Sin & Lawlessness: So That You May Not Sin

SO THAT YOU MAY NOT SIN

Peter was clear that we are waging warfare against the sin that tries to entangle and destroy our souls.

Now we will see that John is clear when he re-declares the message of Christ that God is utterly and profoundly intolerant of sin.  That sin leads to every kind of death and there cannot be sin or death in the one born of the Seed of God.

1 John 1-3

Chapter 1

         1      What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life—
2      and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us—
3      what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.
4      These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.

5      This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.
6      If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness,

we lie and do not practice the truth;
7      but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
8      If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.
9      If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10      If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.

Chapter 2

         1      My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;
2      and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.
3      By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.
4      The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;
5      but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him:
6      the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.
7      Beloved, I am not writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word which you have heard.
8      On the other hand, I am writing a new commandment to you, which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true Light is already shining.
9      The one who says he is in the Light and yet hates his brother is in the darkness until now.
10      The one who loves his brother abides in the Light and there is no cause for stumbling in him.
11      But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
12      I am writing to you, little children, because your sins have been forgiven you for His name’s sake.
13      I am writing to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I have written to you, children, because you know the Father.
14      I have written to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.

15      Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16      For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
17      The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.
18      Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.
19      They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.
20      But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know.
21      I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth.
22      Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.
23      Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.
24      As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.

25      This is the promise which He Himself made to us: eternal life.
26      These things I have written to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you.
27      As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.
28      Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.
29      If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him.


Chapter 3

         1      See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
2      Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.
3      And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
4      Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.
5      You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.
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.
11      For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another;
12      not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous.
13      Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you.
14      We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death.
15      Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
16      We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
17      But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?
18      Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.
19      We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him
20      in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things.
21      Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God;
22      and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.
23      This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.
24      The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us. [i]

1:1

This is exceptionally important to understand that this is the message that has been heard from Jesus since the beginning: “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all”.

I love the simplicity of the gospel.  For those who disobey, they stumble upon the rock of stumbling and stone of offense, but for those who believe with faith, it reveals the path that leads to glory and eternal life.  And there can be no other path besides this, and the reasons why have been made known to us!

The firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, ‘the Lord knows those who are His’, and ‘Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness

(2 Timothy 2:19)

Where is the one that loves the Lord?

He is to be found departing from the way of iniquity.

1:3

John proclaimed this message because he loved the children of God and wanted them to have fellowship with the body of Christ and God the Father Himself.

Entire churches build themselves around the “draw” of fellowship while ignoring the true principle of fellowship.  There is no darkness to be found in the temple of God where we may have fellowship, and we are the temple of God!

1:5-9

The simple summary is that those who claim they have fellowship with God and still walk in the darkness are liars and they have not been purified in obedience to the Truth.  Either they do not know the Truth, or they have rejected the Truth and become its enemy.

It’s those who walk in the light that have true fellowship with one another and are cleansed from all sin and unrighteousness.

I hope this does not escape us; we are cleansed from sin.  It is removed.  Not covered and not ignored, but removed.  If we stand strong in Him, and hold fast to the promises of Jesus Christ, and persevere in these dark times, never giving up, but holding securely to the hope of our confession, then sin has no power over us and we are cleansed from it completely.

Jesus did not leave us swimming out in the ocean of sin, He removes everyone that will reach up and take His hand.

Neither can any man claim that he does not sin.  Every man sins and falls (eternally) short of God.  But it was Jesus Christ that came so that the way would be made known and proclaimed to every tongue, tribe, and nation.

And we know the way that is revealed in Jesus Christ; it is the way of confession and repentance that leads to the turning away from sin, the cleansing from unclean deeds, and the renewal of mind and soul.

Who is the one that is trapped in sin?

He is the one that has not been born again and refuses to obey Christ.

Not that you have not done something good, but that you have not obeyed with faith the Word that Christ has spoken to you; indeed to all mankind.

If you had known the Truth, then the Truth would set you free: “it was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore do not be subject again to the yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1).

Severe the limb that causes you to sin; is it a lust that you have found to entangle you?  Expose it in the Light and I assure you that it will wilt.  Persevere in the sanctification of the Spirit and learn from the discipline of your Father.

Though the weight of His hand can be heavy, if you so desire the Truth that it brings, you will endure and find yourself renewed and refreshed in the Sabbath rest of God.

2:1-5

In Christ the way to follow is made known so that we will not sin.  And He is our advocate with the Father, who is patient and willing to see us repent and turn from our sins.

I would ask why it is so difficult for Christians to believe that there is powerful and undeniable power in Christ to overcome sin and turn from it?  Is it because we have not seen brethren among us living under this power in such a long time?

But there are brethren living among us, though few, “who have not soiled their garments; and they walk with Me [Jesus] in white, for they are worthy.  He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of Life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.” (Revelation 3:4-6).

If we cannot believe this, attested to us in the Holy Word, demonstrated to us by the forerunners of our faith, and shown to us now, if even by a few, in these final hours, how can we believe in Jesus Christ and God the Father whom we do not see with our eyes?

And even though we cannot see Him, if we keep His commandments, we know Him.  Those whom we see that do not keep His commandments do not know Him, nor have they seen Him (for who in this age has seen Him, though some know Him?).

I want my brothers in this generation to know that it is in those who keep the commandments of Christ that the Love of God has been perfected; that is, they are the ones who have accepted the love and been changed by it.  It is in them that His love is made known to the world and in them that the testimony of His gospel remains.

2:15-18

If the Love of Christ is perfected in us, those who believe in Him and are sanctified in obedience to the Truth, then how can the love of the world remain?  For what is the world except darkness?

Doesn’t the Word declare to us that we are in the throne-room of Satan?

The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is not from the Father, rather, these things are perishing; they are not lasting!

Have you heard that it is the last hour?

With a resounding “yes”, I say that it is now the last minute.  If many antichrists have come since the beginning, then we must know that many more have come now!

2:25-29

I think there are many that are trying to deceive us; many that would lull us into a deep sleep and great apathy, but we must remember the gift that has been entrusted to us and be ready for action to guard what has been given to the Church!

We have an anointing that is from Heaven and we must learn from this anointing, the anointing of the Holy Spirit, so that we will not be ashamed when Christ returns!

Every soul will see the return of Christ, one way or another, and when they do, how many will be able to deny that He is righteous?

How many will step boldly before Him knowing that they have swam in the oceans of sin?

IF YOU KNOW THAT HE IS RIGHTEOUS, YOU KNOW THAT EVERYONE ALSO WHO PRACTICES RIGHTEOUSNESS IS BORN OF HIM” (2:29)

Do not sell the righteousness of Christ for the wretched treasures of the world; and command the one that comes to you pointing to something of this world, whether material or deed, and declares it to be righteous to depart from your side!

I can see many who do not know what righteousness is because they have listened to the very teachers that deny the Words of Christ!

To the Point

See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called the children of God?  And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him, purifies Himself just as He is pure.

 

Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.  You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is NO SIN.  No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him.

 

Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning.

 

The Son of God appeared for this purposes, to destroy the works of the devil.

 

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.

Those Whom I love, I reprove and discipline

(Revelation 3:19)

Those who are in the darkness hate and fear the light- but only in the Light can we find the power to remove the sin we find in our life.

I have felt the reproof of my Father upon me many times, and by it I have been disciplined, always leading to righteousness, never to death!  The discipline of God is not wrath; to those who love Him, it is treasure.

I can have no other word of advice for one than one I have shared here today.  Satan tries to sow seeds of ungodly guilt when our Father in Heaven disciplines us.  So we must be sure, all the more, that God is patient with those whom He disciplines because He knows the end from the beginning.

But for those who will not receive His discipline, for those who will not turn away and despise the grace of God by lapping from the cesspools of sin, a great day of reckoning awaits them when the judgment of God will come forward and a great many will be consumed by an eternal fire.

Conclusion

In this short series we’ve looked at the overwhelming command of Christ; depart from iniquity.

When we sin, we know that we have a mediator in Heaven; Jesus is not blind, nor will He suffer long the Holy Spirit on someone who refuses to repent (turn from sin).

Though we face a great adversary, and we know that he lays many traps for us, the power of the Spirit that dwells within us, and the grace of God is fully sufficient to see us through when we fall.

Where many are deceived is in taking advantage of the Grace of God and wallowing long in sin.  Instead of departing, they ignore the conviction of the Holy Spirit concerning sin and judgment, and continue in their path of unrighteousness.

What we have seen here is that this is not the attitude of a Christian; it’s the attitude of the rebellious.


[i] New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (1 Jn 1–3:24). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation

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