“Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. 5 But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. 6 No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.” 1 John 3.4-6
Upon a closer reading of this passage I am convinced that there can be no sin for those who follow God. John tells us plainly that “no one who lives in him keeps on sinning,” v.6a. And, “no one who continues to sin has either seenn him or known him,” v.6b. So the question dares to be asked, “What does it mean to live in him?” And, “What does it mean to see him or know him?”
I’ve walked with Jesus for over thirty years now. Sometimes I have been faithful and other times I have indulged in sin. It is a constant battle for me. Choosing his will and holiness over my own wants and desires is not easy. But that doesn’t hinder me from trying still.
Yet according to John, if I am “living in him” or if I have “seen or known him” I will stop sinning. And in truth, there are days when I stop sinning. Days when I am tempted but no sin results in my temptation. These are days of victory and I rejoice in God who empowers me by his Spirit to stand strong.
Living in Christ means to abide in him. Rest in him. Rely upon him. Living in Jesus suggests that I no longer live for myself, my desires or wants. Living in him means that the dead self is gone and the new self is alive in Christ — fully engaged in his plan for my life.
Now this is hard but not impossible. How do I know this? Because John tells us — “Jesus appeared so that he might take away our sins,” v.5. Why would Jesus take away our sins only to have the return again?
I wish I was a greater theologian or more “spiritual” and understood this principle better. The principle of atonement, redemption and restoration. Yet all I can do is to seek to love God more and love my sin less. I can continue to seek to know him and follow him while rejecting the trials and temptations of this world which the devil wants me to love.
Walking with Jesus isn’t just about running from sin but it’s more about running to the Savior. We sometimes focus too much on avoidance rather than praise. As the writer of Hebrews tells us, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.” (Hebrews 12.2).
Will you do fix your eyes on Jesus with me today?
“O Lord God, I know your word is true. I know that each and every bit of it is for my good. I know that you died to save me for your self and from my sins. Come now, Holy Spirit, cover me like a blanket. Shield me from the arrows of the evil one that seek to destroy my life. I have seen you, I do know you, I confide in you and place my trust in your hands. Come now, Lord Jesus, and make your way into my heart once again. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen