April 17, 2024


1 John 3:4-10 - Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 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. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.


In 1 John 3:4-10, the apostle John addresses the serious issue of sin in the life of a believer. He begins by defining sin as lawlessness - a disregard for God's law and ultimately a disregard for God Himself. John then reminds us of the very purpose that Jesus Christ came - to take away our sins. In Him there is no sin, and so to abide in Christ means to turn away from a lifestyle of habitual sin. John makes it clear that there is a stark contrast between those who are children of God and those who are children of the devil. The defining characteristic is the practice of righteousness versus the practice of sin. Those who are born of God, who have His seed (the Holy Spirit) abiding in them, cannot continue in a lifestyle of sin. This doesn't mean believers will never sin, for John has already said that anyone claiming to be without sin deceives himself (1 John 1:8). But it does mean that a true believer will not remain in habitual, unrepentant sin. Instead, the child of God will practice righteousness, loving God and loving others. It is the devil who has been sinning from the beginning, and those who continue in sin demonstrate that they belong to him. But Christ came to destroy these works of the devil and set us free from the bondage of sin. As we abide in Him, His Spirit empowers us to resist sin and live in righteousness. This is how we show that we truly know Christ and belong to Him.


This passage from 1 John is a sobering reminder of the seriousness of sin and the transforming power of abiding in Christ. As believers, we cannot take sin lightly or excuse it in our lives. Sin is not just breaking some arbitrary rules, but a direct offense against God Himself. It is lawlessness, a rebellion against our Creator. Yet the incredible news of the gospel is that Jesus came to take away our sins. He lived the perfect, sinless life that we could not live, and died the death that we deserved. When we put our faith in Him, His righteousness is credited to us, and we are born again as children of God. This is not a license to continue in sin, but rather a call to live a new life of righteousness. John's words here should cause us to examine our own lives. Are we practicing righteousness, demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit and love for God and others? Or are we continuing in habitual sin, showing that we may not truly know Christ at all? This is not about perfect obedience, for we will all stumble at times. But it is about the overall direction and desire of our lives. Do we hate sin and earnestly seek to honor God, or are we content to persist in lawlessness? The good news is that in Christ, we have all the resources we need to live a righteous life. His seed, the Holy Spirit, abides in us, empowering us to resist temptation and walk in obedience. As we abide in Him through prayer, meditation on His Word, and fellowship with other believers, we will grow in holiness. It is a daily choice to put to death the deeds of the flesh and walk according to the Spirit. May we never be deceived into thinking that sin is acceptable for a child of God. Instead, let us cling to Christ, depending on His grace and power to live as He calls us to live. As we do, the watching world will see the reality of our faith, and God will be glorified in our lives. This is the victorious Christian life that Christ died to give us - a life of freedom from sin and increasing conformity to His image.


Heavenly Father, Thank You for the incredible gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. Thank You that in Him, my sins are forgiven and I am a new creation. I confess that I often struggle with sin and fall short of Your perfect standard. But I thank You that in Christ, I am no longer a slave to sin, but am free to live a life that honors You. Lord, please search my heart and reveal any areas where I am harboring sin or not fully submitting to You. Give me a growing hatred for sin and a deeper love for righteousness. Help me to abide in You moment by moment, depending on Your Spirit to empower me to resist temptation and walk in obedience. May my life be a reflection of Your holiness and grace, shining as a light in this dark world. Use me to point others to the freedom and new life that are found in You alone. Thank You that no matter how many times I stumble, Your mercies are new every morning and Your grace is sufficient. I pray this in the mighty name of Jesus, Amen.

Generated Image(s)

Freed from sin's dark stain, Clothed in Christ's pure light, The believer stands in grace, Reborn to walk upright.

Freed from sin's dark stain,
Clothed in Christ's pure light,
The believer stands in grace,
Reborn to walk upright.

This image was generated by AI from the devotion text.