1 John 3:9 NLT - "Those who have been born into God's family do not make a practice of sinning, because God's life is in them. So they can't keep on sinning, because they are children of God."
WOW! And for some of you I can hear you say, "Hold it! Wait a minute! Are you saying a Christian won't sin?" And you might easily come to that if you read in the NKJV the same verse, "Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God." Yikes! That sure sound like "sinless perfection" that some groups teach. Okay, let me try to clear things up.
First, the NKJV is not wrong in its translation, but it doesn't help one to immediately understand what is really being taught. The words in the NKJV, "...does not sin..." actually mean, "does not make sin a practice of their life." This means that a true child of God no longer wants to keep on sinning. And when they do, they feel lousy! Ever have that feeling? I have, many times! But what John is teaching is that God's life is in us and He certainly isn't going to tolerate us living like we used to before we were saved. Remember, He gave us a new nature, His! See 2 Peter 1:4, "...you may be partakers of the divine nature..." And the Holy Spirit works through that new nature giving us NEW DESIRES to please the Lord!
Second, 1 John 1:10, written to believers, says, "If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us." God knows that believers will continue to sin, but not desire to keep on sinning! When a believer does sin the Holy Spirit brings conviction to their heart and they want to confess that sin, forsake that sin, and turn towards a righteous way of life.
How can a Christian keep on living in victory? That's our thought tomorrow. But, take a look at Psalm 119:11 for a clear "hint!"
Daily commentary and insight from Pastor Eckardt.
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Mt Ephraim Baptist Church | 25 S. Black Horse Pike | Mt Ephraim, NJ 08059
Senior Pastor, Stephen A. Eckardt | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone: 856.981.7288