Much like the old Burma-Shave signs did decades ago, the concept of
"sin" is quickly and quietly fading from our society. Thus we
need reminded of certain principles regarding this matter "lest haply
we drift away from them" (Heb.2:1). John's first epistle gives us
such an opportunity and so, with as little comment from us as possible,
we call your attention to six things about sin we should never forget (all
references are in 1 John.)
What Sin Is
"Every one that doeth sin doeth also lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness."
(3:4); "All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death."
(5:17). Living in disreard for God's law and in nonconformity with His
standard of what is right results in sin....every single time.
The Consequences of Sin
"Whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither knoweth him."
(3:6); "he that doeth sin is of the devil;" (3:8); "In this
the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever
doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother."
(3:10). I can't live in sin and maintain a relationship with God; it's
either God or the devil (Rom. 6:16). Which will it be ?
The Proper Attitude Toward Sin
"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth
is not in us." (1:8); "If we say that we have not sinned, we
make him a liar, and his word is not in us." (1:10). Denying I have
sinned or am sinning (Rom.3:23) makes me a liar and treats God as if He
were one. Not exactly a good attitude! How To Avoid Sin
"My little children, these things write I unto you that ye may
not sin...." (2:1); "Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever
sinneth hath not seen him,..." (3:6); "Whosoever is begotten
of God doeth no sin, because his seed abideth in him: and he cannot sin,
because he is begotten of God." (3:9); "We know that whosoever
is begotten of God sinneth not; but he that was begotten of God keepeth
himself, and the evil one toucheth him not." (5:18). Avoid continuing
in sin: maintain a close relationship with God by feeding on His word (1Pet.2:2).
In this way you keep on abiding in Him and the Devil won't touch you.
Provision For Sin
"I write unto you, my little children, because your sins are forgiven
you for his name's sake."(2:12); "but if we walk in the light,
as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood
of Jesus his Son cleanseth us from all sin." (1:7); "and he is
the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the
whole world." (2:2); "And ye know that he was manifested to take
away sins; and in him is no sin." (3:5) "Herein is love, not
that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation
for our sins." (4:10). Christ's sacrifical death makes possible my
forgiveness. After having my sins washed away in baptism (Acts22:16), I
continue to "walk in the light...and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanseth
us from all sin." (1Jo.1:7).
What To Do If We Sin
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive
us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1:9); "My
little children, these things write I unto you that ye may not sin. And
if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:"
(2:1). This, and what Peter told Simon, is all I know to tell any Christian
today who has sinned: "Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and
pray the Lord, if perhaps the thought of thy heart shall be forgiven thee"
Old soldiers and Burma-Shave signs may fade away but sin never will.