Thursday, November 19, 2015

Can a Christian Keep On Sinning? Part 2

1 John 3:7-10

7 Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 8 The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. 9 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. 10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.

Again this passage is very tricky and an improper interpretation of it could do a lot of damage. And we see here the danger of "proof texting". This is taking a verse out of context and using it to prove something you want to prove. And the verse that could cause problems is, "the one who does what is sinful is of the devil". The problem with taking this literally is that we would all be of the devil, because becoming a Christian doesn't mean you will never sin again. I don't think this is what John is trying to teach the early Christian church

So what is he teaching? He is saying that if someone continues a lifestyle of sin, this is not of God. And this is what the false teachers were teaching, which was deceiving the believers to go back to a lifestyle of sin. John says that to go back to that lifestyle willingly, is not of God, but of the devil. After all, the devil has been sinning from the beginning and that is all he does. So the one who continues on sinning, is imitating him not Jesus. After all Jesus defeated the evil one on the cross, and delivered us from the power of the devil.

So John is using this argument to defeat the teaching of the false teachers and to show how crazy it is to think that someone who is born of God, could just keep on sinning. That teaching of is not of God, but the devil. Why? Because it twists and distorts the truth, which is exactly the game plan of the devil. He wants to deceive the children of God and cause them to sin.

Remember from the beginning Satan was a liar trying to deceive the sons and daughters of God. In Genesis 3:3-4 we see this, "But from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.'" 4The serpent said to the woman, "You surely will not die! 5"For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."…

Jesus says this to the Jews who rejected him and said Abraham was their father in John 8,

"42 Jesus told them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, because I have come to you from God. I am not here on my own, but he sent me. 43 Why can’t you understand what I am saying? It’s because you can’t even hear me! 44 For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 So when I tell the truth, you just naturally don’t believe me! 46 Which of you can truthfully accuse me of sin? And since I am telling you the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47 Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God. But you don’t listen because you don’t belong to God.”

So what can we learn from this passage? We need to take sin seriously. Jesus has delivered us from sin. We have been forgiven of our sin. We are born again, born of God. We are a new Creation in Christ. The truth has set us free from the power of sin, death and the power of the devil. The great lie of the evil one is that you are forgiven, so you can sin. Like in the garden when he said to Adam and Eve, "Did God really say..." Make no doubt about it, he wants to destroy you and your faith.

So what is the best way to protect ourselves from the lies? To know the truth. To be led by the Holy Spirit who is truth. Jesus did not set you free for you to return to slavery. If Jesus sets you free, you are free indeed!

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