1 John 3:9 (ESV) – No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God.
Many people imagine they can be Christians that go to Heaven while living like unbelievers on the way to Hell. It is common for people who profess to be Christians to sin. That is expected. We are all fallen creatures in need of God’s grace. But many live in unrepentant sin and have no regard for God’s commands about obedience and holiness. This is unacceptable. Scripture speaks to this issue.
This is the subject of our passage today. We read in 1 John 3:9, “No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God.”
What does John mean by “no one born of God makes a practice of sinning”? He means that nobody truly born-again as a believer lives in habitual sin. We may sin, but we don’t continue in it. True believers desire holiness. Real Christians want to please the God who rescued them from sin. They don’t want license to live in it.
No one that makes a practice of sinning is truly a believer. That’s John’s message. You can’t be saved and not listen to God’s Word. The “practice” of sinning implies habitual patterns. This could be with our words, thoughts, or actions. It could be living in unrepentant sexual sin. It could be unforgiveness or pride. True believers want to align their lives to God’s expectations. This isn’t so God will save us, it is evidence that we are truly saved.
What does your life reflect about your faith? Is there evidence by your holiness that you are truly born of God? This is important for everyone to examine. Many claim to be Christians but are not truly Christians from a biblical definition. John leaves us no room to invent our own standard.
If you know the Lord and love Him, you obey Him. There is no other path. So repent of your sins. Turn back to God’s ways in every area where you find you are out of bounds. This pleases Him and demonstrates that we belong to Him.
Reflection & Journal:
- Why is today’s passage so relevant for the world we live in?
- What evidence should believers display to demonstrate we truly belong to the Lord?
- How can we help avoid the deception of being someone that claims to be a Christian but lives in opposition to His commands?
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