Summary: Is it possible for a born again, regenerated Christian to live a life of continual, habitual sin? The apostle John says, absolutely, positively, NO!
Dealing with Sin in 1 John (Part 2)
Please stand as we read our newest memory Scripture together …
“This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.
“But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.”
And our memory refresher verse(s) for today is(are) …
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord and not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
Last Sunday we looked at the problem of sin from two different perspectives:
The definition of sin …
Sin is the willful disobedience of a known law of God by a morally responsible person.
So, the three parts that make up an act of sin are:
1) A person who understands both right and wrong
2) comes to know the law or the will of God for them in a given situation
3) that person chooses to disobey that law or will of God in an act of rebellion
This very definition makes it clear that sins are not mistakes and mistakes are not sins.
Sin is intentional; mistakes are not.
However, when we realize that a mistake we made has been contrary to the will of God we should immediately repent of that action and confess it to the LORD. We should also ask the forgiveness of anyone who may have been harmed by that mistake.
Then we spoke about sin in a more general, overarching way regarding the effects of sin by a professing Christian.
Sin by a professing Christian diminishes the glory of the LORD in the eyes of others or at least obscures the greatness of God.
On the other hand, righteousness by a Christian glorifies the LORD and brings praise to His Holy name.
Here we have two issues …
The first issue is with those who claim “to be without sin” and those “who claim [they] have not sinned.”
Now, there were Gnostics in that era. Gnostics believed that the soul or spirit of a person was separate from the flesh. Your body could sin but it would not affect your spiritual standing. So … sin away, no problem!!!
Nowadays, we have those who claim that sin is an invention of religion; a creation of man’s imagination.
We also have folks who believe that since they have never murdered anyone or robbed any one or assaulted anyone that they have never REALLY sinned!
But the Bible says in …
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
“All we, like sheep, have gone astray; we have turned, everyone to his own way …”
You see, many who are lost hate the idea of personal sin.
Sin, if it is real, means that there is someone in authority over us and we don’t like that! We want to be free and independent; not needing to ask forgiveness from anyone!
Sin, if it is real, starts the dominos falling. You all have probably at one time or another set up a string of dominoes. What happens when you push the first one down? The first one knocks over the second one, the second one knocks over the third one and on and on until they all fall.
So, if you hate the idea of personal sin and you understand what personal sin is it sets in motion a spiritual domino effect. It’s a pretty short row of dominoes but it goes like this …
Domino 1) there is a God to whom my actions are accountable …
Domino 2) my sin separates me from God not just now but in eternity as well …
Domino 3) I cannot get out of this by myself which means I need help from someone else, specifically God
Domino 4) my only escape is by turning to God for help in personal surrender
Conclusion: that personal surrender to God is something I will never do, therefore, I don’t believe in personal sin.
But there is Someone who does believe in personal sin and that is the very God who created us for fellowship and for His glory!