Read: 1 John 2:29-3:10
But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. (1 John 3:5-6)
No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. (1 John 3:9)
John is blunt. Blunt, plain and clear. True Christians stop sinning.
We do not continue to sin. We do not keep on in our old sinful ways. Sin stops when a person is “born of God”. Sin stops when a person is called a child of God.
I am filled with questions.
If Christians stop sinning, why might we need a mediator and advocate in Christ (2:1)?
If I don’t think I’ve stopped sinning completely, does this mean I’m not really God’s child (3:9)?
If so, why did John assure me that “this is what we are!” (3:1)?
What does it mean to stop sinning, if “sin is lawlessness” (3:4)?
Is stopping sinning my action, my work, or is it a grace-gift of the Trinity at work in me and active for me – the Father’s love that calls me his child (3:1), Jesus removing my sin (3:5), the Spirit’s seed remaining in me (3:9)?
And how does this all fit together with Paul’s instruction to the Colossians (Colossians 3:5-10) which tells me to “put to death” that which belongs to my “earthly nature” and “put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of the Creator”?
I stop sinning because Jesus took away my sin.
LORD God Almighty,
I confess that I am confused. I’m confused about who I am and what I do. But what I do see clearly in these verses is You: who you are and what you do.
You are the Father. You lavish your love upon me. You call me your child. I praise you!
You are Jesus Christ. You have taken away my sins. In you there is no sin. You appeared and the devil’s work (sin) was destroyed and obliterated. I worship you.
You are the Spirit. You anointed me. You seeded me with yourself so I may grow and bear spiritual fruit. You remain in me. I honour you.
LORD God Almighty, you are Father, Son and Spirit; you are Trinity.
Help me, please. Make your word, which you spoke to me through John’s epistle today, come true in me and come alive in my life. Stop my sin, LORD, I pray.