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How can you tell if you're sinning because you're unsaved, or your flesh is winning in the battle?

How can a person tell if they're sinning because they're unsaved with an unregenerate heart, or if it's their flesh winning the battle in that moment, like Paul described in Romans 7?

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There are two parts to the answer to your question. 

1) Most who are not born again will not care in the least if they have sinned. They may be concerned with society and how their life aligns with societal standards, but are unconcerned about God and His Word, unless they are an unsaved religionist. Then their religion drives them.

2) One question to ask is whether we are concerned with the fact that we failed a command or whether we are concerned that we failed God. In other words are we upset because we failed the letter of the law (religion) or because failed the Living God? With that said I do think that there is a growth process where early on we may see the failure as a failure to the letter of the law, but eventually that will change and we will recognize that when we fail we have failed the Living God. 

"In other words are we upset because we failed the letter of the law (religion) or because failed the Living God? With that said I do think that there is a growth process where early on we may see the failure as a failure to the letter of the law, but eventually that will change and we will recognize that when we fail we have failed the Living God. "

If this is the case early on, I guess assurance would be unlikely.

"but eventually that will change and we will recognize that when we fail we have failed the Living God. "

I imagine then there's more and more godly sorrow over sin. Is this why I hear some mature Christians say that as you grow in faith you become more and more aware of the terrible-ness of your sin?

Jenny,

I believe assurance is God given and may be experienced at any level after new birth. For some it is pretty early on and for others it is at some point later.

I do believe that as we draw closer to a holy God we see our sins more clearly and this clarity reveals how vile they are or were. Thus we are left with the contrast of God's holiness (to what ever degree it has been revealed to us) and our sin or previous sins. When we then take that contrast and realize it was not about the letter that we broke, but a disobedience before the Living God we are, at least to a certain degree, crushed and at the same time rejoicing that Jesus has freed us from the wrath associated with that failure. For the Christians there is both a joy and a godly sorrow because of what has been mentioned.

I hope that helps some.

Lord Bless,

LT

Yes it does, thanks. 

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