CAN WE LIVE ABOVE SIN?
I John 3:4-10
I John 3:6 says, “Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him.”. Verse 9 says, “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.” Everything said in these verses apply to Christians. In this letter John said many things hard to be understood. Christians should read and study this letter often. In these verses John tells us that Christians who abide in Christ do not sin. In fact, he goes on to say that Christians cannot sin because of the new birth they have have had in Christ. It seems John contradicts himself, but of course he does not. Yet he says, if a Christian abides in Christ, but does not sin, but if he sins he has neither seen nor known Christ. Furthermore, he cannot sin because he has been born again, and John says sin is incompatible with the new birth.
It is important that we understand that the word sin in these passages has but one meaning. It refers to continual sin, habitual sin. It is sin as practiced by unbelievers in the world. They sin all the time, and it can be said they live a life of sin. That is the kind of sin John is talking about in this chapter. But there is another kind of sin as practiced among Christians. It may be called occasional sin. Most of the time Christians remain free from sin, but as an exception to their righteous way of life, from time to time they do fall into sin through weakness.. But it is not continual sin or habitual sin. It may be called occasional sin, for lack of a better word. If we do not recognize this distinction, this chapter is not understandable. Faithful Christians occasionally sin, but they do not live an ongoing sinful life.
This entire first letter necessarily implies that terrible unscriptural opinions and falsehoods had been introduced into the first century church about sin and righteousness. Many Christians got involved in these falsehoods, and some left the church. I John 2:18,19 says that many antichrist teachers arose in the church and John said this of them, “They went out from us, but they were not of us, for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us, but they went out that they might be made manifest that none of them were of us.” These heresies and opinions produced the first letter of John. An antichrist teacher is who disagrees with the teachings of the Christian religion as revealed in the New Testament. One of these heresies had to do with the question, “Can Christians live above sin?” John settled that question forever for God's people.
One truth John taught in this letter is that it is not possible for a Christian to live above sin 100%. Christians can and must live above sin, but they cannot do it 100% of the time.. None can attain to a sinless state of life. In 1 John 1:8 we read, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” These words were written to Christians, not to unbelievers. .This is a dangerous fact, and it involves us in an
important responsibility. When John says in these verses that faithful Christians cannot sin, it simply means they cannot live a life of continual sin, as they did before they came to know Christ. It means they cannot live a bad life, an habitual sinful life that separates them from the love and approval of God. A sinful way of life is incompatible with the new birth, for it has effected a powerful change in their life.
Another great truth John teaches in this letter is that Christians cannot live completely above sin, but when they give into temptation and fall into sin through temptation and weakness. God has made a gracious promise to them. If we repent and confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we live a good life as a general rule, then God is willing to forgive these unfortunate mistakes, failures and transgressions. As a rule Christians are obedient to God, but as an exception to the rule they are disobedient to God. Yet they remain in God's love, and He continues to accept them as His children, even though they have become disobedient How gracious of God to make such a provision! But we must make our lives right with God and take advantage of God's mercy and goodness. We must not ignore our disobedient acts. God's wonderful provision is that if we walk with Him in the light as a general rule, we continue in fellowship with Him as imperfect people. When we make an occasional mistake through weakness of the flesh, the blood of Christ His Son will cleanse us from all unrighteousness as often as necessary on the simple condition that we confess this sin to God, repent of it, turn away from it whatever it may have been, and pledge to do better God will remove it and wash us clean by the blood of Christ.
Sin is everywhere about us, and alas, how often within us. These bodies are hard to control. Nevertheless, we must continually seek new pardons through God's merciful offer of forgiveness. God requires His children to walk in the light as He is in the light, and He is righteous in all of His ways. He requires us also to be righteous in all of our ways. When we fail, and all fail, we have a merciful High Priest, and we must deal with God through Christ our High Priest. All sin is dangerous to our souls and our final acceptance with God We must maintain a close fellowship with Him. There was a system of forgiveness under the law of Moses, and there
is a system of forgiveness under the law of Christ. The New Testament system of forgiveness must not be ignored. We must use this plan throughout the remainder of our lives. Sin of any kind must not be ignored, forgotten or unattended to. God will not accept sinful conduct of any kind which goes unrepented of and unpardoned. The law of pardon to Christians is, “If we confess our sins God is faithful and just forgive our sins...” God has not promised to forgiven the sins of Christians that have not been confess and repented of.
Some of the religious teachings today in Christendom area close to these false ideas John is teaching against. A prominent denominational preacher in a tract wrote, “We take the position that a Christian's sins do not damn his soul. The way a Christian lives, what he says, his character, his conduct, or his attitude toward other people, have nothing whatever to do with the salvation of his soul. All the prayers a man may pray, all the Bibles he may read, all the churches he may belong to, all the services he may attend, all the sermons he may practice, all the debts he may pay, all the ordinances he may observe, all the laws he may keep, and all the benevolent acts he may perform will not make his soul one whit safer; and all the sins he may commit from idolatry to murder will not make his soul in any more danger. The way a man lives has nothing whatever to do with the salvation of his soul.” That statement expresses a gross and dangerous falsehood which John destroys in I John 3:7, “Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.” The only righteousness that a Christian has is the righteousness that he practices and which he acquires through overcoming sin and by living in obedience to the will of God. The doctrine, “Ons Saved: always saved, ” is one of the most dangerous falsehood in Christendom. Don't you believe it. The Bible also says that without holiness no one will see the Lord. The Bible says, “Faith without works is dead.”.