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Sin and the Christian
1 Jn. 3:4-7


Last week we touched about purity. As sons of God we must purify ourselves by avoiding all kinds of sins. John in this few verses talks about sin and the purpose of Christ’s coming here, to destroy the works of the devil. Let’s have a lesson about sin and how does it affect the life of Christians

I. What sin is:

A. As defined by John, “sin is the transgression of the law” (1 Jn. 3:4)
B. Sin is breaking God’s law; missing the mark of moral purity; falling short of God’s righteousness.
C. The term “sin” is one of the most common Bible words describing the fallen
condition of man.
1. All men have sinned (1 Kings 8:46; Eccl. 7:20; Rom. 3:23; 5:12).
2. Man’s sin began with Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden (Gen. 3; Ro 5:12).
3. The penalty of sin is death (Rom. 6:23).
4. The forgiveness of sin requires the shedding of blood (Heb. 9:22).
5. Jesus Christ paid the full penalty for sin when He died and shed His blood on the cross (Eph. 1:7; Heb. 1:3; Rom. 5:9-10).
6. Is. 53 describes how Jesus bore man’s sin.
7. Man receives complete and eternal forgiveness for sin by exercising personal faith in Jesus Christ (Rom. 6:23; Eph. 5:5-6; Ezek. 18:4).
D. The Origin of Sin
1. Sin originated with Satan’s pride (1 Sam.14:12-14; 1Tim. 3:6).
2. Sin entered the world through Adam’s disobedience (Gen. 3; Rom. 5:12).
E. The Manifestations of sin
1. Transgression – the overstepping of the law (Ps. 51:1)
2. Iniquity – an act inherently wrong or forbidden, as breaking a commandment.
3. Error – the departure from right
4. Missing the mark – the failure to meet the divine standard. (1 Jn. 5:17, Rom.
5. Trespass – the intrusion of self will into the sphere of God’s authority.
6. Lawlessness – this is spiritual anarchy (1 Tim. 1:9)
7. Debt – a failure in duty, the sin of omission, the things that we leave undone.
8. Unbelief – an insult to the divine veracity of God. (Heb. 3:12).

II. Committing Sin (1 Jn. 3:4)

A. Basically, sin (singular) is rebellion against God, and sins (plural) are the acts of lawlessness such as murder, stealing, idolatry, covetousness, envy, etc.
B. Real believers still have the old nature and can fall into sin (1 Jn. 1:8)
C. This old nature is also termed as the “flesh”. Facts about the flesh is shown below:
1. The flesh is still present after salvation. The Christian has two natures: flesh and Spirit (Gal. 5:16).
2. The flesh is the enemy within (Gal. 5:17). God leaves the flesh within the
Christian to teach us to walk by faith, not by sight.
3. The flesh is never eradicated in this life. There is no sinless perfection in the Christian life (1 Jn. 1:8,10).
4. The Christian can choose to walk in either the flesh or the Spirit (Gal. 5:16). So, a Christian can either be a spiritual or carnal.
5. Lots of Christians to satisfy the lust of the flesh, commits grave sins for a moment of pleasure which causes them a lifetime of regret.
6. Christian, you are a child of God, would you choose to sin knowing that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ watches you, cares for you, and blesses you? Would you change your way of life now?
D. Every sin involves two things: the will to sin and the act of sin. Confession of sin involves two things as well: identifying the sin and repentance from the sin. Repentance is the attitude that wants to do the will of God.
E. What Happens when a Christian sin?
1. His Fellowship with God is severed. David, when backslidden, mourned, “Day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer” (Psa. 32:4). As Clouds hide the sun for days, so Sin comes between the soul and God.
2. The Joy of salvation is lost. One loses all relish for spiritual things: the heart is empty. David, in this condition, confessed, “My sin is ever before me” and “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free Spirit” (Psa. 51:3, 12).
3. Power for service is lost. The Holy Spirit’s power is Essential for any real witness for Christ. It cannot be Faked. David prayed, “Thou desirest truth in the inward parts” and “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (Psa. 51:6, 10).
4. The Christian invites divine chastisement. (Heb. 12:6-7—” Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth…. What son is he whom the father chasteneth not?” (Psa. 89:32-33—” I will visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless, my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail.”
5. There is loss of reward. (1 Cor. 3:11-15.) Out of Fellowship means out of Service— out of service means that one is failing to lay up treasures in heaven. He is building of “wood, hay, and stubble” which cannot endure the test of the rewarding day (1 Cor. 3:12-15). Many will be chagrined in that day by suffering Loss of Reward.

Illustration: Why Would Christians Choose to Sin?

Why would Christians choose to sin rather than choose what they know God wants them to do? Four answers are commonly given today.

1. Some would point to Romans 8:16 and explain that Christians who wilfully sin have forgotten their true identity as “children of God.” While it is true that Christians can forget who they are and sin as a result, Christians can also be well aware of who they are and sin anyway.
2. Some say Christians choose to sin because they have lost sight of what God has done for them. 2 Peter 1:9 indicates that Christians can be “blind or short-sighted, having forgotten [their] (purge) purification from [their] old sins.”
3. Some wisely state that Christians consciously choose to sin because they have forgotten that God will severely discipline disobedient believers.
4. Some have said that Christians who consciously sin have lost their focus on the future. These Christians have forgotten that God will reward in heaven only those who have lived faithfully for Him here on earth (1 Cor 9:24). Christians who fail to keep eternity in mind often sin in the here and now. Why Christians Sin, J. Kirk Johnston, Discovery House, 1992, p. 31

III. Christ’s Mission (1 Jn. 3:5)

A. There are two purposes for the coming of Christ into the world:
1. To take away sins (3:4-6)
2. To destroy the works of the devil (3:7,8)
B. For a Christian to walk in sin is incompatible with the work of Christ. Christ work is to sanctify or to purify and make the believer holy ( 2 Cor. 5:21, Eph. 5:25-27). To sin is contrary to Christ’s work of breaking the dominion of sin the Christian’s life. (Rom. 6:1-15).
C. The cost of Christ’s mission:
1. His death (1 Cor. 15:3)
2. His blood (Acts 20:28; 1 Pet. 1:18-19).

IV. Contrasts between Christians and non-Christians (1 Jn. 3:6-7).

A. Christians:
1. Continues in Christ
2. Does not keep on sinning
3. Is in close relation to Christ.
4. Habitually practices the right
5. Character – like Christ
6. Right living
B. Non-Christians
1. Continues in sinful habits
2. Has not seen Christ (by eye of faith)
3. A stranger to Christ (does not know Jesus)
4. Habitually practices sin
5. Character – like the devil
6. Wrong living
C. The difference between God’s family and Satan’s family. Both are known by the kind of life they live. It has been said, first we “Believe” the Good News (receive it inwardly) and then we are to “behave” the Good News (live it outwardly).

Illustration: Areas of Greatest Challenge

A recent survey of Discipleship Journal readers ranked areas of greatest spiritual challenge to them:
1. Materialism
2. Pride
3. Self-centeredness
4. Laziness
5. (Tie) Anger/Bitterness
6. (Tie) Sexual lust
7. Envy
8. Gluttony
9. Lying
Survey respondents noted temptations were more potent when they had neglected their time with God (81 percent) and when they were physically tired (57 percent). Resisting temptation was accomplished by prayer (84 percent), avoiding compromising situations (76 percent), Bible study (66
percent), and being accountable to someone (52 percent). Discipleship Journal, 11-12/92

V. Conclusion:

Sin is basically rebellion against God. Christians can still commit sin because we still have
the old nature. Christ came to take away sins and to destroy the works of the devil. As
God’s children we have a choice to sin or not to sin, to walk by the Spirit or not. My
prayer is that we should live outwardly what we believe and avoid sin at all costs

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