Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Those Born of God Will Not Continue To Sin

1 John 3:9 "No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God"

1 John 3:6 "No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him."

But...but...WAIT!!!!   Are you trying to tell me that Christians don't sin anymore?  I can assure you that many Christians I know still struggle with sin.  And scripture also tells us that there is no one righteous.

Ecclesiastes 7:20 "Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins."

That part,  "...and never sins" might seem to be in contrast to 1 John 3:6.  But we need to remember that all scripture is God all of scripture is true. So here in lies the harmony:
There is no one who never sins...AND no one born of God will continue to sin.

It doesn't mean we will never means we will not CONTINUE to sin.  So what does that mean?

Lying, stealing, cheating, hating, gossiping, grumbling, intoxication, adultery, un-forgiveness, etc.  are all clear cut, non deniable obvious sins.  There is no excuse for someone to "continue" in them....unless he or she is not saved.  If that is the case, self discipline is not enough to free one who is enslaved to such sins.  A slave can not free himself.

Ecclesiastes 8:8
"...As no one is discharged in time of war, so wickedness will not release those who practice it."

Fortunately, God has given us civil and criminal law to help the saved and unsaved alike.  Usually for someone who is not saved what is necessary for him to break free of such sin is the fear of legal or natural consequences such as the loss of freedom, loss of loved ones, loss of health or the fear of death.

But for the one who has come to KNOW Jesus, the pursuit of holiness isn't so much motivated by fear as it is love, though fear does help the forgiven sinner resist temptation in the same way that it drives the unforgiven sinner to seek God's mercy.  The pursuit of holiness doesn't end with overcoming the obvious sins mentioned above.  Rather, every day that goes by God reveals to the Christian sinful mindsets or habits that had never before been realized.  The Holy Spirit brings conviction and the Christian repents because of genuine love and contrition.

The sin I struggle with today is different sin than I struggled with 20 even 30 years ago.  I do not excuse my sin nor down play it by telling others quip little phrases like "don't judge me because I sin differently than you".  We are to abide in Jesus and likewise, He abides in us.  Because of this, the Spirit of God within me will NOT allow me to excuse my sinful behavior!  He won't let me ignore the truth that He DETESTS sin.

 Romans 6:16-18,  "Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?  But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient FROM THE HEART (emphasis added) to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness."

 1 John 3:9 says, "No one born of God will continue to sin."

If you are having no victory over sin, consider that it is possible that you are not really saved.  Maybe you didn't come to God on HIS terms.  Maybe you are not really abiding in Him.

He's not here to enhance your life or complete you.  He didn't die to enable you to be successful.  He died because we were sinful and couldn't pay the punishment for it.  He died because we are all guilty and he willingly takes on the guilt of those who come to him.  But for those who refuse to come to Him on His terms they remain condemned and enslaved to sin.

So unless you came to Jesus to be forgiven because you saw with certainty that you are guilty and separated from God and needed a Savior and were grieved because of your sinfulness, it is possible you came to the wrong jesus, a false god created in your own image; a jesus who is ok with your sin, one who "understands" how hard it is to be good and that you are only a weak human; a jesus who agrees with you that your sin is actually a "condition" or "disease" for which you just need medical intervention; a jesus who doesn't really hate sin as much as those radical zealots say he does.

Trust me, the real Jesus truly does love and understand you...but he has not given you a pass on owning your guilt and your responsibility to repent of sin (stop doing it).   You must first OWN your matter how much worse someone else in your life is.  You need to come to the God who Is and repent and ask for forgiveness.  He will come and wash away your sin and give you a new heart and new nature.  From that day on your new nature will war with your old nature...and your new nature WILL win if you abide in Him.  Because Jesus overcame sin in sinful man.  You will not CONTINUE to sin.  Your  conscience will burn within you until you repent, overcoming the temptation to wander.

Romans 6:22  "But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification (holiness) and it's end, eternal life."

Sanctification is not an option.  It's a mandatory gift that we receive.  The Holy Spirit in each of us who are saved ensures that we no longer comfortably sit in sin (continue in sin), but instead creates a longing within our hearts for holiness.

If you are saved, throughout the refining process, which will last your entire life, God will never leave you.  The seed of faith within you will never die.

1 Peter 1:23 "you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;"

But know this, God is not indifferent to the sin you harbor in your heart and life.  He desires you to forsake your sin.  Just as he told the woman caught in adultery, "go and sin no more" so he desires the same of you.  And if we will not obey willingly as slaves to righteousness, he disciplines us as His children so that we will no longer choose sin over righteousness.

Hebrews 12:10-14 " but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness.  For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.  Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.  Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord."

These drooping hands and weak knees spoken of here are indicative of the man who will not resist sin, one who half-heartedly makes little effort to strive for righteousness.  His discipline is intended to steer us toward straight paths that lead to holiness.  When we refuse to obey God we open ourselves up to His correction.  Do you know what a fearful and serious thing that is?

Hebrews 10:31 " It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."

It is a good thing to fear The Lord.  It is a means by which you will avoid the sins that cause you to stumble.

Proverbs 16:6 "By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the LORD one turns away from evil."

Today I exhort you to turn from evil.  Repent of the sins you've been giving yourself over to and seek God.  Call upon Him and He will save you and direct your path.

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