honest than those holy prophets themselves!  2 Kings 17:13-14: “Yet the Lord testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets.  Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the Lord their God.”

It justifies Herod for slaying John the Baptist for calling Israel to flee from the wrath to come and to bring forth fruit in keeping with repentance like he indeed called for.

Saying that “we are all sinners and we all sin” makes Zaccheus’ repentance and restitution seem inconsequential and no victory at all.  It nullifies Jesus’ verdict about the necessity of repentance, the possibility of genuine repentance, and its saving outcome.  Luke 19:5-10: “And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.  And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.  And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.  And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.  And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forasmuch as he also is a son of Abraham.  For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Saying that “we’re all sinners and we all sin” tells sinners that they are okay as they are and that they do not need to really repent and seek the Great Physician to save them from their sins.  

It justifies the false accusation of Jesus’ enemies who claimed that He was “a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners” (see Matthew 11:19), as if those He ate with who had been sinners remained sinners as they ate with Him or weren’t at least being challenged and exhorted to forsake their sinful ways as they ate with Him.

It condemns Jesus Christ for constantly reiterating that He sets His true disciples free from sin; and that the wicked who are His enemies are those who work lawlessness.  John 8:34-36: “Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.  And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.  If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”  Matthew 13:39-43: “As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.  The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.  Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.  Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

Saying that “we’re all sinners and we all sin” negates the Apostles of Christ’s descriptions of the nature and the effects of true Christian conversion and true Christian adherence.  2 Peter 1:3-4: “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

It also contends with, and negates, God’s own commendations of righteous people of genuine faith in Scripture, such as Hebrews 11:24-26: “By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.”

It also contends with the Apostle’s own instruction about the clear distinction between the children of God and the children of the devil.  1 John 3:7-12: “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.  He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning.  For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.  Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.  In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.  For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.  Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother.  And wherefore slew he him?  Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.”

Saying that “we’re all sinners and we all sin” justifies those involved in the crucifixion of Jesus, as if they could not have done any better than they did and as if they didn’t need to repent afterwards of their wicked attitude and love of darkness which led to that.

It also justifies the lies of every hypocrite who claims to know Jesus Christ yet walks in darkness and refuses to die to sin and self in order to follow Him and keep His Word in truth.  1 John 2:1-6: “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.  And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.  He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.  But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.  He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”

When people say things like “we’re all sinners and “we all sin” in the manner that they usually do, a manner which encourages people to remain sinners and not rather to flee from their sins to obtain refuge in Jesus Christ’s righteous, saving reign- you can now be assured of the dark origin of such sayings.

Aaron’s email is: [email protected]