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I added chapter 18. Sorry it took so long. Enjoy.

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Sinless Christians?


Everyone who commits sin commits lawlessness, for sin is lawlessness. You know that He was revealed to take away sins, and in Him there is no sin. No one who remains in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or known Him. Children, let no one deceive you. The person who acts in righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. Whoever sins belongs to the devil, because the devil has sinned from the beginning. Indeed, the Son of God was revealed to destroy the works of the devil. No one who is begotten by God commits sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot sin because he is begotten by God. In this way, the children of God and the children of the devil are made plain; no one who fails to act in righteousness belongs to God, nor anyone who does not love his brother.  I John 3:4-10

John now contrasts lawlessness and righteousness; one belonging to God or to the devil.

No one who remains in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or known Him, The person who acts in righteousness is righteous, and “Whoever sins belongs to the devil“. All these statements sound like we are ALL in a whole lotta trouble. But it isn’t quite what it seems. The sin reffered to here is habitual sin. In other words, a life-style of sinning.

If I engage in something contrary to God’s law, that is sin. If I continually disregard God’s law, then I am denying the power of the Holy Spirit in my life and choose to sin, rather than to love God, therefore showing myself to “belong to the devil“.

As we discussed earlier in this study, I John 1:9 states,”If we acknowledge our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing,” we are human and we are inclined toward sin. Primarily, the sins of His children happen in moments of weakness. Once realized,  they are turned away from or repented of (Rom.7:15).

How do we combat these sinful lapses? The answer John gives is; acting in righteousness and loving his brother. As these virtues develop and grow in our lives, the more likely we will be able to sin less. But that doesn’t mean we will be sinless!

So this week, let us act in righteousness and love our brothers and sisters and see if we notice a difference in our spiritual lives.

Amen.

The children of God


And now children, remain in Him so, that when He appears we may have confidence and not be put to shame by Him at His coming. If you consider He is righteous, you know also that everyone who acts in righteousness is begotten by Him. See what love the Father has bestowed upon us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. Everyone who has this hope based on Him makes himself pure, as He is pure.  I John 2:28- 3:3.    

As Christians we are indeed children of God! As Jesus tells us in John’s gospel,” Amen, amen I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and spirit,” (John 3:5). Born into the kingdom of God, through baptism and the Holy Spirit, we are God’s children!

John then goes on to tells us here; “Remain in Him”. The American Heritage dictionary defines the word remain this way: 1) To continue without change of condition, quality or place. 2) To stay or be left over after the removal, departure, loss or destruction of others. 3) To be left as still, to be dealt with. 4) To endure or persist. This is certainly what John is trying to convey to us, as Jesus did with him,  “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him..” (John 6:56). Also,”…if you remain in my word, you will truly be My disciples,”(John 8:31). “Remain in Me, as I remain in you… Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither;”(John 15:4,6). So we need to understand that this “remaining” is a continuing without change, a perseverance, an endurance.

It also infers that one may not remain, one may choose to abandon. This would be the case for the “religious Jews” in Jesus’ day. They insisted,”Abraham is our father..” (John 8:39), to which Jesus replies,”If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works of Abraham.” Jesus goes on to say,”You are of your father the devil.” (John 8:44).

As the “religious Jews” thought they were acting in God’s defense, they were in fact acting against God. So the question needs to be asked, do we act as those “religious Jews”?

Do we rest in our religious laurels and think,”I’m His child, He’ll forgive me.” Or, “This sin isn’t that bad” or worse still, “Well I’m saved now, I can do what I want.”

Let us reflect now on Jesus’ words to His disciples in John 15:10:”If you keep My commandments, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love.”

Let us all remain in Him.

Amen.