"All who indulge in a sinful life are dangerously lawless, for sin is a major disruption of God's order. Surely you know that Christ showed up in order to get rid of sin. There is no sin in Him, and sin is not part of His program. No one who lives deeply in Christ makes a practice of sin. None of those who do practice sin have taken a good look at Christ. They've got Him all backward." 1st John 3:4-6
I know that I and many Christians look at that verse and wish that we didn’t understand it. We wish that because we do understand it - clearly. Think about that! No one who continues to practice sin has a correct understanding of Jesus. Their relationship with Jesus is off the rails.
Jesus went to the cross with the explicit determination of dealing with the presence of sin in our lives. John is saying that if that hasn’t happened Jesus isn’t in our life.
“So, my dear children, don't let anyone divert you from the truth. It's the person who acts right who is right, just as we see it lived out in our righteous Messiah. Those who make a practice of sin are straight from the Devil, the pioneer in the practice of sin.” 1st John 3:7,8
For those of us who are tempted to think that we can have a foot in both worlds, this verse states as clearly as can be that to do so is impossible.
Here it is again:
“People conceived and brought into life by God don't make a practice of sin.” vs. 9
“How could they? God's dwells within them, making them who they are. It's not in the nature of the God-begotten to practice and parade sin. Here's how you tell the difference between God's children and the Devil's children: The one who refuses to practice righteous ways isn't from God, nor is the one who refuses to love a husband or wife, brother or sister or fellow believer. 1st John 3:10
John isn’t saying that Christians only sin a little. He is saying that Christians don’t sin - period!
What do we do with something like that? I am a Christian. Yet I sometimes deliberately sin.
Yet John says that if Christ lives in me I will not sin.
There is just the slightest of wiggle room here.
The grammatical form or the term used here for “sin” means, “Keep on sinning,” or "Make a practice of sinning.” Other verses from Paul’s teaching confirms the idea that a follower of Jesus does not make a practice of sinning. Will we still fall from time to time? Obviously. The question becomes:
Will we justify that sin?
Will we make a practice of it?
Will we return to a pattern of sinning?
If Jesus lives in us, how could we?
“In Him there is no sin.”
“He is without sin.”
“He is separate from sin.”
“He knew no sin.”
Do you not think that having the very Spirit of the living God residing in us would and should make a difference in our relationship with sin? If we are right with God it means that we will reflect a consistent pursuit of righteousness. We will no longer continue in a pattern of sin. We will no longer remain in sin.
The evidence of a converted life is a converted life-style.
If Jesus is in us, then staying “in” sin is no longer possible.