1 John 3; 2 Chronicles 36; Psalm 90
John speaks often of the love of God, but he reminds us that our love of God is reflected in the way we live. “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.” (1 John 3:9) If we truly have been born of God, we will not continue in a lifestyle of sin – God working inside of us won’t allow it. We will be guilty and miserable until we repent and do things God’s way.
What kind of sinning is John talking about here, though? Some interpret these words to mean something like “sinless perfection.” If God truly lives in us, we will never commit one single sin. That understanding goes against not only the language here, but also the whole message of the book of 1 John. John is speaking of a lifestyle where someone claims to be a child of God and yet continues in known sin and either seeks to justify that sin or feels no guilt over it.
Let’s think about an example: a man living in an adulterous relationship claims to be a follower of Christ. He is living in a lifestyle of sin. He might seek to justify it by noting that he doesn’t feel any guilt about it and even that he’s prayed about the situation and God has allowed him to live that way. What foolishness! God has set objective standards by which we should live in His word: The Bible. Our relationship with Him is not subjective – based on feelings or the popular opinions of the day.
The message is simple: we need to align our lives with God’s standards. If we are not listening to Him; if we are not following His ways, how can we call ourselves His children?
Lord, examine me. Show me where I follow my own way instead of Your way. Let my life reflect Your plans and Your guidance. Let me be an example of obedience and love to others.