“Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God. And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, there is no sin in him. Anyone who continues to live in him will not sin. But anyone who keeps on sinning does not know him or understand who he is. Dear children, don’t let anyone deceive you about this: When people do what is right, it shows that they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous”
(1 John 3:4-7, NLT).
The Apostle John is dealing again with the question of sin. Even though he was kind and gentle (tradition says that he was called “the Apostle of love”), he could also be strong and direct (earlier he was called “the son of thunder” after all). Without afraid of offending everyone else, John reminds us most bluntly that sin is not something to wink at – instead sin is lawlessness, and active rebellion against God. Sin is “breaking God’s law” and “contrary to the law of God.” To sin is to obey oneself rather than God and shows that something is wrong in our relationship with God. We “keeps on sinning” because we didn’t continue to live in Jesus. Please take sins seriously.
Friends, when it comes to sinning, one possible explanation is that God’s Word (they say) is just too difficult for people to understand or to obey; so they use that as an excuse for doing whatever they want to do. But God has promised that what He asks for us will not be impossible; in fact, God promises to give us the strength and confidence to do what is right. What God commands, He also enable us to obey it. John here also says that we “keeps on sinning” because in reality we “does not know [Jesus] or understand who he is.” Could it be that the ‘Jesus’ that we know of is not the real or the distorted view of Jesus of the Bible? Or could it be that we understand Jesus differently from what the Bible actually taught us about who He really is? Or could it be that we don’t understand fully what does “Jesus came to take away our sins” mean to us personally? Or could it be all of the above? If you keeps on sinning, check your own doctrines and what you’ve been taught about Jesus. For us to “abide” and “continues to live in Him”, we need to know Him as He really is.
So, then, as Christians, it comes down to a problem of attitude or will that makes us do what is wrong. And John seems to be talking about an attitude rather than a specific actions alone. To know Jesus, the Perfect Saviour – the One who “is no sin in him” – is to outlaw sin especially deliberate, knowing, and habitual sins. Continue to live and abide in Him. We know that in this life we will never be entirely free of sin; we are still human. But we can aim by the power of the Holy Spirit to stop the pattern of sinning, the kind of life-style in which sin is a bad habit.
The key point here is that the way we live shows the source from which we get our strength and values. If we live in a way that shows that God is most important, we may still not be perfect, but we will be honouring God by breaking those bad habits or sins which keep us from growing and being joyful as Christians. “When people do what is right, it shows that they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous.” Remember: Nothing is impossible with God. Jesus, the Son of God, came to take away our sins, there is no sin in him. Thus, He is perfect and able to help you. Amen.
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.