1John 3:4-10 Sin Is Serious From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible describes the consequences of sin. They are great; yet, many who call themselves Christians do not seem to understand that. We can turn to most any book of the Bible and be taught it but John’s take unique. John writes very bluntly and boldly. Yes, he is the apostle of love but in this book he also talked much about sin, mentioning it no less than 9x, and what he said may surprise some. Not only so, but John also directed this book to those who call themselves Christians and choose to continue in sin. Let’s look at what John said about those who choose to continue in sin; but first, let’s ask a question, a question that might cause some confusion before it gets answered. I. Can a Christian sin and go to heaven? A. That is an important question, especially with some of the statements John made in these verses. 1. John stated that the primary means of discerning who belonged to the devil and who truly belonged to God was their relationship to sin. 1John 3:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil…. 2. He made statements stronger than this. 1John 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin…. 1John 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil…. 1John 3:6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. 3. By these statements (and others) some have concluded that Christians CANNOT sin. (I have met some who believed that.) 4. This is one reason why people believe they can lose their salvation. If a Christian cannot sin they figure when they sin, they are no longer a Christian. B. But the Bible also speaks of Christians who DO sin. In fact, John mentions as much earlier in his book. 1John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 1. John uses the personal pronouns "we," "us," and "our" 13 times in those three verses. 2. I mention that to point out that John was including himself when he made those statements. 3. John was saying we have sinned (past tense) \\#10\\, have sin \\#8\\, and provides a way to be cleansed of sin. 4. Why do we need a way to remove sin if we cannot sin? C. This issue produces a problem. 1. Does the Bible contradict itself? Could John not even keep his theology straight from chapter 1 to chapter 3. 2. I am not trying to rewrite or redefine the Bible. 3. I do attempt to come to understandings that take into account all of the Scriptures. a. Some verses say we can sin, others say that we cannot. b. There must be a way to reconcile these two seemingly opposite lines of thought. D. I believe the way to reconcile these two opposites is to understand that John was talking to two different groups of people. 1. The person who is truly born again can and may sin, but it is not their nature (their new nature) to do so. a. That is who John was speaking to in 1John 1. b. Christians may sin but it is out of character for them. 2. The person who is lost sins because it is in their nature to do so. That is who John was speaking to in 1John 3. E. What proof do I have of this? 1John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. 1. \\#4\\ WHOSOEVER COMMITTETH SIN. a. That is the same word and tense used in \\#8\\. 1John 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil…. b. In both of these verses, the verb is… 1. Present tense meaning happening right now. 2. Active action meaning that is continuous. 3. The idea is this person is sinning right now and will continue to sin. c. That is not the character of a Christian. 1. It may be the character of people who call themselves Christians but it is not the character of a Christian. 2. In fact, the Christian character is described in verse 6 and is quite the opposite. 1John 3:6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. 3. ABIDETH is a totally different verb but is in the same verb tense as COMMITTETH. (1) The Christian is presently abiding in Jesus. (2) The Christian is actively, continuously abiding in Jesus. (a) He is making no preparation to do anything else. (b) As the one who is sinning plans on staying in his sin so the Christian will abide in Jesus from now on. 2. We should understand that the nature of the Christian is different. a. Any Christian may say or do a thing that is out of their character, but their character is to abide in Christ. b. They should not sin. I am not encouraging Christians to sin. I am not excusing it. It is sinful. c. But it is possible for a Christian to sin and still go to heaven. d. In fact, John says if we deny that ability, the truth is not in us. \\#1John 1:8\\ II. With that in mind, note that John tells us some things about ourselves when we sin. A. If we insist on sinning (continuing in sin), we are breaking God’s Law. 1John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. 1. That may sound a bit too Jewish for you but it should not. 2. While we do not worship God by the means of the Law, the Law still teaches us about sin, God, and even salvation. a. Law gives us examples. 1Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. b. More importantly, the Law gives us definitions. Rom 7:7 …I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. c. These definitions make it possible for us to be saved. (1) A person cannot be saved until he/she knows what sin is, knows they are a sinner, and are moved to repentance because of it! (2) There are four steps to being saved: (a) knowledge, (b) conviction, (c) repentance, (d) faith. (3) The first is KNOWLEDGE, knowing what sin is! (4) A saved person cannot live to please the Lord until he knows what is sin so that he can abstain from it. (5) We certainly are not capable of determining what sin is ourselves. (6) If we were, we would not have gotten into such a desperate state to begin with. B. \\#6, 10\\ If we insist on sinning (continuing in sin), we have no relationship with Christ. 1John 3:6 …whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither knoweth him. 1John 3:10 …whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God…. 1. The Bible makes it clear that if you choose to sin and to continue in that state, you ARE NOT OF HIM, DO NOT KNOW HIM, and HAVE NOT EVEN SEEN HIM. 2. Why is John so vehement on this? a. Verse 5 gives some indication: 1John 3:5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away sins; and in him is no sin. b. Jesus’ NATURE is described - IN HIM IS NO SIN. c. Jesus’ PURPOSE is declared - HE WAS MANIFESTED TO TAKE AWAY SINS. 3. John is making it clear that Jesus did not come to accommodate sin but to terminate it. 4. If you are still stuck in sin, you have not been freed by Jesus. C. \\#7-10\\ If we insist on sinning (continuing in sin), we have a relationship with the devil. 1John 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil… 1. I do not think that needs any commentary at all. It is self-explanatory. 2. Sinful behavior marks the devil’s crowd, not God’s. D. \\#3:9\\ If we insist on sinning (continuing in sin), we have something missing. 1John 3:9 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. 1. What is missing? a. God’s seed. b. It’s just not in you. 2. What is God’s seed? a. The verse does not tell us but I don’t see how it could be anyone or anything other than the Holy Ghost. b. God put something in us that His own, a Seed, that is just beginning to grow inside of us. c. The seed is HIS. d. As the seed grows, its influence will be more and more consuming. e. The only possibility I see for the seed is the Holy Ghost of God. 3. If the Holy Ghost is the Seed, the implantation occurred at the time of the new birth. 4. God is doing a work on you from the inside out.
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