1 John 1:9 But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, forgiving us our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness. (NET)
Sin seems to be a problem for most Christians.
Now that I have overstated the obvious, let’s look a little more deeply into the apostle’s teaching about sin.
John’s epistle is sort of circular in that he returns more than once to a particular thought or theme. His two main emphases are sin and love, both of which he discusses from various aspects more than once.
Many evangelical Christians claim to be “a sinner saved by grace.” Their focus is on their sin. Their testimony is about their sin. Their prayer request is for strength to stand strong against sin. They will remind anyone who will listen that we all sin on a regular basis.
That’s too bad. It certainly is not my experience.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says that I am a new creature. The old creature was a sinner. The new creature is a saint.
1 John 2:1 says that he wrote those things so that I might not sin. John thought it possible to not sin.
Are you sinning this very moment? Probably not. What about the next moment? Can you not sin for the next five minutes? If so, then why not for the next 10? 30? An hour? A day? Will you stretch with me for a week? A month?
If it is possible for one minute to not sin, then it is possible for more than one minute. Take the focus off sin and put it on grace and love.
BUT…if you DO fail…confess, and the Lord cleanses from all unrighteousness. (1 John. 1:9)
BUT…if you DO fail…we have an advocate with the Father who will plead our case and cause (1 John 2:1).
Just because John wrote, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8), does not mean that we must continually say that we have sin.
We should confess our sin and move on, never to mention it again, but totally trusting in the cleansing blood of Jesus and testifying to His love and forgiveness.
8 thoughts on “Sin is NOT The Problem”
Where is your focus? Is it on hearing the voice of the Spirit? Is it on Christ and his commands? If I focus on listening to his voice, I should not be guilty of sin. He will not lead me into temptation, he will direct me away from it, therefore it should be possible to go without sin. Where is my focus?
Agree don’t focus on sin, but sins delivered from are the testimony of a new creation, only in Jesus Christ.
Perspective of who we are in Christ is most important to live victorious…That is where I am headed. Thanks Dale for this post
Very provacative title. On one hand sin IS the issue, because that is why Christ had to die – for our sins. On the other hand, we believers are not to obsess about sin.
It sounds like Dale is talking about believers who look for “sin behind every bush” rather than the need for resting in Christ and dealing with whatever ‘sin’ issue arises in the appropriate manner. That could be joining with Job and ‘making a covenant with my eyes’ as a sort of “preventative measure”, applying Psalm 119:11, to applying 1 John 1:9 when I do sin.
I find the comment about testimonies being “all about sin” sometimes. It does seem that way sometimes. WHen is the last time you heard the beautiful testimony of someone who has walked with God all their life? If you heard such a testimony, how many oohs and aahs would it generate in the pews?
I also appreciate Darla’s comment, because I find it a very good practice to never forget the depths from which I was resurrected.
Dan, title was purposefully provocative, Thanks for catching that. Good point about a testimony of a lifelong relationship. Would that we could hear more of those.
Darla, yes deliverance from sin is the testimony. But, listen to most testimonies of the one who is saved from a bad life, and it is 80% sin and 20% Jesus. I think that is what I was trying to say.
And Gracie approaches the crux by asking where is our focus.
Romans 8:1-2 says it all … “Therefore, there is NOW NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life SET ME FREE from the law of sin and death.”
Sin is of no account since the penalty for it is totally paid for through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, the Messiah.
It is a very difficult thing for most believers to accept this concept because all they ‘see’ and ‘hear’ is their sinning.
Abraham and others were counted as righteous because they believed and placed their faith (trust) in God and His promises. We gentiles are considered righteous before God by believing the birth, life, death, resurrection and return to heaven of Jesus on earth.
There is no lasting victory without faith in this. It is FOR freedom that Jesus sets us free.
The problem, of course, is that most preaching is about sinning and our need to clean up our lives before God can REALLY love us. Not true! Take heart and read John 3:16-21 again.
Dale, I notice your byline is Practical Bible Teaching. Oh, how we need more of that in the churches, but alas, people are kept in bondage by the majority of Christian preachers.
God bless and keep you … keep it up!
“Sin is of no account since the penalty for it is totally paid for through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, the Messiah.”
Please explain your meaning, wellwateredgarden. Yes, we are free, free from the penalty of sin (the law of sin and death). We are also free from the bondage of sin and will one day be free from the very presence of sin.
If you mean that if we are believers, past, present, and future sin will not be held to our “account” because of Christ’s propitiation, you are indeed correct.
If you mean that we no longer need to pay much attention to dealing with sin in our lives, becasue it’s been dealt with at the Cross, there’s a problem.
I feel certain you meant the former, and I only mention it because I have heard from multiple sources in “popular” places that we don’t need to much attention to sin, that God is even eager to “hug is WITH our sin.” It’s a wildly popular notion that serves only to feed the flesh an cheapen grace.
Hug us with our sin … there’s a good one!
No, I mean if we pay attention to the two laws Jesus gave us, namely, love God and love our neighbor, all else will fall into place. We need to be so convinced of our salvation when we believe (like Job was) that our entire focus is on the solution, rather than on the problem.
If we keep our focus on the problem then we will continually need to be saved over and over and we never move on to loving God and our fellow man.
Hope that helps!
Good words, Dale.