Finding That My Sin Isn’t That Hard to Find

1 John 3:6 No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him.  7 Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous;  8 the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.  9 No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.  10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.

Sin Will Find You Out

Sin Will Find You Out (Photo credit: heathbrandon)

Recently, a link provided here at RIHG drew a little public attention… and a little more behind-the scenes response. It was in reference to a certain take on these verses (above). This passage is often disputed among Christians and a multitude of explanations have been given for them. Here’s a look at a few of the more common.

1. When a person is saved, he or she no longer commits sin. To this, I can only say, “If true, I’m in big trouble.”

2. By working with verb tenses, the text is teaching that a saved person will no longer live a lifestyle that is defined by sin (habitual sin).

3. The term, “he cannot sin” is meant to be heard as one would see a speeding sign telling drivers “you cannot exceed 55 mph,” but if you press the accelerator pedal hard enough, what you cannot do legally, you can do illegally.

4. In a similar way as described by the previous link, those who are “in Christ” are a new creation. The new creation is without sin (cannot sin), but it still resides in “a body of death,” that is still prone to succumb to the desires of the “old man.”

There are of course other explanations and variations of these. I think that what I gather from these verses more so than my being able to argue for one stance or another, is the fact that sin is grievous to my God. Therefore, it should be to me also.

Last night, my Pastor made an excellent point. Do I truly pray with the Psalmist, “Search me Lord and reveal the sin in my heart (139:23-24)?” It’s one thing to apologize for that sharp remark I made to my wife (sorry, honey). It’s a whole new ball field when I start pleading with God to show me the pride hidden within me that caused me to bring pain to the one I love.

At face value, these verses make some things clear… outside of “abiding in Christ,” there is no hope of overcoming the sin that so easily besets me, and growing in Christ should produce a passionate hatred for what is displeasing to the Father. What I practice defines whose child I am.

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About mtsweat

Seeking the rest that is only promised and found in Christ Jesus, along with my treasured wife of more than twenty-five years, we seek to grow in our relationship with our Heavenly Father, walk with the Holy Spirit as He moves our hearts, loving others always as Jesus loves us, and carry the news of His glory, the wonderful gospel, that gives light and life where there once was only darkness.
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8 Responses to Finding That My Sin Isn’t That Hard to Find

  1. Scott Sholar says:

    Good word. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  2. Thanks for a good explanation of this controversial passage. There is always a danger of basing a belief on just one verse/passage. If it were true that a Christian CANNOT sin (end of story) many pages would have to be removed from our Bibles, and almost all of the epistles.

    I had a rather lengthy discussion here with one who declared with pride that he/she no longer sins because the old nature is dead and gone forever – yet the posts showed a great deal of anger and nastiness and called me a liar and a fraud who should be excluded from here.

    I praise God that He has supplied all I need to resist the devil and his temptations. He has provided a full set of armour and promised that ‘in Christ’ I am more than conqueror. I praise God that when I go my own way, He gently (and sometimes not so gently) draws me back to Himself in repentance and He forgives and cleanses me.

    What an amazing God!

  3. 3. The term, “he cannot sin” is meant to be heard as one would see a speeding sign telling drivers “you cannot exceed 55 mph,” but if you press the accelerator pedal hard enough, what you cannot do legally, you can do illegally.

    If there is a sign that says do not put excessive toilet papers in the bathroom, will it change the behavior? Or is it up to once conscience and knowing to do the right thing? We all know what is to do the right thing and as we become closer to Christ not only will we clean up after ourselves, but we will go and clean up after every person’s toilet in the bathroom so that no one else will have to live with dirty toilet paper in the bathrooms. I don’t know sir, if you’ve ever been in a woman’s bathroom, but they can be pretty dirty. Sometimes we just need more toilet paper and having that sign there makes us more conscious of sin, but if there is a problem there is a drainage problem like the City of Houston where Annise Parker is Mayor and should not get re-elected and should get impeached because she is not being responsible for the Utility works in which she is a mayor. Our weapons are not carnal but mighty through God for the pulling down of strongholds and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. I suspect that she may be using illegal narcotics and this requires further investigation. 😛

  4. jelillie says:

    I have so enjoyed reading your posts over this last year. I have nominated you for the Liebster award. I hope you will accept. My acceptance posts run over the next three days. Should you choose to accept the award the questions for you to answer will run on Sunday. Thanks for all you do!

  5. lambskinny says:

    What I do does not define me; who I belong to does ! Of course if I belong to God, then He should be evident in my doings!

  6. lambskinny says:

    What I do does not define me; who I belong to does ! Of course if I belong to God, then He should be evident in my doings!

  7. Great and controversial post M. Chapters 1 and 2 are revealing of what John is saying. Esp 2:1 If anyone sins we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous. If we cannot sin, or say we do not sin, we are deceived. These verses, and of course the Hebrews 6 verses taken literally, we may as well do as Paul said, eat, drink, and be merry because we are still in our sin and hell bound. Jesus paid the price and covered our sin past, present, and future…may He alone deserves all honor and glory!

    • mtsweat says:

      Amen Keith! Great points you make. The error of picking a verse and isolating it to form a doctrine has been the root cause of many confusing words. Indeed, He alone deserves all honor and glory! Blessings

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