My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins,and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
3 We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. 4 Whoever says, “I know him,”but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him:6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.
The groundwork has been laid in the previous chapter, and now, facing the reality of who Christ is we must make a decision. To sin or not to sin? Before my death to this life I did not have the ability to say no to all of my sins. Since being ‘born again’ (given a new life in Christ) sins power is broken and God has given me the ability to chose whether or not to sin. I can now clearly see what sins lie before me, and there comes a distinct moment when I must chose if I will take the sinful way or the righteous way.
What is sin? Sin is deliberately ignoring commands, laws, or rules. When we decide to sin we are not only breaking a law or command against someone on earth, but we are deliberately ignoring that there is someone who will take that sin into account, and sinning against our creator. It’s as if we have thrown our hands up into the air and said, “ehh.. He won’t care if I do this just once”.
If we have not been forgiven of our sins through the work of Jesus on the cross, that sin will cause us to die apart from God. However, this letter of John is written to those who are already a part of the church (with the assumption that all are saved). Christ died for us, to take our place as a sinner, so when God looks at us He sees no sin. This does not give us the right to sin at will, knowing that we will be forgiven each time. On the contrary, we must ask for forgiveness, and turn from our sin to live for Him, and as He lived – sinless. His sacrifice was all the atoning power we need to be rid of our sins once and for all. Not only that, but the power displayed in Christ’s giving of himself was enough to satisfy the forgiveness of the sins of the entire world, should they deny themselves.
How much more are we held accountable, now that we know our sins? Before my eyes were opened into the light of Christ, I knew my life was not good, but I did not think I was a bad person. Now, being fully able to see my sin I know that my life is bound up with Christ, and I am to represent Him. If I sin, knowing it is wrong, what am I showing others? Am I saying it is ok for me to be bad because I’m secured in the fact that I’m saved? On the contrary! To sin knowing that I sin is far worse than someone who sins and doesn’t understand the consequences.
“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.” – Romans 6
Lord’s Day 2, Question 3
From where do you know
your sins and misery?
From the law of God. 1